Monday, September 23, 2013

The ROC City Half

13.1 is in the books, friends! My sis and I hustled and finished the race in 2 hours and 8 minutes, beating our hoped-for finish time by more than six minutes.

It was fun! I can't believe I just typed that. But really, it was actually fun! Let me step back a wee bit. I had become a pretty big grump as the mileage in my training plan increased week by week. It was annoying, to be frank. I'm busy, you know what I mean? So to take what amounts to two or three hours every Saturday morning to run up and down the Erie Canal got old, and fast. Sometimes it rained, and that made me mad. Sometimes there were bugs, and that made me even more mad. By last night, as cheerleader Greg was trying to psych me up for the big day, I snapped, "I just want to get this over with. And then I am never - ever - doing this again."

Race day dawned cold, dark, and rainy. Cara and I slurped some coffee and then exchanged worried musings about the locations of the Portable Potties. We put the coffee away. We were supposed to pick up our race packets no later than 7:00 am, and as we sauntered in fifteen minutes late we noticed we were surrounded by all manner of spandex-clad people warming up, running in place, touching their toes, and so forth and so on. "Geez, they sure are taking this seriously," we mumbled. "Ummm, maybe we should, like, stretch or something," we mumbled.

Here we were three minutes before the race:

We literally were in almost the last row of runners lined up at the starting line, and as the gun went off we... stood still. Slowly, slowly, the big funnel of people started to move forward. Cara consulted her running app and reported that we were currently running a 19 minute mile pace. Awesome. The adrenaline started flowing, and we began to pick people off. First Cara passed the 75 year old lady who was walking, and then I caught up to the pregnant lady pushing the double stroller.

I kid.

It actually was pretty much just like what you would expect. We settled into a nice pace and kept it up the whole time. The course was beautiful, and it was lots of fun to run through the pretty old neighborhoods and parks and along the Canal. More than anything, it is so cool to be running your heart out and have people on the sidelines cheering you on, ringing bells and clapping and telling you you can do it. Who wouldn't be motivated by this?

And this?

(Side note: I love James' choice of words for his sign: Go Mom. Go Aunt. He's all business as you can see).

It was such an awesome experience. We both felt great until mile 12, and by then the finish was in sight. I dug deep and turned to my secret weapon, the Spice Girls. If "If You Wanna" doesn't get ya moving, nothing will. We gave it all we had for the final stretch and crossed the finish line smiling. Then we went home and ate doughnuts.

I'm glad it's over, and I'm glad we did it. Cheers to us!

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