Congratulations PO7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!
We started out from my house with the temperature around 35 degrees, wondering what we should wear...t-shirts alone or with our running jackets. The temperature would probably climb about ten degrees during our run and we really couldn't decide.
I took three Imodiums. (in addition to my three ibuprofen, two seizure pils, one asthma pill, and one hit on my asthma discus...and put my emergency inhaler in my pocket) How 'bout that for a junkie morning, hey?
When we got there we wandered around a bit and found out where we were to start. Remembered that we'd both forgotten our goos and went back to her car. Wandered around some more, pinned on our numbers, etc. Then we got in the starting jumble, and decided that we'd just start last. My big boss came by to take her child to the 5K start.
At the gun we tried to keep to our normal pace and not let the big crowd pull us along on the fast start. Soon after my legs started cramping, which they hadn't done in weeks. I actually had to get down onto the highway to stretch them. Swearing and limping along we continued. I think there were about three people behind us. Soon we were joined from behind by our new best friend, Teresa, a woman in her 60's who runs at least five marathons a year, does Iron Man tri's and duathalons. She just started talking, telling us stories, giving us encouragement, giving us pointers. It was amazing. She pulled us along at a quicker pace than we normally would have run. We also didn't do any of our planned walking breaks. We walked through the water stops, so we could drink and eat goo on occasion, but then got right back to it. There were a couple of other very brief walks or stops for shoe tying, jacket taking off/putting on, etc, but that was it.
This course was HILLY. And it truly seemed as though it was mostly uphill. And it was WINDY and it was this really rare Wisconsin-only weather phenomenon where the wind changes directions and speeds whenever a runner changes direction or incline. Seriously, it's called "Wacky Wild Runners Wind" and the storm chasers were out in force with their big trucks and satelite equipment.
The water and gatorade.... The race was in and around Menasha, Wi. This is a town which is often referred to as "MeTRASHa" and also where the famed Dog Town is located. I overheard the race organizer telling a volunteer that to save money (very small race buget and the medals were more costly than expected) they decided to cyphen water out of Lake Winnebago to mix the Gatorade and fill the water tanks. It STUNK like rotten eggs. OR maybe it was actually just 1jooj's gas. She has a tendancy to have sulfer-farts. Truly, I've never tasted/smelled Gatorade and water that was so disgusting. And I think that my cramping was due to dehydration, so I had no choice but to drink some at every water station.
The Symphony of My Stomach.....As you may recall, i've had a touch of Chris' stomach flu. As we were running along, 1jooj could hear my stomach noises loud and clear. She said (and she was right on in the description) that it sounded like I had a half full Nalgene bottle of water in my jacket. It was bizzare. And I was pretty convinced that it was going to get nasty. The noises went on for the entire race. We figured that it could actually work to our advantage, as I could either be very smelly and/or leave a slick mess behind us and/or have nastiness dripping down my legs and gross other runners out....thus making them stay VERY far behind us and allowing us to get further ahead. Turns out i made it to a couple miles from home before my stomach REALLY started cramping and I started feeling REALLY hot and clammy. It stayed that way for most of the rest of the day.
1jooj kicked ass. Seriously. She was a few strides ahead of me and Teresa most of the way. Teresa would pick a person off in the distance and tel us that we could catch them and pass. We did it every time. It helped. We passed a lot of people in the last half of the race. Slow and steady... Teresa left us and picked up her pace with about two miles to go and I needed to re-tie a shoe because my foot was numb. She ended up finishing a minute ahead of us and taking second in her age group. Her nine year old granddaughter ran the 5K and was waiting at the end. How fortunate is that little girl? Amazing.
1jooj was pulling me along until the end when I kicked it in and wanted to cruise into the finish (this is my typical end to a run. I pull it out of somewhere (not out of my ass, especially yesterday with the mess that would have come with it) and kick it at the end of our runs. It drives 1jooj batty).....she started YELLING at me. "Don't you even do that to me!!!!" I'm being all positive..."you can totally do it. We're a tenth of a mile away...there's the finish!" And she's yelling "NO! I'm going to PUKE!!!" And some lady wearing bunny ears (who finished WAY ahead of us and was walking to her car) yells out, "you aren't going to puke! It's right there!" and 1jooj started to run at her in full linebacker position. I managed to grab her and pull her along, but decided that it would be a VERY good idea for me to just slow down.
We saw a mass of people running at us as we neared the finish...her husband and children, her sister and her children, and a friend of theirs. All snapping photos and cheering. I grabbed 1jooj's hand and we ran across the line with joined hands in the air
i can't tell you how proud I am of my best friend. She's amazing.
And we were fifteen minutes faster than we planned. We are slow, ladies, but we are getting faster. We ran it in 2:13 (official time) and that made our pace 10:09.
On another note, we had 13 couples at our open house, so a great turnout! As soon as the 'virtual tour' is up i'll post a link so you all can see what I'm selling