- I love running with this funny, entertaining, and fast group of people. There were seven of us who stayed together for most of the 13 miles, so there was always someone to talk to or listen to. I love hearing about other people's training and racing plans.
- Gatorade on the water stops kept me going without needing as much food fuel. In 17 miles, I only had one pack of watermelon Gu Chomps, and I gave two of those away to show how great they taste.
- Getting to know people a little better. I now know someone who worked at the Grand Canyon. How cool is that?
- The slowest mile was 9:05, and my last mile was 8:13. My average over 17 miles was 8:47!
- My ankle, which I thought I had angered by tying my shoes too tight but which I have apparently strained, behaved during the run but is now swollen and tender. We're going for a bike ride this afternoon; I hope that doesn't exacerbate the issue.
- The hills were crazy evil on this course. I know it's not the mountains or anything, but the hills were numerous and rather steep. I'm sure there were downhills, but who remembers those?
- Although I ran for just under 2 1/2 hours, which is awesome, the elapsed time between beginning and ending the run was 2:49. So would I be able to keep that pace without the frequent breaks?
And The Funny.
- Running the first four miles on a less-than-attractive street, I mentioned how grateful I was to be running with two guys. These two gallantly told me that in the event of an incident they would run away and I'd only be safe if I could run as fast or faster. Darwinian running, anyone?
- I refused to take a course map because I knew that having one would give me an excuse to not keep up. Fear of being lost was my motivation. Very effective.
- We had about 5 minutes between the first 4 miles and the other 13 with the big group. I knew I needed to pee but didn't want to cross the street to find the bathroom. So instead of a very short walk, I ran desperate for a potty for 13 miles. Never again!
If my ankle feels up to it, I'll run a few miles tomorrow. Since my goal for the rest of February is to keep the mileage up, I plan to run Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday as well as sneaking in a few miles during a church retreat this weekend.
So, it's six weeks out from the race and, barring anything horrible, I will run tolerably well. Four more weeks of training and two weeks of taper, and then at this time on March 26 I will be reclining on a couch, eating copious amounts of ice cream, and probably sporting a shiny new medal.