Monday, February 28, 2011

Spectating at the Austin Marathon

I decided to run only 3M this year, which meant I could spectate for all my friends at the Austin Marathon. A few weeks before the marathon Kristen, Kendra, Shayla and I decided we would spectate together, and try to hit as many spots as possible to support our team. I was in charge of mapping out our route, our stops, the runners' paces, and our stops for coffee and snacks along the way. I came up with a perfect plan so we would not miss any of our friends running and see most of them 2 or 3 times, even though we had a really wide range of paces. As you can imagine, a perfect plan is rarely executed perfectly...

Everyone got to my house on time and we got our duties clearly lined out: Driving- Kristen, Navigating- Heather, Heckling from the backseat- Kendra & Shayla, Cowbelling & cheering- all of us. We got to our first stop at miles 2 & 8 early and had time to get some coffee, but we couldn't find a coffee shop open at 6:40am! Really? After walking around looking for an open coffee shop for about 15 minutes, we realized Austin Java had opened early, probably because there was a crowd of about 30 people outside whining that they weren't open!

We found Rita and chose the perfect spectating spot near mile 2, soon the first runners were coming by! We saw Jon, Eva, Cindy, Carol, Del, Andrew & Peylin (Ingrid saw us and yelled like crazy, I think Kristen and Rita saw her but I missed her) at mile 2 and we waited and waited but missed Elizabeth. Darn! I thought for sure we'd see everyone at mile 2! We moved over to mile 8 and saw Jon, Eva, Del, Andrew & Cindy and again I missed Ingrid! I knew we would miss some of our runners at mile 8, but we needed to get to mile 11, where hopefully we'd see all but our very fastest runners.

Some of our group needed a pit stop so on the way to mile 11 we stopped at Cafe Medici. We were all starving and I was happy for the stop, but it seemed that not everyone (or maybe no one) had carefully inspected my timing sheet. I felt like a drill sergeant "Move, move move!! Let's go or we're going to miss them!" We got to mile 11 got a perfect parking spot and ran down the hill to the marathon/half marathon split. Kristen talked to someone who told her Cindy had run by less than a minute ago! Really?? We missed her by less than a minute? I figured we could still see Jimmy, Carol and Elizabeth at mile 11. Then Ingrid surprised us and ran by, and even stopped to talk for a minute! I guess she really meant it when she said she was taking this one easy (of course she had run a 100 mile trail run 2 weeks earlier!). We waited for Jimmy, Carol and Elizabeth, but after awhile I was afraid we had missed them again, and Kristen wanted to get to mile 18 before we missed the full marathoners again! We tried hard, but in the end we missed a lot of our half marathoners and didn't do as well spectating for them as I had hoped.

We got to mile 18 and had a little time to wait before any of our Tri Zoners came by. Cindy had given Kristen a couple of popsicle sticks for vaseline. We weren't sure if she was afraid they wouldn't have any or if germaphobe Cindy didn't want to touch the popsicle sticks everyone else was touching. We assumed it was a germ issue, so we all pretended to lick Cindy's vaseline popsicles.Soon Kim G came running by looking great, and just a little behind her was Cindy. She stopped to hug us all and sing "I Feel Good nah nah nah" We all laughed while she applied the vaseline we had ready for her. She told us she felt good but it was pretty warm for marathon running and she felt like she was drinking a lot of extra fluid and needed extra sodium- good thing we had salt tabs ready.

After mile 18, we dropped Shayla and Kendra off at my house so they could get to swim class. Kristen and I planned to see Kim G and Cindy at mile 25 then double back to mile 18 or 20 to see Carol. We figured we still had extra time so we went to go hang out with Jody at mile 20. Somehow we didn't find Jody, but as we were looking for her Cindy ran by and threw her sweat soaked spi belt to me. That seemed like a faster pace than I expected, so Kristen and I hurried over to mile 24.5. We got there and a few minutes later, Cindy came running by still singing "I Feel Good" and even dancing this time! Super impressive for 24.5 miles into a marathon! Kim G. was just behind her and having some calf cramps, I offered to run to the car and get her some salt tablets, but with 1.7 miles to go she decided to just keep going. Why didn't we have salt tabs ready this time? I have no idea...sorry Kim!
After we saw Cindy and Kim G. we headed back to mile 20 and this time we did find Jody, and GG who was working traffic control. Soon Carol ran by, she looked good, but we wondered how she felt, it was a pretty warm day for a marathon. I decided to run with her for a minute and see how she was doing. I had to sprint to catch her and when I did, she seemed perfectly fine even though it was a warm day. She ran the Austin marathon as a training race for the Boston marathon in April, I think she's going to have a great race at Boston!

In the end we saw most of our friends on the race course at least once and we had a lot of fun, so even if it didn't go exactly as planned, maybe it was still a perfect day of spectating.

With our spectating finished, Kristen and I went to the finish line to meet Cindy and find some lunch, we were starving!
Lunch and mimosas at Galaxy Cafe with Cindy to celebrate her marathon success!

When I got home I told Jeff "I think I only ran about 2 miles today, but I feel like I ran a marathon!" Spectating is hard work :)

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