Today I expected to wake up sore, tired, and still a little bit proud of running a half marathon yesterday morning. Instead, my cat woke me up (yes, thanks) around 8 am.
(I fell asleep last night around 11:15 pm, only to be woken up by Chris a bit later telling me that he was going over to our friends’ house to help them with their flooding basement. I don’t know what time he got home, but sometimes I burst with pride over the sort of man I have married, the sort of man who doesn’t think twice about going out in the middle of a night in a thunderstorm to help out a friend. These are the times I’m glad I married somebody like my father 😉 I am the luckiest.)
But I feel wonderful today. I have very few aches and pains. My arms are feeling somewhat back to normal, and my shoulder is…dare I say a bit better? Some common movements that I keep accidentally doing are not hurting quite as much. There’s still a sharp pain on occasion though, and I’m not kidding myself that it’s near healed. I am hopeful that I am on the path now. I’m icing it right now, as I blog and wait for my "overnight" oatmeal to set (quotes because I just put it together 30 minutes ago rather than last night.)
So, when I decided to DNS the race, my friend and running partner Jen had a little bit of a panic attack. I told her, not to worry, I would be there cheering her on and supporting her. I’d never watched a race before, and it sounded like fun. We made plans to meet up with our friends Melissa and Steve, since Steve was also running the race. Here’s where the less fun part came in. We made plans to meet them in Soulard at 6:15. That meant Jen was picking me up at 6 am, and that meant waking up at 5:15 am…not even to run a race, but to watch one. CRAZY, right?
(Is it more crazy to wake up at 5:15 to run or to support a friend?)
I packed a bag with a sweatshirt, an umbrella, wet wipes, and brought coffee. Melissa had a folding chair and a sign. We did not bring cowbells, which we wish we had.
We parked near the start for just $5. This is Jen, looking pretty nervous. I was in serious inspirational mode and was really trying to pump everybody up. (I think I was trying to make up for the fact that I really wished I were running…)
Melissa and Steve. And yes, that sign says Go Hannah…on the back it says Go Steve. It’s an old sign.
We headed to the race start, and after waiting for a porta potty for about 20 minutes, it time for the runners to make their way to their corrals. Melissa and I gave them hugs and high fives, told them to show us the meaning of haste, and then they left us to our "spectating". We decided to find a place along the start to watch for them.
This is where we ended up.
It wasn’t long before the race started. And wow. It’s crazy to stand there watching everybody go by—first the super fast elite runners, then everybody else, so many people! There were supposedly 12,000 for the half marathon, plus the marathoners as well.
I did see my trainer—he’s in the middle with the yellow shoes, white shirt, hat. He was towards the front. His goal for the day was 1:28. I would put up a shot I cropped for a close up but that might be creepy 😉
After about 7 minutes we saw Jen and Steve!
And then they were gone.
Close up! I think they saw us, since they were smiling!
After the start we had figured we’d mill about and then watch the finish. However, we didn’t realize the race came right back near where we were again, around mile 5/6. We went to the car, grabbed the lawn chair, and set up again.
Melissa was seriously ready to cheer!
By the time we set up, a few of the leaders had ALREADY passed this mark. Seriously fast.
I was a bit confused by who I was cheering for. And please don’t comment on my hair, or the disgusting-ness that is my violin mark. (For those of you who don’t know, that’s what you see on my neck near my jawline. It’s where I hold my violin against my neck, and it varies as to how gross it gets. Usually it’s just a dark, rough patch of skin, but right now it’s painful and bumpy from last week. Gross.)
We had a nice spot, right near a corner, so we had a pretty good view. Saw my trainer again, who thinks he’s Richard Nixon.
He had both hands like that shortly before. (When I asked him about it later he said he does it because the crowds really respond. No comment.)
Then we finally saw Steve! (I don’t mean finally as in what took him so long, but as in, wow, there are a ton of people running this race and we were starting to go cross eyed and crazy.)
Then we waited some more but finally decided we must have missed Jen. It was weird, I knew probably at least a dozen people running the race, and at this corner saw THREE of them. (Well, one girl saw me, I didn’t see her at first—I’ve done that for sure.)
We headed towards the finish line next. By the time we got there, Mike had already finished, and he was happy to have met his time goal. I borrowed his medal to see how it would have felt.
Heavy. Like I shouldn’t have been wearing it. I gave it back. I would have taken a picture of Mike but he got strangely camera shy. Maybe because he wasn’t wearing a shirt and was concerned he would end up on the blog?
Melissa and I headed for the finish line, hoping to catch Jen and Steve there. We found a bus stop bench to stand on so we could see over the people in the front. It was a really exciting atmosphere, with the announcer calling out names and times as people were finishing. The marathoners started to finish too—I saw the winner finish—just flying by the half runners at that point. CRAZY.
We saw Steve! Once we saw him running in, I started screaming at the top of my lungs, but it turned out he still didn’t hear me. Several people around us did though.
He was looking strong!
And again, we never saw Jen. We waited a little while longer, not sure if she would have been behind or ahead of him, and then we headed for the agreed upon meeting place (most important, ALWAYS make a meeting place plan…be specific and precise.)
Then we found Jen sitting down! I guess she was a bit ahead of Steve, and we just didn’t see her. Ever. I blame her black tank top—there was so much black in the race plus the roads being dark that it was just hard to find her. Too bad since I was taking pictures!
How they felt…
And then we went to Uncle Bill’s for brunch. That place is awesome. I had to remind myself that I hadn’t just run 13.1 miles so I needed to take it easy. Still managed to eat all my bacon and sausage, but I only ate half the pancakes 😉
So there you have it. My race "recap". It turned out that Jen only missed her PR (personal record) by 4 seconds, when she thought she was totally unprepared and shouldn’t even bother running. Steve felt good about his race too, though he had some knee issues. We are already making training plans for the summer on how to get faster (though for me, step one is of course, heal up.)
All in all, I’m really glad I went downtown to cheer. It was great watching my friends accomplish their goals!