I woke up at 4:30am to Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and immediately chugged a giant glass of water before staggering downstairs to make coffee. Coffee with cream, two mini chocolate bars and a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar is all it took for Poo #1. I drank a big glass of Nuun and had Poo #2. Then I had a shower, got dressed, and woke Andrew up to get ready to go. We scooped up Callum and put him into the warm running van and started driving toward the border at around 6am.
Thankfully Callum stayed asleep until the stupid ass border guy with a big loud booming voice woke him up when he asked us questions about where we were going. He’s all, “You’re going to leave your kid with his dad while you run? Do you trust him for that long?” The border is not the place to be argumentative, but oh the things I wanted to say to that man. Parents can have penises too, dumbass. I know a few mothers that shouldn’t be left alone with their kids.
Callum fell back asleep and we drove to the package pickup without a hitch. I grabbed my stuff (the weirdest race swag EVERRRR) and then we stopped at Starbucks for Poo #3.
We found a parking spot at the start line, got in line for a port-a-potty and squeaked out a pee just in the nick of time to hear the national anthem. But then? I forgot that my gels were still in the van! So I ran back to the van to grab them while I heard the announcer count down to the start, “10-9-8…” I grabbed my gels. “7-6-5…” I slammed the van door shut and started running to the start line. “4-3-2…” I jumped over the ropes and got in line just in time to…drop my gels on the ground while I fumbled around with my headphones and Garmin “1…GO!” And off I went with no gels. ARGHHH.
I was in second place until mile 9 where I decided to surge past the first place woman and earn myself a cyclist escort. Then at about mile 12, some young little blonde thing absolutely fucking BLEW BY ME like Usain Bolt in a kindergarten PE class. At the turn-around point, she smiled and waved at me, gave me the thumbs up and shouted a cheery, “Way to go! Looking goooood!” while I was choking back the burbling puke, dragging my stiff and decrepit legs behind me in a sorry effort to stay in the game.
By about mile 6 I knew I was out for a sub-3. By about mile 14 I knew I was out for a PR. But as far as I knew at that point, I was still in second place with the first woman so far ahead of me that I’d never catch up.
At mile 14 I stopped my music but kept my headphones in and promised myself that I could listen to music again when I hit mile 20. Just before that point, I heard the third place woman’s mother tell her (which helped me figure out that she was literally RIGHT behind me), “Stay on her heels. Don’t let her out of your sight and let her pull you to the finish, and kick it at the end.” It’s all I needed to hear to leave her in the dust.
With each curve in the road, the woman in third place became less of a threat as I put more and more distance between us. I loved that we both fed each other energy during the race, pushing each other to work hard and dig deep.
I finished strong and smiling in 3:09:15 and I’m really happy with how it went.
I loved seeing Andrew and Callum out there and I couldn’t have done it without Andrew’s help. It’s not easy waking up at 5am to look after a toddler out on a race course for that long.
I was rewarded with another bobble head and a $75 gift certificate to the local running store down there!
Have any of you been late for a race start? Or drop gels on the course?
Do you perform better when there’s competition or does the pressure get to you?