As The Big Day drew closer, Hubby had to hear about shoes, sports bras, aches & pains, nervousness, what I was eating, how it was affecting me, and of course, the question every woman eventually asks before a big event (let's say it together), "What should I wear?" As luck would have it, the weather turned a bit cool in the 24 hours leading up to the race. Okay, you northern folks, no laughing (too much) here! We were expecting highs in the 40s the morning of the race. What??? Seriously??
So out I went the day before the race (a bundle of nerves already), to find long something-or-anothers to wear. What do runners wear when it's cold? Too bulky and you're weighted down. Too tight, and the guy behind you sees, well, your behind(!), too long and you have to worry about tripping. You get the idea! Armed with 15 or so pairs of somethings, I headed in for the dressing room drama to begin.....
Ninety minutes later, I emerged, victorious, with a pair of not too bulky, not too tight, not too long something-or-anothers, and headed for the register. Aaahhh, just right, and not too $$ (bonus!).
I slept little that night (not a good practice before a race, I'm certain), and like a kid on Christmas morning, I bound from the bed at o'dark thirty, ready to get ready! Now, the next dilemma... what should I eat? (not eating was out of the question), coffee or no coffee?, how much water? Decisions were made in the next hour or so: a little cereal, a few sips of coffee and water, and putting on those layers (along with the new something-or-anothers to keep my legs warm). Note: I learned from THIS race to put the LS t-shirt OVER the short sleeve, so you can pull the layers OFF as you run your race, and your body heats up)! Hat on? Yep. New sneaks laced up? Yep. (I had dutifully been breaking them in for the past 48 hours.) My very helpful local running retailer, Track Shack, warned me against wearing brand new running shoes on the day of race -not a good idea! Thanks, guys! And finally, The Bib. The Hubby helped me pin it on, and I felt like I did the first time I earned a Girl Scout badge (remember that, ladies??), so proud, like I was part of the in-crowd!
With The Hubby in his wool coat and warm hat, and coffee in hand, out the door we headed - like a dad and his very excited little kid! We made our way through the park to the starting area and my nerves increased as the minutes decreased; porta potties became my best friend (and let me tell you, I was not alone in those lines!) Seems race-day jitters get the best of many folks. How many times can a person "tinkle" in 10 minutes time?? Well, I'm here to tell you... several!
But eventually, each runner must find his or her place in the "corral" (yes, think: herd animals!), based on how long they expect to take to finish the race. Ha! I headed as far back as I possibly could!
In a few more minutes, the announcer boomed, "Two minutes to start time!" and with that, everyone shuffled around, doing a little dance to calm the nerves and keep warm! "Snap!" went the gun, and like a slow-moving centipede, the throng of runners began to move forward. My stomach rolled over... "Oh no! Am I going to be sick??" Nope! Nerves gave way to pure excitement and adrenaline as I began to shuffle with the crowd toward the starting line.....