Once done I needed a few beers, Matt and Kim found a place not too far from the hotel and we played a round of darts while we waited for the rest of our group to show up. Most of us got pizza and we headed back to the hotel to rest up. Roomies for the night!
It was going to be an early morning since the race was at 7am and we had about a 30 minute drive from the hotel to the start. We had enough time to hit up the portapotty line, sorry for missing the blogger meetup which doesn't seem like it happened because we all suck! The day was turning out to be beautiful and the rain was going to hold off, the temps would be in the upper 40's which was perfect!!
We made it to the start and I still felt like something was off with me. I just wanted to do my best and enjoy the race atmosphere. About 2 steps into the race, my motto quickly became "Don't Poop My Pants", especially because the shorts under my skirt were WHITE, so I was going to stop at the first portapotties on the course. I spied them around 1.5 miles in and only one person was waiting outside, I started moving to the side and then three people in front of me headed over, CRAP! So I decided to wait, the next miles continued to wind through neighborhoods and then downtown which was amazing thanks to the crowd support. I started picking up my pace again thanks to the adrenaline.
We hit the park around mile 5 and I thought my GI issues had gone away. I was excited but wasn't sure if it would last as it was time to eat my first GU of the day. Another mile up the way I spied restrooms in the park and saw a few people coming out so I knew they were open. It was on an uphill so I took advantage and literally made a bee line right to the bathroom, only with little success.
But my stomach felt better and the few minutes I took felt worth it. I was excited to hit the first turnaround at mile 8 and was able to see everyone in our group. Amy Zem and Kim were flying and then right at the turnaround I spied Sarah, Matt & Rachel, who all passed me during my little bathroom break but I was happy for them all. Kathy was also right around behind me and we were all doing great so far! I sparked up a conversation with a fellow runner and we talked for about 2 miles about our issues we were having and encouraged each other on and she eventually went on ahead. I spied Linda, Amy Z and Joan after making the turn.
The park was so fun seeing all the other runners and all the costumes, there best were the beer girls holding stuffed steins with a sign "If your not running you should be drinking". It was nice to hear the waves crashing against the beach winding through the park as well, the only problem was the park was full of potholes and missing asphalt so it was pretty easy to take a digger. We rounded the hill up out the park and some spectators were yelling at those running on the outside of the cones. I yelled at them "I'm ahead so I'm gaining it back!" to which they laughed. I then had to stop to eat my second GU and knew I needed to walk thanks to my issues and Kathy passed me up.
Once I ate I was hoping I could finish out the course without walking again as we were now heading back into downtown with all the spectators and knew it was only a 5K left. I caught up with Kathy once I started running and we ran together for a bit after almost having to save her from a fall. We then were following the course from earlier in the race and we had another mile to run out before we hit the turnaround to go back to the finish. I was able to see Rachel, Matt & Sarah again! And then the marathoners road became much lonelier as this was the point that they kept going south for many miles before they would hit their turnaround.
After the turn I found myself keeping even pace with a gentleman who I struck up a conversation with (you can see his arm and blue shirt in the pic above. It was his 2nd half marathon and he was struggling, he wasn't sure he could run it all the way. I kept pushing him along, trying to distract him and when we got close to the finish I asked him if he could sprint it in. He said he thought so and when we made the final turn and see the finish I yelled GO, he took off and I followed suit. It was so fun to see him gut out those final feet!!
Kathy had finished only a few seconds behind me so we went to find the rest of our gang. Thankfully Sarah is taller and I spotted her quickly and we walked back to where Kim, Rachel & Matt were cheering.
I love the race medal since it doubles as a bottle opener so it may just get worn again instead of hanging with the others.
Sarah, Amy Z, Me, Kathy, Rachel, Matt, Kim, Joan, Linda, Amy Zem
We hung around for awhile afterward and finally my issues seemed to have disappeared. I was able to grab a brat when the rest of the group was eating. We then proceeded to drink for the next few hours at a Rustic Road brewere and another random bar on our way back to the hotel.
We headed out for dinner after we all got cleaned up, except Sarah who passed out as soon as we got back. She rocked out her race gear a little longer than the rest of us!!
We then headed down to the hot tub, which was scaldingly hot. We could only put our legs in but it really helped relax our calf muscles before bed.
Sunday morning we were up early again, the hotel breakfast was pretty crappy so Kathy, Sarah and I headed out for breakfast upon checking out and shopped at the local outlet mall before heading back home. The women's cut tech shirts fit great and I loved it so much I wore it the day after as a badge of honor.
As soon as I got back to my house, I had to unload and head off to my cousins baby shower. It ended up being a really long day and I was so happy to get home and plop on my couch. My hubby told me Vito hung out moping all weekend when I was gone, sitting by the back door and didn't eat normal. He had to entice him with people scraps to even eat, he is such a social dog and just loves being around people.
How could you resist this face??