Last year, I didn't feel "ready". This year, I did. And technically, I was. I was in much better shape. I'd run more consistently. I'd run with faster times. I'd lost some weight. I was ready. But not for 85 degrees! What a difference the weather makes. There were people dropping left and right. I'd love to know the official tally, but it felt like I saw at least one person down every mile from the 5 mile marker on. My mom will be the first to tell you that I "don't do well with heat". I've been know to...how can I say this nicely..."faint with style". So I started taking the water stations pretty seriously around mile 6 and even walked through a few toward the end to make sure I drank a full cup of water. When I rounded the corner onto the boardwalk to finish my last 2 miles, I saw a woman stumble and fall into the arms of her running partner. She went down like a sack of potatoes. That's when my goal became "just finish". I really wanted to be able to call my mom and say "I didn't faint. I finished on my own 2 feet. I didn't need an ambulance." Especially since this same weekend last year, the husband of a friend of hers collapsed during a 10k and eventually died a few months later. And finish, I did!
This year, our friend Marisa joined us (and Shannon's husband, Dave, bailed! Wimp! You better come back next year!)
Cool Shannon, Marisa & Me on Saturday afternoon...all smiles before Race Day
And we stayed right on the boardwalk. Right at the host hotel. What a view. From our balcony, we cheered on Marathon runners the rest of the day too.
We kept the traditional dinner at Rooney's, too. Who needs pasta when you've got fresh seafood? Sure, some people would say we'd do better with some carb-loading, but it's just not as tasty as Rooney's!
Marisa's family came down Sunday to cheer us on. They let us know that they'd be around the 9 mile mark and knowing that, kept me going! There was NO WAY I was going to be walking when they saw me! Thanks for making the trip down, guys. You were such an encouragement. I can't wait until my gang's old enough to cheer us on.
All-in-all, it was a good experience. Sure, mile #s 6, 7, and 8, I contemplated just stopping. Not walking. Just stopping. But then I realized, I still had to get back to the hotel somehow. Any way I cut it, I'd have to walk, run, or crawl...so I might as well keep running.
I'm so proud of Marisa for finishing her first "Half", too. I know you're still in denial, but give it a few weeks, you'll agree to run it again. It's kinda like childbirth. You forget all about the misery when you start longing for that fuzzy and warm feeling that a baby (or in this case, a strong finish) will give you!
Where's Shannon, you ask? Well...she ignored us when we said we'd meet her at the finish line...and she went back to the hotel for a shower.
Ready for 2011, girls? May 1st...Shannon and I are in! Who's gonna join us????