Slowly but surely I’m getting caught up!
I wouldn’t necessarily call this an “A” race, more like an “A-” race, especially since the training has been non-existent lately. Although, I was able to take advantage of the hotel gym the week prior to the race and made it twice!
The expo was definitely on the small side, at least when compared to other Rock ‘N’ Roll expos I’ve been to. And definitely less crowded – it probably helped I was there just as the expo opened. Packet pickup was a breeze. I was happy to see the new Brooks Run Happy Island. I had been envious of Abby’s Run Happy tote bag and since the market place was fairly empty I decided to go for it.
To get the tote bag, you had to get three stamps in your passport by completing three tasks. The first two went fairly smoothly (gait analysis where I got a few shoe recommendations and Mount Crackatoe-a where I raced a dinosaur up a mountain). Up next was riding the wild shoe. I was definitely on the apprehensive side for this one (akin to riding a mechanical bull). Getting on to the shoe was the most difficult part, but after two failed tries, I was able to shimmy my way up. I asked for the easiest setting and held on for dear life! Dear Tote Bag – you are MINE!
I left my house with what I thought was plenty of time before the race started. However I discounted the fact that I really don’t know St. Louis all that well. Oops. But finally I found an open parking lot and took the very last spot! Whew! And the parking lot was only a few blocks from the race start. Score! Which was great on its own but would turn out to be a lifesaver. (Cue dramatics.) I walked over to the race start and was wandering around, trying to stay warm, when I looked down at my shoes and realized I had forgotten my D-tag. I had forgotten my D-tag!!!! Deep breaths. A quick glance at my watch showed I still had time. Quick as a bunny I was back to my car and my D-tag was on my shoe.
Back to the race I went. Apparently I had also forgotten to check the weather. My hands were slowly turning into icicles. (My hands never got warm the entire race.)
Before long it was time to head to the corrals. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to find an old co-worker from Seattle!! Proving once again its a small world after all! We chatted for a few minutes before she had to go meet her sister.
My corral kept inching closer to the start line and then it was my turn to go!
We started off and turned towards the baseball stadium. It was neat to see all the “Go Cards” signs everywhere. From the baseball stadium we headed towards the football stadium.
Before I knew it we hit the split off point for the mini-marathon. It was also around this time my right hamstring started to twinge. Not a real bad twinge, but a twinge all the same.
If you would have told me St Louis was hilly before I moved here, I might not have believed you. It’s not hilly like Seattle hilly, but there are lots of rolling hills. And this course was no exception. Makes for an interesting course!
The course wound its way around St Louis University before making its way over to the Grove and Tower Grove Park. I really do enjoy seeing more areas of St Louis while I’m racing. We went through some beautiful tree-lined streets before turning back towards downtown.
I was hoping to at least beat my time from the GO! Half but it was not meant to be. I could see the time slipping away, but couldn’t seem to do anything about it except keep putting one foot in front of the other, slowly and not quite steadily.
Right around mile 12, there was a group of kids cheering which helped push me on. After all, I could still beat 3 hours. Down Market Street and through the finisher’s shoot!
And done!! Official time: 2:56:44 – still under 3 hours!