Photo Diary: 26,667 Steps

Mar 16, 2013

No, I didn't do the math on my own I can't count that high on my fingers, but yes, that is how many steps it takes to complete 13.1 miles.

Second half mary, in the bag!

There is nothing better than spending the weekend catching up with a friend, demanding they house, feed, and transport you all over the state of Arkansas. The Lassen family is too kind, and it was a great weekend. 

The trip started out like all others - final run to mentally prepare (more on that later) me frantically packing my ENTIRE wardrobe, setting off for the airport, having to go get the phone charger and jeans I forgot. In my defense my jeans were a necessity, I was wearing UGGS with toothpick jeans, not matchstick. #firstworldproblems.  Luckily M got me to the airport with just about 45 minutes till take off, which in hindsight was thanks to him, yours truly was trying to rationalize changing jeans in the car, if that would lead to my enrollment on the sex offender registry for creepy people doing inappropriate things in cars. Arkansas would get to see me sans wardrobe change. Le sigh. 

Greeted at the airport by Amie and her mom, we set off the weekend on the right foot. By heading to the mall. Priorities.  

Cut to dinner, here to carb load (Note to self: seafood pasta is a TERRIBLE choice to race on if you have a sensitive stomach - but it was stupid good), laying out all our gear - checking it five times, and a 10 p.m. bedtime (Amie's almost 3 year old was up later than we were), we were scared shitless ready as we'd ever be.

Little Rock Marathon - 2013 logo

Race morning was finally here. Amie's alarm, "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard", sounded and it was game on. Got dressed, had a brown rice cake with peanut butter and a 1/2 banana (to try and curb post race cramping), peed fifty times and set off for the start. Once the garage door opened it hit us - "why is it so COLD?!"  Thankfully I we packed on clothes like Eskimos, plus Amie bought us ADORABLE throw away gloves. And a BABY BLUE SWEATSHIRT for herself (she's hotheaded/blooded and ain't got time for layers) with the name "Pearl" written on the tag. Meanwhile yours truly contemplated three layers up until the man at my local running store looked at me like I just licked the floor when I voiced my weather concern - politely pointing out "two layers for 30 degree temps is plenty". Thankfully his advice worked and I settled on a long sleeve, half zip, capris, and two headbands: one for my hair, the other for my ears. What? I'm a dainty flower.

Stretched, found a porta potty (God bless the man who showed us a different set without a line, holla!), prayed, contemplated skipping, then put on our big girl pants and got in our corral. I can't stress this enough, corral EARLY, there is nothing worse than being ahead/behind your pace. This is my PSA to you.  Our Corral ("C") took about 15 minutes to get to the start, giving us plenty of time to people watch and pray.  It's our tradition - and I SWEAR it calms my heart. 

Before we knew it had a chance to escape, we were off. We were in the back of our corral so it took until the first mile marker for the crowd to thin, find our stride not run on sidewalks to get around folks. Don't let the adrenaline fool you, it was FREEZING outside at the ripe temperature of 28. Our feet were numb (note to self: buy wool socks or stop running in artic temps). We ran together bobbing and weaving like pros until about mile two after we crossed the bridge into North Little Rock when speedy Gonzales burned rubber and we did our own thing (note: if you run with others, establish a) if you will run the entire race together, b) where to meet at the finish BEFORE race day).

Though blustery, I felt good. Had a whole pack of Honey Stingers on the drive, tunes blaring in my ears (race "said" no iPods, but everyone had them anyway), and my mind relaxed so I found my groove. I'm not sure if it was due to the cold and the fact my watch was under my layers, but I made a point NOT to check my Garmin right off the bat, it messes with me mentally and I already felt ill prepared training wise. Plus I was certain if my wrist was exposed I'd get frost bite. 

As I've stated before, it is a race. I am not a professional photographer, thus no pictures of the course during the race. Going in we heard the course was HILLY, so we cried like babies added extra hill training to help compensate. Crossing into North Little Rock was neat - watching the water, seeing the elites pass on their way back, and the general change of scenery. We passed the stadium, my works office, went under the highway, and looped back across the bridge back into Little Rock. So far, so good. Or so I thought. 

to be continued...

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