We headed out at 8:30am after I dragged my feet a bit, synching and charging Charlie's iPod. I knew I was going to need music to get through this run, and I was pretty sure it couldn't hurt him, either. The furthest he ran with me was 8 miles. He might have run a lot when he was a kid, but I doubt he ever ran 11 miles total, in a ROW. I was worried for him, but we took it slow. We ran the same course, down the highway, over the bridge and to the pavilion to use the restroom. I was sort of maybe starting to tinkle in my pants on the way in there. I can't tell you HOW I could possibly have ANY urine in my bladder after peeing 3 times before I left the house and sweating as much as I do. It just doesn't seem possible.
Something different I attempted on this run was drinking the lemon-lime Gatorade that will be available at the half. Everybody recommends trying it out beforehand and not doing anything different on race day to avoid gastrointestinal issues. I don't mind peeing myself (since no one could POSSIBLY know I did), but I'll be damn sure I am not "pooping my pants."
Anyway, I cut the Gatorade in half with water to not shock my system. I think it REALLY helped, because I did not experience the cramping I had in my calf the last mile of my ten mile run last week. It could be that or the short 10-20 second break I took after each mile to wipe myself down and take a drink. I've realized it's ok to walk a bit. This is my first half. I want to finish it. It'll be a PR no matter how slow I go!
After the potty break, I decided to run a bit at the beach, since I knew we had to add a mile onto the course somewhere. So, there's a nature trail through the dunes at the beach and it's a nice path built with composite decking. The only drawback to the trail is that it was built over the dunes. They did not change the landscape to build the path, so it was very hilly and windy, cutting up and down and back and forth. That probably didn't help our legs at all, especially with the huge hill that is the bridge. The best part, though, was coming across a buck sitting on the side of the trail, snacking on some beach grass. He seemed unphased by us and was in the exact same spot when we came back (because the path abruptly ends!).
We came out of the beach and back over the bridge at about mile 7. I was feeling ok but still couldn't believe I had 4 more to go. I never went to the "woe is me," "I can't do this" place, though. I stayed positive and thought about all of my teammates who are training for an upcoming marathon. Katie and Lealah ran 20 miles on Friday. I had NOTHING to complain about! Once we get to about mile 8, we start seeing civilization again. We pass bait and tackle shops booming with fishermen, a Dunkin Donuts busy with churchgoers stopping for their Sunday breakfast... the down side of that is all of the cross streets, and the getting off and on sidewalks. Now, they're always sloped downward for bikes and strollers, but every time you get on and off the sidewalk, it's a tiny hill. Do that for 5.5 miles in each direction and it can KILL your quads! (That's the only thing bothering me today.)
It turns out Charlie started getting a blister somewhere between mile 7 & 8, so he started favoring that foot, which then threw his whole body out of alignment, and that started messing with his back. He would stop for breaks and catch up to me, which was NOT a difficult task seeing as I was running at pretty much a snail's pace. But with all of that we did it. 11 miles in the books and I believe I am ready for Sunday.
I am hoping to finish the half in under 2:30. The course should be surrounded by plenty of cheering spectators as well as booming with music from live bands. There's plenty to see, passing Museum Row and Nassau Coliseum, home of the NY Islanders, our NHL team (we're Ranger fans, though). There will be tiaras and pink feather boas handed out at mile 12 and a glass of champagne and a red rose handed to each finisher by a (hopefully) handsome firefighter, along with the bedazzled medal. After that there will be a Finish Line Dance Party to continue the celebration. I'm not sure how much partying I'll feel like doing, but it's nice to know the Divas are going all out for us! I still can't believe it's only 6 DAYS AWAY!