All in all, this race day couldn't have started much worse if it tried.
I found out late yesterday that my run-buds from last year were begging out. I put out a query and heard back from another friend who was leaving from near here first thing today- and I then proceeded to oversleep and missed the meetup. (Weird oversleep, too- I was actually up early enough, but fell back to sleep, thinking the clock said 5-something when it was actually saying 6-something. The animals, fed so late last night, were actually fooled for once.)
Next, I realized I'd forgotten to put the phone on charge overnight, and it had drained to that little reddy-kilowatt symbol you get when you plug it in. It wasn't clear from the directions whether they had shuttle service back to the starting line (turns out they did), so I drove to the finish instead, parked nearby, walked four blocks to the shuttle pickup point,.... and then realised I'd left hat and gloves in my overcoat, where they were keeping the rental nice and warm. Too late to turn back; also, no sign of friends (they were running even later than me), so I got on the last bus to North Buffalo alone, nearly chargeless (just as well, since I also smooshed both of my earbuds right before the race) and basking in the 18F freezies.
The bus, at least, was warm- and took a roundabout route through Black Rock to get to the dropoff- by which time they'd closed the building where the packet pickups had been (and, more important for me, where the sellers of merch like hats and gloves were set up). I considered doing a Rosie Ruiz back to my car at this point, but I had 14,000 reasons not to: though I knew not a single one of them (yet), the holiday cheer was just overwhelming, and I knew I had to take the five-mile route back to the car once that gun went bang.
And, just over an hour later, I cleared the chute and headed back to it. By race time, it had warmed up a bit, and neither hands nor ears ever got especially bitten. I did see one church friend near the start- hard to miss, since he's a Scoutmaster for the church troop and was carrying their full-size troop flag with him- but I mostly just did Fly on a Five-Mile-Long-Wall and listened to snippets of the conversations of people passing me....
Guy hitting up girl for her phone number. (For her husband, who he wants to start running with.)
"I need a breakfast sandwich. Will Tim Hortons deliver that?"
"That's just what an engineer would say!"
People making on-the-spot Thanksgiving plans with each other. People screaming under the New York Central overpass just to hear the echo. Water stations and beer stations past the third mile marker. I was about the happiest alone I could be.
I made the 2.5 mile marker in about 33 minutes and actually picked it up slightly on the back end (admittedly with some kind downhill stretch around Allentown) to finish officially in the top 10,000- 1:03:50, a couple minutes better than last year. Also nice since, like last year, I haven't done much prep for it and haven't had a bib on in months.
It's now home to a quiet house (Eleanor works until 3, and thereafter will be low-key, since last night was our true Thanksgiving). Read a little, ignore the NFL a lot, and soak these shins because otherwise I'm going to donate them to the British Museum if they'll give back the Elgin Marbles- they're about as stiff and almost as ancient.
This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/172606.html
. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.