I started this morning out not bright and early, but dark and semi-early. You see, I never changed my watch so that it would feel like I was actually getting to sleep IN for the race. I'm brilliant that way.
The race start was CRAZY. Imagine 20,000 women and their athletic supporters (tee hee) all jammed into a small park. Insane. I have pics, but you'll have to check Facebook for that later in the week. Anyway. I lined up at 6:30 am (but to me it felt like 8:30, again brilliant!) with the rest of the 10:00 - 11:59 pacers. I proudly bore the lavender wrist band marking me as a slow girl! It seemed everyone there with with someone. TNT pretty much ran the town this weekend. So I stood just taking it all in trying to remember all that I ever knew about running. Start off slow. Build to your pace. Take the straightaway on turns. Head up, arms pumping on hills. Oh, the hills. I wasn't sure I was ready for the hills. And then a voice jolted me from my catatonic review of running. "What time is is?" I checked my super cute pink Ironman (that also controls my iPod - how cool is that?) and not thinking that I never actually changed my watch, informed her that it was 8:42. She turned, told her friends, and then immediately turned back around to verify. Oops! I heard her tell her friends the correct time, with a comment added. "Excuse me" I questioned, "Did you just say that I gave you Texas time?" She giggled. I told her that ONLY a Texan would say Texas time instead of Central time. She informed me that the others were just so lucky to share a time zone with us. I love being a Texan and all the braggart rights that come with that!
And we were off! The race was great. The weather was perfect. I was right on pace to mile 6. And then the hills started getting real. Funny, they felt real before but little did I know! We don't have hills in Dallas, we have inclines. So this particular hill continued past mile 7. Eek! And they only got worse from there. But here are a few things I saw that made it totally original and totally worth it:
1.A group of ladies in tutus. They danced and pranced a good part of the way.
2. Bison. Or buffalo. I'm not sure which. I didn't ask, they didn't tell. But there they were, just grazing in a pasture. In the middle of an amazing neighborhood. (aside, whey doesn't anyone in San Francisco have a front yard?)
3. A little girl in a wheelchair, wearing a Wonder Woman costume, holding a sign that read, "You are a Wonder Woman" I wanted to run even harder for all the little girls who can't run at all.
4. Women of every age, every race, every size and shape, running. Strong, powerful women. What an amazing event - just for girls!
5. The ocean! What a breathtaking view on a Sunday morning. God is great that is for sure.
Let me tell you, it's been a while since I've done a long run without my Girls. And it's so much better with: Kat, Elizabeth, Michelle, Anne, Sarah, Kelly, Adriana, Jennifer...the list goes on, I've got a lot of great runner girls! I'm so thankful for all the encouragement they give me! Y'all are WAY better than an iPod playlist!
So, I'm not sure of my official time and I of course in the excitement forgot to stop my watch. By the time I remembered it was 2:27. With all those crazy mountains (no way they were just HILLS!) I'm pretty pleased with that time. I can set a PR back in flat Dallas. The handsome firemen all dressed up in their tuxedos handed me my Tiffany box. And BTW, is there anything cuter than a young fireman? Hoo wee! I grabbed my finisher's shirt, water and a bagel and and started to settle down.
I stretched (Michelle would be proud) and wandered around the exhibits collecting free nutrition bars, shot bloks, lip balm and the like. The I saw it again. The ocean. Okay, so I'm a big land girl. Big time. I don't like to swim in anything I can't see the chlorinated bottom of. Lakes, rivers, ponds, oceans, no way. But that could have something to do with the fact that the only ocean I ever saw growing up was, yuck, the Gulf of Mexico. When in Seattle a few years ago we took a ferry around the bay, but I never got up close and personal with the Pacific. Plus, from every vantage point I could always see land across the way. But here, as far as I could see, water. This wasn't SF Bay. This was the Pacific Ocean. And I was off.
I ran to the water's edge. Real sand! Off flew the shoes, now filled with that lovely real sand. (yeah, running shoes are kinda holey for ventilation) And into the water I went. It was as if the sea was calling my name. Further and further I went until, whoops, a great big wave knocked into me. Yep, I got wet all the way up to and past my bunny undies. (you know, 'cause rabbits are fast!) And the cold took my breath away. Who needs an ice bath when you are up to your waist in chilly ocean water? The swirly sand giving way beneath my toes, the taste of the salt as the spray hit my face. It was wonderful and a memory I'll have forever.
Look ma, big water!
Cold, but totally worth it!
And on a side note, my other favorite thing that I've done this weekend is to see the Sea Lions at Pier 39. They are so cute, like huge wet dachshunds. And did you know that sea lions have tails? I wonder whatever for? Cute little stubby tails. Love it.