We were in bed last night by 8:20, which is a record for us. We were probably asleep by 9 although we both had dreams that we didn't wake up in time. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, the alarm went off at 4 and we woke up right away.
After showering, getting dressed and thoroughly lubing up and eating something, we left the house. 5:01. Urgh. I got a text from shoeaddict on the way. So sweet! We got there a few minutes later, parked and walked to the convention center. Brr! It was cold and windy and I was wondering about the wisdom of wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, even though I knew I'd be glad in an hour or so.
We wandered around, stretched, checked our bags and went to Mass inside the convention center. After that, I walked over to the hotel where my running partner and her husband were staying. They convinced me to put pink duct tape on my shirt with my name on it. (I was concerned that it would gum up my shirt-no worries there)
We walked over to the corral for our group and found some more of our running group. There was a prayer, the national anthem, and the first gun at 7. We were in the second group and the cannon went off at 7:10. We crossed the start line almost 2 minutes later and we were off. What a glorious feeling. We all tried to stay calm so we wouldn't burn up all our energy at the beginning. We ran over the viaduct and as Ryan had said, it was a beautiful shot as the sun rose, seeing thousands of people running.
We ran past Jeff Davis HS where the band was playing, through Woodland Heights where I lived when I first moved to town... Everyone was cheering and calling my name--it was the best! As we passed the 7 mile mark, I turned to Stephanie and said, you know what, that means we're halfway there. She high-fived me. :)
The run through Montrose was fun, as expected. Across from "Disco Kroger" they were playing what else? YMCA. At that point, the traffic is going both ways (the 1/2 marathon turns around at Richmond and Montrose) and all you could see was a sea of people doing the "YMCA" motions. It has to have been one of my favorite moments of the day.
As we made the turn to go back, we high-fived the officials and cheered. Passing by Disco Kroger again, they were playing KC & the Sunshine band and I got props for running while shaking my booty. ;)
Around mile 8 my knees started to hurt. The entire race is on pavement so I figure it was just all of that pounding. Even with cushy insoles added, it hurt. As we turned onto Allen Parkway, one of my teacher buddies started cheering for me. It took me a second to connect who she was and I was so pleased!
We were hurting and trying not to think about it. We were also trying not to think about how much we were going to cry when we reached the finish line. Here's Stephanie in front of a beautiful view. The camera on my phone is kind of crappy-- the weather was beautiful, the sky was blue, and the sun was making all the buildings downtown sparkle. And those signs? 1.5 miles to the finish line!!
About half a mile from there, Stephanie's high-school-aged son met us with a sign "Run, Mom, Run" with an arrow, so she finally got some love. Everyone thought that was the cutest thing and they were cheering for her. He had to step off the course before the end and we ran in the last 0.2 miles. Funny how my knees weren't hurting. There were people screaming and cheering for us and we were across the finish, beaming. We immediately burst into tears. What an amazing day and an amazing journey over the last 6 months. I'm so, so glad I did it.
Inside the convention center, we met up with our group and got our finisher's shirts. They're adorable--light blue and fitted. And I got a MEDIUM. Then we went and ate. We were standing in line for food and they were handing out bananas. I am not normally a huge banana thing, but I snatched that thing and shoved it into my face like Cookie Monster. And then I ate two M&M cookies, a tiny muffin and half a bagel. They had hot food, but it didn't look too appealing. After eating, I went over to fetch my bag and changed my shirt and put on Ryan's sweat pants and a hoodie because I was getting chilled. Oh, and I took off my shoes!! My feet were undamaged, just needing to be free.
After that, I lost my group so I sat down on the floor and waited for Ryan to come in. Jeff called me and told me that he was running at a smoking-fast pace. I was so pleased and proud. Pam, his running partner, came in a little before he did and I was just hoping he was ok. He came in with a time of 4:26, a full 15 minutes faster than he previous personal best. I was so excited for him! All of that swimming and being in better shape and carrying around 15 less pounds really helped. That and the glorious cool weather!
Ryan went and got some food and his bag, finisher's shirt and mug, and then we wandered around. We didn't see anyone we knew, so we took off. As we were leaving, we ran into some friends from church. It was fun to just chat about how everything went. And seeing them hobbling, I was glad that I only ran 13.1 miles. ONLY 13.1 MILES.
I drove to Kroger where we bought dog food and 3 bags of ice. Once home, we dropped our stinky things in the laundry "room" and Ryan took an ice bath. Brrr. I made scrambled eggs, sausage links and toast, with Gatorade to drink. Oh, Ryan helped them with a study about hydration and when they weighed him at the end, he had lost 7 pounds. Zoinks!! So, we've been concentrating on hydrating him because that was all water and electrolytes that he lost.
Now, we're off to Chuy's. No margaritas (see above discussion of dehydration), but we can eat all the chips and creamy jalapeno dip we want. Ah... And we're taking Jeff because he was an amazing pit crew for Ryan. Apparently, he even had some kind of icy-hot creamy stuff he gave him for his legs. So, that and all the fluids makes me feel good.
Ah... tired. Taking Extra-Strength Tylenol as often as I can since my knees and ankles hurt. We napped for about an hour earlier, so we should be back in bed pretty soon after dinner. I will be "working" tomorrow, but 4 of my 5 classes are doing silent sustained reading, so there's no point in staying at home. I'll get to sit and read, so even though it would be more comfy to stay here on the couch, I'll save that sick day for some time when I really need it.
Piglet models our finishers' medals...
Thank you everyone for all of the support. It's really made a huge difference! I couldn't run a whole mile last July--look at me now!