This was a fun run right from the beginning - I had my favorite running buddy, Jenny, with me, along with Brad, Linda, her son Reagan and several others from my fitness group. We got our t-shirts and bibs, and goodie bags that contained a bunch of coupons for free food from local restaurants (and a free cookie from McAlister's Deli - yum). The organizers were very friendly and I felt like a welcome part of our local running community.
I decided to give my One More Mile shirt another chance for this race - you know, the shirt that I wore for the Dansby's Duo? The one that I didn't think would be taken so literally? The one that said "If it weren't for me you'd have no one to pass" - and EVERYONE passed me on the first 5K? Yeah, that shirt. Actually, I had called it my bad luck shirt and was ready to give it to someone (anyone!) who wanted it, but Kelly convinced me that both the shirt and I were fine (she is so encouraging!) so I wore it. And funny thing...while we were at the starting line, people remembered me from the Duo and were commenting on the shirt! Guess who I ended up next to? The older man with the knee brace - the one who I *thought* I would be kind to and run with? Yes, by George, it was him - and his name really is George! I told him that story - he got a good laugh. Said he really didn't run that fast...but once the race began, that was the last I saw of him until it was over, when I saw him leaving in his car...with an oval "26.2" sticker on his back window. Uh huh, I've got your number, Mr. Marathon Man!
Since it was old home week at this race, it was only fitting that I would also be standing next to - are you ready for this - Swirly-Patterned Tank Top woman! Yes - the woman who slowed down just enough during the last quarter mile of the first 5K so I could pass her and come in second-to-last! Her name is Susan and she is just as sweet as can be...I told her how I was plotting to let my husband complete the bike ride and then slink off to the car without doing the second 5K and she said she had contemplated doing the same thing! She did the entire duathlon by herself, and did complete all three events - great job, Susan!
The race started and right away I noticed something...we were running uphill! What the what?!? I live in the flatlands of Texas - where did this hill come from? Somehow, and I don't know what feat of engineering or nature or optical illusion managed this, but it felt like we ran uphill the entire race. Oh, I know we had little spurts of going downhill, but for the most part it was like we were the little engine that could, chugging up those hills going "I think I can, I think I can..." - every time I looked up, we were still climbing! We actually had a really good pace time - Jenny and I varied between 10:30 and 11:30 for the first couple of miles, which was pretty fast for us. Then the last mile, and our version of Heartbreak Hill hit. You are supposed to shorten your stride while running uphill, and I was - at one point it felt like I was one tic above walking. That mile-long hill was a killer! But we ran (I am loosely calling it that, since we didn't officially stop to walk) the entire way, turned the corner to the street toward the finish, and ahhh...it was downhill, finally!
Now here is where it gets funny and ironic. Guess who we caught up to around the three-mile mark? Susan! Hadn't seen her since the start...and then Jenny and I kicked it into high gear (we had to, it was finally downhill) and once again, I passed her right at the end - sorry, Susan! Linda's son Reagan was waiting to run us in to the finish - have I mentioned how much I love my fitness group? Well I do. Anyway, it was a fun race to the finish - my time was 37:06, which was pretty good considering all of the hills.
And now, the pictures!
Jenny and I - so glad she was running this race with me!Brad, Linda, Reagan, Jenny and I chillin' before the race.And we're off! Right from the start we were running uphill!Brad at the finish line - I wonder, what must it be like to run so fast that there is no one around you?Here comes Linda, with a wave for the paparazzi!Speedy Reagan coming in for the finish - he ran the race in under 30 minutes!Here's where Jenny and I caught up to Susan...And here's Reagan on the sidelines, yelling for us to RUN!Not the greatest angle because the man in white is blocking us, but I like this picture because we are really running fast!Finish line! (You can see Susan behind us).Done - whew! We were spent!I got Susan to pose for a picture after - and please note the fresh fruit that the organizers provided for us (no greasy tacos from Jack in the Box, Dow Live Earth!).
Linda, Jenny, Reagan and I - the GLOW run team reunited!
Lastly, here's a shout out to my pit crew, who not only took the pictures, but held Brad's and Jenny's car keys while they ran (and also inadvertently my Shot Bloks - I forgot to eat my pre-race candy!). One of these days I really have to make Jeff an official pit crew t-shirt. Thanks for getting me to the race on time!