I had to scrambled to get all three kids to friend's houses so they could get to their games or practices. They were all up by 6am on a Sat., not too thrilled with me. I get everyone where they need to be and I am off by 6:40, a little later than I should have left.
I arrive in Hartford at about 7:15 and notice that people are leaving the Civic Center with their bags. I am perplexed because I have run one of the races since 2001 and you could always pick up your number at the race start on race day. So I park anywhere I could and jog to the Civic Center and thank goodness I jogged because the line to pick up your race number was about 300 people long at 7:30am when the race is scheduled to start at 8:00am about a half a mile away!!! So basically I freaked but kept it all inside, got my number at about 7:45 and jetted over to the start. I threw on my chip and quickly pinned my number on, at 7:50 I ran to the UPS trucks to check my bag. Of course I had to pee, but no time allowed. I got to the very very back of the crowd and we started about 5-10 past 8am.
It sucked starting in the back, I had to dart and weave past a lot of walkers for the first two miles. I don't consider myself a running snob, I feel like if your fat ass is out there, then I'll be damned if someone should judge you for walking or jogging instead of "running". BUT as truth would have it, I am slightly a running snob. Trying to get past those damn walkers was a bitch.
Finally by about mile three, I was with other people going my pace, about 8:30/mile. I felt great!! The whole entire 13 miles was easy and fun. I think my long runs have been challenging because I haven't brought enough water/fluids with me. I drank on the course at least every mile, I think they had more water stops than miles even and I stopped at every stop.
Right after I finished I turned around and met my girlfriends at about mile 12, they were right behind me. We ran in together and I continued on to get 16 miles in so I could feel good about using this as my long run for the week. We then met up and enjoyed the most excellent race food. Whole foods market supplied the food and they served this cranberry cous cous that was amazing. I don't know what cous cous is and someone called one of the men I was hanging out with "gay" for eating it, but gay or not I love the stuff.
My friends and I headed back to the finish line to cheer on one of our friends that was finishing up the marathon. Unfortunately, my marathoner friend experienced the feared stomach cramps that can sometimes happen during a marathon and had a horrible pain for the last 16 miles. But she is incredible and finished the stupid marathon anyway! After we consoled her at the finish line, some of us ate some more food (me), while some of us drank some beer (everyone else!).
It was a beautiful day to run, 50s with a slight breeze. I have to complain about the marathon coordinators though this year. They did not have enough shirts. They said they will send me one and they better, that $50 race fee aint' for nothin'!! They also ran out of marathon medals with the clock not even being 5 hours and let me tell you those after 5 hours finishers deserve those damn medals! Also, I know we are trying to be environmentally conscious, but they did not provide water bottles at the end of the race, just drinking fountains. And working at a school, I know what can get on those fountains and it aint pretty.
My finishing time was 1:54, an 8:44/mile pace. I was 738th out of 2471 finishers! I was thrilled that I did not get tired the entire race. I guess those long runs are paying off!!