October 21, 2010

Race Recap: Newport, RI Half-Marathon

Me and Sarah glowing from our post race high!
Recap - Funhouse
This race was fun with a capital F-U-N!  I had been sweating it on whether or not I would even be able to run it after getting sidelined after going a little too hard too fast with the toe-shoes back in September. But after Wednesday's good to go from the podiatrist I was ready to run my second half-marathon.  

Before I even put fingers to keyboard, I will warn you, this will be probably be a long post.  There are so many snippets and events to share. Good, funny and slightly funny in hindsight...but at the time not so much. So here goes...

Background - Run This Town
First off, my best running bud Sarah and I never actually met in person until this race. 


Crazy, right? We met through a weightwatchers running message board for couch 2 5k grads about a year ago and we talk....er...write just about every day - you know check in, see how we and our fellow grads are WW, food, running-wise. The girls are from all over the country and are a total hoot. Since Sarah is from Maine and her family is near Boston, we decided sometime this summer that what better to have our first face to face than over a race in the fall. I was hot off the trails of running my first half and already needed, NEEDED the next one, so some quick searching for New England fall races and we found beautiful Newport.  Perfect!

And then we had some setbacks.  Of course we did.

Me with my silly foot. 

Sarah with a silly race...see what happens when you bandit!  Heh. (I woulda done it too.)

But with the impeccable timing of the laughoutloud and inspiring book, Run Like a Mother arriving in Sarah's office the day after the yucky race and me following (for the most part) doc's orders to rest up the foot, we were ready to rock and roll! We WERE going to run this town!

Day/Night before - Gimme Gimme 'Smores
Part of the allure of Newport for the fam was that the kids (and me) would get our first overnight at G'ma & G'pa James' house.  Man, were the kids STOKED!  We headed down Saturday afternoon, picked up my number or rather, bib, (the kids LOVED calling it my bib.  Heh.) checked out some of the swag, got totally stressed out with crowds; have people never seen children in a stroller before?  Yes, Isabella managed to remove herself from the stroller, unhooking the 5point latches and start pushing it around while my back was turned for about 20seconds only to have me scoop her up and then chewed out by some lady that said Izzy "almost" ran over her foot.  Your a marathon runner; I'm sure your feet are pretty strong. Yet still I managed a slew of sorries. 

*Just a side note, if you ever see a stressed out parent trying to work with their kids, especially in a somewhat crowded expo, it is best not to say anything and at least seem sympathetic rather than give the parent guff.  Believe me, we get enough guff from our kids.* 

But a little retail therapy helped when I did manage to snag the last one of my new favorite running swag...a SPIbelt.  I ditched the fuelbelt for the race and went with the SPIbelt.  Awesome!  Sits low on the hips, holds my zune without my armband doesn't bounce around and there are even little bungy things to hold all my gus for the race.  Sa-weet!

Now on to gramma's.  James made me and the kids the most amazing pasta dinner.  Homemade mac n cheese like penne and american chop suey with penne.  Kids gobbled it up and so did I!  Since the 'rents were going to be taking the kids to the race in the morning, I went out to switch the car seats and then here is the timeline of next events:
  • 7;00 Kids have 'smores
  • 7:05 I walk in and see chocolate all over faces
  • 7;15 We head up to bed (more like bounce off the walls up to bed)
  • 7:18 I blow up aerobed & shove it in to make it fit between the wall and the futon.
  • 7:21 Kids turn on music; 
  • 7:22 Z monkeys jump on the bed.
  • 7:25 Mama gets up,  and bumps her head.  Yup.  I get up to turn off music and smash my face into the sloped ceiling not realizing it is not a wall. duh.
  • 7:25 I instantly realize that I react exactly like Simon, not letting anyone see my wound and go sulk, tears streaming in the bathroom. 
  • 7:32 I return to try to read books with an ice pack on my swollen cheek
  • 8:30 Kids almost asleep
  • 8:33 One kid, then the other needs to use the bathroom now for the 3rd time.
  • 8:58 Kids back to sleep.
  • 9:00 Head downstairs to get ready for tomorrow.
  • 9:30 Still deciding what to wear for the race: belt, no belt; gu or honey water; if gu, shirt with pockets or belt; logo t or plain color, teal or pink; which shoes
  • 10:30 I go to bed
  • 10:30-3;30 Afraid the kids'll wet the bed, I keep wondering if it was better if I should have brought pullups. I am so tired I want a pullup.
  • 1:00 Simon wakes me up to tell me he is going to g:o to the bathroom.
  • 4:30 Alarm goes off. (vibrating phone)
  • 5:00 About to go.  Kids come downstairs (TOO Early!)
  • 5:05 Kiss the kids, head out the door.
The race prep.  Though I ditched the fuelbelt and went
with my new fav running accessory - the SPIbelt. 
Race Day - Pump It
4:30 is too darn early to wake up when you are going to a race and spent the night worrying if the kids would wet the bed.  But I was up and ready to hit the road.  Chobani & granola packed, gear ready and planned stop at McDonalds for a cup of coffee is all in place. And then the kids wake up.  Sigh. Kisses. Good lucks and I am off.

And it is cold as a polar bear's nose.  (Only that isn't what I was really thinking.)

I get my coffee.

I get to the parking lot. Scarf down my chobani and granola in the car while listening to my race mix.  Getting pumped.

Quick call to Sarah.  They're already over there, packets picked up and freezing their tukkases off.  Giddy!

Hop on the school bus and then had to the pavilion. 

There they are.  Sarah in all her tall glory with a big 'ol grin on her face and flyaway curls that match her creative, quirky & spunky personality. And Carolyn, Sarah's sister in-law who looks not only fast, but like she just stepped off the set of Parenthood playing Monica Porter's half-marathon-running stunt double. 

Wonderful hugs ensue. Giddy as all get out. School girl shrieks. And let the chatterbox begin. Other than the 2 minutes apart during the portajohn visit, I think we were a non-stop gab fest.  Even on the hills we were chatty.  Sarah will say she wasn't then, but I think she managed a few questions (her prep questions for each mile.  I knew she would have talking points!)  I think she got all her questions answered and then some. :)

Ok, back to the report. 

Bag Check - Take it off
Line were long both at the portajohns and the bag check. To be expected, but there were still people waiting to check bags when the gun went off it was that long. It was also long because we were all waiting to the very last minute to shed the pants and jackets and what not.  It was bbbrrrrr cold!

And there goes Rudy.  From Biggest Loser. Yup, he was running the race too. (We beat him by 2 minutes. Heh.)  He didn't look quite the same as at the season finale, but we all know maintaining is tough.

Then we line up. And we are off. I whoop it up. Only to stop dead in our tracks with the bottlenecked crowd.  Giggling ensues.


Mile 1. Warm up, then Carolyn is off and on to PR.

Mile 2. Skip the water station. There is a line at the porta johns again. I always feel bad for the people that have to go that early in a race. I think how we met our spouses was the topic. And how all we have left is an easy 10miler. We can do that.

Mile 3. Through the town. Waving to little kids. Talked about the last long runs & training. Sarah said I could go on.  I just laughed. Um. No. 

Mile 4. The turnaround. And the water station.  We got all bunched up and I couldn't find Sarah for a second.  My first thought was shoot, we don't have our cells in case we get separated.  Seriously, that was about the scariest 25 seconds.  I think work was the topic. 

Mile 5. Gu. And this is where all the crazy huge houses were.  The next several miles we talked about our families and such.  I think this is the last topic I'll bring up.  I feel like there is this unspoken code of what is discussed on a run stays on the run. Ok, so I know that isn't totally true, but there is something about runs and pouring your heart out in them. Come run with me and or find a running bud, and you'll see.

Mile 6. The ocean smell....ahhhhh.  

Mile 7-8. Lots more Ocean, another water stop, cheering fans and more talking.  And whooping it up with the spectators. ( I think I shouted for them more than they shouted for us. Elmo! I even lost my voice that night.)

Mile 9. A tour bus?  What?  I thought the roads were closed?

Mile 10. The Breakers. Just a 5k left. 

Mile 11. More gu.
We can see the finish....

Mile 12. Sarah said I could go on again.  What?  No way.  I started this thing with Sarah, we are finishing it together. 

Mile 12.5. We realize that we are close to the finish and might be able to get Sarah's PR. I can feel her pick up the pace. 

Mile 13. I see James. And Mom.  And Thing 1 and Thing 2 sweatshirts.  

Saw the fam when we were coming down the home stretch.  
Cow bells a ringin' 
Signs a wavin'
Thing 1 and Thing 2 a Thingin'

Encouraging Sarah and me to the finish!
I start to cheer Sarah on promising food and post-massages, we're almost there...and I do this in front of 3 women running the full together.  I promptly switch to, "You're almost half way.  You're warriors!" 

Then we keep going, almost to the finish.
And away they go....

Started and finished as planned.  Together.  

Carolyn post PR, me and Sarah with our signs the kids made.
 (ok, with a little help from me!)
This was an awesome race.  Seriously, I never saw the photographers.  All those smiles on my face were just a perma-grin throughout the whole race.  So.fun.

So when's the next race?  


Sarah B. said...

I'm beaming as I read this. I was so happy running this race with you and reading through the events of the day blisses me out all over again. Hee hee, I feel all giggly again. I thought of you as I read Molly's passage about how we all need friends to laugh with.
Still grinning,

Carolyn said...

It was a fun, fun race. Glad to have met you, Christy! And thanks for runnin' tunes suggestions, I surely need them!

Christy Z said...

Ha! Sarah, I thought the *same* thing when I read Molly's blog. I was laughing thinking about the race, the random screams over the Pell bridge, the funny things we always end up talking about (like our kids sayings), random headbands, the goofy titles to our run posts and just general silliness. It's nice to have friends to run and laugh with!

It was so good to meet you too Carolyn! I heard 4 minutes yest and thought of you. I was thinking of putting it on my playlist 4 min before my planned time for the 1/2, but then thought...if I run too fast, I won't hear it! Ha!

Dawn said...

Woo Hoo!! I feel like I was right there with you and Sarah! I was there in spirit!

Kathleen said...

What a great recap of the pre-, actual-, and post-run 24 hours! James and I loved our G-parent time with the little Zs. The "S'mores Incident" could end up in a TV script for the show, "Parenthood!" It could be very funny to watch if you weren't living it! The next day I tried to make up for my dessert disaster by staking out a savvy spot near the finish to watch for you that was: 1.) near something that could occupy Thing 1 and Thing 2. That turned out to be the beach next to the running track where they happily played in the sand; and 2.)only a stone's throw from the public restrooms (for the benefit of all four of us)! It was wonderful to meet Sarah and Carolyn and witness your success!

Delane said...

Great Job. You have some serious leg muscles in those pictures!!!