It was dark when the race started and the mass of people (3,000 +) ready to run were huddled in a large clump. There is nothing more inspiring to me than a group huddled at a half marathon line, all ages, sizes, and various states of dress. The age and size thing are pretty self-explanatory, but the clothes thing needs a little more description. As I was freezing my butt off in pants and a tank, by me strolls a gentleman in just shorts. Yikes! Put some clothes on, it is still dark and cold. Of course, then you also have the people wearing the knit hat, sweatshirt, and gloves. Such a contrast.
There is a certain look to the serious runners. They are cut, with zero body fat, and their outfits just scream, "I compete!" Deb and I cut a zig-zag path through the crowd to find other 11 minute milers and our comfort zone.
The race itself went fast and I was shocked when the Mile 3 marker came and went and I felt like we had just started. At Mile 5, my friend Julie was on the sidelines cheering loudly with a homemade sign! So fun to see her, I think I ended up dripping a little sweat her way as I took the picture. Gotta love the Keller sweat gene that so lovingly got passed down to me.
Deb and I at the finish line! If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a runner, I would have thought you were crazy. Even after I became a runner, if you had mentioned to me that running with a partner makes the whole thing easier, I would have scoffed in your face. I was very attached to my mp3 player and self-conscious about my huffing and puffing. BUT, running with Deb is easy and it gives us time to talk without kiddos and/or whinge just a little bit about aches and pains. There is also the added benefit that someone is along for the ride that won't let you give up and walk.