I spent the weekend with Jeanette and Johannah (of the Tour de Palm Springs weekend). It was really nice to have people around who thought ahead about the half marathon.
I actually knew the elevation changes and the weather forecast before going out on the course. A novel idea, don’t you think?
The day before the race, Jeanette drove us up the first half of the course (which was mainly all uphill). (Awesome.) I learned that we would basically be running on the sun. (Oh no, not again.)
I usually wear the same thing every race, but last time I learned to forget vanity and routines. I did this race in my pajama pants and a white tech shirt. Best decision of the day.
It was super hot out, but it was way less bothersome with lighter clothes. It also helped that I had no time goals whatsoever. With an incline for most of the first half, mixed with running on fire, I figured I’d just take it easy and basically take a 13.1 mile stroll. (Johannah knocked it out of the park, finishing in 2:06:38.)
I had a nice time walking through the course, doing light jogging here and there. As the crowd thinned out, and I started to go uphill, “Disturbia” came on my iPod. (Side note: I always think of my girls in RNG when that song comes on, ’cause they’re the one who put it on my computer when they were practicing for this routine.
Anyway, as Rihanna is playing, I start moving my hips as I walk, hoping maybe that will be some kind of additional workout. I start to get lost in my tunes, seeing myself onstage at Madison Square Garden, going full out popstar mode. That’s when I see Jeanette with Gatorade. We’ll pretend that I wasn’t just completely embarrassing myself there.
Jeanette showed up at a few points along the course to be a personal water/Gatorade station for Johannah and I. Incredible, right?
The course was really well supported for the first few miles. There were volunteers everywhere. The first water station was there before I even hit the first mile marker.
For once I didn’t pay much attention to the mile markers. There was a huge time limit on this (4 1/2 hours). As long as there were people behind me, I didn’t care about my time.
As I was taking a nice walk through the Redlands, the course became less and less supported. Even though there were still a couple of groups of walkers behind me (far enough to where I couldn’t even see them anymore), I came across volunteer after volunteer leaving as I passed. I got to a water station where people were in the midst of dumping all the water. I warned them that more people were coming.
This was a little disheartening. I didn’t care all that much; I had a person looking out for me if I needed water or Gatorade. And I have done plenty of half marathons, so I don’t need the encouragement that maybe a first timer would. (A pair of women caught up to me later, and they were both doing their first half marathon. They went miles and miles without seeing a soul.)
We weren’t going to come in right at the time limit or anything, either. We were going to come in at least 50 (probably more) minutes before the course closed.
I understand that we were going quite slowly, and I appreciate the race director putting such a relaxed time limit on such a hard course. But, my opinion is that if you’re going to take away all the support before a number of people get to it, make it known that support will stop after a certain time (or just make a tighter time limit), please.
The back of the pack was really spread out. At first, I thought I loved being alone, getting lost in my music. (My workout playlist got a nice break today, as I shuffled through my whole collection.)
There I am thinking I enjoy the scenery and alone time… Until I realize that everyone in Redlands has a dog.
I don’t want to scare you too much, so I’ll let you know I’m safe. I’ll pick up with the dogs tomorrow.