When I first saw the signups for this race, they were running a special-the cost was normally $45 but the special was only $20. I figured, for $20, why not? Besides, the race is right here in my city (and it’s not like this is a huge city, only 26.28 square miles, almost 10% of which is water) so no 3am wake up. The organizers actually decided to keep the $20 special all the way up until the race sold out. For the $20, we not only got a t-shirt and nice spinning medal, as part of their whole “Get Fit Weston” campaign, they also gave us free fitness classes (24 every week), 10 free day passes to the local fitness club and a fitness festival after the finish line with lots of vendors, our local sports teams, the local hospital and the Walgreens-mobile on-site for wellness tests and so on. A great deal, right?
Now, the race is advertised as 3 hours, but they said the timing mats at the finish would actually be down for 3.5 hours-they just had to open up the closed roads after 3 hours. When I first signed up at the beginning of the year, I figured-no problem, I’m already at 3:15 doing a 3/2 walk/run...by the end of the year when I should be transitioned to at least a 3/1 run/walk 3 hours should be a snap, right? Yeah, right. After basically burning myself out the first 3 months of the year and skipping most of the summer training, when the end of August rolled around I was back to worse than square one. But I was able to do the Halloween Half in 3:40 so I was pretty positive about being able to get back to 3:30 for mid-December.
Anyway, here is race day. The start was originally scheduled for 7am, but was pushed to 6:30 (or 6:40 depending on whether you were looking at the race website or the timing company website). The start line was just down the street from my house, so I woke up a little before 5am, had breakfast, then geared up and left at 6:05 to walk down the street. Temperature was a fabulous 55 degrees with 93% humidity. Did some warm-up walking back and forth while waiting for the start. When they finally got us started it was 6:49am...so much for the time changing. Now for the *doh* part-10 feet past the start line my fuel belt fell off. Seriously. The people behind me were jumping over it and trying to avoid stepping on it while I had to turn around and retrieve it, then maneuver it back on (making sure it was more secure of course), losing me a little time and letting almost everyone pass me by. Oh well, just one of those things, right?
Since I had been warm-up walking already, I started my intervals right up, 30 second running/90 second walking. Mistake-I should have kept walking for a little longer before starting that...after a half mile my shins were positively screaming at me. And so I slowed down, stopped the running intervals and stayed like that for a little over a mile until my shins stopped hurting...then started up the intervals again. A little sore at first, but it eventually went away and I finally got into some kind of rhythm. I was almost the slowest one out there...but around mile 5 I saw another girl about a half mile back from me and realized I wasn’t last, just next-to-last LOL. Just after mile 6 the water stop clean up crew and I started leapfrogging, they’d pass me to get to the next stop, I’d pass them while they started cleaning up.
I did my intervals through about mile 7, then just went to all walking-and amazingly, while I was doing between 15:27-16:58 for intervals, my walking miles were 16:06-17:58 (that long one being mile 13, to be explained) so not too bad. Once I hit mile 11, I realized that last girl must have dropped out as she was nowhere to be found. By mile 11.5, the truck that picks up the cones had caught up to me and the driver recommended I move to the sidewalk as the roads were getting ready to open up. At just over 12, the motorcycle cop that had been going back and forth along the last 1.5 miles asked if I wanted to move to the street or if the sidewalk was okay. I told him as long as I could make it through the final intersection, they could clear the street if they needed to. Mistake-they also cleared the last intersection so when I got there I had almost 2 minutes lost trying to get to the corner diagonally from me. Otherwise that last mile would’ve been pretty good. I finally arrived at Town Center where my best friend was with her DH and my godson (they were looking at the fitness fair booths that lined Main Street which was our last little sprint to the finish) so I slapped her hand, yelled hi to my godson and ran to the end where a volunteer with only 2 medals and a bottle of water was waiting for me. It had warmed up to almost 70 by then and we had a nice little breeze going. Almost all the post-race food was gone, just some bagel halves and orange sections so we walked over to the Jamba Juice and got smoothies.
Overall a nice, quiet (for me anyway, can’t be crazy-noisy when the closest person to you is at the least a 1/2 mile ahead of you) race along tree-lined suburb streets. The fitness festival at the end was pretty good too. According to the brochure in my race packet, if I register for next year’s Rotary Run by then end of this year, it will only cost $15. ***$15.00!!!*** Yes, you read that right. I’m thinking that I’ll be signing up, can’t beat it, basically right outside my door, shirt, medal, food, etc. And next year, the cone truck will NOT be passing me by.
Oh, forgot to stop my Garmin at the finish so had to wait for the official results to be posted---3:34:41. Yes, I’m slow. Yes, I finished dead last. YES, I HAVE ANOTHER MEDAL TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION. Hmm...think I’ll celebrate by going to Benihana tomorrow night (DH’s birthday dinner a day early) and Disney World Wednesday after work...oh, right I was doing that anyway LOL.
On to the Disney Full Marathon in January...I must be nuts.