Let's just jump straight in to the pictures today.
Here we are, getting ready to head out. The start was just down the block so we were able to hang out at the hotel (ooh, private bathrooms!) a bit longer than usual. Nice.
Here's Julie (with the shiny ankles) heading off to go hang out with the other mega fast people before the race.
And here's one of Julie finishing! (If you click for a bigger image, you can read the time.) At this point I had finished, eaten my "Oktoberfest brat", and started to recover a bit. They had bleachers set up near the finish so I was actually elevated enough to take an unobstructed picture.
Here are our finishing times. (Again, click if you're interested.) I improved my best by a few seconds.
For one reason or another, at this one, they had double-dipping of the prizes. Julie got TWO giant heavy medals and some money! One for an age group award and the others for finishing 8th (?) or 9th. Very productive trip :)
As far as the race goes, the air wasn't so hot (50s and 60s), but the sky was cloudless and we had a mighty sun. There were a lot of people going straight from the finish to the aid tent. The bright sun can really wear you down.
I also learned that chia seeds do nothing! I gulped down 3 tbsp of seeds (that had been infused with apple juice) about an hour and a half before the race. Then, this was my race:
For reasons I don't understand, I lined up waaay too far back. I was quite a ways behind the 5 hour full marathon pacer. Lets say that instead of lining up half way through the pack, I lined up 2/3 the way back. I spent the first 2 miles going slower than I wanted because of congestion. Good warm-up I suppose.
For the middle portion, miles 2 - 8, I became convinced I was the fastest man alive. I was passing everybody. I'd pick out a runner a ways ahead, pass them in a few minutes and pick out another one. I wasn't wearing a watch, but I'm sure I was going much faster than I should have been by about mile six. At mile eight, I started to feel pretty fatigued.
Even though I was wearing down, I still wasn't sure if my chia-fortified approach was working so I didn't want to eat either of the two gels I had brought. At mile ten, my tires went flat. I slowed down and watched about 2 miles worth of passed people come back and overtake me. I probably should have just downed all my gels at mile 10, but I was feeling a bit spiteful towards the seeds at this point and decided to stick out the whole race on just water -- just to be sure I didn't mask a magical chia-powered 11th hour boost and invalidate my experiment. There was no magic boost.
The last few miles were increasingly unpleasant. I got a little dizzy and a little numb at times. But it ended out okay. The high point was running the lap of the football stadium at the end. That part was really cool. I came out of the tunnel and into the stadium then got smiley, looked around, slowed down to a bit of a trot, all that. I even waved to the people before leaving again for the last bit to the finish. I would not have guessed it would be that neat to run around in there.
The rest of the day was spent with good company and tasty food. We even had our wine and cheese party in the hotel lobby. Good times.
Time to pack!