You hear all of those jokes about walking uphill to school, in the snow, both ways, and you laugh....but that is how that race felt! Let me start at the beginning though!
Last week I ran a few short runs, but I was tapering for the big 10 mile race at the Ocean Drive Marathon. I got up bright and early on Saturday and Jon and I headed to Cape May for the second time this weekend. At big races, you *have* to pick your bib up the day before. Jon dropped me off at the start and headed back to Wildwood, the 8.5 mile mark, before the roads closed up. Funny how on the way in, I didn't really notice the bridges.....
Everyone was very friendly at the starting line, 10 milers and marathoners all mixed in. My faves: camo sleeveless shirt and jeans, leather jacket and khakis, gargabe bags knotted around bodies in case of rain (that never came, hooray!) and these were marathoners!
Away we went, lots of cheering and yelling, people setting their Garmins and ipods as they crossed the start (I crossed it almost 40 seconds after the gun went off). Lots of families cheering and yelling and happy (of course, they didn't yet know they were stuck on Cape May until the race passed by).
I checked my ipod at every mile, and was overjoyed to see that I was keeping a good pace. And then I saw Bridge #1. OMG. I had been people watching, specifically "chubby lady" as I had dubbed her, who wore short shorts and kept pulling at her crotch every 10th step. Let me point out tho, that chubby lady was ahead of me...until we went over the bridge. That is where she quit and started walking back. This was mile 3, and I had already passed a dead bird and dead opossum #1, right in the middle of where we were running. Yum. Dead opossum 2 and 3 would come later. Equally yummy.
This is about where the discarded clothes began to taper. It felt like Night of the Comet without the red dust. Shirts, sweatshirts, gloves...everywhere! This is also where I started seeing people going into and out of the reeds and bushes to...well...you know. Not me, no way, I'll wait!
My next two miles I was focused on "fanny bag suitcase man". What a trip this guy was. The fanny pack was huge. He must have had his life in there! He was a run/walker and I would pass him on his walk phase and he would, well, nudge me, as he ran by. Started getting really annoying. About mile 5 I passed him and never saw him again. Woot!
Also around mile 5 my SBC song came on, Bringing Sexy Back, so that kept me going for awhile. We were in town now, no water view, and the cars were starting to show up, cut through, drive where we were running....get pulled over...teehee
Mile 7 brought us closer to the Boardwalk, and the view improved. I could just "see" that Wildwoods" sign now, where Jon would be, meaning I was almost done. At 8 miles the Stockton kids were there at the water station, and they had written Run Forrest Run on the street. The giggle kept me going until we hit the actual boardwalk.
And there was my papparazzi.....he takes great pictures!
Almost done now, 1.5 miles to go. The group I was in was thinning out, and I was gaining on, and I am not proud of this nickname, "back fat lady" (she needed a better sports bra!) COULD NOT CATCH HER!!! It made me nuts, but that mile and a half was amazing!Running along the Wildwood boardwalk, crowd cheering, clock hadn't hit 2 hours, and wouldn't! 1:57:45ish I finished! 99 out of 122 in my group, 487 out of 541 overall. I didn't finish last!WOOT!
Let me say here, there were 3 bridges, one big hill, and we ran into the wind the whole time. The.Whole.Time.
What an amazing feeling! I thought I would be teary eyed, but wasn't, not until the next day, although it was a painful next day lol. My calves hurt later that day, but Monday it was thighs and shins. Today, Tuesday, still thighs. Yikes, standing up and sitting down hurts!
I cannot wait for that Half.