My twin sister, Rebecca, asked me earlier in the week if I would run an 8K with her in Richmond this weekend. At first I was hesitant because I had promised by legs a break this week since I raced hard this past Sunday. However, it's rare that we get to do something like this together so I told her that I would, but we'd make sure that we went nice and easy and simply enjoyed the race.
Friday night I arrived at her house around 9:00 PM. I wasn't particularly sleepy so I decided to enjoy a couple of cold ones a stay up another hour or so. By the time I was getting ready to call it a night my brother came home from work. It's not often that we get to catch up so we had a couple drinks and caught up....then my sister got home.....then the pizza and cards came out....before we knew it the time was 2:30 AM, not too far from our 5 AM departure.
We woke up and got ready as fast as we could. By the time we headed out the door, we were cutting it pretty close. The pizza and beer sat in my stomach like a brick. I made myself eat a small banana, but that was all I wanted. I figured that'd be sufficient fuel for a 5 miler.
We didn't make it to the race on time. Surprise, Surprise. So we decided that we'd just run the half marathon starting 30 minutes after the 8K! (I swear, it seemed like a totally awesome, fun idea at the time). We headed to the start and made it just in time for the gun to go off, no warm-up, no stretching.
Seconds before we the race started. We look tired.
Since we decided to just go out and have fun, I opted not to put my iPod on. This is the first time in a race that I've done this. It was really nice actually. I enjoyed people watching, talking to my sister, and listening to other's running around me. I made it sans tunes until Mile 8 when I started to get bored.
Dehydrated from my antics the night before, I anxiously awaited every single water station. I made sure to walk through them, drink slow and drink a lot. This seemed to work well for me, especially since I wasn't hauling any sort of ass that morning, but we all know what issues this could cause.
Around mile 6 of the race my legs started to get heavy. I was cursing myself for only eating a banana pre race and not having any gels on me. A mile or so later, I saw a gel station and ran anxiously toward it. ....not a fan of ANY chocolate gels. My options were limited and I knew I needed a pick up so I opened it up and tried some. I can only describe it as a warm chocolate milkshake sliding down my throat. Seriously not good. I drank some water with it and we continued on our way.
We took lots of breaks for pictures. :-)
That gel worked wonders. I had a burst of energy and wanted to pound the remainder of the race out. We had a good pace...until I felt my stomach get angry at me for last night's greasy, dairy-filled indulgence and the warm chocolate I just put on top of that. I found myself running, searching for relief (sorry if this makes you uncomfortable but I have never met a runner who hasn't had a case of the runner's trots and hell, everybody poops). The pain...oh goodness.
I didn't see any porta pottys, so the first open establishment was it., A damn laundry mat. (Totally random they were open...) The owners were very nice and let me use their restroom.....I could have kissed them. They practicly saved my life. at least my pride.
Now, lighter on my feet (haha!) we were ready to finish the race (what an amazinly awesome down hill finish) and had a great time. This may be the first race that I run and just didn't care what my time was (and honestly had no clue the entire time). My sister and I had a ton of fun. We stopped to stretch, drink water, take pictures, and catch some great sight seeing.
Despite my stomach being in knots the remainer of the day and a toe nail that's decided it no longer wants to be attached I'm glad I did the race. However, next time I'll prepare just a tad bit better.