a little and a lot

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thirteen Point Two

Well, we did it! My knees and calves will vouch for me.

Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early (that is a pretty dumb saying because it was actually dark and early as the sun was not yet up!) and drove downtown to run the St Jude Half Marathon. To say it was cold would be an understatement. My computer right after waking up said the current temp was 29 degrees!

Race day weather is tricky. You want it to be chilly so that you don't sweat. But not so chilly that you can't warm up after a few miles. You don't want it to be cloudy or windy or rainy. Blech. But too sunny might cause you to feel hot even when it's not. See what I mean?

Yesterday's race weather was cold but sunny. Perfectly acceptable. We were so cold we had to hop around before the race began, but once we got going, things were just fine! I even ended up with a little bit of sunburn on my cheeks.

Within the mass of people at the start line, Nick was up right behind the Elite runners because he is fast like a cat. Jenna and I hung back in the 6th corral...I mean, SOMEONE has to run slow, right? A sad story was that around the 4th mile, Jenna made a dash for the Port-o-Potties. I told her I'd jog real slow so she could catch up to me. Well, I jogged....jogged, looking over my shoulder...jogged in place turned backwards...then ended up jogging BACK to the Port-o-Potties and waited to see which one she'd come out of. A few minutes later...no Jenna! So I started to yell. "Jeeeeennnnnaaaa! Jenna Trapasso!! Knock if you're in there!" And then I saw one of the Port-a-Potties shake a little. Oh good, I thought, she'll be out in a second. Then the door opened and it was not Jenna! I waited until I saw each Port-o-Potty door open and someone random walk out until I turned around and accepted my fate:

We had missed each other.

By then, the fast runners were waaaay gone, the slow runners had passed, and I was stuck in the stragglers group. (If you're walking at the fourth mile in a half-marathon, that is just not a good sign!) So I begin to book it...I'm not sprinting or anything, but I'm running a bit faster than my regular pace. I'll just catch up to her, I think. No big deal. She's probably started lagging behind looking for me. I'm still downtown and running almost by myself because a huge gap had grown between the runners and the walkers. No biggie. Just look for a girl with brown hair wearing the race event tshirt. Piece of cake, right? HA!

Ironically, the only reason Jenna was running the half marathon was because I whined so much about needing her to run with me that she broke down and signed up. And here we are, separated one third of the way into the race. That's just a sad story.

So I pressed on. Keeping a good pace. Running past the people that had passed me in my jogging-waiting-for-Jenna phase. One solitary woman running her own conversation-less race. (Although, for the next three miles, whenever I passed a row of Port-o-Potties, I yelled, "JENNNAAA! ARE YOU IN THERE???!!!")

It actually wasn't that bad. I listened to other people's conversations. I yelled out encouraging comments to the group around me every now and then. When I passed a group of old men cheering for the runners, I yelled to one of them, "I'm running a lot faster than it seems, right?" My spirits were up. I was motivated.

One man that I passed was holding up a sign that said, "Fart! You'll run faster!" I saw him twice during the race and really got a kick out him.

One thing about the St Jude Marathon that is really inspirational is that you're running for an actual CAUSE. (As opposed to: for the heck of it.) During the course of the race, you pass people with pictures of loved ones on their tshirts. Or inspirational Bible verses on their jackets. You pass people holding up signs that say, "This mile is for Jake!" Or "Run for Emma Grace!" The people holding the signs cheer you on and also add, "He passed away in October! Run for him!" I mean, WOW. How can you not be inspired? How would I have been able to quit?

The race ends in Autozone Park (a baseball park for our minor league Redbirds team). You actually get to run half the bases on the field to cross the Finish line. How cool is that? I kept pace with a girl running near me for the last mile and we ran into the park and across the finish line together. As I did, I heard Nick cheering for me. My time was 2:39. (Faster than last year's 2:45 but slower than my first year's 2:24.) When you finish, they wrap an aluminum shiny wrap thing around you to keep you warm, they put a medal over your head, and they hand you a bottle of water. It makes you feel like a hero.

Then you get to pig out on free food! As I finished off 3 donuts, a piece of pizza, a cup of soup, a muffin, a piece of cheese, and a banana (saving my pack of Oreos for later), I learned of the fate of my friends/family. Nick finished waaaay ahead of me...1:50!! That's like an 8 minute mile! He is superhuman. It just makes me sick. But proud. And low and behold, Jenna had just passed me without seeing me when she ran out of that Port-o-Potty and, thinking that I was up ahead, just picked up the pace. She was a full 15 minutes ahead of me by the time she finished! (She, of course, had made a new friend, being the extroverted booger she is!)

All in all, we had fun and were pleased with our finish times. Today, our joints and muscles are thanking us!

Anyone interested in running next year? December 1, 2007...Save the Date!


Unknown said...

I'll see you next year... i just needed a little break.

Brooke said...

that is hilarious about Jenna getting separated... yet it stinks. great job finishing the race!!! p.s. i will not be joining you next year.

Tesney said...

I do! I've been trying to find a run for diabetes, but no luck...just a walk. So, I'm trying to find a good, close, easy half marathon for my first. I was training for the Mercedes Half but we were trying to get preg and had to stop. Maybe I'll join you next year. My husband will not.

Anonymous said...

So proud of you! Knew that you would do great!

Kyle Smith said...

Good job on the race Jesse, you and Nick both. I love creative ways that groups use to raise funds for good causes.

amanda said...

anyone know of a fun run, cycle, climb, or other random athletic event, preferably in cold weather months and in TN, for which to train?

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

congratulations! youre hilarious. sorry you got seperated.

L said...

congrats on your time!! i'm so jealous you got to run!!! i was thinking about you while you were running! next year?

by the way...would you happen to be up for some "take 2" this weekend? :)

Mommy of Boys said...

Good for you, Jessie! I'm very proud. And this is my official RSVP that I will not be joining you next year.

angie c said...

I'm so proud of you!!! You're so dedicated, I'm a loser. Yes, a mother of a young baby, but stil... a loser. Maybe one day when the time is better I'll do it. Still, you are great for doing this.

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