Our hair is a hot mess and I love it! It was at this point that my arches were a giant knot and I was ready to sit down for a nice healthy dose of carbs!
With My Michael! He was also in the relay.
- Thank God for friends like Ada who call you at 7AM to ask where she should meet up with you. Why? Because even though I set my alarm, I didn't set it correctly, so it didn't go off!!! We hauled it to the race and when I got to the starting line, I realized that I had 10 minutes to spare, but I didn't have my cell phone, mp3 player, Glide, and other personal necessities!! eeek!
- There weren't nearly enough water stations along the route, plus, they were only on one side of the race. This really irritated me and I had a big concern of people being properly hydrated.
- I fell at mile 2, but thanks to Mom & Dad and their insistence on ice skating lessons, I fell gracefully and barely skinned my palms. Oh, and I was keen on avoiding any one else that could've potentially tumbled with me.
- The turns were entirely too narrow and every turn I made, someone wiped out near me. Like a good, solid wipeout too.
- Hills? Um...no, they were mini mountains and they were ridiculous. (Nearly as ridiculous as that devil in Plano roll at Sushi Rock!) I walked most of them, but walking up hill with that wind beating down on you is no joke!
- Did I mention that the aid stations was a guy standing at a teeny tiny card table with cups of vaseline?? I'm trying to prevent chafing, I could've used a stick, but instead I got a cup. That slimy goo felt oh-so-yummy rubbing on the inside of my thigh, and I literally used my stride to spread it around because I refused to have any of it on my hands. There was enough stuff sticking to me as it was between the wind, the sweat, and the flying leaves and cups!
- Markings for the actual race were clear, but not very big. They were just these flag things with no real numbers. I just wanted a large number telling me approx. what mile. Frustrating.
- Lack of cheering from the onlookers. Few were willing to give high fives, not many were yelling, One very, very kind young soul gave me a chocolate which I nibbled on at one of the few hydration stations. They handed out oranges with two miles to go. I was like, really? This could've helped um...maybe 3 or 4 miles ago. Oh well.
- They were really stingy with the fruit after the race, but if I wanted to snag 4 or 5 medals or t-shirts, I could have. WTF?
- I was hacking up my lungs starting at mile 3 and it was nonstop for the remainder of the race. Not the most ideal run for me considering all of the surrounding circumstances, but I still persevered!
- I was very happy to get a medal and it was pretty. All of the volunteers working were really friendly, albeit, many of them disorganized.
- I saw a lot of friends along the way and it reminded me that the running community is pretty amazing.
- I need to write a personal thank you letter to a specific company because their product went above and beyond today. I won't mention it here, but they deserve some serious gratitude.
- While I didn't use any, there was always an abundant amount of portapotties.
- The finisher shirts were excellent!
- My family and friends are amazing and I'm so very glad they were there.
Finally, the highlight of my running experience (totally ranking right up there with my NY finish), was running that last quarter mile with my sister. She's fighting a serious cold and I know she was fraught with fever. Ada spotted her and I had my camera in hand, ready to snap my pics. But what do I do, I hurdle over people and jump on the course. I get in her face and I start yelling things at her to motivate her. Things like: You're awesome! You're my hero! You're doing an Amazing JOB! Don't quit, time to kick! C'mon, I'll race ya! Think of your kids! All of that running, all of that training comes down to this moment!! Use it! Now show me some of that Raider Power! Get it Sam, get it! Finish in under 4:10! Finish strong!!!
And tears were streaming down my face, my heart was pounding, my voice was cracking from screaming and coughing, my feet were cramping, and that camera was feeling mighty heavy, but I didn't care, because for once I got to cheer on my big sis and help push her along the way like she always does for me! I love her and I'm so proud of her for not only running her portion of the relay, 6 miles, but doing it in about an hour and not to mention she was sick!!! Fabulous! Here she is with her kids. It was nearly 70 degrees out at this point and you see how covered she is?? Fighting off that fever, alright. Her kids were so ecstatic to see their momma and so proud of her too! We'd made a sign that said, Run Sam! and her son made one that said SFND! You got it, Samantha Fight Never Dies. How cute!
Next year, I'm going to probably volunteer to help with the race and not run it. People told me that once you run NY, nothing can really top that. And you know what, they are right. I was sorely disappointed in this race for so many, many reasons, but then I was reminded that had I not done NY, I probably wouldn't have had those thoughts. All in all, the day was ok and a good experience. I may run other half marathons, but for now, I'm just happy that my racing season is FINISHED!