Sherpa: So, do you want me to come watch you run tomorrow?
Me: Uhh, I guess so. If you want. It's not gonna be anything spectacular. Up to you. It's not like I'm going for a podium finish with the way I run. (I know, I'm so good at selling myself, aren't I?)
Sherpa: I'd love to be there. What time do you start?
Me: It starts at 7am, but I want to be there at 6:20ish so I can stand in the porta-potty line like 5x.
Sherpa: I'll pick you up at 6:15.
Sweeeet! It helps so much logistically to have someone else worry about parking and holding keys and purses and jackets. So that eliminated some pre-race nerves. It's been so long since I've done a stand-alone running event without swimming/biking beforehand. So this meant that I wouldn't be able to blame my slow running on "loaded up legs after a crazy bike ride" or some BS like that.
|Ready to get the party started!|
I secretly wanted to break 2 hours. The fastest I had run 13.1 miles before today was 2:02:49, and that was in 2010. For some reason, I was visualizing 1:58:59. I even wrote it down. (shhh! Oprah and the chick from The Secret would be proud!)
Today was my also my 'experiment' day. I ran with my new ipod Shuffle (no armband=heaven), and I strategically set my Garmin screen to show distance and speed and NOT heartrate. I'm so used to gauging my pace by my heartrate and I wanted to see if there really is something fantastic about not knowing, and going by "feel." I mean, Chrissie Wellington never wears a heartrate monitor, so maybe she's on to something?
I also ditched my fuelbelt to see if I could stand carrying a flask in my hand as my 'safety blanket' between aid stations (they only had them every 2-2.5 miles along the course).
|Yes, that is duct tape. And yes, I am aware that I need a manicure.|
When things got hard, I thought of my Grandma and all the hard things she's probably experienced in her 105 years of life. I told myself, "C'mon, if Grandma endured the internment, giving birth to tons of kids and raising them all, well, then you can at least run hard for __ amount of minutes." I basically played this mind game with myself for the last 2/3 of the run, subtracting the minutes from 1:58. Which was also distracting because I suck at math.
|Grandma blowing out her candles yesterday.|
Between dodging runners in the beginning, I picked up a 'friend' around mile 7-9. We didn't say a word to each other during the race (he found me at the end of the race to chat), but it was like a mutual understanding and respect as we ran stride-for-stride and side-by-side. I slowed up for a bit just to make sure I wasn't invading his space, and when he slowed up too, I knew that we were going to be pacing buds. All I was seeing on my watch were 8:57 splits when I was so used to seeing 10-min mile splits in training, so I was curious how long I could hold the pace for. It reminded me of Macca and Raelert at the end of the Ironman World Championships in 2010 (except we weren't rivals), where they ran side-by-side, shared a sponge and shook hands before Macca went on to win the whole thing. After the 9-mile aid station where I took water, he ran ahead. I saw him look back at me, but I waved him on to keep going and not wait for me. Sometimes there are people in your life who help you for a time, but in the end, everyone has to run his/her own race.
|My "Macca" friend in the gray. He came in 2 minutes before me. So yeah, I was Raelert.|
When I crossed the line and saw 1:58, I was stunned, and so happy!
|Nothin' but smiles...and sweat.|
They were also passing out these wipes, for gross girls like me.
|They were giving away one per person. But the girl took one look at me and gave me two. |
I kid you not. Gross girl sweat = more freebies. SCORE!
The wipes were perfect because I headed out afterwards with my sherpa for a 50 mile recovery bike ride. It was meant to first be an out-and-back to Cull Canyon to see how my legs felt, but I was feeling so good that I talked him into doing the full Redwood Rd/Moraga/Danville loop. I felt kind of bad because he was thinking we were going to do 20 miles and I roped him into doing more than double that distance. (But I did say we could 'ride at his pace' to make it more manageable, and we could stop 'whenever.') Isn't that a salesperson technique? Foot-in-the-door? Or something like that?
I made us take a mandatory rest stop at Tutti Frutti in Danville at around mile 40. It was hot and I have been craving froyo like a mofo. These self-serve yogurt places always get me a little nervous when they weigh your yogurt...it's like they just want to see what a McFatty you are. But I thought it would be a little more classy than bringing bikes through the drive-thru of McDonald's and ordering a vanilla cone (yes, that thought did enter my mind).
|This one's for YOU, Amber! I'll show you this route one day. |
And I'll treat you to Tutti Frutti too.
On our way back into town, I also spotted this sign...which is like a (good) riding omen since I'll be riding for the first time with Amber next weekend! I can't wait to catch up with this girl. It's been literally YEARS. In our elementary school play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I was Grumpy (hard to believe, eh?) and she was Dopey. And now we are all grown up, and I am still Grumpy (sometimes) but she is like a buff and beautiful Snow White.
So, all in all, a good Sunday.