The forecast was not good. It started on Saturday when I woke up at 5 a.m. to raging thunder and lightning and unbeliveable downpours. That was not a good omen. I kept thinking that maybe all the rain was going to come on Saturday and not on Sunday. I am a 'glass is half full' kinda gal, so I was hopeful. And wrong. Anyway, the family and I headed down to Portland to pick up my race number and swag bag. It was raining, of course. I got my bib, bag and shirt very quickly and without any problems. My daughter's and I found some cute glittery headbands that we purchased. Big Sissy got a silver glittery one, I got a black glittery one and Princess picked out one that said Diva. Of course she would. We did some shopping in Freeport and then headed home so I could get my stuff ready for the morning.
Morning came and it was raining. Hard. The forecast called for rain all day. Excellent. Temperatures in the 50's. Super. I had to rethink the outfit from above and I switched to running pants and a thicker shirt and a jacket. I left for the hour ride south at about 5:50. I wanted to arrive at 7 and have 45 minutes to get my shit together. Well, I did arrive at 7 and so did everyone else. Somehow, I seemed to have forgotten that this race was in a city, which means TRAFFIC. Duh. So I sat for a bit in that, hoping and hoping I was going to get to the porta-potty and to the start line on time. I thankfully, remembered that you could pay for parking close to the start line and headed that way. The $10 parking fee was for charity and thankfully, the nice man took my check (since I never carry cash. Does anyone?). I parked, changed quickly into the pants and warmer shirt and headed out for the potties.
I was planning on meeting up with Jen from Running with the Girls, but by this time, I was so late, and no where near where we were supposed to meet that I went straight to the potty line so I could take care of business before racing. Sorry, Jen! I really wanted to meet you! Note to self for next race in a city: Leave 45 minutes before you think you should.
Before I knew it, the gun went off and the race was started! It took a minute or two before I actually crossed the start mat, but then we were off. There were so many people and puddles and rain, it was hard to get into a space where you could run without bumping into someone. The first 5 miles went by like nothing. I thought it would totally suck to run in the pouring rain, but a friend told me, it only sucks until you are soaked. And he was right. After that, it really wasn't bad at all. My ipod was somehow stuck on repeat so it would just play the same song over and over. I had to manually move to the next song once one was over--what a pain! Although, it was a distraction from running, so maybe it was okay. It fixed itself about half way through--I don't know how, but it just started working properly. It was about that time that the right bud stopped working, probably from being soaked. Nice.
Despite the terrible weather, there were spectators lined up everywhere to cheer! It was great! There was a bagpipe player, people with cowbells, others at their house playing music out the window or out of their cars. I wish I could run it in nice weather! Imagine how great it would be then! Thank you spectators! You rock!!
About a mile before the turnaround, we started to see the leaders heading back. We were cheering for them as they passed us on the other side of the road. They are just so fast! One of the women I happened to see was Joan Beniot Samuelson! What a treat it was to see her! I gave her a cheer and kept running--what a lift for my spirits.
It seemed to take forever to get to the turnaround, but after that I felt better that I was heading to the finish now. At about mile 9-10 I started to feel myself slowing down and more and more people were passing me. I ate an energy gel and drank some water and then started to feel better after a bit. The last 2 miles were really hard. My legs were sore and my pants were soaked. They were so soaked around the ankles that it was bothering me, I couldn't wait to take them off. I wanted to stop, but told my legs to just keep going. I saw the 13 mile marker and knew that I was almost done.
What a relief to cross the finish mat. The clock said 2:03:40. I was a little bummed because I wanted 2 hours, but that was pretty darn close. I'd have to wait and find out what my chip time was. I found a clear spot on the soaking wet ground and just sat. It felt great to not move my legs.
I couldn't rest too long because I wanted to try to get to Sissy's basketball game about 40 minutes away. I had trouble finding my car and I was wet and cold so that sucked. Someone pointed me in the right direction and I changed, right there in the car. I ran into some friends on the way out and she had been tracking my time. They sent her a text when I finished and my chip time was 2:01:59. I am very happy with that. Only 2 minutes from my goal. In the cold, pouring rain. Not too shabby.
856 3029 Michelle Bouchard 41 409/1199 F 47/173 F4044 BOOTHBAY HARBOR ME USA 2:03:49 9:27 2:01:59
Chip time: 2:01:59
47/173 in my age group
Yay me! I'm glad I did it. I don't think I loved it enough to be wanting to try a marathon any time soon. 13.1 was enough for me. (Maybe if I run out of challenges.) I would like to try another 1/2 in the spring or summer, when the weather is nicer.
I don't have a single picture of this race because I was so late and it was raining so hard and my family couldn't be there. That kinda stinks. I'll have to wait and see what the photos from the race photographers look like. Maybe I'll buy one.