But hey...might as well jump right out of the frying pan into the fire! What I really wanted to know was how much fire did I have in me? Could I do all of this? Only one way to find out. Plus, through my husband's place of work, I could get a discount on registration. Winning!
So I registered and after a few emails to someone with the race found out what hotel was being considered the host hotel and got a discount on my room as well. I could have saved that money and driven up in the morning but I just wanted to be there and not stress about driving up there.
From my house to Muncie it should only take about 1 1/2 hours but I left a little later than I should have and was driving up in Friday evening, after work traffic. Then, it went down to one lane for 5 miles. It took an hour to drive that 5 miles!!! It ended up taking me 2 hours and 45 minutes to get up there. I got to packet pick-up with 15 minutes to spare. Good thing I wasn't going to get my blood pressure checked because they probably would have wanted to send me straight to the hospital. I was about to exploded.
But alas, packet was picked up and I drove back to the Applebee's I passed on the way and had my "traditional" night before race meal. Then it was to the hotel to get checked. It was odd doing all of this without my husband :( Got everything laid out and was up until about 10pm then it was lights out. Shockingly - I didn't sleep well. NOT!
Got up right on time in the morning. The hotel had a breakfast bar so I grabbed some dry cereal, anticipating that I'd eat it post race. We needed to be back at the starting area 30 minutes prior to the race. Not sure this was "needed" because they basically went over the turn-by-turn directions of the race. If you aren't from the area (which I'm not), it didn't mean a thing and it seemed like a time waster. Plus it was cold!
As far as I know, the race started on time. I wasn't really paying attention to the actual time. I had some nice chats with people as we all waited for the cannon to go off signaling the start of the race. Met a kid (20-something) there doing his very first half marathon. I also talked to a guy from Ohio. This was his 5th half marathon in 5 years; a goal he wanted to complete before he was 50 which he said he would be turning early next year. I told him about our goal for one in each state and that this was to be my 21st half marathon overall. (I would discover later that it was actually only my 20th - DOH!). He said I inspired him to set another goal. I really love talking to "running" people.
The cannon sounds and we are off. I had my phone with me but I told myself that I wasn't going to use it to take any pictures. I've been to Muncie more times than I can remember and I can always come back if there was something that I just had to have a photo of. I was hoping that I could just concentrate on this race and finally PR.
This race also had a one mile walk, a 5K and a 10K. The half marathoners started first. I was glad to have my throwaway sweatshirt to start. It was really chilly and breezy along the White River Greenway. We crossed the street and began running up Riverside. I went past the new Sigma Phi Epsilon house. Surprisingly, none of those young men were out at 9:00AM on a Saturday morning to cheer us on - NOT! I was actually starting to sweat underneath the sweatshirt so I took it off at the 1 mile marker where there was also a water station. I asked those folks that, if they remembered, it would be great if they could take that back to the finish area but if not NBD (no big deal).
A few turns and then we run through a little bit of the Ball State campus. Of course there were some things that I DID want to take a picture of but stayed true to my word and left the iPhone in my racebelt. The course was mostly flat and once you got on the Cardinal Greenway where the trees were on both sides of us, the temperature wasn't too bad. But the wind was fierce coming at you on the sides when there was no coverage. I ran with a girl for just a little bit. It was a nice distraction but then I needed to keep going and stay focused. I wasn't sure what my pace was and I didn't want to look at my watch until the 10 mile marker. I was glad to finally see the turn-around around the 7.5 mile marker. I wasn't feeling too bad but there was also part of me that was cold and ready to be done. At the 10 mile marker, I was a little faster than where I usually am at that point which made me wonder if I could actually PR this time. With this in mind, I had to laugh because at the 11 mile marker I saw a quarter on the ground but wouldn't stop to pick it up afraid that it might slow me down!
Trudging on, we are off the path and headed back toward the school where the start/finish is. I almost missed the final turn because the person telling me to turn was standing in front of the directional sign! Luckily I heard him tell me to turn. That last mile seemed to take for ever but I crossed the finish line SIX MINUTES faster than my previous PR. I was so excited. I began to wonder if I might have even won my age group. This was a small race (less than 200 in the half) and I tried to guess the ages of the women around me. But I'm so bad at that stuff.
Eventually they got around to the age group winners of the half and I was announced as first place in my age. So I got a pint glass with the race logo and AGE GROUP WINNER on it. However, the guy asked me my age when I went up there; he stated that there was some confusion about the "ages" but I wasn't really paying attention. I was too excited that I came in first. HOWEVER, several days later the official results would be posted and I did not win my age group. If I had to guess, they initially broke down the ages incorrectly. Oh well! I still PRed. Oh yeah, and after crossing the finish line there was my sweatshirt that I had given up at the one mile marker. THANKS VOLUNTEERS.
This was a pretty good race and I was impressed with the aid stations. They were evenly spaced; nearly every mile and they still had Hammer Gels at the two stations by the time I got there. There were even some left over at one of the tables after the turn-around so I was able to get three!
I went into the school and changed in to dry clothes for the drive back. Stopped and got my BP/Rickers coffee (not as good as what I get from MY station) and made good time back home. Quick shower and a rest before the next extravaganza tonight!