It was a brisk morning Saturday the 8th when I ran the Mason Mini Marathon. It's a 15K, which is 9.3 miles. It was so close to home– down at Mason's middle school. That made a 9:00 race even sweeter! We left at 8:15, stopped to get Gatorade, and still had plenty of time to stand around freezing before the start. I'm happy it didn't rain, but it was only about 46º from start to finish. I had only ran in chilly weather once prior to this day since we've had such a nice October.
um....well....I didn't like it. My dislike stemmed from a conglomeration of memories: running during Hurricane Ike, running at lunch while I worked at Luxottica (hot and boring), running during the summer (Vegas desert-like). And, frankly, it was a boring boring course that never even got on the actual roadway. Starting from Mason Middle School, we ran down towards Luxottica, then turned onto the access road that is used during the ATP Tennis Tournaments. We turned around at the Tennis Center (around some cones) and then headed back to the middle school. Running past the middle school, we got to turn onto a new sidewalk (yay!) and headed down Mason-Montgomery to where there is a new bike path that connects to a park. After connecting to the park path, it was through the park and back out onto Mason-Montgomery, back to the school, and finishing with a 3/4 lap around the track.
For the first 5 miles, I carried a gatorade-water mix. Even though it was cold, I sweat like crazy and I didn't want a repeat of the Akron Half (they ran out of water). I figured I would drink the first 5 miles and then pass off my bottle to Greg. I couldn't have been happier to get that damn bottle out of my hands. I don't know why it bothered me so much, but if the thing hadn't cost me $12, it would have been chucked off into the landscaping along Tylersville Blvd at mile 2. I could have just been grumpy because my stomach was throwing all kinds of fits. For breakfast I had peanut butter on toast, which statistically isn't turning out to be a good pre-race meal for me.
After I got rid of the dern water-bottle and saw Greg, I was better. I felt like I could concentrate on getting through the race. I caught up to a guy (who's name was Mike) and his trainer (who kept saying 'Come on Mike!'). I felt good passing him, though it was the slowest pass on record. He passed me back right after that on a hill, but then I passed him back for good. During miles 6 - 8 we were in this park that is wooded, ROLLING and curvy. I felt like I was a marble, at the complete mercy of the elevation– either rolling downhill or struggling to get uphill using the momentum from the previous downhill.
After emerging from the park, I caught up and passed another girl who kept walking. I was worried she'd have some sort of kick at the end and pass me back and crush my spirits, but she didn't. Greg ran with me for a little bit in front of the school before I got onto the track and finished, uh... strong? Not really. Longest 3/4 lap of track ever. I was happy to be done.
After the race I got a banana and started shivering. It was cold. My legs felt like someone suddenly poured cement into them, and though I should have walked a lot more, we hopped into the car and went home. I took a nice long hot shower and then we got Chipotle. Doing errands the rest of the afternoon helped me to not stiffen up too much. I was never very sore, but today when I ran my legs were sooo tight.
Overall, it was fine. Just a hard race to get excited about when there are only 280 people and you're slow. I did it and I'm glad I did it. The money went to the Epilepsy Foundation and I got a cool shirt. And I might add that I have the best race-watching husband ever! Greg stood out in the cold during my slooooow coverage of the distance and cheered me on! I definitely wouldn't have wanted to do it without him there! It makes all the difference!
I don't know what's next. I need to devise some sort of plan to get through this winter. It might just be a numbers game. My goal, which I've mentioned before, is to get fast enough that Greg can run with me without feeling like he's shuffling by Spring. Also, I want to see how far I can run. That's fun to do when there isn't pressure of a race and timing. And don't say I'm crazy because I think that running far is fun!