K1 had a Cross Country meet at 8 am in which we needed to be there at 7 am. It's a tough course with lots of hills, washed out areas, deep sand, and mud puddles. Yuck! By the time her group was up to run, the sun was really shining and baking all the kids. She made the 2 mile mark in under 26 minutes - this is actually good for her this season with her IT band injury - but then she disappeared. Her coach and I kept looking at each other trying to figure out what happened. I feared that she hurt herself again, but right about 40 minutes she appeared. I told her what her time was and she still had about 400 meters to go. She groaned and said, "Darn. I wanted to get under 40. Oh well." Then she trotted off to the finish line with a smile on her face. Bizarre behavior. She was actually very happy with this race, mostly because she finished without being in pain for the first time this season. The reason she disappeared, and what really put the smile on her face, was because she stopped to encourage another girl (from another team) to finish the race. I wanted to be mad at her for sacrificing her time for another team, but I really couldn't be especially after the girl came up to her and thanked her over and over again. What a big heart my girl has.
After all that was over, we needed to race home and get our stuff and on the road to Disney. (Insert Drama Here) Upon arriving, I discovered that I forgot a lot of stuff. Most importantly, my socks. How can I run without socks? Thank goodness Fit2Run was at the expo and I picked up a pair - not cheap, but necessary. I've discovered that night races are not easy. I was a nervous wreck already because I was still unsure if I was going to be able to do the entire 10 miles. Then there was the question of what should I eat and how late? It didn't help that our hotel room wasn't ready and I was already wound up from all the drama. We decided to cool off at the pool while we waited for our room. That helped, but then I was obsessing over not getting sunburned before the race. We eventually got checked into the room and then went to get dinner. I settled on a kids meal (everything else was just too big!) and then went back to the room to nap. Or at least try to. I couldn't sleep. Finally it was time to head over to the park for the race. (insert more drama here) We couldn't find the bus stop and I started panicking that I wasn't going to get there on time. We eventually made our way back to the main lobby and found a bus. Whew. Then it was time to wait.
Wait in line for the bag check. Wait in line for photos. Wait for the race to start. There was a lot of waiting. It was all a bit overwhelming with over 10,000 runners and their cheering sections. Hubby decided to abandon me and K1 and take K2 back to the hotel. I'm sure I can use this as leverage should we ever get divorced.
The race was divided up into waves. 2 wheelchair starts, and then 4 corrals of starts. Each of the groups got their own starting fireworks, which I thought was really cool. What wasn't cool was how loud the speakers were. Ouch! I was ready to get out there and put my headphones on to save my ears. It wasn't easy getting so many people started, so I just took it easy and jogged my way out of the crowd. I ran the first 1.5 miles without stopping to walk - a first for me. I then tried to pace myself and stretch out my runs to each mile marker and water stop. The temps were still pretty warm, but the humidity was really awful. There were lots of warnings about taking walk and water breaks to keep everyone safe, which I appreciated.
I was really second guessing the whole race up until about mile 4 because I was so hot. My asthma was actually not doing too bad and my legs felt fine, but I was definitely overheating. I'm glad I decided against taking my camera, because it was all I could do to focus on the running. I felt bad for some of the people in costumes. They looked miserable. By the time I passed the 4 mile marker, I was only sipping water and then using the rest to pour over my head. I may have been drenched by the end of the race, but it really did help.
By the time I reached the 6.5 mile mark at the ESPN Sports Center stadium, I was feeling pretty good. No pain and for the first time, I felt like it was easier to keep running than to stop for a walk break. K1 was a trooper and got herself onto a bus to be there at the stadium. It was a late night for her, but she hung in there. She asked if I was dying and I was able to smile, wave, and say, "Nope, I feel great!" I did stop at the second First Aid tent and put some Biofreeze on my legs. They felt ok, but getting a little tired. I was surprised to see how many people were having to stop to massage out cramps and get treatments. I did hear lots of people chatting prior to the race about how little they run. I had been training for this for months and I'm glad I did. About the 9 mile mark my toes started hurting a little, but not real pain.
Just after midnight, I was able to cross the finish line smiling, feeling good, and NOT INJURED! Of course, I was quickly reminded of what I had just put my legs through when I started down the stairs of the Indiana Jones theater to get my checked bag. Ouch! I didn't stay for the party since Kassidy was waiting, but I was ok with that. We got back to the hotel, showered, and then I spent the next 30 minutes stretching out. The rest of the night I kept waking up to go to the bathroom from drinking so much water. Sunday, I was a little sore, but not in pain. I felt great about my accomplishment. My biggest disappointment was running by myself. I like running with a partner. It keeps me motivated. However, I finished and in better time than I thought I would, especially for as hot as it was and it being so late at night.What's next? Time to rest a little and then start training for my first half marathon!