Friday, October 3, 2008

Akron Marathon Part I: The first 15.5

The Twizzlemeister as you see to your left was my partner for the 2-person (women's) Akron Marathon this year.
We had jokingly discussed being partners early in the summer should she be recovered from her first 100 miler. Little did I know she would be up and running, as she put it " a few miles" (~15 miles) by the end of the week after the Burning River 100. Working hard to regain her speed she began hitting the track once a week for a few 400's and 800's. Before I knew it she was out clipping off 3:00 for an 800 meter.

We had decided she would do the longer leg, which for some reason I had thought was the second leg through the hills. That was of course fine by me, but alas I was wrong. It was the first leg. I asked if she wanted to switch but got shut down instantly. I begged her to meet me on Main Street then at mile 26, so we could run into the stadium together. She hesitantly agreed. Now we just needed a cool name.

Some suggestions were...
Witness the Quickness, Run like You Stole Something, Miss Steaks (since we both work at steakhouses), but nothing seemed right when one night our other roommate had been teasing us about our #2 problems and voila. Twizzlemeister suggests "We Got the Runs." Completely, appalled and surely cursed I signed us up.

Now, I had looked up the course record for a few years back and it seemed to be 3:26:00, which seemed fairly easy. We decided we would go for it and see if we could put up a better time. We figured with the hills and what not we would shoot for 7:45-7:50. Knowing I had the shorter leg I felt a little pressure, of my own doing of course, to run my ass off. Twizzlemeister, of course modestly told me she would do her best, but not to be mad if she didn't come through on pace. I was worried, usually when she says such things she is underestimating her talents and blows through the course faster than expected. I told her to do her best and have fun and I would lover her crazy ass either way.

Friday my roommates, a friend and myself hit the expo and picked up all our gear for Saturday. That's when the nerves set in for me. I could feel the anticipation and excitement building. I felt ready to rip it up until I saw the humidity was supposed to be 90%!! Oh sh$t!! Thank goodness for party boy. He texted me to chill out and I would be fine and when it got tough to remember "MOM THE MEATLOAF.....F*CK!!!" - Wedding Crashers. I laughed and it worked. We made it through the expo in about an hour and as we left I asked Twizzlemeister if she picked up a snap bracelet. Nope, we get them at the start tomorrow. Onto dinner and bed early, not even a little debate watching...nada for me.

Race day hit and the 3 of us piled into the car and made it at about 6:20am. My other roommate was doing the half so they bailed on me to run a little warm-up and meet me at the start. I wandered around saying hi to friends and wishing them luck. I felt awkward. I was racing, but not yet. My body knew it was race day, but not my race time. I found Twizzlemeister in line for none other than ... the port-0-johns. "We Got the Runs" was in full effect!! I asked her if she had picked up the snap bracelet and of course she had not. I jokingly, told her WTF, she had one job that morning before the race. She busted up laughing at me stating she had to stay in line to use the bathroom. I ran over to the tent and wrangled one up for us. Sheesh!!! I swear she does that crap to me on purpose just to get a good laugh :)

When she was done it was nearly 7:00am. The countdown had begun. We walked over to the start, which was jam-frickin'-packed. She wanted to station herself between the 3:20 and 3:30 pacer, so I told her I would see her soon and it was on!! She hurried off and I lost sight of her. The start was awesome. There were bells, rock music blaring and people hollering. I was pumped.

It had begun. I knew her goal would to be to be at the relay point in 2 hours so I had time to hit the bathroom myself and head down one street to see the runner's come through at the 3 mile mark. My mom and JL were also there cheering and snapped some pics of both my roommates. I checked my watch and both were on pace! It was on. I had faith my roommate was gonna rock it!!

Bummed, I couldn't wait for her to come back through campus at mile 10 we headed to the car. I wanted at least 20 minutes to warm-up, 10 minutes to walk to the relay point and additional minutes for a lot of bathroom stops. I could feel the thickness of the air...oh boy.

Party boy called me when we got to the relay point to wish me luck and tell me he would be waiting at the finish, even though he had, yep you guessed it....stayed up all night to party. My mom had offered to watch my racing flats and gear while I warmed up so I headed out for 10 easy minutes. My body felt relaxed and ready to run on the way out, but then on the way back I felt a twinge in my left hammy. I was not pleased. It must have been a heat/humidity cramp because I was peeing like crazy and it was crystal clear. I had eaten oatmeal, a banana, had a little bit of coffee and had been sipping on water for almost 3 hours. It had to be the humidity. I popped an endurolyte just in case then I changed into my racing flats. I could see runners coming through now. They were yelling out numbers, but I was at the very far end of the relay point. I hit the bathroom ONE MORE TIME and told my girlfriend to keep a lookout for 290 (that was us). She started laughing, thinking about how funny it would be if I was on the toilet when Twizzlemeister came through. Hahaha, yeah really funny.

After making my final drop before my leg began I nervously stretched and bounced around. My mom was on the other side of the road looking, camera ready. I kept thinking "C'mon Twizzlemeister, you can do this!" I checked the clock 1:58:00. I had started my clock at the start of the race and figured she had some time on the clock, but didn't know for certain. And then it happened I heard the announcement.... "290!!!" Time to go. I knew in my heart she had run with everything she had and would be coming in fast, but she would be hurting. I left my assigned gate and began sprinting back to her (screw the rules, my gate was way passed the mats). I was on clock and I needed that bracelet. She had it off and out ready for me like a baton. I yelled at her that she was frickin' awesome and with that I turned away from her and was off. I saw 2:00:00 hours on the clock. She was right on the money, but I was wrong.

She had run a 1:59:00 I would later find out. She had not run a 7:45-7:50 pace. She had gone 7:40. YEAH BABY!!! I knew she could do it, but now it was my turn.

1 comment:

DaisyDuc said...

LOVE THE NAME!!! You two ladies rock!