Today I had a quiet day nursing my sore back. Yesterday I completed my third half marathon (a big accomplishment!) in three hours and thirteen minutes! That’s a pace of 14 minutes and 44 seconds per mile. Since I mostly walk my half marathons rather than run them – that’s a very good pace for me!
The day started off with my fellow
gluttons for punishment half marathoners and I on Team $1 Sushi (more on the team name in a minute) queuing up before the race. Katie, Shelley and I were in it for the entire 13.1 mile distance. Bliss and JoAnne were planning a less insane more manageable goal of half of a half (6.55 miles). The weather was cold, but the day had dawned bright and sunny and would be warming up quickly, so I didn’t want to overdress and overheat later in the race. I opted for shorts and my long sleeve race shirt (a moisture wicking high performance shirt by Brooks). I started out with another long sleeve cotton shirt over that.
So Team $1 Sushi, you ask? Well, there’s a story behind that. Shelley had emailed me about signing up for the Run Like a Girl Half Marathon a few days before Katie, Bliss, JoAnne and I (and a few other fabulous women who opted not to do the race) were to meet up for a Sushi Happy Hour that features $1 per piece sushi. I pitched the idea to them – because they are all trying hard like me to stay fit. They loved the idea (at least back then they did) and Team $1 Sushi was born.
So, back to race day. The race kicked off with a serenade by the Firefighters Pipes and Drums band. If we weren’t already awake from the cold air, we were now! They play well, but let’s admit it, bagpipes and snare drums are loud! And not really very soothing. Then we all posed for a group picture (ladies are much more into group pics – this would be tougher in a co-ed race). And then we lined up to begin the
torture session race.
We set out at 9:10 am. Bliss and JoAnne wanted to do a bit slower pace, so Katie and Shelley and I set out a bit ahead of them. We chitter chattered, and soon ‘the rules’ were formed. We would push ourselves to jog as much as we felt we could – anybody could call for a tiny little jog, and anyone could call for the end of it. So the jogging stints became known as “Tinies.” “Tiny On,” was the call to begin jogging, and “Tiny Off” was the call to stop. And we continued that tradition for the rest of the race.
Early on, Katie found her inspiration in the ‘Cool Pants Lady.’ It started out as doing a “Tiny On”, just until we caught up with Cool Pants Lady. Cool Pants Lady was about 60 – so this seemed like a reasonable goal. And we did catch up – but little did we know that Cool Pants Lady was just in her warm up phase – pretty soon she pulled away again and smoked us! After we got smoked by Cool Pants Lady, we caught up to a girl I went to high school with named Renee and her friend – we were pretty neck and neck for awhile, but then we started pulling away! We were their inspiration and setting the pace, and it was hysterical when Katie stopped to tie her shoe and Renee’s friend cried out, “One of them is down – one down!” But nope, Katie was back up and doing a “Tiny” to catch up!
This half marathon was a blast, all the aid stations had fun themes – we got lei’d at mile 2, at mile four we got chocolate and a raffle ticket for a “Margarita” prize, the turnaround at mile 6.55 had a photo op with one of the boot camp trainers in town – and he was dressed in drag! Mile 8 had more chocolate and another raffle ticket for a pedicure prize, and mile 11 had a tiara! We were cheered on with cowbells, and the support of all the ladies we passed and were passed by. And last by not least, the peek-a-boo views of the bay and the islands were fantastic! Nothing like a view to take your mind off the misery.
I wanted to do my best to push as hard as I could for time, so towards the end I did some very long “Tinies.” Katie started making whiny gutteral sounds during Mile 11, as her motivation was flagging – I was sure for a short period of time that I would die! I’m not sure where I found the strength, but I ended up jogging most of mile twelve! Not fast, but faster than a walk! I am very proud of myself – and am excited about my 3 hour, 13 minute finish!
At the finish line, we got a daisy necklace as a finisher medal, put on by a firefighter. And we all finished – the sweetest success for Team $1 Sushi!
P.S. Some of you may be wondering about the title… It is no secret that I’m short, and Jon calls my short arms and short legs ‘the nubs.’ So somehow it just seemed fitting…