Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sea Wheeze: We Begin

There's not much that I can say about my half marathon other than this:  Thank God it's over. 

I'm not even remotely only halfway kidding. 

I had a lot of big goals when I agreed to do the Lululemon Sea Wheeze Half-Marathon.  I was going to run. every. day.  I was going to be swift and strong and ready.  I was going to train, and it was going to be awesome. 

To be fair, we did train. We just didn't train nearly enough.  A lot happened between January and August, and not a lot of it was running.  For several months, Mr. Goodlaff and I did really well.  We walked every day, then we started running.  Then it was raining, then I got sick, then we got busy with work, then it rained some more, and I got sick again, and, get the idea.  By the time we hit July, we sort of gave up and went with the mantra of "it will be what it will be." (Not a good mantra, incidentally.)

With the lack of proper preparation going into the race, I only had two goals for the race:
1. Finish
2. Don't come in last place

As you can see, my hopes were high.

Mr. Goodlaff and I headed up to Vancouver late Friday morning, and checked into our hotel (the Four Seasons--we are so classy!) a few hours later.  After meeting up with LK and some initial confusion regarding the location of package pickup, we finally made it to the convention center to check in and get our race gear.

The minute we stepped foot in the convention center, I knew we were in for it.  The place was filled to the brim with fit, skinny people who had been intense runners since the day they were born.  I felt an internal wave of deep, dark despair, but then someone handed me a free lime-flavored popsicle, and the panic slightly ebbed. We got our bags and our free flip flops, and headed out to find somewhere to carb up for the next day's race.

That night, I laid out all my gear and checked over it twice:


Somehow I managed to get a decent amount of sleep before our alarm went off at an un-Godly hour. After a light breakfast of  a banana and a trail mix bar that was one part gravel, one part cardboard, we headed out to our corral--that's marathon code for a group of people that go as fast (or in our case as slow) as you do.  Our corral was the last one.  Corral 8--the corral for everyone else.

We met up with LK and did a bit of stretching, but mostly we just stood around, waiting for our turn to start. It took a long time. We took photos to keep ourselves amused:

We were so far back from the start/finish line that we couldn't even hear what was going on.  The speakers literally did not come as far back as we were, which was a little demoralizing--apparently only fast runners get speakers.  We heard snippets of cheers and announcements as they bounced off the buildings around us, but for at least a half hour, we were not even in range to see or hear what was going on at the giant watermelon rainbow that marked the start line.

Finally, we got close enough where starting was a possibility.  It was then that we put on our game faces, because it was finally go time.

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