But the Rock n Roll yesterday? It felt like a Big Deal. It felt like a RACE.
Me and Ann: Ready to go!
There were eleventy-bazillion people there. With a projected finish time of 2:20, I was in corral number 24! We started about 40 minutes after the starting gun.
Finally! The starting line in sight!
There were all kinds of fun things that surprised me about the race. There were fun cheering sections! Cheerleaders from high schools in the regions dressed up all crazy and were hollering at us to "Keep truckin' all the way!" Because there were so many people running, there was a huge "wave" to ride as far as just keeping pace with the people around me. There were a few times when I was blown away not only by the sea of different colored t-shirts snaking along the course, but the sound of everyone's feet hitting the pavement in some sort of organized chaos in the lull between bands and conversations.
There was a surreal part too. The course took us through a tunnel on I-90, and I felt like I was hallucinating for 3/4 of a mile. The yellow tunnel lights made it seem creepy, and there was a dj mixing at the mouth of the tunnel. The thump thump thumping of house music reverberated around me and everyone looked like they were going up and down in slow motion in the dim lights. So. Trippy. I had to remind myself twice that I would be out of the tunnel soon.
There were parts that sucked too. Whoever told me that it was an easy course and there was only the one hill as the course follows the I-90 on ramp? I shake my fist at you emphatically. The course was hilly! Some of them gradual and long, some of them short and steep. Hills. I would not have minded being more prepared for that, although, maybe not knowing was best since I just tried to keep my eyes down and my knees up.
I had to stop at a Porta-potty along the way, and let me go ahead and tell you, that was not the best part of the race. It took minutes waiting in line etc. and then I had to deal with all the Nervous Tummies that went before me. Ew. Between that and having to stop for an ambulance, I had about 5 minutes of wasted time. Which isn't the worst that could have happened, for sure.
As I was crossing the finish line, the first marathoners were crossing, and boy, that was cool. Those guys were SO FAST and SO FIT. They were finishing around 3:00:00 or faster. Amazing.
I finished in 2:19:43 which is about 0:2:30 better than four weeks ago on a MUCH harder course. I'll call that a victory.
After a brief consideration of starting marathon training right away, I've decided I'm not going to mind hanging up my long-distance running shoes for a while.
At least until my blisters heal.