Race day! We had a wake-up call set for 5:45 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. We got both. But, I didn't want to get up. LOL! I eventually got up about 6:10 a.m. and started getting ready. And I was ready way earlier than I thought. Oops! I was all ready to go and it was 30 minutes before I wanted to leave the hotel. Strange...
We headed out of the hotel about 7:15 a.m. I figured getting to the start about 7:30 a.m. would work. As we walked down the hall we passed a fellow runner going away from the elevator. She walked down the 12 sets of stairs to the lobby. Wow. More power to you! It was the elevator for me. :-) When we got in the elevator there were three additional runners going down. We were asked how we were getting to the start line. Thought it was a bit funny, but said we were walking. Two of the three laughed. Apparently their friend wanted to take a taxi or one of the rolling chairs to the start. Oops. Sorry!
It was a cool morning, but not freezing. I've read it was in the 50s. I would have preferred a bit chillier, but that's just me. We got to the start and did the pre-race photo.
Runner's are friendly! I had a nice conversation with a gentleman running his 2nd half marathon. We shared our stories about running and our hopes for the day. He also does the run/walk method so we chatted about that. He was a nice guy to chat with before the gun went off.
I crossed the start line about 2:30 after the gun. I thought it would take much longer, so that wasn't too bad. I ran a little bit before seeing hubby on a bench looking for me. LOL! I saw him first and he got a couple shots.
We left the boardwalk at Martin Luther King Blvd and off we were away from the ocean. Garmin went off at my first half mile at 5:55. Whaaa?!?! This is not good. Then it went off at the first mile - 11:59. Crap! This was WAY too fast for my lack of training. And it showed later...
I ran past the 1 mile water station. Who needs water that early? I was waiting for the 2.5 mile water station. It being more in tune with the way I hydrate in training. From the 1 mile water station we headed towards the highway...and an uphill entrance ramp. It was crazy! The positive was it was short. I walked it. I knew my training was not what it should be and I wasn't about to kill myself on the hills. Hit the top and made a right down a nice downhill into a tunnel. There was a slight incline, but not bad. It wasn't until we got out of the tunnel did we see the incline. Walked again. And got caught walking by the course photographer. Doh!
The highway we were running along took you out towards the Borgota and Harrah's. Shortly after this incline we leveled off again and there was a radio station blaring music. Which was nice, sorta. It was the only music on the half course. We ran around them and we passed the three mile mark. At the 3.1 mile mark there was a clock and apparently a reader to mark the official time. Mine wasn't too bad - 41:12. With the amount of walking I did up the inclines, I was ok with it. Just passed that we went up again, another on ramp. This brought us to the Borgota. We ran around the back of that and up another incline. From the Borgota we headed to Harrah's, which was fun since hubby and I have spent several of our wedding anniversaries there at the pool. Lots of traffic jams around there I can tell you!
Now I get a little fuzzy because I'm not familiar with the areas we went into next. We had several miles to go before heading back to the boardwalk and this is what I remember:
* There was a marker at mile 5 (I mention this because markers weren't at every mile that I saw)
* Somewhere just before 6.55 miles there was a funeral home. I had to laugh.
* At the 6.55 marker there was another tent where they read your bib for split times. Mine was 1:24:12. Blargh.
* The houses in the Water Basin were beautiful! And there is a statue of Neptune out there!
* I think I saw Donna out there, but wasn't 100% sure.
* There was a woman saying we were halfway there. No lady, we're not.
* Water stations did not seem to be accurate based on the map.
I was pretty excited to see the turn for the boardwalk. I knew when we got there 8 miles were in the books and only 5.1 more to go. I was struggling by this point, but I thought I could do it. I walked up the ramp to the boardwalk between Revel and Showboat and made the right onto the boardwalk, immediately seeing hubby on a bench looking for me. Yea! He got a few shots here.
And now it was just 5.1 more miles to the finish. I knew I would have to pass the finish line and then turn around further down the boardwalk before coming back. That was a mental block to get past. As I'm running along I realized the race officials did not close off any of the boardwalk for runners. This means until you reached the finish line you were weaving between tourists, having to pass them or get stuck behind them if you couldn't pass. Then, once you passed the finish line, you had to weave among the tourists and the runners on their way back! I can tell you, at one point I seriously considered just turning around before the official turn around point and finishing. Yea, I know it would be cheating, but it was so frustrating having to weave among so many people.
But, while I thought it I didn't do it. I did almost get run over by a cop on a motorcycle as he turned his bike around and then stopped about 10 feet in front of me. I was a bit ticked. And now more honesty. Around 9.5 miles I started power walking. I couldn't run. My feet hurt (along the bottoms), my right hamstring was bothering me randomly, as well as my left knee. I was feeling a bit defeated and I started walking. And I started passing people. LOL! I was power walking faster than I was running. How disconcerting. But whatever gets you to the finish line, right?
I finally made the turn around and kept moving knowing it was just about 2 miles back. I had to guess this of course because at this point the mile markers were for the marathoners...who the first ones were starting to pass me. Slightly upsetting. But I ran/walked back to the finish. I got close to Caesar's and saw a photographer and decided to run it in from there on out. Which worked in my favor because the photo does show me running. Now because there were no lanes set aside we had been running on the left side of the boardwalk. To cross the finish you had to be on the right. So, in the middle of very large crowds (plus) you had to cross from one side of the boardwalk to the other (con). Ugh.
I crossed over and looked for hubby. I got about 5 feet into the finishers lane and saw him. Yea! I knew the finish was soooooo close. Just a few more feet.
After breakfast we stopped and checked out the boardwalk kitties. There is an organization that makes sure these little guys are fed and cared for throughout the year. We happened to walk by just as they were feeding the kitties.