Wow! What a weekend!
It started at 4:00 Friday morning. Lana met me at my house for our scheduled 17 mile run with 14 at planned marathon pace (9:09). We ran the first 3 miles as warm up in 9:53, 9:49, and 9:49. Then we seriously rocked the 14. 9:09, 9:04, 8:59, 8:57, 8:56, 9:07, 8:55, 8:59, 9:12, 9:02, 9:02, 8:53, 8:44, 8:32
17 miles in 2:34:59, 9:07 pace. Oh yeah!! Of course, Lana's Garmin reports a much better overall pace since hers got way ahead of mine again.
I got cleaned up and finished packing (throwing stuff in a suitcase). Holly came to my house and then we went and got Lana.
It was a long drive. I am not big on car trips. But we finally made it to Panama City, just in time for the volunteer meeting.
At the meeting we got our t-shirts and arm bands and were told to be at transition at 4:30 in the morning for body marking duty.
We went to the hotel to check in and then had a blogger meet up.
The blog racers called it a night and Lana, Holly and I went to Hooter's to meet back up with TriMama, Taconite Boy, Bigun, and Mrs. Bigun
Lot's of fun was had but we knew we had early duty in the morning so we called it a night.
Cell phone alarms started ringing at 3:30 Saturday morning. And we reported for duty at 4:30. They were already out of markers so they told us to just direct the racer to keep going toward their bikes and body markers were up and down the rows. I was feeling pretty useless, so when the lady in charge of the transition area asked for someone to help move a table I jumped into action. Once all the racers left transition for the beach we headed that way too. With our volunteer status we got up front and center for the swim. We had signed up to be strippers but they had plenty and asked us to direct the racers as they left the water. It was so awesome to be able to congratulate each of them as they came out of the water. The swim times were excellent. Only one guy missed the cut off and he was SO close.
Once everyone was out of the water we changed and met up with Trimama, Tac, and Bigun for a swim. I didn't realize back in May when I did Gulf Coast just how much I floated in the salt water and wetsuit. It was actually hard to keep my legs underwater. We swam about a mile.
Lana, Holly, and I headed back to the room. We laid on the beach for about and hour and tried to catch some z's.
Then we got cleaned up. Lana and I were ready first and went out in front of our hotel and cheered the bikers in for their last five miles. It was so cool to see the smiles on their faces. I wanted to sign up right then and there.
We drove back down to the finish area just in time to see the first racer cross the finish line. After watching a few more people we decided we had to eat. We grabbed a quick lunch and came right back down to the turn around and cheered people to the finish and on to their second lap.
We saw everyone we knew and looked for others we knew were there but had not yet met. I wasn't very good with my camera and didn't catch any good finish line pics, sorry guys. We found Trifeist after her finish for a pic.
Sunday morning we got up at 6:30 for an 8 mile run with 5 x 600. We did an out and back and it seems without any turns my Garmin reports the same distances as Lana's. The 600's went great. Lana can run a MUCH faster 5k then me but I kept up with her (well right behind) and finished the 600s in 7:30, 7:24, 7:33, 7:28, and 7:19. I admit, I was about to die but I did it!! the overall pace for all 8 miles was 9:07.
We finished the run and got in line to pull slips for next years race. They had a special line for volunteers but unfortunately they didn't have enough people working that line and it was faster to jump into the regular line.
I gave the lady the required info and she gave me my slip. I don't have to come up with the $475(gulp) until November 15-December 1.
Trimama, Tac, and IronJenny were there with their slips. We talked about where to stay and Lana and I went ahead and booked a condo at the host hotel.Lana, me,IronJenny, Taconite Boy, and TriMama
We said goodbye to our new friends and went back to the hotel for a quick shower before making the long drive home.
I am sure poor Holly got sick of iron talk on the 9 hour drive home. I hope we have her convinced to start swimming (she has the other two down pat), then watch out 25-39 year olds.
This morning was right back to reality. I met Lana at 4:30 and we ran 11 miles in the cold! It was 32 degrees. Hello winter! We just kind of winged it and had a really great run in some new areas. 1:46:40, 9:42 pace. Lots of turns so my Garmin fell way behind. I am sure Lana will be reporting a much better time.
Congrats to all the finishers Saturday. I had sure a great time watching all of you!!