Random thoughts at 3 am:
During the Race
• I usually have my Garmin set to display Time, Avg Pace, Distance and Current Pace during a race. Roadbunner mentioned she uses Lap Pace vs. Current Pace so I switched my settings to display it. I really liked it a lot better because it showed me how I was averaging overall during the lap (mine is set to a mile). However, when coming out of the bathroom on Mile 6, it would have been helpful to see Current Pace so I could have gauged the effort I was putting forth to try and regain some time. I think I'll have to have a second screen read Current Pace that I can switch to for such situations.
• This was the first race that I wore "throw-away clothes." I wore my Vancouver Marathon "blue gloves." These are free gloves given out at that race. I *love* them. They kept my hands so warm during the entire time I was running. I also wore my ugly Portland Marathon 2010 race shirt (NOT the Finishers shirt) as an additional layer. Even though it was ugly, I was still a little sad that I was going to have to throw it away. I hate to throw any clothes, let alone running clothes away. Luckily I saw Tina at Mile 6 and took off my shirt and threw it at her, and kept my gloves on the whole time, so I ended up not having to throw anything away.
• For a few miles I ran behind a girl who had taped, "Are we there yet?" on the back of her shirt. Why, WHY would you ever have that on back of your shirt during a marathon for someone behind you to have to read?
• On Mile 8 I looked around thinking, "This area is pretty boring." Then I heard my name being screamed and unexpectedly saw Jana, Karin and Beth. I was so excited that I ran over and hugged them. Had Jana not yelled, "Keep going!" I would have pulled up a curb and recapped the first 8 miles with them.
• Although the course has an overall downhill elevation, the rolling hills are pretty endless and mentally challenging. That said, I still liked the course a lot. And at every mile I climbed I was so thankful that RoadBunner had me incorporate more hills into my training.
The Race Itself
• When our bus arrived at the Start, a volunteer boarded the bus to speak to us before anyone was allowed to get off. He welcomed us to the race and then gave us directions to port-a-potties, the Start Line, food/drinks, etc.
• I have never seen more port-a-potties in my life. At the expo they said the ratio of runner to port-a-potty was 1:25. Pretty much Start Line heaven.
• The aid stations were plentiful and well organized. They seemed to be less than 2 miles a part. Each one had port-a-potties (not all races have this). They used paper cups, which made it easier to drink on the run. A few aid stations also had pitchers so that you could refill your bottles.
• There were plenty of spectators throughout the entire course.
• They need to have better signage to let people know when the relay switch points are coming up so that runners can anticipate and position themselves appropriately to avoid chaos, confusion and ultimately injury.
Overall, this is a "runners' race" - really well organized.
• I now have a CIM Pace tattoo that I have no idea how to take off.
• Hamstring, glutes, calf problems - anything soft tissue - I know what to do. I have never had knee problems and have no idea what to do. I've been icing and the swelling has gone down some, but it still hurts to bend it and put weight on it. And this morning my right foot also hurts.
• I'm off to New York tomorrow for some holiday fun. I have no idea how I am going to walk around that City. I'm told to take lots of pain-relieving drugs. I guess I have a good excuse to take cabs vs. subway stairs.
• I put forth so much effort into preparing for this race - more than anything I've ever written about on this blog. I can't help but feel like it was all for nothing; just a wasted effort. What's the point? I hope this is a temporary feeling, but it really is how I feel right now.
• I think the reason I love races so much is that I love the structure and discipline of being on a training plan. However, I am really bad at translating the training to the actual race. So from now on I would like to just train for races but not actually run them.
• Saturday night I slept like a baby at the race hotel and woke up feeling good as new. Last night I slept in my own bed, woke up several times during the night, and this morning my back is achy again. I think this is proof that it's time for a new mattress - okay this point was not really related to the race but the reason I was up at 3 am formulating this post in my head.