St Jude/Memphis Marathon 12/4/10: Race Report
Before the Race
After being in denial pretty much all week, I finally buckled down Thursday night (the night before we left) and did a final, easy run, went and got a light/relaxing massage and spent about a million $$ on iTunes/making modifications to my play list(s).
I was originally supposed to be “off” Friday but with the workload we are under, along with expectations of my boss and knowing that we had a huge meeting/presentation at 7am on Monday, I thought it best to work half a day before heading out of town. Matt had to work in the morning anyway, so it was no big deal. I ended up having a “networking breakfast” at a local coffee shop with one of my dear friends from grad school who was visiting from out of town (we had made these plans weeks earlier when she had emailed letting me know she was going to be in town for work and I thought I was going to be off) and it really helped keep me calm and keep my mind off of the things I still needed to do before we left.
I left work around lunch, stopping at a local cycle shop to pick up a couple packages of Sports Beans on the way home since I was almost out and didn’t want to rely on hoping these would be available at the expo. (Side note for any local peeps: Cahaba Cycles has THE best selection of beans, gu, nunn, etc…blows the track stores and the big chains out of the water! Plus they are a local business and I do my best to support local enterprises when possible)
I got home to find Matt’s car gone (he works from home, so this was weird) only to find out that he was trying to get a new tire put on his car b/c it turns out one of his had a nail in it!! I finished packing and had everything 100% ready to go by the time he got home, so we finally headed out around 2:00, making a slight detour to the vet to drop the babies off for the weekend. Memphis is a +/- 4 hour drive from Birmingham and packet pick up was open until 9:00 so I wasn’t getting too stressed (yet) but Matt seemed to be taking his time as we stopped to fill up with gas and he went into the convenience store to get a drink for the road (I already had my “mobile hydration and fuel station” LOL) and I was starting to get anxious. Birmingham traffic had been abnormally thick on Friday (all roads/all directions) and I just wanted to get out of town b/c I knew once we did, it would be low traffic/smooth sailing. (Internal dialogue: We have ½ tank of gas…can’t we wait until we are on the road and stop in some small, redneck town to refuel???)
Beautiful sunset on the drive to Memphis
We finally rolled into Memphis around 7:00 and since we were staying at the hotel attached to the convention center (where the expo was taking place), I went in to pick up my packet while Matt parked the car. Packet pick up was a BREEZE and I easily got my bib, t-shirt and goodie bag before checking out the expo (or what was left of it by that point). The freebies were essentially gone as I expected and the $9.99 guy that Laura from Running in the Delta raved about was picked over. I wanted to find some event merchandise but I never did see a booth with anything. Maybe I missed it? (I saw some people wearing apparel the next day) Matt had found me by that point, so I picked up a 26.2 magnet for my car and a 26.2 ornament and we were off to get checked into the hotel and to find dinner.
We ate at Neely’s BBQ since we enjoy watching their show on the Food Network (Gina is a bit annoying at times, but their food usually looks tasty) and was conveniently less than 1 mile from the hotel. I ordered the BBQ spaghetti (supplemented by 2 rolls and tons of water) while Matt proceeded to polish off pork, fries and all of my coleslaw. I really enjoyed it and barely dented my plate (it felt like the spaghetti was multiplying before my eyes) but Matt said that he didn’t care for the sauce (and therefore, the meal) (Side: never would have guessed by the amount of food he finished!)
We headed back to the hotel and I began laying everything out for the morning. I had decided to go with a throwaway long sleeve and run in the short sleeves since it was predicted to be in the low 40s at the start, warming up to the mid 50s. I piddled around, looked through the goodie bag (not much to note there…it was actually pretty sad) and clipped my toenails (HAHA) before finally settling in around 10:00. The race had an 8:00am wave start (I was placing myself in wave 12, so I knew I would cross sometime between 8:15 and 8:30) and it was only a few block walk to the start (and I was not checking anything) so my goal was to be out of bed by 6 and out the door by 7.
I am surprised but I actually slept really well (despite getting up 3x during the night to pee). At this point I was more emotional than nervous and just wanted to focus on getting to work. (I didn’t mention earlier but when my coworkers Lauren and Jan gave me a card and hugged me goodbye and told me how proud they were of me, I started bawling right then and there in the office. Thank God for being able to close the door to compose myself before walking out to my car!)
Next Up: Race Day