The alarm went off early at 4:45am. My husband wanted to be on the buses by 6:00am and I like to allow myself at least an hour to wake up, shower, let my breakfast digest (you know what I mean), etc. Of course I didn’t sleep well the night before – but I never do.
We weren’t 100% sure which side of the shopping area the buses would be on but found them with no problem. And we didn’t wait on it for very long before it took off. I sat next to a lady from Arizona and John sat next to some random guy in the seat behind me. The ride up to the starting area seemed like it took longer than what 13.1 miles should be! We huddled in some building at the Spring Training Complex for the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals. Maybe it was different for the marathon start but they made such a big deal about being able to wait “indoors and stay warm” that I thought it would accommodate more people. There were even people just standing in the bathrooms trying to keep warm. But we did find some friendly folks to talk to. People from North Carolina, Oregon & Ohio. While I was in the bathroom, my husband was talking to a group and one older lady mentioned that her husband was doing the full marathon. No Big Deal - it was only his 320th FULL MARATHON. He has done a full marathon in every state FIVE TIMES!
Although I brought a couple of throw away shirts for us, they were short-sleeved and long-sleeved would have been better. Gloves would have been an added benefit too. But I finally thawed out by mile 2 and tossed the throw away at that time as well. This race was smaller than I was expecting (825 finishers for the half) and there were no “corrals” to start. Some inner city kids were participating in this race as well and it was fun to see them out on the course.
I didn’t feel too bad for the first race of the season and considering that I hadn’t really run any distance longer than 6 miles. My left knee bothered me a little a first and then at some point it was my right knee but I really think my form was out of whack at times. I ran with my iPhone out and took a few random pictures. One of the best features of this race – the volunteers at mile 10 were handing out donut holes. Heck yes, I took one. Chocolate nonetheless. YUM!
I also loved the fact that aside from it being chilly in the morning, it was the perfect running temperature. I sweat a lot when I run. I know-super sexy, so usually I’m constantly wiping sweat from my brow or the sides of my face but probably did that only a couple of times. I’m sure the lack of humidity had something to do with it was well.
It is true, this is a flat and fast course but they do send you across an overpass at mile 12. NOT COOL! Although I had to laugh at the sign warning us of Monster Hill. These folks need to go check out the bridge in Wisconsin that is part of the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole run…now THAT was a monster.
I found my husband and his cousin right away at the finish line and we then met up with Lindsey. Les & Lindsey did the 5K that morning and actually waited for us to finish the half. I probably would have gone home & showered and then come back! We hung out for a little bit but we needed to get back to the hotel to shower and check out. Luckily, check out wasn’t until noon. The Holiday Inn Express was a great place to stay. Not too expensive and the location was perfect. We then met Aunt Bea, Lindsey and Mark at Wendy's for a quick lunch before we headed to the airport.
This was a whirlwind trip for sure but it was a good one. I got to see old friends, meet “new” family and if I lived closer, I certainly run this race again. But State #11 is in the books and its time to focus on the next one.
Hopefully the next race is in March in Chicago (even though I’ve already completed Illinois) and the next state will be Kansas in April. Which also has the bonus of seeing old friends as well.