The best thing I can say about Sundays race weather was at least it wasn't 90 degrees and humid!We were asking for cooler weather and we got what we wished for. Actually take away the wind and rain and the temperature would have made for ideal conditions but you can't take it away so you play the hand your dealt!
Friday was expo day and as usual spent way more than I should have. I love race expos becuase it's all about the runners-it's like a buffet where you buy anything you want. I met Jessica and Serene in Plano and we all went together. New shoes, 2 new pair of sunglasses, new running duds, and several other items that I didn't really need but sure could use-I bought them all. Did I mention I love Expos?
Saturday morning after an easy 2 mi. with Jessicas Team in Training we headed out for the hotel(which I didn't get lost trying to find-race starting out with a good sign). For the last 3 years I have spent the Sat. nite at the Team in Training team dinner. Good Pasta and more importantly a very inspirational way to prepare for your race. It was good seeing all my old(not age) and new friends.
It was still raining when I went to bed Sat. nite and I still hadn't made up my mind what all I was wearing. It didn't help that the one thing (my calf sleeves) that I wanted to wear, evidently I had left behind. I had pretty much decided that I would have to wait till morning to make my final decision. I knew that unless it was freezing I would not worry much about jackets or pants because on race day all that stuff just bothers me. I can train in it but I don't like racing with it.
Race morning: what we came here for finally got here and it was raining hard at all. Race clothes decision made and I decided to go with short sleeves to and shorts. the only extra would be my arm sleeves and gloves . I brought some water resistant gear that I would keep me dry until the race started and I could throw away once I got to the starting corral. It was just a light rain but no use being wet before the race started because you would get wet enough once we started running. I had been thru this many times before but I just kept wondering what all the 1st time half and full marathoners were thinking about at this moment.
And we are off! The start had changed from last year and it was amazing how much better the corrals were moving. A little over two minutes and I was crossing the starting line. I'm thinking if the rain will not get any harder then we will have a great day for racing-Wrong! My race plan was simple-since I had missed so many days of training just go out more conservatively at 1st and the finish with all you had. Everything was going as planned then the rains came. It would rain hard then easy. I kept rolling my calf sleeves up and down until they got too wet so I just took them off and carried them. I tossed 2 pr. of wet gloves and was down to my last pr.(good ones that I couldn't toss) so I just left them in my race belt which was wet and driving me crazy. I can train with all this stuff but come race day it bugs the heck out of me.
I knew I went out slower than I had planned and by mi. 8 I also knew my race goal time wasn't within reach so It was time to adjust my goals. New goal-finish as strong as I possibly could. Once I hit mile 9 I was running good and mad at myself for not going out faster. The good new is I moved up 20 spots after the 15K mark(99 after 5K and 51 after 10K-isn't technology great). My last 5k was my fastest and I did run negative splits so I should be happy with my race. I had 3 major goals and I reached them-run under 1:45(changed from 1:40), negative splits, and finish in top 3 of my age group.
After crossing the finish line all I could think about was getting to bag check, warming up and getting some dry clothes on. Of course I forgot my dry shoes but after getting my dry socks wet I was given a great suggestions and I put on another pair fo dry socks and dried my shoes using the hand dryer in the restrooms. I warmed up and then went out to get wet again and wait for Jessica and all the other runners that I knew to finish. I took a while to warm up and missed a lot of the half finishers.
Mary always said that watching and waiting at a marathon wears her out and now I know why. It's the unknown that gets you. Are they ok-on pace-wet and cold? It started raining hard and all I could think about was Jessica was out there around the lake freezing and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. It was making me miserable(that's the Dad in me-can't be helped). Needless to say everyone finished-some ran faster than they expected some didn't but that's not what mattered. 13.1 and 26.2 miles people in a cold rain.
Before I end this I would like to say what a great job Dallas White Rock people did. From the free gloves and ponchos at the start, the course monitors, and all the people at the finish line trying to get us dry and keep us warm. An excellent race day for me and I hope for everyone else also!