Where do I start?
With Friday’s transition-to-midfoot-strike 4 mile run? After which I learned that it is recommended to start with 1/2 a mile, and add 1/2 a mile every other day, not run a hilly 4 mile loop the first time, most especially not 2 days before a race…
With the “interesting” place we (attempted) to sleep at the night before the race? I believe we were the only people there that did not live there. Also, Bellingham, just what the eff is up with the train whistles? By midnight I was seriously debating putting something on the tracks to cause an accident just so I didn’t have to listen to the whistles any more.
The queasy pre-race tummy? I don’t often unswallow, but I was durned close Sunday morning. As soon as I got to the start of the race? Totally fine. But I was only able to eat half a bagel for breakfast. Not a great start for me.
The starting line? Boring. The sky was doing something between misting and drizzling. There was a lot of garbled microphone speak, and then we took off.
The running? You already know what running is like, but it seems like a decent enough place to start a race recap.
Some lady lost her water bottle about a 1/4 mile into the run. There were people walking by the 1/2 mile mark. I was ready for water by the time the first water station showed up. They were placed every 2 miles and were significantly more important than the mile markers (to me).
By mile 3 my brain was already telling me to quit. How’s that for supportive? I told it to shut the hell up because I was not going to carry that BS around for the next 10 miles. A gentleman came up alongside me and told me that he liked the saying on the back of my shirt. I had no idea what it said, and asked him to tell me. Sweat comes from the inside. Note to self- read clothing more carefully before wearing. It struck me as something that should probably be profound, but wasn’t striking me as profound at that moment. It still doesn’t. My response remains, “well, DER.” I thanked him and we wished each other good runs.
Just before the second water station (~4 miles), we joined routes with the marathoners. I wanted to hug all of them. I also (finally) banished my negative inner voice at that point. We had run along a bluff near the water until near this point, and then moved inland (the whole race was a distorted figure 8 shape). I love running through neighborhoods because I love looking at houses. Side note- if I had stronger math skills and any artistic ability I would have been an architect. But I don’t so I’m not. This was when I received a second compliment on the quote on my shirt. I was able to throw one back at her, because the back of her shirt said “My sport is what your sport considers punishment” I own a shirt with a similar statement.
I reached the 3rd water station (and 10K mark) about 12 minutes behind my finish time for my 10K on Labor Day. I was a little bummed, but I also didn’t run any hills in that race (and did not have to run any further, either). I snapped a quick picture for some ladies whose shirts I had just complimented. They were older/heavier and on the backs of their shirts it read “Does this make my ass look fast?” Gotta love sassy women. We had a fairly steep downhill at that point (which I am pretty sure was the only downhill of the race, but there were plenty of uphills which I used to my advantage) and I had to walk it. My knee was sore, but not in any pain (except for the 10 feet I tried to run down the hill). At that point, I came up to a woman wearing compression sleeves, so I asked her about them (I just ordered a pair for myself). We chatted a minute and then went our separate ways, sort of (she was doing some sort of run/walk plan).
I was already looking forward to seeing Hubs & Bubs at the 4th water station. I kindly (I hope) suggested they meet me there for some encouragement. I passed the station and didn’t see them. At this point, I was about 10 minutes behind my projected time (can you say delusional?) and was afraid that Bubs hadn’t been able to hold it together and they had to leave. Little did I know that they were waiting at the actual 8 mile marker and not the water station. I got a quick hug and ran on my way.
Que the next big hill. Apparently, no one else trains on hills. I passed dozens of people on all the uphills (combined, not on each one). We ran close enough to the start to see all the runners who were pushing for a sub-2 hour half as they were getting close to finishing mile 12. Awesome! Also, another lesson on how the concept of time eludes me.
We ended up on a gravel path for a few miles, with views of the water again. Love it. Apparently, I’m the only one who can’t resist rubbernecking the view while in a race. Endless uphill. Knee was occasionally painful, but at the 9ish mile mark, I felt good. Second wind? Maybe. I did a good job refueling up until about 7 miles in. After that, I just didn’t feel like chewing (shot bloks). Somewhere on this trail is where Herman showed up. Herman is my blister. He had been a hotspot for a long time already (Mile 3 I think?), but I could tell he had reached maturity by about mile 8 1/2.
The water stations got closer together after mile 9, so I can’t really judge the distance between them. Somewhere after mile 10 we were running on the water. I mean, over it. They call it Boulevard Park, but it was more like a pier that ran parallel to the shore Taylor Dock. Flipping awesome. Highlight of the entire run. I want to live there. I was drooling at the thought of coming back and getting down on the beach to treat the entire bay as my personal ice bath. Then it was another uphill (extra steep) to mile marker 11 (for us and 21 for the marathoners). We parted ways (but I think they did a short loop and got back on the same path).
Last official water station. Then it was an endless uphill back toward downtown. It really started raining in there. It didn’t last for too long though. I saw the mile 12 marker. Completely new territory for me. Actually, everything past the mile 11 marker was new territory, but again, math is not my forte. Got teary, but decided I didn’t refuel enough to waste energy on crying.
I wanted to be done. I was tired. I was starting to ache. I knew it was bad when during mile 12 I thought to myself that I’d rather be lifting weights. We had one last downhill (the length of a short city block), and then a straight away to the finish line. I managed to run the downhill without too much pain in my knee. As I passed the mile 13 marker, I had an overwhelming urge to walk. Seriously? I am looking at the finish line and my brain is telling me that I need to stop. NOW. Psht. I caught sight of Hubs and Bubs and my brain gave up. Usually, as soon as I can see the finish line I can kick it up. Wasn’t happening here. I gave up on being able to finish strong, but as soon as I hit the finish chute I was all of a sudden going a lot faster.
And then it was over.
I finished near the 2:45 mark. I have a nifty medal, which is totally awesome because it shows a bunch of people running on Taylor Dock. Which is the part I’ll be telling my grandkids about until they roll their eyes and mouth all the words like my cousins and I used to do when Grandma used to talk about the baby elephants in India. Not really. But it has been added to my permanent list of peaceful, calming, relaxing mental images. The image, not my physical comfort level at that point.
I never did get my ice bath. I don’t think Hubs took me seriously. We went out to lunch and then I had to nap in the car. When I woke up we were already on our way home. Sads.
Herman and I went for a walk this morning and I’m feeling good. Ravenous, but good. Which brings me to a sad place. I’ve got way too much going on in my life right now. So, while I would like to cut elsewhere, the internets are going on the back burner. Email me and if you’re not crazy, you can have my phone number and send me texts all the time.
ETA: I finally remembered to check for race pictures have finally been posted are here, so if you want to know what me and Herman look like somewhere between miles 9 & 10, here we are. I’m seriously thinking about actually buying one of these. Oh, and new shoes because good grief are mine dirty in those pictures! Nice convict anklet timing chip, huh?