I FINISHED that marathon, made it by midnight, & earned my little tiara, YEEEEAAAAHH!!! I also had an AWESOME time meeting other Sparkers! WOOT WOOT!! I've waited a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to get this opportunity!
We left on Saturday morning for Becki's house (Marathon_Mom). She had invited some of us runners over to her house for a pre-race get-together. We got there a bit later than anticipated, but I was able to meet Becki, Runtrilaugh (Wendy), IMARUNR, CCSDESTINY, & Suezette-414. The kids had a blast playing in Becki's pool, & the food was GREAT! Thanks to Becki & her hubby grilling for us! What an awesome bunch of people!
Took a few pics on the drive:
This one was very interesting.... and a bit disgusting! GATOR JERKY?? FOR REAL?? I lived in FL before, but I never knew they had such a thing!
GEORGIA!! HERE WE COME!
Then it was off to check into our hotel & get ready for that run! Then we headed to the Clubhouse at the subdivision where the race was held, where I picked up my race packet, & pinned my bib on. In all my nervous excitement, I really did not take very many pictures, but DH did snap one of me right before the race:
I did NOT want to put any pressure on myself time-wise, so I planned to take this as a very slow long training run. I left myself plenty of time to take it really slow & easy, & still be back by midnight. =) With the heat, humidity & hills, I did NOT want to push it. It was over 90° earlier in the day before I started, & had cooled down just a little before I started, but was still terribly humid!
Well, off I went! Right off the bat, I got a slight case of side-stitches. They last pretty much the whole first lap, then subsided, thankfully. They weren't so bad, but just annoying. I think it was all the excitement! On top of that, I also felt queasy from the get-go too.... REALLY queasy! Like I might have to throw up at any moment! Even the thought of nibbling on my organic energy bars for fuel made my stomach turn!! BLECH! I don't know if it was the heat & humidity, or the nervous-excitement, or the fact that I ate a bit more sugar before the race than I normally do.... no idea, but UUUGGGHH! Felt like I was gonna need to hurl in the bushes!! So I didn't eat ANYTHING, didn't fuel at all, just kept chugging fluids like CRAZY!! I refilled my water bottle multiple times to keep myself hydrated. The cold water from the stations was the BEST, & helped the queasiness a little.
But in spite of not feeling well, I kept truckin' along. I was going at a very slow pace (for me), but steadily moving forward. There were 2 MONSTER hills on the course, in addition to a whole bunch of other hilly parts. It was no easy course. But my reserved pace kept it doable. The 4th round started getting TOUGH! I thought for sure I would need to stop & walk the hills, but I just kept jogging up them. The only point where I walked was about 100 meters maybe, when my Garmin was being finicky, & I had to fiddle with it to get it to work right. Other than that, I ran the whole way. When someone told me I only had 3 miles left, it gave me the courage to pick up my pace!! I was even able to run strongly up the MONSTER HILL right at the end!
Gotta love a STRONG FINISH!
Afterwards, I hung out with the other runner girls, cheering the other people coming into the finish line, chatting about the race, dancing to the DJ. =) We then took some pictures of all the Marathon Maniacs (I'm not one.... YET!!), & I got a pic with the girls.
L-R = Becki, Wendy, ME, Suezette, Jeanine & Chandra.
And THEEEEEENNNN, the awards came. They only award first place awards, since the focus of the race is not to be competitive. And since I had taken it "easy" in my mind, I was totally shocked when they called MY NAME as the winning overal woman!! WHAT?? So, not only did I get a tiara, I got a clock with the medal mounted on the front! LOL My smile says it all, right?
Good times!! Running with friends around is just AWESOME!! I do need to work on taking more pictures, though! I get so focused on the run, I forget..... =) GREAT RUN!