St. Jude Half Marathon Weekend

What a weekend!  A great time was had by all, the weather was very cold, too cold if you ask me, but we still had a good time.  Kim picked me and Tammy up on Friday morning at my house and we headed to the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, before we could get out of North Little Rock we had to make our customary stop at Starbucks for some needed fuel.  OH, let me back up to the amount of luggage that Tammy and Kim brought, OMG, let me put it this way, if I would have brought any more than the single duffel bag we would have been tying bags to the roof of the car.  I’m still not sure what they had in all those bags, even the back seat was full, the pumpkin spice muffins Tammy brought were yummy though, those were very useful.

It was about a 2 hour drive to Memphis and by the time we got there we all were about to wet our pants, it was all we could do to get parked and get inside, I’m glad we remembered where we had parked last year AND where the bathrooms were.  Once inside the Expo we found our bib numbers, went inside where it was very organized, packet with chip, shirt, goody bag (with no goodies).  Then we were off to look at all the goodies in the Expo, Kim and I were excited to get new insoles for our shoes, I think they are Lynco, we bought them last year, this is my third pair and LOVE them, we had to wait quite awhile, Tammy was even impressed and bought a pair, she actually ran in them on Saturday, which we did not encourage, but she did great.  We saw some of our running friends who were running the full marathon and talked to them, bought a Hind long sleeve top for 10.00 and that’s about it, signed up for some free drawings, got a super duper ink pen, woohoo.  We started getting hungry and decided to head to Aunt Martha’s in Cordova for lunch.

It was a good 30 minute drive to the other side of town and by the time we got to Newk’s Cafe we were getting a little cranky, I ordered soup and salad, Tammy and Kim both order Salad.  We were about half way through eating and Kim said “oh no, there’s a bug in my salad”, I was sitting next to her and she had me look, oh yeah, there was a bug and it was moving!  She took her bowl over to the kitchen, I’m not sure what the exchange was, but in a few minutes the manager came over and handed her some money and apologized, he asked if he could get her anything else, blah, blah, blah.  What bothered me was Tammy and I were eating the SAME salad, of course I couldn’t finish my soup or salad, he didn’t apologize to us or offer our money back and come to find out he only gave her the Salad money back, not her entire check (drink).  When the manager came over he said they were checking the rest of the lettuce, I should have said something, like what about my lettuce?  Needless to say we left.  We used to like that place…..

Aunt Martha lives pretty close to Newk’s, we unpacked the car and settled in on the couch until my Aunt got home with Grace, my second cousin who is 10.  We were planning to go out to eat, but ending up just having soup and salad, AGAIN, at the house.  We discussed our plans for the race on Saturday, checked the forecast, COLD, got in our pajamas and crawled into bed.

We got up around 5:30 am to get ready to head to the race, here is a picture of Kim and Tammy in there finest race gear, we were pretty unsure of what to wear, the temperature was below freezing and there was some wind.  I had a tank and a tech top, running pants with shorts, light for me, I think Kim and Tammy had quite a bit more as you can see from the picture.

Kim and Tammy

Kim and Tammy

We headed to downtown around 6:50, a little later than expected, but it worked out perfectly, we remembered what exit to take from the year prior and actually parked in the same garage which was only 3 blocks or so from the start.  When we were walking to the start there were some icicles hanging from some scaffolding, yikes.  It was cold!  Once we found our corral we decided to go stand in line for the port-a-potty where we saw Annette, Michele, Brenda and Andrea, it was nice to see the girls before they headed out on their Marathon.  I was already sick of shivering, my back was hunched, arms and legs shaking, toes cold, hate it.  After the potty break we got inside our corral hoping for a little warmth from all the bodies, it helped some, but the wind would whip up, gives me the shivers just thinking about it.  What I was hoping for was sunshine, unfortunately it didn’t come out until around 10:00am.

We were anxious for the race to start so we could warm up, Kim and I had already decided we were all going to run together, we were not going to leave Tammy behind, this was only her second 1/2 Marathon, a huge one at that, and we were not wanting to PR or set any land speed records.  We started off at a reasonable pace and pretty much kept that pace the whole race.  I was not loving the race, never did, it was just too cold for me, I was ready for it to be over before it started.  I tried to enjoy to sites of Memphis, the best part was Beale Street, that’s where a lot of the crowd support was, a lot of music, just good vibes through that area, but unfortunately that’s at the beginning of the race, around mile 3 or so.

We just kept moving, Tammy was not having any issues with the new insoles or her foot, which was great!  Kim on the other hand was having some sort of bladder problem, like she was getting an infection and had the sense that she needed to urinate but couldn’t, we’ve all been there and that is a miserable feeling, so she wasn’t feeling very good, but kept on going too.  Kim and I had our fuel belts on and Tammy was carrying her G2, so we had no need for the aid stations that were every mile, we would try and swing wide around them, but it proved to be difficult at times.

Around mile 6 I had to pee, bad, so in the port-a-potty I went, and I couldn’t go, the whole thing was shaking, it felt like it was going to tump over, I finally went, but it really slowed us down, sorry girls!  We did catch back up to the same people we had been running with which surprised me, maybe they had slowed down.

We were expecting to see Aunt Martha and Grace around mile 10, the same spot they were last year, but they weren’t there, then again I told them around 10:15 am, it was 9:40 when we were at mile 10, I don’t know what I was thinking.  I thought, oh crap, they will get there and just be waiting and waiting for us and we will never show up.  After mile 10 Tammy started walking a bit, just every once in awhile I would glance over my shoulder and she would be walking, I would have to remind her about the medal, food and Starbucks that was waiting on her, she was a trooper.  I was tired too, I wanted it to be done, at some point I had taken my gloves off, but I was cold again and had to put them back on, maybe it was the wind, the sun was out, but it just wasn’t enough.

We were in a crowd of people for the entire race, we were never alone for sure, people would just stop running right in front of you too, it was odd.  When we got to the turn off for the Marathon 1/2 Marathon, I felt so bad for the Marathon people, and so happy for myself that I wasn’t running the full!  It was only about half a mile to the finish, yippee!!  Right when we were going down the hill into the Stadium, I heard Grace “there they are”, my head turned and there was Aunt Martha and Grace, just waving and cheering for us!  It was so good to see them.  We had talked about them being in that area, but I thought they had decided against it, so it was a surprise to see them at the finish.

Once we got on the field it was such a relieve to be done!  I’m no t sure of our official time, but somewhere around 2:15, respectable, but no records were broken by us, which is fine by me.  We got our mylar blankets, medals, and headed up the stairs to the food and beverage area where a welcome cup of soup awaited us.  We also got a Diet Coke, but it was so cold up there, it was shaded, windy and just cold, all we wanted to do was get warm.  We headed to the parking garage soon after we stretched.  Walking to that garage was the coldest I had been for the day, I had sweat some during the race, just enough to give me the chills, I had the mylar blanket, but it was definitely not enough.  Once we got to the car Kim couldn’t get the door open, I think her fingers were frozen!  We finally got in, cranked the heat up and got warm.  We put jackets on and headed to Starbucks, that took forever, everyone had the same idea we had.  Before we knew it was time to head back to the stadium to cheer in the first of the girls, it was 11:45.

We were still cold, but not nearly as cold as earlier, we got in a prime watching spot, but it was in the shade and we started getting cold again.  We were watching for Andrea and Brenda to come in, we thought we might have missed them, but finally we saw Brenda, woohoo, here she comes and not long after that, Andrea, it was good to see them come in.  We were starting to get stiff and decided to head out, back to Aunt Martha’s for a shower and dry clothes.

When we were driving we saw more marathon runners, we saw Michele and hollered out the window at her, I don’t think she knew who we were, then while stuck at a light we saw Annette!  We hollered at her too, but she knew who we were, she looked like she might be having some calf problems, but looked pretty good and was almost finished!

We finally got through the traffic and back to Aunt Martha’s where we all took nice hot showers, we headed out to do a little shopping and that’s about all we did, a little shopping, we were starving and ended up at Ruby Tuesdays in the mall, it was so delicious!  This was our first real meal of the day and it was 6pm!  After we ate we were too pooped to do anything else so we just headed back to get in our pj’s and plop on the couch.

We left Memphis around 8:30 Sunday morning, home before noon, packing to go to Seattle today, yuck.  We had a great weekend even though it was cold.

Me, Tammy and Kim

Me, Tammy and Kim

4 Responses

  1. They waited for you to use the porta potty? That’s friendship!!

  2. (sniff, sniff) not only did my friends NOT wait on me at the porta potty (mile 5— couldn’t wait to 6!), they finished 45 seconds faster than i!

  3. Hi, I am a central- Arkansan currently living in Charleston, SC and just ran across your blog. Memphis is definitely on my to-run list, Congrats!

  4. Wonderful! Cold, but great!

    I have just discovered Newk’s… so that is a disturbing story!

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