I was up at 4:30am to get ready. Of course this morning, the first thing on the agenda was to check the weather. No sign of severe storms, but it was definitely hot, humid, and windy. So I got up and started getting ready.
I showed my outfit to my husband on Thursday and he said, "Hey, that's cute. You are going to look like a runner." *eye roll* My hormones were under control (lucky for him) so I just looked at him and said, "Ya, it's all about the outfit." The shirt is really bright neon yellow, but it didn't photograph that way. It's probably the first time I've ever had on a coordinated outfit for a race, but the top and shorts cost less than $20 combined so what the heck!
Morning fuel: whole wheat toast, peanut butter, and banana. And a bucket of coffee to go! I was going to this one alone, so I left early to avoid any traffic and camped out in the close parking lot to the start getting my gear together and reading my book. Check this out though:
I didn't know much about the course and with the heat and humidity, I figured it was best to pull back for this race and decided to hang out with the 2:20 pace team. And we were off!
Along the way chatting with others and the two pacers, I found out that the first 8 miles of this race are filled with hills. Ah, the 3 h's - hills, heat, and humidity. Lovely. My race was going well considering, but I was getting hot. Then it starts getting dark and very windy. I was watching two birds struggling to fly against the wind and not going anywhere to give you an idea. I figured we were in for some good old TX rain. Sure enough, it started raining. The rain was cold and did a good job of cooling me off and bringing the temperature down. It rained the rest of the race and the visor did an excellent job of keeping the rain out of my eyes.
Now, there have been plenty of hills the entire route, but nothing like the one before mile 8! There was a race coach on the sidelines there and he was telling the runners you conquer this and you're golden the rest of the race. I looked at that hill and did a quick *OMG* freak out and then said come on you've got this, just get after it. Next thing I know I'm at the top and on my way to the finish.
At mile 9ish, I started hearing sirens and the police on the course were getting us over to one side. At first I thought someone was down on the course, but then I thought that can't be right they should have passed by now. Then I turned and got a glimpse. It was the leader of the full marathon. That guy was kicking major butt and I figured he was kicking a sub-6 pace (that's miles per hour for 26.2 miles!!!!). I made sure everyone around me knew what was happening and we cheered our butts off when he passed!
The water crews were a little taxed around mile 10, but I had to get some gat0rade. I ended up losing a bit of time at the last two stations and had to wait at one, but I knew I needed the liquid to make it in strong. I crossed at 2:23 and was fine with it. In hindsight, I think I could have easily hung with the 2:10 pacers, but a good race nonetheless. I've hit my 2 half goal and received more bling!