As I mentioned in my last post, I talked two friends into running the half marathon, their first. Over the last few months of training, I gave out a lot of advice to Jill (mainly because I saw her more often) and answered a lot of questions.
The one thing I forgot to tell them was to lay everything out the night before. Attach your bib number to your shirt, put on the chip or D-Tag, have everything ready to go. I kind of forgot that advice, too, as you will remember we had to do a double back home to grab the Garmin.
Anyway, we were going to meet downtown around 7 a.m. Their daughter was going to hang out with Steve and the girls during the race and follow all of us around the course.
The race started at 8 a.m. however, there was an early start for those who deemed themselves "velocity-challenged." We were able to get into blocks around the YMCA just as the 7 a.m. group was starting. John and Jill left the hotel in plenty of time to get downtown however were stuck on the expressway exit near the early part of the course at 7 a.m. They didn't make it into the YMCA until about 7:45 a.m.
We were able to find each other in the crowd of people. Their daughter, Steve, and the girls headed outside. Jill and I hoped into the bathroom line, and John headed back to their car to drop something off.
We got outside about 7:54 or so and started looking for John outside. We didn't see him. Jill had his iPod and his D-tag. I asked if she minded if I headed to the start and she was fine with it. So off I went.
She finally found John a couple minutes later just as the gun went off. He got the D-tag on his shoe and they headed around the block to the start line. Five minutes after the gun went off, it was evident that the runners were all past the start line. Jill said they were starting to move or pull up the mats as John and Jill came running past the start line. They were the last ones to start the race.
About a quarter mile into the race, they caught up with the rest of the runners and Steve and the girls couldn't tell that they had been all that far behind the runners.
The neat thing, though is that they finished their first half marathon in 2 hours, 40 minutes. Steve and the girls were able to cheer them on in a couple of places, which Jill said gave them a huge boost. We swapped stories for a week after the marathon and they are already looking at other half marathons to run, including the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon next May. They are hooked!
Probably the funniest sight of the whole experience came on Monday. Jill teaches preschool (she was Emily's teacher last year) and I was supposed to substitute for one of the other teachers Monday through Wednesday. We were both quite a sight as we gingerly walked around. We joked about taking the elevator downstairs for gym time so that we didn't have to go down the steps. We also found out that it is really difficult to do jumping jacks and arm circles the day after a marathon.
In closing, let me remind you now (even though your next big race may be months away), make sure you lay everything out the night before.