The Gate River Run was a great success. My time was shit, it was hot as balls, and I didn’t wear a tutu. I did, however, high-five every kid on the route, smile the entire time, and crossed the finish line without needing a wheelchair.
See? Epic Success.
I just had so much fun!
I noticed that the temps were going to be murder about three days before the race. 83 degrees on Saturday? Not great running weather. I texted my sister and friends to remind the to start hydrating now (which is funny since I’m usually the one who forgets to drink enough water…) and we chatted about the race. The next day I read it was going to be 85 degrees on Saturday. Great, I thought as I chugged my Gatorade. That’s just great.
See, it’s no secret that my training was not the best for this race. Okay, it was pretty non-existant but given the deal with the new heart meds that I’ve been switched to and working the new gig (7 months soon!!) running hasn’t been happening. But I knew that I had enough in me to finish this race and be strong. I knew what I had to do to make it happen.
- Monitor my heart rate: I can’t have my heart rate get over 180. Once it does, I start to get dizzy and confused. I don’t know if it’s a med thing or a Jamie thing, but it’s something I’ve noticed. Thanks to my Garmin VivoSmart HR, I can monitor that. And I did. The entire race.
- Drink fluids on the route: I carried my bottle with me on race day. My sister was really happy to see that. I got it as a gift from my Idiots Running Club Secret Santa and I adore it. I also hit every water stop. Two cups of liquid each stop, and I filled up my water bottle 2 times on the route. I also hit every beer station. I love that people come out and bring us beer.
- Watch my footing: Foot and ankle injuries are common at the Gate. If it’s not the crappy roads, it’s the hoards of people…if it’s not the teething on the Green Monster, it’s the grating on the Main Street Bridge. I swear for the past three years or so, I’ve finished this race injured. It’s what happened last year too. I finished this race and went straight to the emergency room and ended up on crutches for 2 weeks.
On race day, Marisa, Heather and I went to Dunkin for some breakfast. Marisa and I got the Wake Up wraps (egg, cheese, bacon, on a flour tortilla) and Heather got a bagel with butter. No coffee before a race for me. I know what coffee does to a runner! Then we drove down to the arena to find parking. This year, we parked at the finish line area (which was BRILLIANT I must say) and waited for the crowds to begin.
FYI – the key to good parking for the Gate is to get there HOURS early. Are we parked there at 6am when the gun goes off at 8:30am? Yes, yes we are. And we don’t have to walk two miles to the start line. You are welcome.
I had a chance to walk around and see some of my former co-workers (AND witnessed a live truck catch on fire, that was fun) and just basically mingle with the people. I had been texting Kat trying to locate her, letting her know where we were, but she was hit and miss. She had promised me that she would run this race with me. I was concerned.
Finally it was time to break into our waves. Heather and I were purple while Marisa was gray. The wave sections this year were kind of a hot mess, but we were able to get in and wait for our time to go. I ran into my girl Jennifer (RunsWithPugs) who works at 1st Place Sports and is a Best Damn Race Ambassador as well. (This girl is a rock star, and you should totally follow her. She’s been one of my biggest cheerleaders and been the best listener to my running rants I could ask for. She was also the one who told me I had the wrong shoes. Gonna fix that soon!) Of course, we had to take a selfie. I kept texting Kat trying to find her, but she had not shown up. When I finally did get in touch with her, she said that she had to find her husband and would see me on the route. (I ended up running alone. Bummer)
When our wave was released to the race starting line, Heather and I hugged and she took off to the front. Knowing that I was going to be slow I stayed in the back. When the gun went off, so did we. I had a blast on the route. People were cheering all over the place, handing out waters and fruit, showering runners with their garden hoses, handing out small teeny tiny cups of beer, jamming to music, holding up awesome signs… it was by far one of the best Gate’s yet. It really was amazing.
I ran when I could. When I got dizzy I walked and checked my heart rate. I walked the bridges and ran the finish line and crossed with a smile on my face. I grabbed a bottle of water and drank it down, and I got my medal and Heather saw me just as I crossed over. I felt like a winner. I felt strong and happy.
I finished in 2:34:34, but I didn’t care. I don’t care. I FINISHED and that’s what is most important.
I have a lot of goals to get for the fall and into next year. But on Saturday under a clear blue cloudless sky, I felt like I had won the entire thing…all because I finished strong.
Next year, though? Its 1:45 or bust.