I woke up to my alarm at 4:50 am. Today was the day! If only I could sleep a little longer.
I jumped out of bed to throw my contacts in and to start eating.
1.5 bagels with cookie butter and water fueled me.
I was moaning as I was forcing myself to eat and eat. The banana just wasn’t going to happen.
Running gear: check!
I couldn’t decide on hat or no hat. I would end up needing it during certain parts of the course.
Aaron drove us to a near-by parking deck to park and walked a 1/2 mile to the starting area.
Best starting area! There were indoor bathrooms available!! Also Bucky the Badger was bopping around with his new friends, the Brewer’s sausage racers.
Despite it being overcast at the time, I slathered on SPF 50 once I shed my sweatshirt (it was in the 40′s when we woke up!). My sinus infection had me blowing my nose all morning. When I reached the starting area, I needed another blow but no one had any tissue or napkin. I tore up my packet envelope and used that as a tissue. My dad stuck his hand out to take the snotty paper. He rocks.
I was thrown off a little at the start of the race. We were in corrals but just moved up until we were going past the start line. I was expecting individual starts for each corral like my last half.
People were flying by me. I refused to go out too fast especially since it was an uphill climb at the start. The start included UW pep band. It was so awesome to hear them playing as we ran by. It gave me chills.
We ran past the square where the farmers market was starting up. We cruised along State Street which was lined with interactive spectators.
Including my cheering squad! It was the last I would see of my parents and Aaron until the finish. Apparently I was too fast for them to catch me during the 3rd mile.
It was a fast race. People were still flying by me despite holding a good pace (for myself). I caught a few areas that had a nice dirt path next to a paved path. This gave a little break on my joints.
A woman touched my heart as she held up a sign that read: “So proud of you total strangers!” I was so happy to see her again around mile 9 or so.
And then came the gorgeous arboretum that was a slow climb. There were few spectators here. I stopped momentarily because I thought my right shoe came untied. It wasn’t! I lost about 5 seconds there. This stretch of course was when people started taking walking breaks. That was not an option for me.
A guy wearing Le Tour de France socks passed me and I channeled and chanting, “Bradley Wiggins! Bradley Wiggins! Be Mark Cavendish!” Runners have crazy thoughts.
I began seeing the 2 hour pacers going ahead and falling back about 3-4 times during the race. I couldn’t let this affect me.
The spectators cheered us on as we left the arboretum. I saw other great signs which included:
- Run faster. I just farted! (this took me 3 seconds to get)
- Hey this is crazy. I just met you. But here’s my number 608-xxx-xxx. So call me maybe. (he really put out his number though)
- Glad it’s you and not me
I was trying to remember a lot of the signs because there were a lot of good ones.
Younger kids began sticking their hands out for high fives. I didn’t want any part of this at first, but then I realized that this race wasn’t all about me. It was about them, too! I gave a 3 side-fives. One was to a 70 year-old man, ha.
Mile 8 thoughts were focused on my fellow dietitian doing a triathlon at the same time and those who can no longer run. I felt honored to be running.
At mile 10, a 12 year-old water station volunteer cheered me on by name as I grabbed her water. She has no clue what that meant to me.
At mile 11 I drank just a tad too much Gatorade. Side cramp! I would not let this hurt me any more than it already was. Forge on, Molly. It was a gorgeous area to take my mind off of things. I was now along the lake! I was surrounded by a lot of girl runners. I felt connected to all of them as we all were finishing the last leg of the race.
I was just before mile 13 when the course started going up! This would be where I started dropping a naughty word with every stride. Not sure how loud I was saying that. Pretty sure that it was under my breath.
And then the course was dropping! I usually pull back when running downhill. This was not an option today. Out of my way, I am crossing that finish line!
I love these pictures because my dad’s head is sticking out to cheer me on. He’s awesome!
I could hear my mom’s voice cheering me the entire way.
Once I crossed I threw my hands above my head and thought, “I did it. I did it.” My medal was thrown around my neck, water bottle handed back to the volunteer for her to open it for me, chocolate milk taken, banana given, and opted for a granola bar.
I took in too much fluid too quickly and then my medal was hitting me in the stomach with each step! I was on the verge on losing my cookies.
I quickly spotted Aaron in the crowd and went over to him. My parents weren’t far behind. I stretched only a little. It was hard to stretch out in a crowded area with cement surroundings. Photo session instead.
It was such a gorgeous day and setting. Sailboats dotted Lake Mendota as we all relaxed on land.
Aaron and I declined the Shock Top beer available. We’d wait hours for a good beer. I did find my way to the massage tent! I was told that I was pretty flexible. I would wind up having tight hips the rest of the day though.
Official chip time: 1:59:27 with an average pace of 9:08!
I absolutely loved this race. I was impressed with everything except the beer (minor detail). I would love to do this race again next year.