Oh man, after a night spent tossing and turning due to nerves, I was not feeling confident in even finishing this race. I am so so so competitive, and if I wasn't going to beat my time from two years ago (1:56) it seemed like there was no reason to do it. Phil kept reminding me that we were just running to finish, not to win anything.
OK, we can finish, I can handle that.
I cooked a yummy Belated St. Patrick's Day post race meal (steak and Guinness pie) and we got dressed about five different times because we couldn't figure out what to wear for the weather. It was sunny and high 50's. We decided on the simple shorts and tee-shirt route. We decided well.
Our friends and co-workers came over to drive to the race with us, and my awesome parents came to watch the kids. After some sun screening and number pinning and nipple taping (ahem), we were ready to go!
Jen and Matt
Two of the smartest and nicest people I know :)
After driving around for a while, we found a good parking spot and took some pre-race pics.
OK, I'm 5'6" (and a half) - so you can imagine how tall Jen is!
This was Matt's first race, he was such a trooper to train it in wicked fast time in order to run with us.
The Girl and Boy:
We walked down to the starting place and decided to use the potty. Well, everyone had decided to use the potty, so we snuck into the chapel and said hello to Jesus, and used the friars' bathroom. I figured that they serve the poor and we were poorly prepared, so it was kosher ;)
Jen and Matt lined up with the 10 minute milers and Phil and I decided to run with the 9 minute milers. We took off right on time with the other 3200 runners. About 2 miles in my hips started to hurt (thank you 5 babies!) and we were running a little too fast (8:30ish minute miles).
We ran by Team Hoyt:
And I thought, hips, you are healthy enough to run, get over yourselves. Seriously, how could you not be inspired by this father and son combo?
Mile 3 started the first big hill, and we slowed down a bit. Around mile 5, my friend Ann-Marie was there cheering us on, which helped a lot! Then we were near the park, and I was looking for my kids, thinking they might be there to cheer. I was disappointed not to see them, then Phil reminded me that there was no way that my parents could have driven them all there. We forgot to leave the van keys. Whoops! Onward we charged.
Miles 7ish through 11ish were all by the water, and you could smell the ocean and see the blue water, it was so nice. The ocean breeze slowed us down a little, but I honestly couldn't have gone much faster anyway. I was definitely holding Phil back a little, but he wanted us to stay together. Whatta guy :)
We talked a little, didn't listen to any music, just watched the spectators (who were an amazing support) and kept on keeping on. We would say thank you to all of the kind people cheering for us, high five the little kids, and read the funny signs people had made. So much to be thankful for! Except for the spectators who were smoking as they watched us run by. Hello, not cool! We signed up for a race not lung cancer!
Despite all the support, I could feel my pace slowing little by little and instead of 9:20 minute miles we were running just over ten minute miles. But I was strangely ok with just finishing and told Phil not to let me know what mile it was or how fast/slow we were going. Actually it wasn't strange at all considering how I prayed for peace and patience the first half. God is good!
At mile 12 we heard a loud "Hi Phil and Colleen!" from another friend and co-worker, Nicole, and then ran by Fr. Rich who had just gotten out of Mass and was in front of his church. We yelled hello to Fr. Rich and he shouted back his hello as well as "I'm not going to run with you this time!" Those two cheerleaders got us over the last huge hill and towards that finish line.
As soon as we turned the corner at the end, we sprinted for the finish and crossed with a time of 2:06. Ten minutes slower than two years ago, but I'm just glad it's done! We grabbed some orange slices and water and our medals, and waited for Jen and Matt to finish. They raced to the end with a time of 2:11. Yup, we nailed it.
And now I am super sore and all lactic-acidy (that's a medical term, right?) so I am going to go drink some more water and lay in bed.
And chant my new motto: