Training Day: 134
Time: 2 hrs, 22 min
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Weather: Mostly clear, mid 50s to high 70s
How It Felt: My muscles and cardio felt fantastic, but my stupid knee decided to start giving me grief halfway through.
Commentary: The half marathon race day info said the main parking lot by the start line opened at 4am and closed at 5am. I set my watch alarm for 4am, figuring I’d wake up, drive straight there and nap until I needed to get up and get my poop in a group.
I went to bed overly warm and sticky. It took me a while to fall asleep. Then I kept waking up, peeling my legs apart and rearranging myself. Sometime in the middle of the night it cooled down enough for me to sleep okay.
My watch vibrated once, and only once. It usually keeps going for alarms. I jerked awake and looked at the time – 5am! Luckily I’d set my normal wake-up time on my watch for 4am, so at 5am it buzzed to tell me to drink water.
In a frenzy I tore the shades off my windows and tore down the road. After the main lot closed you had to go to the “other” lot and take a shuttle. It was over 20 minutes away, and the last shuttle left at 5:45am. I began to panic.
I turned off the main highway toward the “other” lot, which also happened to be the road to the main lot. I saw people turning in and volunteers directing them on where to park. Whew! I thanked my lucky stars and started to calm down.
At 6:20am my friend and I crossed the start line. We ran together for about ten minutes, and then parted ways to go our own pace. Despite my tiring Friday, I felt pretty damn good! I kept my pace under 11 min/mi, and the miles seemed to fly by.
About halfway my knee got a wee niggle. Less than a mile later it straight up hurt. I paused to quickly stretch, and started pounding pavement again. I did them every mile for the next three miles. Then the pain got so bad I took 15-second walk breaks every few minutes and stretched every mile and a half or so.
By the last mile I had to take a few walk breaks. But I managed to cross the finish line in less than 2.5 hours, which was my goal.
At around mile ten I’d been running 1 hour and 49 minutes. A decade ago I finished my first half marathon in that time. Instead of being better and reminiscing about the good old days, I smiled and was proud of myself for how far I’ve come in the past four and a half months.
Anyway, at the finish line I parked myself near the finish corral exit, hoping it would make it wast for my friend to find me. She wasn’t feeling well before the race, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take her.
Three hours after we started I decided to get in line for the Grand Teton Half Marathon sign photo op. I texted her and told her where I was. About 15 minutes later she texted back and told me she was already at her car.
While I was disappointed, I also understand that she wasn’t feeling well. And I also think she’s not the kind of person to get “sentimental” about these sorts of things and probably didn’t care that we didn’t meet up after the race. She is who she is, and she’s still my friend.
After an hour in line, I got my picture. And I must say, it was worth waiting for.
As soon as I got bussed back to my car I set my sights on Jackson Lake. There’s a nice spot to dip in the lake, and my horribly sticky, nasty body needed it.
The felt cold and amazing. Afterwards I chatted with a chick from the same neck of the woods in Virginia where I used to live.
Now I’m on top of Signal Mountain, parked next to the cell tower, playing games on my phone and writing this blog post. The higher elevation has great views and is cooler than my home last night. And it has a bathroom! Great end to a good day.
Endlessly seeking adventure.