Sunday morning came early and I woke up with that feeling of excitement that comes on race day morning. It’s only that kind of adrenaline fed excitement that could ever get me out of the bed at 4:45am. Plus, I think my new blue compression socks had a little something to do with it…
I could tell you all about the problems I started having a few weeks ago with swelling veins and pain, but I’d just be telling you that I am getting old and my body is starting to fall apart. So instead, I’ll just tell you that I bought these fun colored compression socks by CEP that changed my world Sunday.
Last year I barely arrived in time to get to my corral before the race started, but not this year! We were super early and had the chance to go hang out at the start line before the crowds really started showing up.
As much fun as it was to be there early, it also allowed more time for my excitement to be blurred with some anxiousness. Before too many nerves set in though I had fun meeting up with all of my co-workers, other ACS teammates, and coaches. Plus, the bonus to this was meeting in hotel lobby where we all got to use a REAL restroom before the race started. What a treat!
And on that note, I’ll jump ahead for just a second and tell you how you can spot a rooky at a race, they complain about nasty port-o-potty’s. I got a good giggle out this about mid-way through the race. Hahahahahaa!
As we all dispersed to our various corrals, the nerves started ramping up. Tears welled up in my eyes as thoughts of freedom and thankfulness for all of our Veteran’s pressed on my heart when we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem.
This is a view from corral 11 out of 30 something corrals. It was a new feeling for me to be so anxious about a run, but I was ready to puke right about this time.
I was scoping out the crowd for some of the fun famous faces that were there, but I never saw any of them. However, it was very cool to know I was running alongside Jo Dee Messina, who was headlining just after finishing the half <—crazy lady! and Biggest Loser Winner Dan ran on behalf of Team Future.
And just like that the elite runners in corral 1 were off and every 36 seconds, another group was off. As I neared the start line, I started my playlist and headed out. The anxious nerves and nauseousness waned as I got going and as always I had to fight the normal mind battle for the first one or two miles.
“What are you doing, Amy? You’re not really ready for this. You have heavy legs already, just think how mile 3-13 are going to feel.”
“Shut the heck up, Amy and keep moving!”
It always goes something like that. This will not be a mile-by-mile recap but I’ll do my best to squeeze in some highlights.
At the expo I saw a t-shirt that said “I run because it’s cheaper than therapy.” There is no truer statement in the world, friends. As I ran the course, it was no different from any other run I have set on, except maybe on a grander scale. I pretty much evaluate my whole life and how I have gotten to where I am and dream about where I might be going. This is fun sometimes and sometimes not so fun.
Since I had not really made it to many of the organized practices, I made it a point to stop and introduce myself to anyone else in a Team DetermiNation shirt. Everyone had a great story of inspiration, whether they were cancer survivors or running in honor or memory of a loved one, each one encouraged me immensely.
Yesterday I was reflecting on the overall experience. I knew my training hadn’t been quite what it should and so as friends asked prior to race day whether I had a goal or pace I was shooting for, I kept saying “no, just to finish the race.” But disappointment set in immediately as I crossed the finish line because I knew my pace was slower than the year before. Although, I had said just finishing was my goal, there was a hope deep inside that I might could pull off something just a tad better than last year.
And then someone handed me Refuel Chocolate milk and I forgot all about my dispair. I’ll run for chocolate milk anyday.
Seriously though I realized, I just ran 13.1 miles and THAT is something that makes me happy! Plus, I had the best looking supporter out there. Thanks Rock N Roll and Competitor Series for a fun time and some great memories!
I loved my playlist. I’ll share it in a future post, but just to peak your interest, I’ll tell you I timed it just right so that T.I. and J.T. were telling me I was “Winner, Winner, Winner” as I was crossing that dadgum finish line. Do you have a fun inspirational song you like to power you through the last stretch of a run or race? I’m always looking for some good ones.