Saturday morning I got up to run with the TEAM. It was a foggy foggy morning. Made for a beautiful run. Very soppy and humid but it made everything look wonderful. I think I need to be in a fog more often-it was great!
I thought I should get some training in for Goofy so I ran 6 miles before the 13.1 I was running on Sunday. Had a nice run. I averaged an 11:08 pace. It felt great, but after I got back, I thought I should have saved some of that for the next day. Oh well...it felt great...I had a great time...enjoyed every minute of my run...and we were going with it.
After I returned from the run, we finished up packing, spent some time with Ned before we headed to Springfield on our 3 hour tour...I mean drive.
We stopped off for cheese and cheese curds at a local cheese factory and then pulled in to the hotel parking lot 5 minutes before Karen and her clan rolled in. We got settled in and then headed out to packet pickup.
Packet pickup was held at the Bass Pro Shop and it was pretty uneventful. Not a lot of vendors so we grabbed our shirts and numbers and that was about it. Already, they were getting off to a better start than last year. Last year at packet pickup, they had run out of shirts for the half marathoners. This year, they had them. Already an improvement. Gotta love that.
Then it was off to find a place to eat. After we circled the city and passed the thousands of Obama supporters lined up for miles, we finally popped a squat somewhere. And then off to Braum's for ice cream.
On a side note...these Democratic candidates have to stop following us around from race to race. Two weeks ago in San Francisco, Karen's tour bus was stopped for Biden's motorcade and delayed our chocolate gorging for a short bit. And now Obama this race weekend? Glad this is almost over and hopefully they won't be following us to our next race in two weeks. :)
Race morning was nice. I wore shorts and a long sleeved shirt. It didn't take me long to realize I wish I had worn a short sleeved shirt-oh well. We meet up with Steff and some other TNT Alum. It was nice as the Springfield chapter of TNT is actually part of our Mid America chapter so alumni were given free entry into the marathon or half marathon. Another great perk.
The race started on time. Doug and I gave each other one last kiss before he ran off and I wished Karen good luck as I took off. The marathoners and half marathoners follow the first three miles of the course together. Then they split off while the marathoners run a 13 mile loop and then they track back on the half marathon course.
The half marathon course is fun. I really enjoy it. Around mile 4, it runs through a neighborhood I love. All the trees are turning and the weather is so nice and crisp. We then head onto a long stretch of trails. It's a great half marathon.
At one point there was a man (later found out his name is Mac) that I kept scissoring back and forth with. He would walk and I would run past him and then walk and then he would run past me and walk. Back and forth. Back and forth. This went on until he ran past me while I was running. I was like, "whoa, buddy. You can only pass me when I'm not running!" He laughed and stopped to walk. We stayed together for a long time until he had to stop to do his thing for the research they were conducting on runner's highs. I thought he would catch back up, but didn't.
I then ran past a group of 3. Two were standing on the side of the trail waiting for their buddy who was puking. Uggg...this was pretty early on-like mile 6. Not good. So around mile 9-they pass me up and by mile 10 I caught up with them while they were walking. I had a chance to talk to the 'puker' and gave him some advice to make sure he stayed hydrated-but not too much. He was very thankful. I think this was his first rodeo. Then I took off and turned around to tell him that he also couldn't pass me cuz I didn't want 'the puker' to beat me. They all laughed and we went on our own ways.
I was able to see Karen as we did an out and back and she was doing well. She was smiling and just keepin' on. Glad she was having a good time.
About mile 11 I happened upon 3 girls and we chit chatted it up for a bit. I went on ahead and when they came up behind me, they were like, "time to get going...come on with us...not much further". As I grumbled some nasty words, they laughed and we took off together.
I came down to the finish and there was Eric (Karen's husband) and the boys cheering me on. It was fun. Crossed that finish line with a huge smile on my face. I had a great time.
Miles 1-8 were in the 10's
Mile 9-11 were in the 11's
Mile 12 was in the 12's
Mile 13 was in the 11's
My official time was 2:24:47. Which averages out to an 11:02 pace!
I received my medal, which is another improvement from last year. I didn't receive my medal last year because they ran out. And then when I did receive it, it was sad. This year it was very nice. They really listened to the feedback they received from last year. I'm very impressed.
But...the best part of the whole morning was walking into the Bass Pro Shop and there sits eggs and biscuits and gravy. Mmm...I had sat long enough to where I was hungry and I ate and ate and ate. It was sooo good!
Then...on our way out of town, another stop off at Braum's.