i went to bed early, tossed and turned, finally slept pretty well, and woke up an hour before i had planned to. i stared at the ceiling a while, then went ahead and got up, went downstairs, found some water and a banana, took them over to the table with my phone and checked on words with friends. i had time.
after a while, descartes got up, too, and started the coffee maker. we chatted, had coffee. i needed to get dressed, so i went back upstairs. i hadn't made the final decision on wardrobe and took some time to choose capri tights, a singlet under a long sleeve. when i got dressed it was about time to go.
i drove us downtown in the rental. the garage was full, but we found a great place on the street. after we parked, we made our way to the convention center and the start line. it was cold, and i wanted to stay inside but i had to agree with descartes that we needed to head out and acclimate.
it wasn't long before they were lining us up. the national anthem was the longest rendition i think i had ever heard, and then the air horn sounded and we were off. we wanted to start not-too-hard and we did that pretty well. it would sort of come back to bite us later.
mile 1, 2, 3 we just chugged along. mile 4, 5 we marvelled at how easy it was feeling, how good the pace was. we mocked the other runners, gossiped about family, talked about our jobs. we stopped at every water stop and had a sip. for sports drink they had this shaklee stuff. (shaklee is a midwest catalog-based pyramid selling organization.)
around mile 6 and 7, when we were halfway-halfway done, we talked about being halfway-halfway done. we were still moving pretty well. somewhere in there, i had to pee pretty badly. all the porta-potties had a line, but finally, descartes said i just needed to wait in a line. so i did. i think he was tired of hearing me complain.
miles 8 through 13 i don't really remember much, but i know things were sort of starting to hint at falling apart. we weren't on a good rhythm anymore. the car was parked not far from the start-finish, so we stopped to get me a couple puffs of albuterol and for descartes to leave his jacket and pants. (it had warmed up some.)
the course was 2 x 13.1, so we had to go past the half-marathon finish and keep going. it's sort of hard to do that, feels like you want to stop. but we soldiered on. we were really starting to grate on each other. not mood-wise or anything, but running-wise. miles 13, 14, 15, 16 we ran some and walked some.
mile 17, it was obvious we were going to have to split up. we just weren't gelling, no rhythm at all. so... i gave descartes a hug and took off. well, "took off" is a bit of a misrepresentation. based on the garmin feedback, i didn't actually speed up much, but - except for a few steps around the water stops - i didn't walk anymore.
i wouldn't say it was crowded, but there were several people around me, all going about the speed i had been going with descartes, which means that basically, our paces were really close. but, i started picking people off and passing them. one by one, i drew them in and left them.
boston-memorial guy. fat chinaman. two girls running. one by one i picked them off. runs-with-tights eluded me. (i passed him in the end.) i felt somewhat bad about passing people who were in the same boat as i, but c'mon. it's a race, not a beauty pageant. i passed a dozen at least before losing count.
working to pass people inspired me and kept me focused. the running was really hard work. what i meant about the slower start coming back to bite us is that i am not sure we could not have gone faster had we started faster. by the time we'd put in 13, i was tight. might have been looser had we gone faster.
anyway, the final 9.2 miles passed in a haze of determination. i was determined to pass people, determined to keep going, determined to avoid walking. i also avoided looking at my watch because i had a feeling the pace was slow and seeing the reality would be discouraging.
through all 26.2, my foot really didn't hurt much at all. of course it did hurt some, some of the time, but overall, it was solid. my quads and abductors were much more vocal than my foot, and my hamstrings were pretty tight. i never feel my abductors and i put that down on the slow start.
i didn't see a 26 sign, but i knew it was almost over. i passed runs-with-tights somewhere in there. i knew it was another turn (which seemed a long way off!) and up the hill (really? up??) and descartes's people were there and they cheered and i ran over the mats and got my medal.