This time last week I had never even heard of a metric marathon, and now I know what they are, and have completed one! I was pretty nervous because for a super type A crazy person like me, completing such a long race without training was unheard of. Also, Mike called me saturday to inform me that they had no record of my registration due to some online glitch, therefore no bib, no timing chip, and worst of all, NO TSHIRT! That's the biggest reason I run a race! So, now I was going to be a bandit, since they had told him if I ran anyway I would be pulled off the course (um, isn't this race on public streets?). I'm not exactly a rule breaker or good with confrontation so this pretty much went against every aspect of my personality. But, I did get wild the night before, when Casi showed up with a diet dr. pepper, which she was nice enough to wait in the long Chik-Fil-A drive through line to get for us. So, I broke my rule of no soda the day before a race, and basically things were totally out of control.
Casi and I made Autumn Mac & Cheese for dinner - this might be the best mac & cheese I have ever had, and that's saying A LOT, because both my mother and mother in law are masters at this dish. But, of course my biggest complaint with the usual method is it's a meal with no veggies, and this recipe was loaded with them. The combos were so unusual (butternut squash + brussel sprouts?) but they all came together and it was seriously out of this world delicious. We served it over spinach and Casi came up with the brilliant idea of adding raisins, which somehow improved on the perfection. We used gorgonzola instead of cheddar, (the fancy kind from Wegmans cheese shop!), and probably used half as much as the recipe called for. I want to make this for every dinner for the rest of my life. Casi also made us an amazing pumpkin ice cream cake with gingersnap crust for dessert, and luckily she also served it, which meant I got a normal grown up size piece, not an Alyssa - five - times -normal - size piece. We watched Sex and the City 2, just as good as it was in the theater, obviously, and I was in bed by around 11.
I got up around 6, had a cup of coffee and a sandwich thin with peanut butter and banana on half, pumpkin butter and raisin on the other. The standard pre -race/long run breakfast. I headed down to Mike's and got there around 7:20. He insisted on giving me his bib and timing chip, so he turned into the bandit, and I turned into Mike Joyce, as far as the race was concerned. This was probably a good choice, because he was prepared to go ape sh!t if a race official questioned him (especially since it was their mistake to begin with!), whereas I was prepared to start crying and beg them not to take me to race jail. The timing chips were D-tags, which go around your shoelaces, so his was the extra piece that has the directions that you are supposed to throw away. As soon as we got in line for the porta potties, a race official started bugging him about uncrinkling it, super concerned that he wouldn't get his time, and wouldn't leave him alone until he fixed it. He didn't have a bib, but so many people were wearing layers that it wasn't noticeable. I was SO SAD to see that the shirts were super cute (Mike even tried to switch his for one in my size, but they were out - isn't he sweet?) but psyched to take out the competition in my age group. I figured that men age 55-59 gives me probably the best chance to place that I've ever had, right?
At 8:15 we were off! My hands and feet were completely numb until mile 2, and then I finally warmed up. Mike and I weren't talking too much so I was tempted to take out my ipod but that's a habit I really want to break. After about mile 3, I completely forgot about it! We chatted a bit with each other and other runners, but during silence I was content to just enjoy the run. Maybe at first I just needed a distraction from the cold. The course was gorgeous but fairly hilly. The sky was perfectly blue, the sun was shining, and all the changing leaves made it a perfect running day. I was really thinking about how much I love running and turned to Mike to one point to ask how could anyone NOT love it? They are seriously missing out!
I took two Gus (my new favorite - espresso love!) and tried Gatorade. This was a big deal because I had two really bad stomach experiences, luckily after crossing the finish, at races which had powerade, so I had avoided sports drinks like the plague since the Baltimore Ten Miler, on my birthday in June. But after reading this blog post about how much gatorade improved performance, I decided it was time to try it. Success - no stomach issues! We kept up around a ten minute mile pace until Mile 14, when Mike told me he could tell I had a lot of energy left and told me to go ahead. I felt fantastic, I had been keeping a 9:30 pace and it actually felt easy. I headed out and completed mile 15 in 8:57 (and that included a water stop and putting on my ipod!) and mile 16 (which had some hills) in 7:53!! (Although I get totally called out for dancing to Defying Gravity after the race). I was seriously in shock, especially considering my lack of training. I sprinted to the finish, at which point they read off my bib number, and I was so worried they were going to announce "and coming across the finish....Mike Joyce???" but luckily they didn't! I got in the super long line for the AWESOME post race meal - pizza and chocolate animal crackers plus being completely out of any sort of hydration. Um, WTF? Luckily Mike finished around that time so we headed to the car and back to his house.
Total Stats(according to Garmin):
2 hours, 41 minutes, 50 seconds
9:58 average pace
Chip Time (for Mike Joyce) 2:42:30.
Overall, a decent race and I had a great time!