and today I found yet another one.
The Great Aloha Run this morning was just awesome. I didn't break any records, it was not my best time by far, but I think this was one of my best races ever.
After getting up at 4 a.m., driving to the finish line, catching a bus to the start, standing in line for the port-a-potties(more on this later), I still found myself with over 45 mins before the race started. So I found a place to sit and people watched for 1/2 an hour - that is always fun.
Finally, at 6:45 we headed out to the start. One of the things the Great Aloha Run does is they have the Sounds of Freedom. These are military units from all over the island that run in formation singing cadence the whole way. They line up on the side of the road and they have a silent start 8 minutes before the race starts. It's always a special sight to see them go. I'm a flag waving fool and when I see our military I just get all gushy. I feel so proud to live in a country where young men and women will volunteer to defend the rest of us. Also, having been in the Army I have a special feeling for the military. Anyhooo, in past years the Sound of Freedom would start 8 minutes before the race and the units would still be going by when the cannon sounded. This year it was different. There were only about 6 units in the race and they were gone long before the race began. It was a somber reminder of the world we live in.
Just a tiny rant: There were a couple of people with anti-Bush t-shirts on. Okay, is this really the time and place for that??? We are all there to support a great charity and to have fun and you have to bring politics into it??? Give it a rest!!! End rant.
Finally, the canon sounded and we were off. Okay, maybe not. Me and 22,000 of my closest friends took 10 minutes to cross the start line. The entire way it was really crowded and I could not figure it out. Usually after the first mile or two things start to thin out, not this year. Due to the sheer size of the crowds I only caught a couple of mile markers so I don't have all the mile splits. The ones I do have were consistently 12 min/miles. I was really pleased with that because I'm not usually that consistent a runner.
The first 2 miles literally flew by. When I came across the 2 mile marker I was actually shocked. At 3 1/2 miles was the first aid station. I was extremely pleased with myself because I had run the whole 3 1/2 miles and really felt good. As a rule I always walk through the aid stations. The ground is usually wet and slippery and I have seen people fall running through and break things. So I walk, it's easier to drink that way too.
The next 2 miles flew by and I was just feeling great. My legs felt awesome. After the 5 miles aid station the course goes up hill for a while. Uphill is my nemesis but not today. I just flew up that hill, it was great. I then, of course, took advantage of the downhill and really gained some ground. Another small hill and we could see Aloha Stadium but I know it's over 1.5 miles away. The downhill got me a good head of steam going for the cruise into the stadium. By the way, I was passing people all along the course. Very rarely did I get passed but I was bobbing and weaving the entire time.
They run you around the parking lot then down into the floor of the stadium and that's where the finish line is. I came down that ramp like a freaking rock star. I was feeling so incredible I just could not get over it. My total time: 1:54:52, not my best by far but one of my best runs ever.
So, what did I learn?? I can do these races and control my blood sugar. Today was a test of the Cliff Shot Blox. I have not used any energy supplement since my marathon blow up. Well I decided that if I'm going to run a marathon again I will need to work these into my running and learn how to use them so my blood sugar doesn't blow up on me.
I learned that strength training is one of the best things I can do for my running. My legs could have gone on forever today, it was the greatest feelings. So okay, when I stopped I felt it but as long as I was running my legs were up to the task.
I learned that white bread may not be my friend. Caution TMI ahead. I've been having lower gastrointestinal issues whenever I eat white bread lately but I really haven't paid it much mind. I would just think, maybe it's the white bread. Which by the way, I don't eat often so it's not a huge problem but also fairly easy to pinpoint. Well, last night, without thinking, I had a ciabatta roll with dinner. Oh boy, did I pay for it today. I had to hit the port-a-potties 4 times during the run. So that time of 1:54 includes those potty stops ( I forgot to stop my watch). I would guess there was 15 minutes in wasted time in line. But yeah, I have to find out exactly what's causing this and stop it.
I learned that I have successfully moved from the back of the pack to the middle of the pack, how exciting is that??
I learned that success can be found in everything you do if you look for it and that today was a major success!!!
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