So this is me before the start…
Badass thigh tat
…in my wildest dreams.
In real life it is the 4th or 5th place finisher of the half marathon. She is an impressive human bean. I mean, with that thigh tat, how could she not be?
This is me for realsies. I figured it would probably be the only picture taken of me that morning without a pained grimace on my face so I might as well make it count and flash a little pre-race pearly white. Apparently I was mistaken because this is me at mile 9: (excuse the blurriness– I was mid-booty shake)
All in all, the race was way funsies. I have never had so many strangers cheering me on! There were people lining the course almost the entire way, hooting and hollering and high-fiving and banging on the odd cowbell or two. A few people came out of their houses and waved. It was sweet.
The official support crew was fantastic, too. A local soccer club volunteered ALL of it’s members to be water hander-outers, cheerleaders, and gel-pushers, and everyone did their job with gusto. Every two miles, hoards of 14-year old soccer girls plied us with water, Ultima, and yells of “You got it, you got it! Yeah! Stay with it!” Having been a 14-year old soccer girl myself once, it was comforting to hear that the main form of encouragement has gone pretty much unchanged. Getting past the 10K mark was pretty hilarious, too, because it involved running through a crossfire of middle schoolers, each peddling their own flavor of Hammer gel (“Raspberry? Apple-cinnamon? Raspberry? Vanilla? Chocolate? Raspberry?”)
The run itself went pretty smoothly. Miles 1-3 were warm-up: shaking the kinks out and zeroing in on a couple of pacers to stay close to. At about the 4-mile mark I got found my groove and settled in for a nice, long ride. After another 1/2 mile I was stoked to discover that my groove was apparently a weensy bit faster than my pacer ladies’ groove, so I thanked them telepathically and moved on. I played my fun new game of runner’s leapfrog (pick a pacer, pass the pacer, pick a pacer, pass the pacer, etc.) through about mile 10.5, when we hit the Taylor Street dock.
For those of you unfamiliar with Taylor St. dock, it is more or less a 40-yard concrete bridge that connects the Trestle Point boardwalk with the mainland down in Fairhaven. It is also on the steepish side. I’ve always been a big fan of the Taylor St. dock– it’s about 2 miles into my regular route and usually when I run up it I accelerate considerably (heck knows why I do this, it’s never on purpose, I just lean forward and go). Sunday was no different: I passed 2 people on my way up the dock and then braced myself for the last 2 miles. The top of the dock spat us out at about the 11-mile mark, a.k.a. the farthest I had gone in any of my training runs a.k.a. little bit of a sufferfest. Just a baby one, some numbness in the quadular region and a little burny-thumpiness in the heart/lung spots, but nothing out of le ordinary.
There were a few moments in those last couple of miles when my mind started to wander and I found myself questioning my physical and mental toughness When one starts to question one’s own badassery, it’s time to dig in and PASS some fools. I believe my exact thoughts were (please pardon my profanity) “Come on, Franny. You live for this shit. Press on, for fuck’s sake, PRESS ON!!!”
I pressed on and 5 minutes and one haggard sprint down the finishers’ chute later, I was donezo.
1:59:40. Not entirely what I was going for, but it’ll do for now. We’ll see how the Seattle ½ goes in November. Ideally Id’ shave a few minutes off of my Bham time to bring it down a little closer to 1:55:00ish or even break my 2008 San Juan Island time of 1:51:00, but the chances of that happening are pretty slimjim. Let’s face it: some things have changed since I was 17.
Son of a bee sting listen to me. I may as well start wearing poly-blend slacks that start mid-chest and stuffing the pockets full of Werther’s hard candy, because I sound like an OCTOGENARIAN. Bring on the prune juice and bingo, suckaz! Actually I hate bingo and prune juice messes with my tummy. I would be a terrible 80-year old.
Luckily, all that is required of me for the moment is to be a 20-year old and GO TO CLASS. So here I go.
See you on the flap jack, everybody, I love you lots.