As is her custom, Emilie has blogged expertly about this event already (and much more succinctly), so first (or instead!) you may want to read her post here.
What she didn't tell you is that I was a pile of raw nerves, keyed up and twitchy all day long. Having to go to work (not to mention worry about the next day's Administrative Professionals Day event that I organized for my IAAP chapter) is not really something I would recommend doing on the day of your first ever road race, or any other race for that matter. I guess that's why most of them take place on weekend mornings.
As with many exciting events, much of this one seems to be a blur now, but here are some of the things that stand out for me:
Repeated trips to the bathroom all afternoon, partly because I was dutifully drinking water, partly because I also slammed a cokelet (that's an 8oz coca-cola--about the closest I get to any unhealthy sort of high), but mostly because my stomach was doing flip-flops for several hours straight. Fortunately, everything settled down by the time I got dressed and ready to stretch.
Jenn calling me at work twice to say how proud she was of me and that she was definitely coming and running with us.
That crazy Maine weather being, well, crazy! Between surprisingly successful attempts to accomplish work-like things at work, I was frequently distracted by the view out my big gorgeous windows. First: Sun and warmth on raceday morning! But later: Rain pouring down in sheets! But then: Sunny again! And oddly: Sunny AND raining at the same time! But, as if the ether was just having sympathetic intestinal issues, it, too, eventually settled down to perfect breezy race weather.
Emilie showing up and being all complimentary and supportive with the double stroller full of tragically bored children even though she got off a plane from Salt Lake City, what? 10 hours earlier or something ridiculous like that? And then ran the course "just for fun"! Who does that?!? Oh, yeah, Emilie does that. She rocks.
Alan, looking and behaving all calm and cool before and after (I really didn't see him during...). He reminded me to stretch and breathe and get my tunes ready and told me to put my jacket in my locker because I wouldn't need it (so true!) and used his height advantage to spot people we knew in the throng of be-sneakered co-eds. And he let me be the center of attention because he's done this sort of thing before [25 years ealier, Alan reminds me], but he also ran a great race and had a great time and was proud just to have (barely) beaten Emilie and her 80+ pounds of cargo to the finish.
Everyone just surging forward at the silent start (we couldn't actually hear anything but I guess someone said "go!"). You know that feeling when you're in a car at a red light and the car next to you starts moving forward and it feels like you're moving backward when you're really just standing still? Well I was moving forward, but everyone else was going so much faster that I still felt like I was going backward. I had ABBA's the Name of the Game on my mp3 and I just ran in time to the music 'cause I know that's my pace and I told myself that a bunch of those people sprinting down Rangely Road were going to get winded soon and I just might pass them Tortoise-and-Hare style.
The little boy bolting past me who couldn't have been much more than three and me starting to question my previous smugness.
Lapping the dwindling toddler and a few other people and feeling a teensy bit justified.
Feeling good on Park Street, waving to family and friends on our lawn, hearing my kids cheering for me, and Mum saying something unintelligible, but I guess it didn't matter. And then thinking I had to at least keep running past the corner while they could still see me.
Restarting the Name of the Game until I couldn't stand it anymore and finally fumbling around for the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack.
Total strangers (including frat boys) enthusiastically cheering for me at random points along the way when I was pretty much by myself so I know it was me and not someone else.
Starting to suck wind a ways down College Ave and finally giving in to walk a little bit now and then. But I revved it up for the hill by Alfond (where the preponderance of paper cups indicated that many others stopped for water and walked the hill, the wusses) and managed to get halfway across the parking lot before giving in again.
Remebering at the last minute to sprint up the hill at the very end and finding it easy with the people I love cheering me on.
End result: I was number 308 (out of over 400 we think) to cross the finish and did it in about 37 minutes.
Alan was #283 and about 32 minutes.
I don't even know where Jenn landed (waaaay ahead of us both).
Strange letters from my father
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