A and I talked about doing everything as we'd actually do it the night and day of the race, but real life had to be taken care of and we couldn't. I ate my carbs on Friday night (Pad Thai from XO). R and I went to a NOW event at GVSU, that luckily didn't last too long, so I was able to get into bed at a decent hour.
A picked me up at 7:30 a.m. in a light trickle of rain. I was not happy about the weather at all, but would rather run the course wet once on the "dry run" than on race day. It rained for just a bit more at the beginning of the run, and again the last mile or two. Thankfully, it was dry and cool for the majority of the 15.6 miles!
Notable moments along the course included feeling like I was running along a giant treadmill with miles of the same scenery along the river. That stretch has very little in the way of changing landscape, it's just trees and river and the occasional "No Motorized Vehicles" sign and more trees and more river. Hitting the end of that portion of the course is a relief!
Near the the YMCA, about a mile from the finish, we saw and heard an approaching train. I've never run to beat a train, but we did! There was no way I was going to stand and wait for several minutes for a train to pass so we could finish the last mile of our run! Had I stopped, I feared I wouldn't want to start running again.
I finished the course just under 5 minutes better than last year's time, which I was super psyched about. My knees got tight where they usually do, but I've devised a plan for carrying Tiger Balm during the race so I can re-apply it at about mile 6, which is usually when things start feeling tight. With my Tiger Balm plan I should be good on race day.
Totally looking forward to the race. It's such a fun feeling to gather with so many other runners, hear the starting gun and take off. Crossing the finish line is a whole other feeling, it's pretty amazing!