26,667: Lessons Learned, and a Happy Ending

Mar 18, 2013

First part of post, here

Daily Thought Image 03-06-13

It gets blurry. I recall the 10k mark, turning left into a historic neighborhood, admired the gorgeous homes, looked down at my Garmin and checked my pace - right around a 10 min/mile, which pleased me considering I hadn't trained properly. When I looked up I noticed we were headed to a turn, but at the end, in front of this enormous home, was a small crowd, with a man impeccably dressed, and without a coat. Then a pair of women stop, veer off course, and exchange pleasantries while a cameraman films. What the what? Turns out it was the governor of Arkansas, and for a moment I contemplated meeting this curious stranger smiling for the camera. Then reality set in - this a a race, not happy hour, keep it trucking. Besides, he isn't even my governor!

Course Memories:

Passed a Christian band playing alongside the course. Cried.

Saw the funniest sign of my life, "Marla, don't poop your pants!".

Headed past a church where they handed out bottles of water.

Spotting orange peels littered along the aid station.

Playing this song, on repeat, thanking God I have the means and ability to run, to express myself freely - be ME.  I cry EVER. SINGLE. TIME. I hear this song.  God is SO good..

"BEER" sign with a little old man sitting at a card table alongside the course filling Dixie cups.

Thanking each volunteer as I passed, even if I may have yelled over my iPod and sounded like a lunatic. 

I don't remember seeing course signs at each mile. Not sure if that's good, bad, or I'm going blind.

Cheering on people as I passed, wishing them luck even when mentally I was hitting a wall.

Geling maybe three times - waves of nausea will do that to you. And make you want to die.

The "hills" we manageable, the only beast was Capitol.  A slow, steady uphill increasing mammoth that showed no mercy. At one point I contemplated walking, but knew that'd be disastrous to stop momentum.

Glancing at my watch and realizing beating my time at St. Jude's was not going to happen, feeling a wave of disappointment, then the subsequent feeling of accomplishment - my body is running it's SECOND half marathon, in GOOD health. Although I didn't "make" time to train in the weeks leading to race day (I trained for a month - maybe), the sacrifices I and those around me made to get me to this point would not go unnoticed without deep gratitude. So I kept pushing. Seeing the lipstick station at 12.5 was the most beautiful site - because there was less than a mile to go, and I knew I'd see Amie waiting for me at the finish, that I'd have raced yet another 26,667 steps, and lived to tell the tale. 

Bib: 3796
Time: 2:29:00 - 2460 out of 4432 overall; 237 out of 437 in my division; 1280 out of 2758 in gender group

Official Time - 2:29:00 (see race recap, here). There was no run tracker, boo.  But I did grab a heat sheet this time since it felt like we were on the tip of a glacier, so I ain't complaining.

The medal is no less than 6 pounds.  And Amie's daughter H is beyond adorable. 

Now - we PARTY

After making our way back to the car (no post race cramps - holla!), drinking hot tea while we looked up official race times, and getting a seriously magical shower in, we were ready to hit the town, hard. Headed to a bar near the "Big & Bodacious Post Race Party" to grab a drink and kill time. Gotta love hole in the walls. Three orders of fries (HEAVEN after a race, ok all food is), and two cocktails each - total $7. Needless to say the overworked bartender got a hefty tip...

BBQ, live music, and hay. Yes, we are in the South. Catered by the Whole Hog, there was free cocktails and plenty of eats for everyone - it didn't hurt that the pulled pork was orgasmic. Too bad I thought "whole hog" meant a WHOLE hog, Luau style. Boy, I live a sheltered life. This was my first post race party - FREE for race participants, and a great way to mingle post race, once you've showered. Great times had by all. Bonus? We were back in our alseep pjs by 8 o'clock. #thuglife

The next day  - Sore town. Insert compression socks, home made breakfast by my hostess with the most-est, loads of lounging, DVR watching. Good thing their 60lb lap dog puppy is beyond sweet, when he fell asleep on my legs tears sprang in my eyes.  From pain...

After lunch with a few coworkers,  buying a newspaper because they cover the race and list runners (small town perks), deciding we were FAMOUS and needed an entourage only to find they only list full marathoners.  Boo. But they did have loads of great race day pics. Then Amie kicked me out of her car while moving and told me never to return took me to the airport. Said our goodbyes, she sped off into the sunset, and then I realized why. Short hair was dressed like an asshole. Ok a comfy, post race I have to be in public so this is all the fancy you get kinda way. 

Uggs, Compression tights, Tunic, Cashmere sweater, and giant man eating tote that I carry as a purse (forgive me Michael Kors for I have sinned, but I had to set you down to capture the moment)

Jealous? I am a budding stylist, holler at your girl if you want post race chic in your life. I will hook you up.

Overall: Was I upset about my time? You bet. Did I give 110% and have a great time. Absolutely. 

Food for "race" Thought:

-I went back and forth on drive/fly (its six hours).  Thank God I found a flight for $118/RT. Best money ever spent.

-Invest in wool socks for winter races. That way you can keep your toes and the lady that does your pedicure won't talk about you behind your back/to your face. (Big River had them on sale for $9 when I went on Friday. So I bought two pair.)

-Compress yo'self (during drive/flight) if you have to travel/live life.  Your legs will thank you.

-For the love of Peete, TRAIN. Make it a priority - Nike said "Just do it".

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  1. aah memories. Thank you so much for making the trip to LR! Is it bad that I don't remember taking those pictures at the post race party? ugh..I can't hang anymore :)

    1. Thank YOU, I had an awesome time - yeah, I barely remember getting back to your house and passing out...

  2. Great recap, short hair! ;)
    Thanking the volunteers and cheering on other runners were 2 of my highlights as well!
    That after party sounds awesome!!
    And your flight outfit cracks me up!!
    All in all...way to go!!!

    1. HAHAHA - yeah, I looked like a bajankity mess, but I was super cozy. So really that's what matters. I swear they need to invent plain black compression tights so it blends in better. Who am I kidding, I'm gonna strut the tights I have till they fall apart!


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