I would like to change my position on the Diva runs. Last year, I did the 5k. I came in first in my age group and I believed it was because the race was more of a social event than a race, so that gave me an edge, because I was there to try to PR. This year, I did the half, and even though there were plenty of women in costume - tutu's, hair appliances, jewelry - there were just as many women who where NOT dolled up. And they ALL meant business, it seemed. Very few groups of women 3,4,5 abreast - mostly quiet and contemplative. And, as last year, the 5k'ers were the boisterous bunch. The walkers, the singers, the high-fivers. I guess the distance makes all the difference. But, to each their own. They have every right to participate as they wish.
If I came across as being persnickety or judgmental in my last post about this race, I apologize. It all comes down to knowing the circumstances of the race. Don't cry foul if you did not do your homework.
The weather. Oh brother. From light drizzle to heavy misting. But, it wasn't so bad. There was no direct sun, and the breeze.. oh, how wonderful it was. It was cool enough before I left the house, and I was tempted to wear shorts instead of capris because of the humidity. None of my shorts had a place to put my key, so I stuck with the longer pants. I wore a loose fitting tank. I carried no water, no carbs. I drank on the course sparingly. I really didn't feel very thirsty until the finish, and the inch of champagne they were serving at the finish line (how much did I pay for this race?) did not appeal to me AT ALL. One of the firemen dropped the medal around my neck. It was ridiculously heavy. I had to walk about a mile and a half back to my car on Merrick with this thing clanging around my neck. (That center gem piece rotates and makes a helluva noise)
It weighs more than 1/2 pound. So THAT'S where my money went..
While standing on the porta-potty line, a young girl turned to me and asked me if this was my first half and if I was nervous. "No, I'm not," I said. "Well, this is my first half and I'm so nervous, I could barely eat this morning." She had told me her longest run had only been 6 miles, and that she's only been running a year. "Are you here by yourself?" she asked. I told her that yes, I was. She said she was there with a friend, and by this time, as if just by talking about it, she really started to look nervous. I basically shared with her my plan on just thinking it was a long, Sunday run. And that if she viewed it that way, why - of course she'll finish. That seemed to make sense to her, and she thanked me and headed off to an open potty. I remembered her bib number, and saw that she indeed did finish, coming it at 2:24. Respectable for her first HM!
I listened to my podcasts during the entire run. I attempted my plan of thinking it as merely a long run on a Sunday morning, but you can guess how that went. I really thought that during the first 2 miles, I just might be able to pull it off. It was very slow going, (it took about a minute to get to the mat) But, during mile 2, I started looking around at the women in tutu's running faster than me. Never mind that they were probably 20+ years younger. So, I threw being reasonable to the wind and started working on my form, picking out one tutu after another and trying to pass them. My pace was vacillating as it usually does. I was doing well though until I came up to the 9 mile water stop. I did not take water, but I asked, no - screamed (everyone cheers at the water stops, so I had to scream to be heard) 3 times to different people handing out water if they knew at what mile the next water stop was. Why did I need to know this? I have no idea. But, not one person knew. And from there, things got a little torturous. Whatever available O2 I had circulating around my arteries and hanging out in the distal aveoli of my lungs was depleted with me needing to know the answer to that question. I hit the wall HARD - and whatever stride I had I started to loose from that point on. The last 3 miles were brutal. I felt my posture let go, so my low back was on fire, and my calves and hamstrings started to get tight. I walked several times, just to bring my heart rate back down and give my legs a chance to loosen up. At mile 11, my right hand started to swell, so I slowed down because I REALLY LIKE my right hand. After shaking it out a bit, I thought I had enough rest to push through until it happened again less than a mile from the finish. That would be the last time I walked, and then with the finish line in sight and 2:08 on the clock, I plowed on in.
I even raised my arms as I crossed!
I managed to smile for one of the cameras, too!
I had a whole lot more to say about this race, but I can't remember any of it. I did not accept the tiara, or the boa. A woman at the finish asked if I wanted my picture taken in front of the DIVA sign.
"No, thank you. I look like shit." is exactly what I said, and the girl walking in front of me who also declined the request turned and gave me a big smile. She must have felt the same way I did.
When I signed up for this last year, my goal was to come in 1:58:xx.
Maybe next time.