Friday night, after a fierce game of Scrabble between manfriend and I (which I lost), J arrived. We headed out for some carb loading/dinner at a local brewery. I loaded up on their smoked salmon fettuccine while the other two had pizza.
Saturday morning, I woke up early to watch ESPN College GameDay because guess what, my Ducks are still on the race to the Rose Bowl! After some almond butter/jam toast and tea, J and I put on our spandex and long sleeves. To our sheer luck, the rain from the night before had subsided and the sun was out. It was a chilly morning so I put on my ear warmer head band, Smart Wool long sleeve and a thin vest.
With a 9am race start, we headed down to the water front where the race begins, around 8:20. I chatted with several of my running groupies and the manfriend before ducking inside to enjoy real bathrooms and heat.
So, a little about the race. For just $25, we entered the EWEB Run to Stay Warm 1/2 Marathon, whose proceeds go to benefit the Customer Care Program, which helps those in need pay their water and electric bills. How awesome is that? Definitely a race I can get behind!
With just five minutes to go, we headed out into the crisp air to wait. And we were off. The entire race consists of one big loop along the river path so it's beautiful scenery and fairly flat. The first few miles were great. I was immediately too hot and took off the gloves and ear warmers. I stuck out the vest and eventually was completely comfortable wearing it when we'd hit those chilly shaded spots or a gust of wind came along.
By mile six we hit that point where we still felt strong, but could be done any time. The race included a 5k and 10k so after the 5kers peeled off, it was a bit confusing when for example, a lady with a baby stroller comes blazing past us with no troubles. I'm going to assume she was running the 10k.
We hit the bridge around mile nine to cross the river and that little slope felt like a mountain. At this point, we still hadn't seen a SINGLE mile marker. Thank goodness we didn't really care how fast/slow we were going or where we were on the course. At mile ten a fellow runner shouted "just three miles left." Oh jeez, I thought. This 1/2 marathon thing is harder than I remember.
By this point, J and I's conversation was limited to a few fragmented thoughts now and then. With two miles to go, for no apparent reason, I began hyperventilating. This had happened one other time during the San Diego Marathon in 2007 and lasted from mile 17-21. Because I didn't want to slow J or myself down, I just kept on going, focusing on even breathing.
In the last mile, J and I just powered through and finished the race shoulder to shoulder. Manfriend, as usual, was awesome. I think I spotted him six times on the race course, no joke! We never saw a single mile marker, but we made it 13.1 just fine. I was definitely a bit sore afterward, but it wasn't that "oh, you really put 100% into this sore," but that's just fine with me.
Finish time: 1:51 (not a PR, but that's ok)
Division place: 4/25