friday: halloween. we had the traditional party at nama and papa’s with cousins and friends. lots of pizza and candy. trick or treating around the neighborhood and then lots of kids doped up on sugar. not a pretty sight. can you say emotional roller coaster. it didn’t help that i was running the half marathon the next morning either. i refrained from pizza. i hydrated like mad. i ate a normal dinner followed by treating myself to a few boxes of kids size sugar bombs. then i tried to calm myself down, lay out my clothes and try to fall asleep.

saturday: the alarm went off at 5:20am. race time was 8:00am and a group of us from work were going to meet at 7:30am. well around 5:30am i heard a car wreck outside. i was just about to pull back the curtains when i thought, “that’s thunder.” then the rain came down. and it came down. great. rain. not fond of running. really not fond of running in the rain. heather and the girls were nice enough to drive me down to the race. anxiety was at an all time high and all i wanted was to see a familiar face. then the questions. should i leave my bag with heather? should i wear a long sleeve? should i wear my jacket? should i put my shirt on with my number? will i look like an over anxious dork? my goodness. finally i saw people from work. i told heather to come back in a couple of hours and i said good bye. i stood in the rain with my co workers.

should i warm up? probably. mark, megan and i went for a jog down through the parking lot. warmed up a bit. did some stretching and then headed over to the start/finish. then out of no where, “bang.” what was that? oh crap. it’s starting. quick run. no wait. can’t. too many people. ok. walk. no run. stop. get out of my way. sheesh. after about a quarter mile i could run. i ran with denny and janis. it was nice. we set off up hill for the first mile and a half. not ideal, but i had already ran it. i knew what to expect. just pace yourself, i kept telling myself. remember your goal. no walking.

the race was pretty uneventful. denny is a stallion. this was a social event. he would stop for the potty stops and then sprint back to us. i kept waiting for him to run backwards and talk to us. janis was fully trained up and last time i ran she put the hurt on me. i felt more prepared today, well rested and better fueled. at about mile 9 it became clear to me that this was going to take a lot of mental effort. then at mile 11 to 12 i couldn’t talk. i had to concentrate. as we rolled up through the parking lot with about 200 yards to go, people were lining up yelling at us encouraging us. it was excellent. i felt inspired. chariots of fire inspired. my legs took off and i had to finish strong. i hit a good stride and my legs were feeling great. then, i saw the girls and heather. they were yelling my name. “daddoos!” i gave them high fives and sprinted for the finish. 2:11:10. i was out of breath. and then the sucky part. stand on one foot while they clip off the chip from your shoe. i almost fell over. then i look down at my watch. i came sprinting through at a 7:05 mile per minute pace. the guy that won. yeah. he was running a 5:25. for 13 miles. i guess i now have a new goal.