|Abe and I post-MGM marathon|
I felt like we were very last-minute about this whole race thing and in keeping with that, my little brother Abe texted me last night to ask if he could ride with us to the race (he runs cross country for Loyola but since he doesn't have a car, we often bring him if the whole team isn't racing). So we picked him up early and David dropped us at the start. We got to the start in plenty of time and I ran back to the water area to grab us some water. They also had free Snickers protein bars and I grabbed two..not sure what I was going to do with them, but I do like my free stuff. I put them in my jog bra!
I saw several people I knew while waiting for the start, including Ryan, who has basically become my race friend. As in, we only see each other or chat at races. He told me his goal was a 3:30 and we said we'd pace off each other. It was cold, and I gave away several pairs of rubber gloves to runners I knew. Drug dealin'!
This year, the race started on time and the corrals were right after each other (last year starts were interspersed with boring motivational speakers). The minute we started I lost Ryan. Scratch that plan. I tried to hold back at the start since I usually run the first three miles in 7:30's or so, then hate myself later. I felt good until mile 3 when my strange knee pain started. I decided to continue the same pace, same gait, same stride, and ignore it.I did, and it was completely gone by mile 6. It hasn't returned yet, either. We reached Audubon park and I saw David with his camera and blew him a kiss but as soon as I passed him I was kicking myself for not handing off my Snickers bars! We circled the park and thank goodness he was at the exit and I could give him my freebies (which I commanded him not to eat). The people standing nearby were cracking up. Hey, that was like, $3.50 worth of food there! As we left the park, out of the blue I saw Margee and Shelly - I was looking for them but they somehow completely took me by surprise! It was Shelly's first marathon ever! Right after them, my friend Joanna saw me. I love seeing people on course and Margee and Shelly always cheer like you're winning the whole race :)
|Look at that port-a-potty background - beautiful!|
So. I felt perfectly fine all race. After the half, I started passing people. I passed people who had passed me, and I passed people who looked done-in. I got to the Gu table and actually stopped and picked through to get the good flavors (mandarin!), and took Gu's at 9, 14, 18, and 22 (at the second Gu stop I was disappointed to find only Rocktanes). Around mile 19 you start seeing the leaders heading towards the finish - mile 23 or 24 - and I saw Abe looking mighty strong. I hollered for him and he cheered me back and did thumbs up. Right after that, I made the turn myself and unfortunately saw Ryan the other direction; he was struggling and must have missed his goal. I also spotted Margee and Shelly again; both were looking so strong! Then came the only rough patch. See, I felt great, but apparently so did "Ohio" next to me. This dude from Ohio started up a conversation that he would NOT drop. He talked for about a mile and a half and I really wanted to just pass him! He was slower than I. But he would absolutely not be quiet and all of his questions required a long answer. Finally I actually skipped a water stop just to shake him. I was thirsty but faster. Soon after, it was the home stretch! I realized when I saw the finish that I had so much more energy left in me. I booked it and passed about 10 people in the last small section. I smiled for the camera because I knew David was waiting for me behind a lens somewhere and sure enough, he and Abe were at the end. I took my time stuffing food into my space blanket (which I had rigged up like a bag) and then we relaxed in front of the live music. Abe was pretty happy that he qualified for nationals (and this is a PR for him by almost 2 minutes). It's a PR for me, too, so we were a pretty pumped crowd!
The best part of this race is I experienced zero stomach upset. Usually the rest of the day I'm in a lot of pain but today I'm fine!
Gu's: Picked up 9 on course. Brought and ate 4. Came out positive 1 Gu.
Snickers bars: Dude, scored 8 of those.
Fruit cups: five
Chobani: 3 cups of lemon, can't wait to try it.
Beer: Four. David used his ID to get the 2 free beers Abe should have gotten, but can't 'cause he's underage. Score.
Food afterward: After the race I ate: Two beers, a large roll, a big plate of rice with sweet and sour meatballs, peppers, and onions (an easy dish I should cook more often, if I didn't hate sticking my hands in raw meat so much), a spring roll, a plate of chips, a Snickers protein bar, a liter of club soda, an apple, a baked potato with chili, a large salad, and a cup of frozen yogurt! I was famished!