Tupelo Race Report

What a great weekend!  Part of the race sucked for me, but we really had a lot of fun on our Tupelo, MS trip.  I had packed most everything Friday night, except running shoes and handy dandy Garmin since we were all supposed to do a 6 mile run Saturday morning with the Little Rock Marathon Training Group.  Around 4:30am Saturday I could hear the thunder and rain, ugh.  I certainly didn’t want to worry about drying my shoes out for Sunday’s race.  When I got up it was only sprinkling, but I got a text from Kim, she was staying home, didn’t want to chance it since she was running the full marathon on Sunday.  She really didn’t need to be running at all, but she is a stubborn runner!

I did my usual run up and down my street prior to leaving and it had already quit raining!  Yippee!  But the forecast was not looking that great for Sunday in Tupelo, 30% at 5am (race start time) and 50% by 8am, Kim would still be out on the course.  We were not looking forward to rain or as the forecast predicted isolated thunderstorms.

I picked up Tammy and we did the 6 mile course at the River Market, I thought it was a great run, especially since we are used to running much further on Saturdays, it was a treat to get back early with the normal folks.  We grabbed coffee at Boulevard Bread, which I must say was oh so delish and headed home to finishing our packing, Kim was due to pick us up at my house around 10-10:30.  We did make a stop at the Argenta Farmer’s Market which I really enjoy, the farmers are so nice and knowledgeable, I bought some baby okra to cook.  Yum.

Kim arrived around 10:15 and Tammy soon after, loaded up the pimp mobile (Josh’s car) and headed to Starbuck’s.  First stop and we weren’t even 5 minutes into the trip!  We laughed about this stop more than once on the trip.  Tammy and Kim got out of the front seats, shut the doors and started walking into Starbuck’s as I was digging for my wallet I realized I couldn’t get out of the backseat, some sort of child proofing crap.  I was banging on the windows (which are blacked out) and they don’t hear me so I bang louder, this guy who is getting out of the car next to ours is obviously trying to see inside the car but can’t, and I’m still banging away and he hollers at the girls, Hey there’s someone banging on the window!  It was hilarious, Kim unlocks the door and lets me out.  They were rolling with laughter, it was the big joke of the weekend.

Coffee in hand, headed to Tupelo.  It’s about a 4 hour drive from my house and we made a couple of bathroom stops, I think we got there around 2:30ish, it really didn’t seem to take that long, we had a lot of fun talking on the way down.  Things that stay in the car and don’t get repeated!  We found our hotel, dropped our bags off and headed to the packet pickup, by this time we were starving and ended up at Atlanta Bread Company, we all ate well and then we headed to Wal-Mart for LED lights since we would be running in the pitch dark.  We also found clearance chewing gum that we stocked up on too, that was another laugh fest.

We didn’t get in bed early enough, we didn’t sleep enough, and we didn’t get up early enough either because we almost missed the start of the race.  We set the alarm for 10 till 4, ugh, early.  I was in the bathroom before the alarm went off, we were all a little sluggish, but after taking a peek outside our spirits were lifted, it wasn’t raining!

We estimated 10 minutes to the race start spot, but we were scrambling to get out of the hotel, we had also parked too far away because of a fair and wedding going on next door and at the hotel the night before, so that took more time, I think when we got in the car it was 15 till 5.  I was just hoping my stomach would behave itself, normally on a race I don’t have problems, today would not be one of those days.

I did run around the hotel with Tammy prior to us leaving and that helped, but I was just too rushed, should have gotten to the race start earlier.  We had to park quite a way from the start we were all in a twitter, getting our fuel belts on, Garmins started, LED lights adjusted, it was now just a couple of minutes until 5am, we could see all the runners at the start line.  We had chips on our shoes, but at the time we didn’t know there was not a mat at the start line.

Once we got into the crowd we ran into Tom our Little Rock Marathon Training Guru from our Saturday morning runs, he’s probably the main reason Tammy and I were running this race, lots of Little Rock runners in the mix.  He had not run the course before either, but he did tell us that he checked the weather prior to leaving his hotel and chances were down to 10%, WooHoo!!  There was a full moon and that really helped light up the route too.

As soon as we started running I knew I should have gone to the bathroom again, but I knew there would be port-a-potties somewhere on the route and I wasn’t in dire need yet, but as soon as I saw one I was going to take full advantage.  Unfortunately for me, it was going to be a long wait.

We were keeping a good pace and Tammy was right behind us, I knew she wanted to use this as a training run and I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, what I really wanted was to run at a comfortably fast pace for me, around 9:45-10:00 miles.  We were keeping about a 10:00 pace the first couple of miles, I kept glancing back and I could keep my sights on Tammy.

The route was very rural, the first water stop was around mile 3 and I thought, oh good, there will be a port-a-potty, NOT.  Holy cow, what now, I really needed to go and the pressure was getting worse, not cramping or anything, but I couldn’t talk, couldn’t drink my Cytomax, couldn’t eat, nothing, I just kept running.  Kim would say something every once in awhile, but she knew, we have run together long enough.  I couldn’t even look back for Tammy any more, I just had to focus on getting to the next mile, and the next, my mind was on nothing else.

At mile 5 there was another water stop, I asked the girl, where’s the port-a-potty, she says “at mile 5 and 8”, oh hell, we were at mile 5!! and there was no way in hell I could make it to mile 8, but I ran for another mile and then told Kim to go on, I had to walk and I knew this would be my downfall.  I then looked behind me for Tammy and didn’t see her, I had no idea how far back she was, but all I wanted was that stinking bathroom!

There was another water stop about mile 6.75 and I didn’t even ask about the bathroom, but that’s where Tammy caught up to me, she said something like “Shocking”, wasn’t sure what she meant, but at that point, couldn’t care less.  So walk, run, walk, run, and BEHOLD and port-a-potty and mile 6.91,  “thank you God, thank you God”.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one having problems, because people were in those 2 things for a few minutes if you get my drift.  As I was standing there I was watching my Garmin, 10:15, 10:20, 10:27, 10:32, crap, I will never make up this time.  Finally, my turn.  HALLELUJAH!!!  Believe me, I wasn’t in there long, but when I walked out my Garmin’s average pace was now at 11:02, how the hell will I ever get it back up to 10:00, I won’t, but I can push the hell out of it and I did.

I started pushing it, I kept looking for Tammy and it took me forever to find her, maybe around mile 12 or so, I talked to her for a couple of minutes and started trying to push it again, but I was getting tired, I had not eaten anything, no fuel, just a little Cytomax after I got out of the john.  I just couldn’t stomach it for some reason, no fuel equals no energy.  At mile 13.1 I saw Kim coming back the other direction, the Marathon course was the same as ours, but when they got to the end they turned around and ran it backwards.  I took her hat from her since it was obviously not going to rain and she said her 13.1 time was 2:12, that would give me an idea as to when she would be finished.  She was making excellent time!

This was a 14.2 mile course, so only 1 more mile to go!  I was still passing a few people and it felt good to do so, but I was still kicking myself in the ass for eating all the crap I did the day before, certain it was what caused my stomach to act up, I know better.  My finish time was 2:26:24, average pace 10:16, I made up a lot of ground, but I was semi-happy considering.  Tammy was right behind me.  We got our super cool medals, a snack and headed to the car to drop our fuel belts and grab an ice cold Diet Mt. Dew.

Once back down at the finish line we were able to see Leah and the other super fast Marathon finishers.  We also were entertained for quite awhile sitting close to the finish line, watching people barf, almost pass out, leg cramps, bitch, dogs run it, you name it.

We also watched the awards for the 14.2 mile race, which I didn’t win a thing, but had this been a normal age group award I would have!  It was 40 and over, so I was 5th.  In the Men’s age group it was 40-49 and six deep, only 3 deep in the women, and another thing there were 131 women and only 100 men in the race, I yell discrimination, I want an award!  LOL.  Maybe next time!

We mingled with the Little Rock Marathon peeps, took some photos, and waited for Kim to come in, I was expecting her around 9:45ish, figuring she would slow a bit in her last half, but her she came about 9:35, she was doing great!  We got some great pictures of her coming in, we didn’t stay long after she got in, talked just a bit with Tom then headed to Starbucks, then the hotel for showers.  It seemed like it was about 1pm when it wasn’t even 11am when we got back to the hotel.  Tammy and I snagged some breakfast while Kim was showering.  We all got our showers, packed and headed home.

We were all exhausted, I’m sure Kim was especially, she just ran a Marathon!!  I was beat last night, in bed by 9pm, it was nice to sleep in this morning, thank goodness for holidays.  We really had an excellent weekend, makes me look forward to our Marathon in November.

Here are my mile times –

  1. 10:30
  2. 10:07
  3. 10:02
  4. 10:09
  5. 9:52
  6. 10:19
  7. 16:31   Finally – Port-a-Potty
  8. 9:52
  9. 9:36
  10. 9:21
  11. 9:15
  12. 9:23
  13. 9:44
  14. 9:21
  15. 9:04
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