I have never been so thankful that there were no pictures. I purposely waited more than 24 hours to post anything because… I knew that perspective would be important I guess.
The race itself is great. You run through downtown Memphis, on Beale Street, by the river, Overton Park, but the highlight is probably running through the St. Jude’s Hospital campus. So many people treating you like you are the best thing since sliced bread just because you’re putting one foot in front of the other. I didn’t raise a dime. I paid my fee. I didn’t get the hero shirt. You still feel like Wonder Woman for those two minutes. They had lots of entertainment at various places…it was funny in places, really great in places almost disturbing in others. The belly dancers and creepy guy that looked a little pimpish standing behind them come to mind.
It was warmer than anyone thought it would be. I had on a new cold weather compression shirt. I didn’t want to be cold. I didn’t want to layer. This was my first mistake. I have a blister from the seam at the v-neck about the size of a half dollar. It hurts especially in the shower. I had to drink alot. I got my first taste of goo. I know, rookie error not trying it before, I never thought I needed it. While it wouldn’t be the first thing I grabbed out of the pantry, I didn’t think it was bad either.
I finished in 3:00:45. I’ll be honest. When I crossed. I didn’t care what time it was. I did it. I saw Ray and girls in the stands and immediately teared up. I finished. I walked a little but I just went 13.1 miles. It was big. I didn’t know what my time was exactly because… when I ran into Red Birds Stadium I knew I was pretty close to 3 hours. When I did long runs I was way over so around 3 I was happy with. I ran in the stadium hit the mat, stopped, looked up and I had to run about 1/4 of the field to finish. Crap. There were my 45 seconds.
Today, I wish I could have a do over. There were times that I walked that I probably didn’t need to. The furthest I had run was 12 miles (I always walked part of it). I was so worried about giving out at the end. I was back of the pack with the other slow people. They dropped like flies. I was constantly dodging walkers. At some point it is really hard to keep running when everyone around you is walking. I forgot to grab Ray’s shuffle. There were some serious low points. Three hours alone is too much alone time for sure. I didn’t eat. Big mistake. I got up and I was rushing a little too much at the last minute because I was afraid everyone was waiting for me. I drank though. That helped. I wish I had a bottle of water with me while I was running. I sometimes take one and it usually aggravates me. It was so warm, I should have brought one.
Before I tell you about how I feel about the race, I want to say, there are some seriously supportive people out there. Friday I was so exhausted from being sick the better part of the week. I didn’t know how I was going to get my butt out of bed and run. If it wasn’t a race day, I probably wouldn’t have. Blog friends, real life friends and family. Thanks Sara! You’re awesome. It was really nice to have my own little section of cheerleaders.
After the last 24 hours there were tons of emotions. I was happy. I was proud. Then when I saw my time, knowing I could have pressed a little bit harder, I will admit, I teared up again. I know so many real runners. It’s easy to forget that this was my first and I still need to lose 50 pounds that they aren’t carrying. I hit the wall last night. Ray was looking up scores. He told me someone from my hometown who I know runs all the time was slower than me. I was so happy that I could feel okay about my time. Then I realized he was messing with me. I lost it. I was so angry with every wrong decision I made for this goofy run. He reminded me that if I ran it in 2:00:45 I would still be pissed and want to beat that score. I guess he’s right. I wasn’t last but I definitely didn’t so as well as I wanted to.
Overall the experience was good. I said I would never do it again. I lied. I will. Innocent comments from my own little group of cheerleaders like, “Bet you’ll never do another one.” means I have to. I will beat 3 hours next year. I swore never again. Next year, the first week of December I’ll probably be freezing my rear off on Beale Street. Feel free to join me. I would love to cheer someone else on.