What? Another half marathon? This race snuck up on me. So much so I had no idea what on earth I was going to wear to the race! On Friday it came to me. I should wear a Cardinals outfit as this may quite possibly be my last St Louis race as a resident of St Louis. Oh yes, I have news, but I will save that for another post.
Fortunately I had a red skirt because I pretty much have a Sparkle Athletic skirt in every color. I just needed a shirt and a hat and socks (if I could find socks). However, after a late night at work on Friday and most of the day on Saturday, I was left with a quick trip to Target with a hope and a prayer I would find something. I found a shirt and went with my back up of a red sparkle visor.
Sunday morning came way too early. I lined up, ready to take on the new course. But let me back up for a second. Up until the Monday before the race, I had continued running / walking at least mile a day. And then I got out of bed Monday morning and my heel was in pain. I decided to take the week off, in hopes that ice and rest would help, which it did. I also taped up my foot with my ever trusty KT Tape.
As I started off towards the Arch, my foot was doing okay. That is until I stepped wrong onto crack in the street. There was some immediate “I stepped wrong” pain. Oh great, I’ve got a lot of race left! I took it easy and was able to shake it off (shake it off, shake it off).
The course was redesigned this year. The highlight was the “race within a race” section which involved two bridges and crossing the Mississippi into Illinois (aka East St Louis which doesn’t have the best reputation) before crossing back over to St Louis. I’m a big fan of bridges in my non running life! Coming back across the second bridge, I started to feel the bridge moving and started to rethink my love of bridges. It was a little disorienting to feel the ground shake.
The bridges ended and we started making our way back towards the start/finish line. But wait! We were only halfway done. You could hear people finishing as we ran by.
The remainder of the race was a giant out and back. I could see the giant Budweiser sign in the distance. Despite studying the race course beforehand, I became convinced we were going to turn around before reaching the Anheuser Busch facility. Remember, I’m not so good at mid-race math! I was disappointed when we turned into the facility because that meant we weren’t turning around yet.
That is until I turned the corner and saw the Clydesdale!!!!! Ever since moving to St Louis I have been enamored with the Budweiser Clydesdales. So you know I was going to stand in line to take my picture with a real life Clydesdale!
I had started off the race with a decent pace, but I continued to watch it increase. Someday I am going to master not going out too fast and be able to negative split. Today was not that day.
However, I kept trucking along until we turned up Market Street (where we had started). You could see the finish across the way but you had to run up, past the finish, before turning the corner to finish.
And there it was – the finish! I came across in 2:53.17 – not my best but definitely not my worst. I was happy to stay under 2:55.
I collected my medal and my Ted Drewes ice cream sandwich and called it a day.