Friday night, I got all my stuff together, knew what I was going to wear, yada yada yada. The plan was to get up at 6:00 on Saturday morning, get ready, and be out the door by 7:00. This was my first time doing an entire race thing from start to finish flying solo, so I was a bit nervous.
Saturday morning, I was up at 5:00 because I suck at sleeping. I gave in and got out of bed at 5:20 or so, went upstairs, had some coffee and a bagel, and just sat for a while, watching my nephew play. After a bit, I decided to get ready, so I quick showered, threw my hair up, double-checked my bag, pinned my bib on my jacket (I was waiting to see if the weather would actually WORK WITH ME...), got dressed, etc, etc. I ended up getting out the door around 7:20 (for whatever reason it took me so long...), but knew it would still be plenty of time to get down there.
"Knowing" that was my first mistake...
Despite the freeway being down to one lane, I figured it would be pretty smooth moving on an early Saturday morning. There were only a handful of cars, but, of course, I get behind the two cars going 55 mph the whole way. This pushed out my travel time a little bit, but it was okay because I made up for it a bit after the freeway opened up to multiple lanes again.
I get to the exit for where we were supposed to park for the race (Veterans Affairs Medical Center) and it is SUPER backed up...awesome... I wait in line like everyone else and finally make it off of the freeway and onto the road for the VAMC. Of course, that was super backed up, too. So, I waited...patiently...and prepped my stuff, so I could jump out and go once I did park.
I finally get in the lot and park my car. I realize I have about 30 minutes before the race starts. I grab my stuff and jog over to the shuttle bus line. It is very, very, very long. Some other people were going to walk, so I followed them. I knew it was a mile to the park, but I figured if I power walked/jogged there, it would be quicker than waiting in line for the bus. I finally got to the park and was a little tired already, but had to run and check my gear bag and then hit the potties.
Despite having a bazillion port-a-potties, the lines were really long. Of course, I picked the shortest one...but apparently the people in front of me had not yet mastered the "pre-race pee"...which should take no longer than 30 seconds. My line was taking the longest. I was still in line when the race started, but looked around and saw other 10k-ers around me, so I knew I was okay. I FINALLY got up there, did my (quick) thang, and bolted out.
I noticed a bunch of people heading in one direction, so I ran .25 mile to where I thought the start was...only to realize they were 5k runners heading to their start. I got really panicky when I couldn't figure out where the 10k start was, but then I saw some people running by on the street. I finally found a girl without earbuds in and asked her if the 10k start was back the other way and she smiled apologetically and said, "Yeah...I think so..." *sad face* I took of running .25 miles back the way I had come from and then some, found where the start was and headed around the gates to the chute. I was already pooped by this point, so I paused for a minute, got my iPod ready and shook out my limbs, and headed across that damn 10k starting line (about 15 minutes late...).
|The Get in Gear 10k Course|
The race itself wasn't too bad. I pretty much ran by myself for the first portion, but then started passing people the further I went. Passing people that I saw walking was no biggie, but passing runners gave me a little boost. It was wet to start with, but the further I got, the more it started to rain. It stunk. My shoe came untied twice, so that was no fun. Regardless, after 6.2 miles, I had finished the 10k. Based on the timer clock, I thought I was somewhere around 1 hour and 5 or 6 minute mark for time. I was bummed because my absolute have to finish by time was 1:05:00, so I thought I hadn't made that.
Anyway, I grabbed a water and a cup of gatorade, slammed them, then hit the port-a-potty for my "post-race pee"...which can take as LONG as you like. After that, I headed to get my post-race food. Chocolate milk, a little bun thingy, butterfinger ice cream bar (true story...even though I was freezing), and a Nut Roll (there was a bunch more to choose from, but that is what I consumed). After downing that, I headed to grab my bag (and did I mention it was raining even harder now?) and get some Peace Coffee.
By now, I was way, way icy, so I hoped in line for the shuttle...the really, really long line for the shuttle. I rain/slush just kept coming down and I kept shivering so hard, the older gentleman next to me was worried I had hypotermia and offered to hold my spot in line while I went and got some coffee. I thanked him, but told him I had tried that already and it hadn't worked. After waiting for about an hour for the shuttle, we finally got on and were headed back for the VAMC. I was very confused when we got back (since I hadn't taken the shuttle there), so as soon as I got off the bus, I started hitting unlock on my key thingy and searching for my lights. When I saw them, I took off running for my car like a crazy person, whipped open the door, started the car and blasted the heat, ripped off my soaking wet jacket, and jumped in the car. As soon as I was in, I started stripping off my wet clothes and shoes. Luckily, I had a pair of dry PJ pants in my car that I had worn as coverups on the way to the race and a dry t-shirt. I just sat there for a few minutes, soaking up the heat, and drinking an OJ that I had also grabbed at the race. Then, I headed home.
All in all, it wasn't the best race I've ever had, but I know it could have been SO MUCH WORSE, too. Shortly after I got home (while I was soaking in a very hot bath, in fact), I got an email with my official timing results.
I had wanted to beat the hour mark, but I'm okay with the fact that I beat 1:05:00. Something to shoot for, right?!?!?
Next up, LAKE MINNETONKA HALF MARATHON...yikes! I can do it, right?