As the alarm went off, I woke up, panicking that I had overslept but I hadn't. We got ready, grabbed breakfast and the cooler, and were off! We were running a little late which added to the nervousness I was already feeling.
It was about a 30 minute drive to Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake. There were 2500+ participants in this race and the parking was INSANE. We ended up parking in a neighborhood a little over a mile from the event. Every step I took, I was feeling more and more anxious. We were trying to hurry as we were meeting our friends, Chris and Jenny, in front of the Run On tent (Run On is who our running classes are with). We arrived at the tent and didn't see our friends. Due to the nerves, it was time for a bathroom break. The lines were CRAZY long and I had about 25 minutes. I told Scott to wait right where he was and that I would meet him there after going to the bathroom.
Standing in line for the bathroom, I am swaying back and forth (an uncontrollable habit I have) and watching my watch as the time ticked by. The announcer was calling everyone to line up at the starting line and I was only half-way through. There was NO CHANCE that I could run 9.3 miles without going to the bathroom first. So, I stuck it out, and with only 5 minutes until the start of the race, it was my turn. Would you believe that with the combination of nerves, panic, and being totally disgusted with the port-o-potties, I COULDN'T GO?!? Terrible.
I raced back to the tent to look for Scott and Jenny. Didn't see them...anywhere. WOW...the race was starting any second now. I was thinking that since I took so long, they came looking for me and we were just totally missing each other. So, I started the walk down to the starting line. Did I mention there were 2500+ runners? I was looking everywhere for a familiar face, preferably Scott and Jenny. Tears were welling up in my eyes and I was gearing myself up for running this race alone. I'm thinking, "You can do this, Caroline. It's only 9.3 miles and you've done 12 before. You've got this." My pep talks weren't going that well and the gun went off and the runners started the race. Suddenly, Scott comes running down the hill toward the starting line and I'm waving my arms like a crazy person. We looked at each other, both frustrated and confused.
We crossed the starting line and the race had begun. Scott said that he had been in the right place all along and swears that I never came by. Honestly, I have NO IDEA what happened but we missed each other completely. It didn't matter anymore because we were running together and that was a HUGE relief.
We started the first mile off fast...passing tons of people. Soon, we caught up to Jenny and other friends. Everything was working out.
With running, you know a few miles into your run if it's going to be good or not. Unfortunately, I wasn't really feeling it. Maybe it was the stressful events leading up to the race or maybe I didn't sleep or fuel properly, but regardless, I wasn't feeling great. It's tough when you look around you and everyone else in your group looks AWESOME, like they're having a great run. It certainly wasn't my day but I was running the whole thing, no questions asked.
This not-so-great run didn't get much better throughout the race. But guess what? I finished it! And I came in 13 minutes under my goal time...I'll take it. Praise the Lord for the amazing, cool weather. It made all of the difference in the world.
What do you want after a race? FOOD and WATER. What were they handing out? BEER. So, why not? It sure was good but not what my body needed. I chugged water after the beer. Probably should have been the other way around.
As we were walking to a shaded area to stretch, snack, and relax, I could feel pain in my toe and was pretty sure that I had lost a toenail. Lucky me, still attached...barely.
We sat and chatted with friends and then began the mile walk (which seemed like eternity) back to our cars.
We slept most of the day...just because we could.