Well I did it, I ran 13.1 miles a 1/2 marathon as if there was ever any doubt! HA! Here is my recap. Friday morning kicked off with a trip to Enterprise for a car exchange funny story they had me set up with a Chevy Equinox and it was SUPER DUPER NIIIIICE but I didn't fit! No seriously I moved the seat up as far as it would go and my foot was still like 6+ inches from the gas pedal ha ha so they put me in a HHR instead. Matty and I hit the road about 10am for our longest road trip and first race together. Once we arrived in Mankato we checked into the hotel and headed to the Expo for packet pickup and to finally meet Jana. After that it was dinner at one of the local restaurants for a pasta feed which Matty and I took part in. Except it wasn't really a "feed" because it wasn't all you can eat. That was only one of my very few complaints-"feeds" are normally all you can eat and for a plate of noodles and sauce they should have had it all you can eat not just one single serving. But it was still good and it was more the experience than anything for me.
Race preparation began back at the hotel where we laid out all of our gear-clothes, shoes, ipods, etc we even put our chips on our shoes and bib numbers on our clothing. We set alarms on our phones and the alarm clock in the room at different times to ensure a wake up. Luckily we both feel asleep pretty quickly and slept well so once the alarm went off at 5am I only hit snooze 3 times. Funny thing happened (again) when I woke up I looked at my phone wondering why the alarm didn't sound at 5:15 like I set it and that is cuz the room clock was 20 mins fast, it was still only 4:57 nice! But we were up and had some breakfast oatmeal for me and a bagel for Matt. And yep I sure did have my morning poop so the day was off to a very good start. And it would just continue from there on out. At 6:30 Jana and fellow racer Dallas met us at the hotel and we made our way to the finish line to catch the buses to take us to the starting line at Mankato State University. This is where I peed the first time lol! At the MSU there were ton's of bathrooms and I continued to pee like 3x before the race started. The forecast called for rain but it held off and once the 8am start came around I knew it was going to be a great day for a run. It was chilly standing there waiting but about a mile in I start to feel the sweat. I totally tried to slow my pace at the start, even had music to force me to do it but I didn't but what I did do is have a steady pace the entire 13.1 miles. I knew about a mile or two in that I wasn't not going to make my goal of less than 2 hours or even 2:05 but I wasn't sad. I knew it was just because the Nike+ isn't 100% accurate so I decided 2:10 and running the whole time would be pretty fantastic. The course was beautiful starting through the city onto the outskirts of town, through the Minnesota fields, along the running/biking path, winding through the woods, following the river and finishing downtown. All along the way were hundreds of supports and family and friends cheering EVERYONE on. Every child on the path that had their hand out for high fives I made a point to five them their joy only increased mine. There were some pretty big down hills and some small yet challenging uphills but when I got tired I remembered power up and coast down. Plus I thought about Matty trying to get to mile 9 to see me, sadly he never made it but I told him if he couldn't it was okay what really mattered was him at the finish line. The last 2 mile stretch along the river there were tons of motivational signs put into the ground one stood out to me. I've said it before on Facebook and time and time again when I teach RPM 'Pain is temporary regret is forever' and it totally helped to give me that final push and motivation I needed to get through those last grueling few miles. Plush at this point I saw a few people walking and I was determind to NOT be one of them I was running this whole thing! As I approached the top of one of the bluffs I could see the Hilton downtown and I knew I was only about a mile away and as I made my way back into the downtown area my stride lengthened and my speed pick up and the thought of finishing just propelled me through the stiffness and pain. As I rounded the final corner I knew to look to my left for my cousins Andrea and Shyan and for Matty. I saw the girls first and a HUGE smile and love took over me when I saw them and their smiles and the pride they had for me and I felt totally special because I wanted someone to make a sign for me sooo badly and low and behold they both did! Then just a few steps away was my love with the camera in one hand, a gigantic smile across his face and his hand stretched out for my high five, it was truly amazing. I didn't even feel myself running as I ran that last few meters and crossed the finish. I ran the entire time only stopped 3 times for water (I haven't perfected the drink and run maneuver yet I mostly just get water on my shirt lol) and my final time was 2:10:18!
Post race we met briefly with my cousins before they left and then oddly found Jana (who also did find me on the course) and Dallas for some quick photo opps, we took in some of the post race party to refuel our bodies and then watch some of the marathon runners come in before heading back to the hotel. The rest of the day was spend in bed lol. I was completely emotionally and physically exhausted that doing anything was out of the question. I was invited to my cousins, to Jana's and my nephew even tried to guilt trip me into meeting him and my parents some place. But I was drained and there was ZERO chance I could do anything at all. In fact I wanted a cheese burger and fries post race couldn't even do that, instead opted for pizza delivery...in bed lol. Your first 1/2 a Marathon only comes once and despite a few let downs this was an amazing experience. Matty and I have decided we would like to do more trips like this where we run races out of town together and it was a definite yes for both of us. So, now that is left is what's our next race?
PS: Matty kicked ASS and did me so proud. He placed 33 out of 340 people with a pace of 7:48!