We rented a car and drove down first thing on Saturday morning. What kind of car doesn't have a functioning iPod plug? This was very distressing. 99% of the fun of a road trip is the music. We listened to music through my iPhone speakers and complained about it for no less than the first hour on the road. In case you were wondering, listening to the radio was not an option.
I was worried about so many things. It started with a sore throat mid-week and a hacking cough was starting to develop. There were thunderstorms in the forecast and my monthly friend was visiting (apologies to my male readers for TMI). This was going to be a disaster!
I approached this race a little differently that usual. First of all, I decided to run this race naked, i.e. without GPS watch or music. Why? My GPS watch died during my last training run and it felt completely freeing. Since I wanted to run this race slow, I knew running by feeling, rather than pace was important.
I wanted to dedicated each mile to a different person that I love in my life, and I knew that the music, which can be motivating for pace, can also be very distracting when trying to focus on my thoughts. I left my iPod and GPS watch at home in Fort Worth so I couldn't change my mind at the last minute.
I asked five close local friends to write me a short motivating note before the race. I put the notes in my running belt with plans to pull one out and read it each mile towards the end of the race.
As tradition, I laid out my race clothes the night before and took a picture.
|Packet Pick Up Complete|
I went to bed at 9:30 in prepared for a 5 am wake time, but instead was up until at least 1 am with a hacking cough and newly developed stuffy nose. After I finally fell asleep, I woke up no less than once a hour before the alarm. At 5 am, I seriously considered not going. I was tired, sick and very worried. I pushed forward. We drove all the way down there, I paid all this money, I had to do it. I just reminded myself that this race would be slow and I could walk if I needed to.
|A little sick but at the starting line with my biggest supporter!|
I stood near the 2:00 pacer at the start line. I thought I would try to keep up with him if I could without taxing myself. I absolutely could not exert myself. Within the first mile I knew it wasn't going to happen. If I was healthy, I could have done it. I was not. I had to run slower.
At mile three I was feeling OK, after passing the Alamo, I saw my friend for the first time. I ran up and gave her a big hug. I liked my sign. It made me smile and gave me a boost.
At mile five I started to read the motivating notes that my friends wrote me. While I still think it was a great idea, execution was a little shaky. At one point while trying to pull out the notes while running, I dropped one on the ground and had to turn around, bend down, and pick it up. The risk of a trampling seemed real. I decided that from then on, I would walk for a few seconds and get the note out, read it, and then continue running.
|A poem inspired by the White Stripes|
|"You are trained, you can absolutely do this - take it all in and have fun!!!"|
At mile 8 I saw my friend again with a new sign! After a big hug, I read another note.
|"You Paid $100 for this sh!t Move it sister!"|
I decided to dedicate each mile to someone that I love. At first it was each member of my family back home, then one to my friend Jen who passed away. Once I started reading the notes, I would dedicate the mile to the person who wrote the note. It was amazing how quickly the mile passed when I was focusing on praying for and being thankful for these wonderful people in my life, rather than focusing on the pain of running 13 miles. I cried emotional tears several times during the race.
|"Just practicing for Huntington Beach"|
|Dry Erase Poster Board Rocks!|
|Not a PR by any means, but not too shabby for a sick person!|
So I ran this race sick. I'm not sure if that means I am dedicated or just crazy. Maybe a little of both.
Ways to (legally) stalk me:
"LIKE" the Running for Dummies Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each others workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningfordummies