I was on the fence about this event - given another challenging week at work, so when the alarm went off at 5:30 (after a couple untimely calls related to the boat storage alarm in our community at 3:30 and again at 6 AM) the little voice in my head was like....but it's so nice and warm in this bed...and the dog and the cat are sound asleep on you...don't wake them up...come on - a little rest - take it easy today.
Leukemia and other blood cancers don't take a day off - patients and their families don't get a day off because they're tired - or have had a challenging week as they go through rounds of chemo, and other treatments....
6:15 (yes that "conversation" lasted that long) - Up and at em - and out the door at 6:30.
Racing in cooler weather adds an interesting aspect to the events...dressing properly to make sure you're warm enough at the start and as you get going - but not going to overheat as the race progresses...given it was 35 degrees - popped on a long sleeve shirt - a 40 in 40 t shirt - hat and gloves...oh and shorts too...felt just about right at the start.
7:40 - gun goes off and we're headed out. Not sure of the total numbers just yet - but a couple thousand maybe? mile 1 - about on track time wise, mile 2 - picked up the pace a bit to make up some time - mile 3 - right on track - 24 minutes....and then - literally as I look at my watch - it goes blank...battery died...phooey. so - I tag along with other folks who are around me seeing as we're all doing the same pace - I'll let them help me pace so I don't get too ahead of myself.
It's a spectacular day - cool crisp fall day - sun was out - very few clouds in the sky, leaves turning and/or falling from the trees. slide into the zone and check out listening to my iPod...a little Aerosmith, some VH, Violent Femmes, Pat Benatar, Poison, Def Leppard, (must have the eighties represented appropriately) Mettalica, then mile 6 - Clancy Brothers, "Whiskey in the Jar", then Cher...ummm I really need to straighten out this playlist...I seem to have imported some of Sheila's music (Cher - not the Clancy Brothers - we downloaded that for St Pats Day) - then we revert to "my music" all is good in the world again - mile 8 I catch up to a new group and ask them what they're pacing for - their on track for what I was shooting for so I tag along with them - having left my other tag along friends a while back...
Miles melt away and I am feeling good. Start to recognize the surrounding area so I know (between the fact that we just crossed mile 10 and I recognize the area) that we're getting close to home. More fans out here - and they're actually cheering for everyone.
See - odd phenomenon at races. Folks come out to cheer for their son or daughter, husband or wife, friends, partners, whoever...and don't clap and cheer for all the other racers...you know what - a little "way to go" or thumbs up or "great job" really helps keep the feet moving...and unless we are almost done - say a mile or MAYBE two from the finish....do NOT tell someone "you're almost there" almost is smell the finish line - not two miles away...
Also - there were some great volunteers out today - handing out water and high fiving the runners as we passed - the kids manning the water stops were great about the high fives...those are fun.
Pass mile 12 and am on track and now "we are almost there" head up Morehead - which given the fact it is a rather long drawn out hill has been nicknamed Morehell - especially the last mile of 13 - couple of quick turns and we're heading into the finish. Newsflash from my iPod apparently Justin Timberlake is Bringing Sexy Back...awesome - so happy for him...but I laugh to myself and pick it up the last hill.
Cross the line and feel great. From working to block out some persistent voices this AM and getting here - to the finish line - number 28 with 12 more to go. I was pretty stoked. It was a great run and a well run race. Had the proper level of attire on - great Craft gear keeping me warm - Karhus once again carried me well across the 13 miles.
Got to enjoy some Great Harvest Bread - which by the way - if you ever get a chance to partake - you must. It is downright delicious - whether or not you've just run 13 miles or just woken up...mm mm good.
Today's race is dedicated to George Barnett and is in memory of his three children. George works with one of the other LLS Board members. George spoke to us at our last Board meeting. He lost all three of his children to blood cancers in a matter of 3 years. His first two children died from AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and his third child died after a bone marrow transplant to treat Myelodysplastic Syndrome. George is a true survivor - one who has felt the far reaching effects and pain that these terrible diseases can bring to any one of us any day.
Great day, great race, even more important cause.
Great big shout out to Kevin Collins, John McLean and Greg Counts - fellow TnT'ers and coaches and overall great guys doing the Florida IronMan this morning - that's the big kahuna - 140.6 miles...Kevin raised over $10K for LLS for the event - good luck guys! You're gonna do great!