We got to the race around 8 and had some trouble parking so by the time I got the bathrooms the line was huge for both the inside park bathrooms and the portapotties. I had gone to the bathroom 5 or 6 times before I left the house so I thought I'd be okay. No. I'm going to have to get there earlier next year.
|Me, Tracy & Kathleen before the race|
I met up with a few friends running the half and we started out together but I was determined not to try to keep up with anybody this year. I was going to just run and be happy doing it. It was somewhat difficult at first to think of Fallon and run happy. If I thought about the details too much, the exact opposite would occur and well, running and crying are not a good mix. So I switched gears and thought about how strong she was and how much good she has done. I ran most of the race "alone" but ran into (no pun intended) a couple of fellow Strong Running Mamas who very nicely took pictures.
|I'm not the guy in purple.|
The entire time I was running I was peeing. I was prepared for it but it was somewhat distracting. I think next year instead of using the hydration vest I will run with a catheter and a pee-bag.
When I hit mile 11 my toes hurt, my arms kind of hurt, my legs didn't really want to move anymore. I really wanted to just be done but I had so much further to go. Even further than I thought because my beloved Bia added a half-mile for me. I don't think I could have really added a half-mile from zigzagging, so I don't know what was up with that. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish. And then I thought about how hard Fallon fought for her 11 days and surely couldn't I fight for a couple more miles? I was determined not to let her down. I had to finish so I could donate to her cause. She came through for me and pushed me on.
When I got into the home stretch I could see my family waiting. I will be honest, I had a hard time not crying. But I was determined to run happy, so run happy was what I did.
When I saw the finish line I let it all go and ran as fast as I could and finished really really strong. My official final time was 2:23:11, 8 minutes slower than last year. I was actually pretty pleased I came in before 2:30. Last year I ran hard with friends and did 2:15. This year I ran "easy" by myself and was only 8 minutes behind. Most of the time I ran with a smile on my face, thanking volunteers and laughing at signs ("Run faster, we all just farted."). When I wanted to quit, I didn't. Sure, it would have been great if my easy running led to a 2:00 finish, but that wasn't going to happen. I had a good run and on top of it all, I was able to make a nice donation to Fallon's fund.
I'm taking this week off from running so that I can try to catch up with all the things I've neglected. I don't want to take much longer off though. I know how a week turns into 4. I want to take advantage of stroller running weather for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to get back out there. Part of me wants to just take a nice break but a larger part of me wants to do a reverse taper and get back up to 10 miles in a couple of weeks and stay there. I'm not sure if the winter will cooperate with me, but I'd like to get as many miles in this winter as I can. I need to get these legs nice and ready for when I do PR at next year's half marathon.