“Once upon a time, there were three craaazy girls… (technically 6 and a few guys)”
It all started Friday afternoon when I headed down to Danielle’s for some pre-race eating and fun. I spent the afternoon working on the couch while D and Sarah, headed out picking up a bunch of random travelers from far off lands. As everyone trickled in they started playing agonizingly long games of scrabble (Note: “hm” and “mm” are legit words, not lying) while texting, chatting and twittering up a storm about the coming race. When Sarah and Ruddley finally made an appearance it was time for dinner, a lovely pasta dish D was whipping up. While that was going on we figured out that the cable was acting up and there was no beer in the house. Ruddley and I took one for the team, drove the 1/2 mile to Sara’s house and watched the game and drank a beer away from the flood of chatting taking over D’s house.
Ruddley and I recovered for an inning or so before being notified that dinner was ready. We arrived with our booty of beer and dug in to our yummy food. During our absence Brendan had wandered in to join our little party. I, being one of two people who were not running a marathon in the near future, did my best to drink all the beer. Including some Bud Light, for which I was roundly ridiculed for. In my defense it was like beer #7, so why waste good beer at that point. Great fun was had by all (well I had great fun anyway) and far to soon everyone was off to bed, and I was out the moment D turned off the TV.
“who are going to run super far up and down mountains”
Saturday dawned way to early and a far to chipper D came down and dragged me out of bed saying something about running, then Sarah showed up blinding me with her large smile as I tried to hide under the covers. They managed to haul me out of bed into the 30 degree weather for a 2 mile run. They chatted along merrily as I waited for a car to come by so I can throw myself in front of it to end the headache, dry mouthed, suffering I was going through. After 18 grueling minutes the run was over, and I could start to recover in a nice hot shower and then D prepared me a some oatmeal and granola as we waited for the other two who crashed at D’s house to make themselves pretty.
Once they were all primped, we headed out. The three girls in D’s car and me by myself with my bike, in my car. About three hours and a couple stops later we were at our destination
“along came a handsome gallant bike rider who inspired them to go faster…”
After a glorious carbo-loading dinner, we headed to the hotel and to “bed”. This did not turn out as expected, the three girls in my room were a little wired in anticipation of the race. About 30 minutes after they “went to bed”, I hear giggling and then, “Annnnndy, come tell us a bedtime stooorrry.” Having two of my own children, this was a task I could handle. So I told them a wonderful story, which turned out to be very prophetic. After tucking them in, giving them all kisses on the head, I told them to shut up and go to sleep. Surprisingly this actually worked and shortly after the giggles had subsided and I could get some much needed sleep.
I was awoken way to early by people getting ready to run and panicking about the weather. I threw on my bike clothes, added an underarmor cold weather shirt, my Ironman finishers jacket (that’s right, Ironman finisher right here… 😉 ) and a pair of wind pants to try and keep me warm in the cold wet weather.
They all piled in the car and I biked the 1/2 mile to the start, I ran into Jill, Wade and Ward who were there supporting Jen. The cannon went off and everyone was on their way, I cheered as everyone went buy, hopped on my bike and puttered along the tail end of runners for a mile or so until things thinned out enough that I could weave my way through. I worked my way up, to near the front of the pack and found Sarah who was motoring right along pulled over a bit in front of her, and cheered as everyone ran by. This was repeated about 4 times, each time getting progressively harder for me. Sara, was going stupid fast so the gap between her and the new friends I had been making with each successive trip was spreading, until the last time I caught Sara, around mile 20, it took me 20+ min biking not slowly until I caught up to her. This game was quite fun, I aw the same people over and over again, got a lot of “thank yous” and some “hey I know you”s, and hopefully they weren’t annoyed at seeing me all the time, either standing cheering or riding by them.
I finally made it to the finish a touch over 4 hours after starting, hoping to find Sara and get her her dry clothes, soon after she finished. Turns out, she is stupid fast (I had predicted this, as I had predicted her 1/2 marathon time back in April), and instead of her predicted 4 hour time, she just missed Boston Qualifying (again!) with a 3:35:30. So she had been hanging out in the freezing cold rain for a half hour before I got there to get her clothes. Oops, her fault. I got her clothes, congratulated people I knew or who knew me. Then I rode back onto the course to check on D who had been having issues and Sarah who had been kicking ass.
I saw Sarah coming up the final hill to the finish and cheered her on to go faster, she gave me the death glare, as only someone busting ass up a hill at mile 26+ can do. I rode down and saw D a mile-ish down the road and checked on her. She was doing OK, I took her water bottle and lone glove and escorted her to the finish. From there we all hung out a little and then decided warm clothes and food were a priority. I went to my car and blasted the head, stripping off my cold wet layers and throwing on some way to big RTB sweatpants and a dry sweatshirt. I picked up Sarah and Ruddley and we headed back to the start to get their car and some food.
After a fun lunch/dinner trading war stories and making sure everyone in the twitterverse knew in exacting details what had happened we all headed out. Once again I was on my own with my bike in tow, my GPS decided to take me the scenic route, which was fine with me as I had pumped myself full of caffeine when I stopped for gas.
All my friends dis so well! Three PRs, an almost lazy BQ and the rest were solid finishes on a tough course. I had a great time, so much so that I signed up for next years race inside of ten minutes of registration being open on Monday.