Terri and I left Friday after work, met up with Charissa and Chrissie along the way, and drove to Baton Rouge. We drove to Fleet Feet in Baton Rouge for packet pickup then went to find food. Dinner at Copeland’s consisted of seafood pasta and a salad. Chrissie’s daughter was kind to let us stay at her apartment as she was in the midst of moving out. We arrived, set up air mattresses, showered, and went to bed. I was exhausted.
The race didn’t start until 9:00AM, so we were able to sleep until 6am. In the morning, we each ate a CLIF bar and a banana, dressed, and headed to the race. The pre and post race festivities were in the atrium at the Belle Casino. We met up with my parents who have decided that they enjoy watching our races. It’s really nice because they are our personal gear check, photographers, and “food and drink servers.” (At the Louisiana Marathon, there was no food left for most of the marathoners. This must have really upset my dad, because for this race he sat inside with food waiting for each of us. So Sweet!)
At one point before the race, Terri told me she was going one final time to the restroom. I glanced at my watch and it said 8:02am so I decided to wait a little longer. The sponsored warm-up began and I performed some of the exercises.
My mom asked me when we would line up. I told her it was still too early…it was only…glance at my watch…8:02am. 8:02am still?? Aaaaccckkkk…my watch was frozen. They inform me that it is 8:47am. I frantically start pressing buttons on my watch. Nothing. I press. I hold. I shake. I realize I need the bathroom. I take my watch off and give it to my dad and tell him to hold two buttons down at the same time. I run toward the bathroom only to discover a long, long line. I wait for my turn. I am about to cry wondering how I will know my pace without my watch. I try to think of another plan. I am shaking. While in the bathroom other runners are shouting out: 6 minutes until the race, 5 minutes left. I finish, run out, and find Terri and my parents. My dad says my watch is working again. I put it on, kiss him, and run out the door to the start. I wish everyone luck and try to get closer to the front, but the horn blows and we are off. I spend the first mile weaving through people. I weave. I dodge. I zigzag. I climb on the curb to go around people. I waste so much energy and time. My first mile pace is 8:10.
For mile 2 and 3, I tell myself to relax. I am getting on pace during mile 3 when I feel my shoe become loose. I look down and see that my shoe is untied! My shoe that was double-knotted! I move to the side, bend down and try to quickly tie my shoe. This is not easy to do with shaky hands. On the second try, I succeed and take off again. I look ahead and see people I had previously passed. I take my time and try to slowly pass them again.
At mile marker 4, I look ahead and see the levee. Once again, I tell myself to relax. I shorten my stride and climb. Once I make it to the top, I try to make up for some lost time. I increase my pace and think that I made it to the top of the levee and the worst is over. I’m not sure how much time passes when I see people ahead of me going down the levee and climbing up again! “Take it EASY.” I tackle this next hill and hope that it is the last. We complete mile 5 and I think mile 6 on the levee. We descend around mile 6 and I know there is only .2 left. I pick it up again and try to pass some more runners. My mom gets 2 pictures of me coming into the finish. (I am in orange.)My time was 48:01. A new PR for me!
After I finish, my mom and I wait for Terri, Charissa, and Chrissie. Terri comes in looking strong. She is in the long sleeve white shirt and black cap. She also has a new PR with a time of: 58:16.
I have a review of this race coming up this week. Stay tuned.