(Pre) Mile 1. Where have all the toilets gone?
Like anybody who seems to have a pea-sized bladder, I make sure to take a restroom break before the race. I heard someone say, "The toilets are over there." But I couldn't find over there. I thought I had done a decent search, but I couldn't find them.
Mile 2. Mus-- --ep- sk--pin-
I forgot to adjust the holders on my hydration belt. So my phone was at my back, and my Bluetooth headphones kept cutting in and out. At Mile 2, I did a less-than-gracious adjustment to my bib number and belt, but it got the job done. The music played without any interruptions.
Mile 3. Eww
I saw something gross on the ground. Let's leave it at that.
Mile 4. A pleasant surprise
My Team in Training coach was volunteering at a water station. It was great to see her! (Honestly, that might've been a different mile. Details.)
Mile 5. Turn here
A few runners had already passed me on their way back to the finish line. But now it was a steady stream of runners. I was happy to see I wasn't the only one confused on where to head. "Turn," I yelled to one runner, who was pointing and asking for direction.
Mile 6. How'd I miss that?
One of the joys of runs is you get see the sights. For example, I failed to notice a multi-story building in downtown Brownsville until the run. Huh.
Mile 7. Always carry a towel
That Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy advice is very true. I wet the towel I was carrying with me and plopped it on my head for the run. I look stupid in the photos, but I kept cool.
Mile 8. They've got spirit. Yes, they do.
There was a group of college students at a water station. Their energy was encouraging. And they got what I was trying to explain to the other water station volunteers - I need more than a cup. I need to refill my water containers.
Mile 9. I won't judge.
I saw a runner ahead of me in a sweat-drenched cotton shirt. He was struggling. I kept thinking, "Just take the shirt off. No one will care. It's just weighing you down."
I was second-to-last by the time all the runners turned the first corner. I was able to catch up and pass a few runners later on. The fact that some of them stopped to look at trees at UTB helped.
Mile 11. Jerks
I read an article calling all runners jerks. It said something like, "Because runs close roads, and it's not like anyone needs those (sarcasm)." I imagined all the drivers thinking that as I crossed the road, which is just a few hundred feet from an international bridge.
Mile 12. Are you sure it's just 12?
I was carrying 40 ounces of water and kept refilling. I was getting worried for others who didn't seem to be carrying any. I overheard one volunteer share a similar concern.
Mile 13. Slow and steady
I was hoping to speed up for the last bit, but instead I just focused on keeping my feet moving.
Point 1. There they are.
When I got to the finish line, I finally spotted the rows and rows of toilets I had missed in the dark earlier,
I admit around Mile 5, I was reconsidering my plans to do the Valley Triple Race Challenge.
This run was the first in the Valley Triple Race Challenge, which consists of three half-marathons in the Rio Grande Valley. I read once that you sign up for your next half-marathon, when you've forgotten the last one you ran. I didn't do that. The next one is next month.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.