The Epic-Length Second Marathon Race Report: Part One
The CT-RBF (Susan, Sarah, April-Anne, Michelle) gathered for the obligatory pasta-fest followed by cookie-eating and picture-taking. Conversation flowed, water glasses were refilled (many times!) and bloating commenced (at least for me). Connecting with everyone really helped to take the edge off the nerves and provided a great distraction.
I’d been so wound up about the race on Friday afternoon, I even forgot to BUY BEER so we made a quick stop on the way home to insure the proper fortification of the cooler in party van.
April-Anne (AA) was spending the night at our house, and we wandered around the house putting together all the last minute items for the next day. When I climbed into bed at 10:30 p.m., I felt relaxed and ready for sleep.
Yeah, right. Around 11:00 p.m. my heart started pounding and I just couldn’t get comfortable. I tried deep breathing, counting backwards, everything. Nothing helped. I tossed and turned. Maybe it was too much food, heartburn, nerves, etc. I finally dozed off sometime around 2:00 a.m. And then I woke up just before the alarm, around 5:30 a.m.
We woke to the sound of rain, with warm temps and high humidity. Great race conditions!
We put our best smiles on, packed up the van – with Michelle riding with us and AA following behind – and headed to the race. After a few minutes of panic when we lost AA in traffic, we were gathered in the parking lot, putting on the rest of our gear and taking care of last minute adjustments. My bladder was overly-anxious, and I knew I would never make it in time to the porta-potty and therefore opted to use the parking lot instead. It was a first for me, and a necessary decision. (Michelle helped shield me by holding up a towel. That’s a good friend!)
We scurried over the race area, searching for the bag-check area…which was the furthest point away from the porta-potties…which meant Michelle only had time to check her bag. (I felt so bad – she held the towel for me and now she wouldn’t have time to take care of her own business.)
We searched frantically for the pace-group leaders in their neon yellow shirts. I found my pace-leader from last year (he was awesome) and noticed that he was the leader for the 3:45 group. I took that as a good sign, since that was my super-secret goal time…and then a few minutes later he swapped pace-shirts with the 3:40 leader. Sigh. Oh well.
We located the 4:00 leader for AA – and it was a BAREFOOT runnner that I have seen at a lot of the local races. We hoped that he would be channeling good energy from Mark!
We chatted nervously, and I shivered as the rain continued to fall. Then the announcements, the garbled Nat’l Anthem (stupid rain), the blessing and we were off!
The start felt faster this year – there seemed to be less jostling for a position…almost like people lined up where they should have, based on their anticipated pace. It felt like we got over the start line quickly – easily less than a minute. (I imagine the rain kept the last minute registrations and ‘on-the-fence’ people at home, keeping the crowd smaller this year.)
My nerves made sure to let me know that I had to pee again, so I promised myself that I would use a porta-potty at mile 4 if I still had to go.
Part Two: The Miles…coming soon! Stay tuned!