Saturday, October 16, 2010
This is the half marathon I missed last year because of traffic. So this year I signed up and my uncle decided he would sign up too since he had never done a half marathon before. As soon as he did, my personal goal for the race changed. I was no longer focused on how fast I would complete it. I was now focused on helping him have a great experience.
So we got on the road this morning at 6:40 to catch a shuttle bus to the site. After seeing the traffic last year, I decided this would be the best course of action. We park and get on the next available bus. They make announcements and off we go. I knew they would travel some streets off the beaten path to keep from getting caught in traffic. Well, we head the right direction and at some point there is a long pause. Then the driver turns into a subdivision and proceeds to turn around. Oh dear. Then he makes another odd turn. The passenger in front of us goes up to talk with him and directs him to the race site. Then with a police officer in front of him directing traffic and a motorcycle officer ready to escort him, he tries to get into the lane of TRAFFIC! Anyone remember the Kingston Trio's song "MTA" with Charlie? We felt like him.
We do FINALLY arrive and we still had plenty of time. It was COLD this morning and so we were dressed for that. The area was gorgeous with autumn colors and is partially run in a state park. I did discover one thing. Hills are NOT my strong point. I started getting bruises on the balls of my feet and that made it rough. We did however maintain the required 17 minute mile pace well enough to stay ahead of the trailing vehicle. As we headed toward the finish, my uncle asked if I wanted to run to the finish line. I said I would as soon as I could see it because I didn't want to wear myself out and have to walk across it. We did run the last .2/mile and I reminded myself why I want to run. It is SO exhilarating to run - I just love it. With less weight, I could do lots more of it.
We finished together and gave each other a high five. It was really fun to walk with someone and chat the whole way. I have not had that experience before since I always do these myself. I meet strangers and chat but it is different when it's a family member. So it was a great time. I hope he and I can do another event sometime soon. Right now he works weekends so it's tough for him to take time off (plus he loses pay since he's part time without benefits). But I hope we can find something again.