The long and awaited report *upgraded to include numerous PSAs (public service announcements for those of you born recently):
This was a fun race. And while that's a lame opener, it's the truth. It was extremely well-organized, and that means it was EXTREMELY well-organized (remember me? the most organized person you'll meet?). Well, except for the finish chute where something totally went wrong, ie. they tried to steer us to metals, food, wicking shirts, and photos...all 2,500 of us...in a 4 ft x 4 ft area. It was chaos and I almost beat some family members arse for breaking in the photo line.
PSA #1: If you are a family member, we are sooooo glad that you came to cheer us on, but be mindful that after running 13 or 26 or 5 miles we are hungry/hot/tired/all of the above and we just want to get food/dry clothes/our metals/all of the above. Please do not stand at the finish line like you're particular family member is the only one who ran the race. I can assure you that he or she was not.
So, back to the race. Basically, it is a series of rolling hills that just gradually climb and climb and climb and climb. Really. The first hill I was like "what's all the fuss? I run that kindof stuff ALL-THE-TIME". Yeah, that was just the first hill. By the last-winding-never-ending-who-actually-designed-roads-like-this hill, I was ready to stop. And I did. For about two seconds. When I spotted granny over there huffing and puffing up the hill like it was the last hill she was ever going to climb. I didn't feel THAT bad. That small walk was followed by a "oh hell no" and a head nod for Troy to look at granny-runs-alot and the running resumed.
PSA #2: Don't let granny beat you. Ever. Especially when she looks like she's near death and you look like you've just come from the spa. It's just embarrassing for you both so don't let it happen to you.
I also ran past a nice gentleman who kept calling me the 1:50 marathon girl. You see, I wore my San Diego wicking shirt for the race. It had my race number on the back. My race number was 150-something. Every time I passed that guy he would say "there goes the 1:50 marathon girl...can you belive she ran a marathon in 1 hour and 50 minutes?!?!" Now, I am fully aware that he was joking, but I wondered who around him, those that aren't privy to the running ways, really thought I might have run a 1:50 marathon? It was almost as cool as running to the beat of "I'm the prettiest girl in the world" drum in my head. I would just nod at him and say "and can you believe I'm running this slow today????"
The weather was GORGEOUS. We started out in tights and long sleeves, but by the end I was in short sleeves. Oh. A running first. My long sleeve was under my short sleeve so basically I had to take everything off so that I could get my short sleeve shirt back on. And I did it right there on the course in front of everyone. I must have started a trend because before long I saw many a girls running in their bras trying to get that long sleeved shirt off.
PSA #3: Everyone loves a trend setter. Especially when it accidently starts a near-naked trend.
So, back to that hill from hades. We crest the top and then realize that we are at the top (or what I think was the top) of mountain...and now we have to go back down. Crap. 10 miles up. 3 miles down. Crap. I think I had overhydrated as my stomach was doing some crazy flips and jumping jacks. And then it started. THE HEADACHE. It began as the worse headache I've ever had. Not necessarily right in the middle but a little right of center. As I ran, and diagnosed myself, I began to think about that New Years Party. The one where I tackled my dear friend and accidently head butted the mirror. That's sortof where the pain was coming from. And as we ran it just got worse. And worse. And worse. I begin to think I was having an aneurysm (and yes, I have now found out that aneurysm's are usually not associated with pain). I felt like I might be in trouble. If I could just get to the finish...find the med tent...I would be okay. Finish is in sight...head pounding...run...run...run....before you die. That's all I could think about. And then we hit the finish line and the finish line fiasco mentioned above. I just need Advil and a doctor and please get out of my way before I DIE!
Actually, in hindsight I guess I was okay, because we had photos made and grabbed our food before we ever found the med tent (photos to follow when available).
BUT we did find the med tent (before I died). They didn't have any Advil (strange) but she said she would run and go get some if I just waited there. So, wait I did. And while I was waiting I decided to start shedding some of my extra gear...namely my gloves shoved in my pants and my brand new hot pink visor.
MY BRAND NEW HOT PINK VISOR.
The one that had been causing me to have a headache for the last 3 miles + some.
The one that I had on too tight and caused me to have a headache for the last 3 miles + some.
PSA #4: Like I even need to say it, but if you get a headache during a run, check to see if your hat or visor is too tight. More than likely that will be the cause of your pain, not that you're having an aneurysm.
Okay, so we finished. No one on this team had any major injuries...just that one near death experience. OH. And we totally PR'ed. By over 2 minutes for me and about 4 minutes for Troy. Sans headache we might have finised even faster!
The medals are great. Giant Mercedes emblems...makes me want to put it on a big fat silver chain and start wearing it around my neck...but Troy talked some sense into me and we've decided to hang them with all our other medals (boring in my eyes, but whatever floats his boat). The after party was great. Good food, great beer, and even better company as I had an RBF meetup with Christy and Miles! It was great to finally meet Christy (and Miles too!). They kept us company while the awards were given out and I just have to say that they were the cutest couple! Although I only know a little bit about them from her blog, they just seemed like a perfect match. Miles took the pic below...because I wasn't smart enough to ask someone else to take a picture of all 4 of us!!!
PSA #5: When going to a race out of town, remember to pack your shoes and your lucky underwear.
Troy forgot his shoes. I forgot to remind Troy to bring his shoes (it was the least I could do since he reminded me to go get mine...). Luckily I never ever ever clean out the trunk of my car and he had two older pairs in the trunk that were wearable for a 13.1 mile run. Also, remember your underwear. UnderArmour camando style is not the best feeling in the world, and that's all I'm going to say about that.
Side note: at the beginning we met the coolest older gentleman named Andy. Andy was working on his 422th marathon. He was interesting, experienced, and just genuinely a nice guy. I saw him after and although he finished the marathon he said he didn't have a great race. I hated to hear that but I guess after that many marathons you're bound to have a few that aren't stellar. I hope to run into him again sometime this year, while I'm completing 6 and he's no doubt completeing 60!
And finally, although it was a near perfect out-of-town race, we didn't get that pesky 20 miles in. With Troy's near-no-show-shoe situation we figured it would be in our best interest not to try his fate with those older than old shoes (really, he had logged almost one too many miles in those things). So, this weekend we are running a 12k on Saturday (yeah, gotta love a given PR!) and we plan on going a couple of hours early to get in 12 miles pre-race. The way I look at it is that I've never run a 12k before so whatever we run it in will be a PR. And like Mr. T would say "don't give me no jibber jabber" on the running 20 two weeks before the marathon. It's what we both feel like we need to do and that we're both in good enough condition to do it. Besides, just a few weeks later we are running another marathon so we're on a whole different training schedule than most of our peers running the Snickers Marathon.
So there you have it: lost shoes, commando running almost on both ends, aneurysm near mishaps, medals that make me want to buy a matching grill, fun course, cool people, great city, and just overall FUN race! Next year we're trying for the full! See you there!