Luckily for us, the expo was only a couple miles from our house, so going to it twice wasn't a big inconvenience. I spent an hour changing my mind about 10 times as to what I was going to wear for the race (I was having a fat day and everything looked awful on me), finally laid out all my stuff, and then rested up for the big day. Oh, and we had French toast for dinner, which is my new favorite way to carb up before a race.
Can I just say how nice it was to do a race in town? We got to sleep in our own bed (I still did my normal tossing and turning before a race, but was much more comfortable), the drive to the race start took us all of five minutes, and we didn't have to rush afterward to check out of a hotel. Plus, this race - the BCS Marathon and Half Marathon - was very, very well done...great course (mostly flat with a few downhills and one short mean hill at mile 12.5), great support, fun finish area...and this is only the second year of the race!
On to the race recap. We met up with our USAFit peeps beforehand and hung out for a while. Then we moseyed to the start area - there were no corrals, so we tried to get close toward the back. I was sweating and clammy right before we started - it was just plain STUPIDHOT for December 9th. I think the temperature was 72 degrees and the humidity was nasty - like 94%. Soupy. The race started right on time, and we set off running. Our goal was to run the first two miles without stopping, then take a short water break. We managed that just fine, then ran to mile 3 where we had a GU. I think there was a water stop shortly after mile 3 and we refilled our bottles - yes, they were getting close to empty because it was so hot. We continued running until mile 5 - that was my goal. Then we took a pretty long walking break to eat our Honey Stinger Waffles (I had a hard time getting mine down; nerves or heat, who knows why). After that we would run some, and then walk some, and of course, we got water at every aid station, plus I usually had a couple sips of Gatorade as well.
Around mile 7, we ran through Northgate, which is a bar and restaurant area across from campus. That was fun because Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with a couple of reindeer, were there! I wish we would have stopped to take a picture with them, but we were running pretty good at that point so we didn't. Then we ran through Texas A&M University campus, which was nice because usually I'm driving somewhere there and have to pay attention to where I'm going, so being on foot, I got to see things that I usually miss. Unfortunately, around that time was when I realized I was getting a really painful blister on the ball of my left foot. We came up to a medical aid station, and I stupidly decided not to stop. It got worse and worse, and I ended up walking more than I would have liked. There was another medical aid station around mile 10, so I did stop there and ask for a bandaid. When I pulled off my sock, the blister was huge - about the size of a half dollar coin. Plus, I had another big one on the toe that was next to my taped toes! I got it bandaged up and the medic handed me two Tylenol to take, which was nice.
Along with all of the spectator support along the course, it was wonderful to see people we knew - my running buddy Jenny couldn't race due to some pretty major foot issues, but we saw her at two different places. We also got a nice surprise when we saw our old running coach, Joni, her husband Rand and baby Davis! I gave her a sweaty hug which I'm sure was pretty disgusting on her end, but it was very comforting to me. Coach Dale was driving the course in a Gator and came alongside of us while we were on campus - I thought he was going to offer us a ride, but sadly, no. Still, his was another friendly face that was good to see.
We spent the next 3 miles walking and running, but probably more walking than running. Thankfully, the last part of the course was downhill, so we booked it to the finish line. I was surprised to see two of the physical therapists that I used to work for (Scott & White, the medical clinic, was a big race sponsor) there, and they both came over to hug me. We got our medals and our finisher's shirts, and then headed down to the food area.
Good things about the race