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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fallen Heroes 2014 Race Report

Last year, the Kiddo and I signed up to do this race, but she decided that being a teenage girl and going to a slumber party was much more important than waking up early on a Saturday and going to a 5k race with her old, slow mom (geez!), and she bailed on me. (Luckily I was able to defer to this year, using her registration).

This year, she decided to try it again. I waited a bit before signing us up, making sure she wasn’t going to bail on me again, but after nagging her for a week, she promised that she was going to go, so I signed us up.

All our gear ready to go (Ignore the mess in the back)
The day of the race, I woke up at 6:30 and had my breakfast before waking her up. We were running behind and didn’t get to the race until 7:50!  We were so late….

Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms (and yes, I know my stove is dirty)
Lucky Charms - the Breakfast of Champions!
We stuffed our pockets (I had inhalered in the car on the way there) and rushed to pick up our bibs.  After we got our bibs, I noticed that it was really sparse. What the heck? The race started in 10 minutes and there were probably only 20 people here?  I’m so gonna be last.

Where IS everyone?
But then, I realized….

The race started at NINE a.m. – not EIGHT!  Good lord, we are there an hour early!

So, we walked around, looking at all the little tables and booths set up, picking up some swag here and there.

Hot Beverage Cup, Gator stress 'ball', Army Strong Keyfob and Lanyard
(Cold Beverage cup not pictured) Army pen (writes GREAT), keyfob, lanyard and Cellphone sticky pad
We got a Tech Tee this year - it's Navy Blue
One booth had bagels, cream cheese, Gatorade and bananas, so we grabbed some breakfast to eat.  We took photos in front of the ginormous American flag.

Sure, she's all smiles now...
'Murica, where you can wear funny things on your head and run in a skirt!
We also had our photo taken by the Flourish Magazine photographer (it made it to their Facebook page later that day)
We are having way too much fun
I hopped over to the potty for a pit stop around 8:45, we took our swag to the car, I inhalered again, and we got ready for real this time.

"Real" toilet and sink, with mirror
Fancy! My pottie had a hand dryer!
How to charge your iPod with a Halo when your hands are full
The Color Guard came out for the National Anthem and then we headed towards the start line.

Color Guard
Ah, here's all the people!
I’d told the Kiddo before we got out of the car that I was hoping to PR this race, and she was welcome to do intervals with me, but if she couldn’t keep up, I’d meet her at the Finish Line. Unless of course she’d hurt herself or something horrible. 

We took off and she was able to keep up with the first interval (I was doing 60/90) – I’d lift my hand up and motion “forward” when it was time to run, and hold my hand up like a high five when it was time to walk.

There we are! 
Hey, it's Old Lady and Her Dog again! I remember her from last year
Ironically, the lady in the orange shirt is a coworker - I didn't know she was doing it this year
She lagged behind for the second interval, and by the time the third interval came, she was way behind me. I kept up my hand signals for as long as I could see her behind me, but eventually I lost sight of her.

She's still back there (but this is only at about 1/4 mile or so!)
Oh, look – it’s raining. This is the third time I’ve done this route, and the third time it’s rained. At this point, I don’t know what this course is like in the sun…. Sure does keep it cool, though.

the drops seem small, but I totally couldn't see out of my glasses!
By Mile 1, I was pretty much alone, keeping pace with the Wounded Warrior Project flag guy.

Ran with him last year too.
Oh, Lord, are we only at Mile 1?
By Mile 2, I was also pacing this lady in a Jazzy with her family (and frankly, she kept getting in my way…)

Well, I'm 2/3 of the way done now, I guess...
No offense, but get out of my way you guys
"It pays to be a winner - no really! There's trophies!"
Turn at the light and finish is coming up soon
Coming up on the finish line, I saw this other fun sign!

"The only easy day was yesterday!"
Finally, though, I crossed the finish line, sadly with no PR.

Typical Back-of-the-Pack finish line sight (not a lot of people to cheer us on)
I hung out around the finish line, waiting to see the Kiddo come in – she can’t be THAT far behind can she? – and after almost 10 minutes, I saw that Sparkle Skirt come around the corner!

Go Badass Go!
She looked so triumphant coming through the finisher’s chute! I gave her a huge hug and she BROKE DOWN sobbing, saying that she couldn’t feel her left foot. I immediately went into Stern Mom mode and told her to sit down and take off her shoe.  I didn’t know what the issue might be, but I wanted to look at her foot.

She told me that very soon after I took off, her foot had begun to tingle and by the time she got to Mile 2, she couldn’t feel it at all – it was like a big block of cement on the end of her leg.

I looked at her foot, and I didn’t see any outward issues. I asked her if she’d tied her shoes really tight and she said that yeah, she did (she likes her shoes tight).  I then asked if she was getting feeling back in her foot, and she said that she was.  I deduced that her foot had swollen and fallen asleep!  Then I told her that she should have asked a volunteer for help at one of the water stops (well, the only water stop), or one of the policemen directing traffic. She said that she did stop around Mile 2, but she wanted to finish. (Can’t argue with that).

She kept her shoe off for a while, while I went and got her some water, then once she could feel her foot again, we went and got some snacks (Gator Dominos was there, with pizza and those cinnamon sticks).  We also hung around for the awards and raffle (we didn’t win anything), but soon the event was over and it was time to head home.

Freddie Whebe and Gator Dominos always up for some good times
We finished (she still doesn't have her shoe back on!)
She put her shoe back on and we limped our way to the car and drove home. 

She said that she was very under-prepared, and if she’s gonna do this again next year, she should probably train more (gee, ya think?!) I told her that I would certainly run it again next year if she wanted to do it with me (although, I’ll do it again anyway).

Once home, I looked up our official times:
I finished in 49:48 (2:37 slower than last year), which is a 15:33 pace (that's pretty good for me!)
She finished in 57:26 (7 minutes slower than the FAM Fest last year), at a 17:56 pace. 
I was 202nd out of 237 people; she was 226th (so, she didn’t come in last!)

Maybe next time I do this course, it will be sunny?

It really began pouring once we got home!