A Crowded Affair

Union Square Start line
The car was certainly full of excitement as I met Shannon and my new friends at 5am and we talked about the race that we were about to run – The Nike Women's Marathon…Only I was doing the half. I was lucky enough to win the lottery for a second year in a row and certainly took the lessons learned from last year with me.

2010 I got stuck in a corral in the back and spent most of my time weaving on the course and adding three extra miles to my Garmin as a result. After I crossed the finish line of that Half Marathon I remember it started raining. I then had to wait for my friends who were running the full for two hours in the pouring cold rain without a change of clothes….

What a difference a year makes! Back to the present…we parked the car, and immediately checked our bags in. I then A-lined it to start line where I got as close as I possibly could. It was less crowded as Shannon and the girls held back just a tad. I was anxious. Crowds do that to me! I’m that girl who plans my emergency exits at large venues like concerts and such. I also care not to live in an apartment building. Too many people in a small space give me the creeps. My heart was racing. And then…I see a familiar face and all was right in the world! It was Jana! She was running the full and we chatted those last few minutes away before the gun went off. Her presence calmed me down and as we began our running journey I felt confident. Within the first 30 seconds however, I got yelled at. In the beginning everyone is running arm to arm and I suppose I got too close to someone as I passed. The woman made some comment that she could shove too and I looked back, apologized and continued on my way. I didn’t mean to shove her really. It’s not like I was trying to beat her, sheesh. Way too close of corridors. After that incident however, I ran with plenty of space throughout the race. The other runners ran their pace and there was no weaving to be had…just awesome runners all around, confident in their strides. Those first 6 miles were nice. I kept a sub 8 going and felt good. Even on the first few hills. 
Jana and I at the start
This race was the first race in a long time that I did not wear my Nathan Hydration Intensity pack. I understand now why I love it so. I drink a lot of water! I drink a lot of water before a race, during a race, after a race, or not even racing at all. So, I think I got a tad dehydrated for the next half of this Mary. I managed to stop at every water station as I doubled and sometimes tripled even on cups of water. Chug much? Yeah. Oh, I also will admit that I walked some of the hills. So my pace was pretty spastic holding more sub 8’s and even a 10 minute mile in the mix (must have been a hill).

This picture makes me smile!! (Big thanks to Alyssa who let me snatch her picture)
Fabulous spectators were waiting at mile 8 who were none other than Katie, Jessica, and Page. Such the boost I needed to continue onward and thankful for their cheers and smiles!

View from the sand dunes
I finished in 1:54:18 which by no means was a PR, but certainly a PR for that course. Last year’s finishing time: 2:14:26! Oh how far I have come in a year!

Me posing w/ the Marathon finishers Shannon, Sabine,  & Shila - Apparently I need to change my name to start w/ S.

Ivette is all smiles
Aron, Kristin, and Audrey hanging out on the dunes
So many fabulous women (yes and men) out there on the course! It was fun to see many familiar faces! The weather was a bit hot at first, but seemed to cool down throughout the morning. I suppose the crowds are tolerable when at the finish I was presented a Tiffany necklace by a hottie fireman! A good day overall! I am not certain I would run this race again, but every year I seem to run a little bit faster and become a little bit wiser, so who knows?
The Wall of Fame - Might help if I was actually pointing at the right name!
Jessica and I hammin' it up at the Expotique
Happy girl with my Tiffany finishers necklace and shirt - I love yellow!

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