Saturday, January 19, 2008

Double Deuce -- Check!!

WOOT!

22-miler. CHECK!

Wow. What a morning! Yes, it was cold...but thank goodness, NO PRECIPITATION! (My no-rain dance last night must've worked.)

It began like any other morning...scratch that, no it didn't. I had to wake up at the double ass crack of dawn (4am) to get my breakfast in (and out) before the run started at the ass crack of dawn....5:45am. It was weird as I was thinking about where I was last week at that time....on my way to bed, not getting out of it! Go figure.

It did begin like any other long run though. My just-in-time arrival meant that I would not have the opportunity to hit the restroom one last time before my pace group headed out. (Dang it...I need to leave about 5 minutes earlier...someone remind me next time please!)

I found my steady eddie pace boys, Driver, Rabbit, Johnathan and Michael. Everyone was bundled up and ready to roll. Our pacers were the same couple from the Georgetown 20-miler so I knew we were going to be in great shape. Those two are AWESOME!

We started the run with a 4-mile warmup this time before heading into our MGP of 8:35 for the remainder of the run.

However, by mile 2, I realized I had one layer on too many (tight racer-back shirt, LG long sleeve bike jersey (I know, I know.... it just works for me, so I keep rolling with it), and my pink thin fleece jacket --- what? I was cold.). So I said a fond farewell to my $7 pink purchase from target and left it at the rock. I hope someone wears it with pride.

Before I knew it, we were at the end of Lake Austin Blvd, turning right and heading into our first section of hills. The pacers announce, OK time for MGP. Nick and I look at each other....oh great...let's pick it up on the hills....lovely.

We pick 'em up and put 'em down following our pacers like ducklings to a swan. When they stopped for water, we stopped for water. When they picked it up on the down hills, we picked it up on the downhills. The little 3:45 sign was like a homing beacon for me. I just kept it near me the whole time.

5, 10, 15 - click, click, click. Driver was his usual chatty self. You can always tell when his GU kicks in. Michael would surge ahead from time to time, but we'd eventually reel him back in.

Our group of about 15 was perfect. Folks would rotate around, sometimes pulling in the front, sometimes getting pulled from the back. Good conversation and funny stories were told and kept everyone's mind occupied as the miles rolled on.

The hardest parts were starting after stopping for water since we would have to wait in line for water and such. My knees would totally protest, but would quickly warm up again, thank goodness.

The weather turned out to be perfect. Not too cold, no rain, beautiful sunrise.

At one point, we were running along and this fantastic form went whizzing by us. I was like, damn, that chick looks great! She turned around to talk to her running partner and then I realized, OF COURSE...Desiree Ficker. She's awesome. 'Nough said.

It was great running the course as our pacers and other marathon veterans were telling us race strategies and stories about various points along the way. I tried to take mental notes.

Wiley came running by as the faster pace groups began to overtake us and I was once again blinded by the light reflecting from his legs. (j/k Wiley, you know we love you.) We oggled Desiree as she went by again. At one point, Wiley had a pit stop and then caught back up to us, giddy with excitement. "Guess who came into the bathroom behind me?" his face beaming. "Des?" I responded. "YES! I told her congratulations for South Africa!" In case you've been living under a rock, Des picked up the win at the 70.3 race there. "I talked to Desiree!" Wiley was so cute. "See you at the finish!" and he was off once more. I giggled and kept running. Sometimes it's the simpler things in life that can make you happy. One shouldn't overlook those moments.

As we turned right to head down the street in front of the capital, our pacers said, "Ok, whatever you've got left in the tank....let it ride!"

On race day it would be a sprint to 8th street from there, but we knew we had to make it all the way back to the annex...but we picked it up anyway. Driver and I have made good time on that stretch before so we were in very familiar territory so we just let it fly.

We were moving along at a pretty good clip (for us) all the way down Congress and decided to just go straight across the Congress bridge and come into the annex the back way. We headed across the bridge and Michael and Driver starting slowing a bit. I chided them from behind, "Nick -- Michael -- let's go boys!" They cursed me under their breath (yes, I could hear y'all!) and we picked it up some more.

We turned into the parking lot by the Chamber and I told Nick, "Ok, let's go!" and we sprinted the last 100 meters or so.

HELL YA! It felt GREAT!!!

Our pacer came up behind us and said..."NICE FINISH! 7:35 pace since the Capital!"

WOOOT!!!!!!!!

High fives all around!

Turns out our pace after the 4-mile warm up was 8:25!!!!! (Partly due to the last bit I'm sure...but still!!) I was so fired up!!!

The good news is that my knees aren't bothering me...much...right now...
The bad news is my left calf/achilles is talking to me a bit....but nothing a good massage and a bit of rest won't cure I think!

I know anything can happen on race day. And my performance today does not guarantee anything on 2/17...but damn it felt good today. Even if I crash and burn at the marathon, I still feel great about running my first 22-miler!

YEA! Now, let's drink!

1 comment:

Kris said...

Congrats, Dionn! It sounds like you're having fun (the most important thing) and you're ready to race. I can't wait to see how great y'all do!