Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dang, My Phone Takes Crappy Pics

Of course I did not check the camera battery, so it was dead and crappy phone pics are what I've got to document this morning...the morning I've been training for since January! ahahahahaha, GREAT SUCCESS! If you were in the area you already know this, but Nashville was alerted to a severe storming warning for rain, hail, tornadic supercells(love that phrase), and lightning on Saturday. The forecast percentages changed a little in the days prior, but the severe weather alert for Saturday remained. Ugh. The situation got a little panicky. Contingency plans were made. My heart sank a little.
I went to bed anxious last night, like a child on Christmas eve, I was DYING to know what I would wake up to. The alarm went off at 5:30, I rolled out of bed and tentatively walked to the back door into then into the yard to find perfect calm. What the H? No rain, no golf ball size hail, nothing! That did wonders for my spirit , as did the sugar free Red Bull I downed en route. My running bud, Armistead, and I parked off Music Row, as planned, and cut through Vandy towards the starting line on West End. About 5 minutes into our walk, a kindly security lady informed us, "You might want to hurry. Race officials decided to move the start time up 15 minutes." Freaking out a little, we picked up the pace, cut short a porta potty stop, and caused the unfortunate breakage and loss of 1/2 of Armistead's pre-race lucky banana.
As West End came into view, it became clear that we were gonna be late; runners had already started, and our corral had already gone. After checking gear and jumping into a random corral, we made a slow start. Best thing about it: the SUN broke though the clouds- it was beautiful. Quickly the downfall of getting in a later corral (think we ended up starting in #20) became apparent; we were in with a majority of really slow runners and even some walkers. The first 6 miles felt like an obstacle course as we wove though throngs of people, trying to find our pace while narrowly avoiding many full body collisions. Thanks to running with dogs who are highly energtic and prone to darting at moving objects, I dare say we were actually quite prepared for agility running.
Agility running didn't make for the fastest running; I wonder how many extra steps we took and minutes we spent weaving back and forth across the road just to get through at a decent pace? We did maintain a 10:07 minute mile though, which I was quite pleased with and want to mention includes one bathroom stop. Volunteers, cheering crowds, and live music on the course made it more than just a run. The energy and excitement is palpable (YES, finally worked that word into a sentence).
The weather held out until the end, actually till we met up with Jon at the finish and left for the car ride home. Then it started pouring. My thoughts went out to the walkers and full marathoners still out there; I believe everyone stayed safe and lightning/ thunder didn't really kick in till most marathoners had crossed the finish. For the second time in a week, I feel protected my divine intervention. First, I am involved in a startling car accident,and left with no damage or injury at all. Second, I run a 1/2 marathon on a day that has a red alert, severe weather warning and the sky turns beautiful blue with bits of sunshine and even blew a cooling breeze. Seriously amazing. Don't know how, but I'll take it.
In the words of Borat, "Great success."

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