This was going to be my third marathon. My first one was the same race last year. I ran 2008 in 4hr 53min. St Louis in April was 4hr 43min. So I decided to follow the 4 hour 35 min pace team this time. Originally I was going to shoot for the stars and go for a 4 hour 30 min time. But the pacers were some dorky kid and an old guy. The pacers for the 4hr 35min time were two girls with blonde ponytails. Just like me. 4:35 it was. You know, Brian told me to go 4hr 25min once the 4hr 30min was off the table, but I didn‘t even consider it. I bet I could have done it. He should have told me better. I followed a better training schedule this year and felt real prepared for this race.
The weather that week was crap. So a 41 degree start with no rain was delightful. I met up with my pacers at the start line - they were calm, cool and collected, which helped me to be the same. The only problem was we were singing the national anthem and I had to go pee. No time. Oh well.
And they’re off!! You start by going through downtown and then head to Westport. I need to get the pee situation taken care of and out of the way. I saw about 15 people run into the McDonalds on Main so that was a nogo. I ran ahead of my group and veered off to Burger King on Main, but as I got up to the door, I could see a line for the bathroom. Another nogo. I came up with a plan - we run right by the Corner diner at Broadway and Westport Rd - I’ll go there. I started running ahead of the pacers and as soon as I broke free I saw Elvis. That reminds me -- I’ve got to get my gimmick to make it into the paper next year. With a picture - Elvis didn’t even get that. Not important right now -- NEXT I dove into the Corner behind an elderly couple, ran 10 steps to the bathroom and was back at my pace group within half a mile. Good thing the Corner was empty. It’s empty because they never have what you want. It’s a diner. What do you mean you are out of English muffins? No eggs? Seriously. I have been burned there too many times. It used to be my favorite breakfast place, and now I must boycott it and only use it for a toilet. Side note - Brian and I went to Mama’s on 39th for breakfast the next day and guess who our waiter was -- our old Corner waiter!! I know - fascinating.
But I digress. I will breeze through because we are only at like mile 4 now. We go through the Plaza and I think I see this girl I know. I yell out “Cindy!! Cindy!! It’s Erica!! HI!!!” She’s looking right at me, but she’s not smiling. Her look could be confusion ‘cause she doesn’t recognize me, but it looked more like annoyance. If that’s the case dear Cindy, it’s not important if you don’t particularly care for me -- if I’m waving at you and calling your name while I’m running a MARATHON, at least give me a nod of acknowledgment. Witch with a B.
There is a long stretch of uneventfulness. Which is good. I drink at every aid station - Gatorade at one, water at the next, etc. I take Gu every hour starting at hour 1. I had a whole wheat oatmeal pack and a piece of whole wheat bread for breakfast. Probably way too lite, but I didn’t want a repeat of last year at mile 20. I was keeping up with the pacers, listening to music, just enjoying my run. It was cool and dreary out, but it was still pretty nice. We went through the Ward Pkwy neighborhoods of mansions, then up the Pkwy to 75th Steet and over towards Waldo. This is where I had to pee again. It’s like mile 15. There are two port-a-pottys. A runner ahead of me went into one. A stout lady that is not even in the race goes in the other -- about 40 seconds before I arrive. I can’t wait because I don’t want to fall behind too far. So I go behind the port-a-potty with the non-runner. I tried to tip her over, but I couldn’t give it my all and she was very stout. Anyway, I squatted down there because it was sort of hidden. Not well enough. I look up mid-stream and make eye contact with a couple of spectators. I made sure to apologize when I was decent and running by them. It was more embarrassing than I thought it would be.
So we are coming up to mile 20. I see the row of porta-pottys where I had to poop last year. That’s where the wheels came off for me - I never caught back up with my group after that. But that was last year. This year I sailed right by them. One of my favorite Peaches songs came on and I was blasting it and having a grand time, drumming in the air and singing. I love her graphic lyrics. I ran by this rotund, black cop stopping traffic at Troost and Vivion Rd, lip-synching “Show me your P*SSY, Show it to me. I wanna see your P*SSY, Show it to me!” Alas, that could only last so long. I had to keep myself in check or I knew I would regret my waste of energy.
We go through Hyde Park and there are hills. Hills after mile 20 are SOOOOO not welcome. We break one hill and turn the corner and all you see is a long, sloping downhill. That vista made me one happy runner at that moment. It’s over before it began, it seems.
Now the race is not fun. I keep trying to run ahead of the pace group, but they keep catching me. By now the pace team is one pacer and some other girl. When they catch up to me, I swear to God they speed up on purpose to make me go faster and show off. I hate them. This hatred drives me to pull away from them once and for all. Now I’m free. It’s about mile 24 and a half. Last year this is about where I saw the lady with gummy bears that may or may not have actually been there. This year I saw a different lady with Mike N Ikes, the #1 Champion of candy. I knew that was a sign that everything was going to be OK.
I felt good and tried to run it in hard, but I could feel that my legs weren’t having it. My brain and spirit were telling my legs to give 100%, but somehow only about half of that was getting through. But that’s good - I was giving it my all. And of course it wouldn’t be a marathon without a dramatic finish. As I get close to finish, I look at the field in front of me, decided my path in and how I’m going to pass them. That’s done and I go. I pass this little short girl on my left. I catch her head turn as I pass her in my peripheral vision and sense her speeding up. YAHOOO!!!! Game on. Now, what happens next I have absolutely no explanation for. I had her beat. Then she was passing me. Oh no. I dug deep and was gaining ground. Not much ground left. But enough for her to keep the lead. When we came in, I think she was just an outstretched hand in front of me. I’m pretty sure I know what happened - she was an alien and when I passed her and she was out of my sight, her alien friends beamed her down extra energy and that is how little dwarf girl with little dwarf legs was able to win our race. Whether or not that last part happened isn’t important. What’s important is that I just love exciting finishes!!
My time was 4hr32min59sec. 2,358 calories burned. My heart rate averaged 146, but got up to 195 at the end thanks to Miss Munchkin. I got my heat blanket and my medal. Then just as I was going to look around for him, I hear Brian yell my name and I get to see him right away and he is so warm and I tell him I am #1 Champion and then I want to cry. I tell him this and he calls me a name that sounds like “Retardo”. Brian is the absolute best and I’ll say it every chance I get. In any case, I still had a free tshirt to get that says FINISHER on the back. I will not leave without one. After that, it was grab some food, take one more picture, then go. I haven’t been as sore as in the past. Going down the stairs never was too difficult like it has been before. But I hurt my heel and I’m pretty sure I have plantar fasciitis or whatever the hell it’s called. So no running for a week. This is why I have the time to write such a loquacious race report with words like loquacious in it. Let’s all hope for my speedy recovery. It’s for the greater good. Thanks for taking the time to read my report. Adios.