So, I did it. I didn't stop (well, I stopped to give my boys a kiss at their vantage point around mile 6, and then I started right up again -- stopping only counts if you do it because you're tired.) and I chatted my way up the final hill and finished at a total sprint. Which makes me think that perhaps I had energy to spare and could have paced myself better and shaved a bunch of minutes off my time (which was 1 hour and 24 minutes!) OH WELL. At least I wasn't one of the people who came to an abrupt halt at the 10K marker, thinking they were done, and then realizing that they still had .9 miles to go. Haha. I liked those people. There were a LOT of them. But the FRR is a random distance, so designed because it originally was just a bunch of guys deciding to run from one bar to another, which is a mission I can get behind, provided the second bar has a shower.
I don't know if you can see this, and this might be ethically suspect, but here's a photo of me after the race, looking like I just ran 7+ miles.
Anyway, despite some anxiety leading up to the actual race, almost entirely about administrative items (where will I park, what if I have to pee 4 minutes before race time, what if I show up and it's the wrong weekend, etc) once I was on the ground and milling around the start with the other 9,999 runners, I felt great. I ran the race with my friend Debbie (well, I hung out with her at the start until she took off like a shot and I haven't seen her since, but we pre-agreed to this), who is awesome* and who's run Falmouth before (since she is actually FROM Falmouth) and who is actually the reason and conduit to me running it at all. I was chattering about my half marathon training, and how I needed to find a 10K sometime in August to fit into my training schedule and there wasn't anything that really worked and she said, "How about the Falmouth Road Race?" and then mentioned charities give out numbers and then, less than 24 hours later, we were committed to raising random amounts of money for our chosen charities in exchange for our race spots. She chose the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, for her son Jack, and I chose (obviously, don't you read this blog at all??) the Melanoma Foundation of New England, because Melanoma is my sworn enemy. Debbie was the top fundraiser for her charity, raising almost $3,000! Yay, Debbie!
Hahaaa. Love her.
In addition to finishing the actual race, I also raised $1491 for melanoma destruction. The MFNE is still accepting donations on behalf of me for the race, so if you, you know, wanted to tip me over the $1500 mark, by all means. In fact, if you want to donate, I'll run some victory laps around the lake and have Andy stand on the roadside, banging on a cowbell and shouting encouragement, in an attempt to simulate the FRR experience. The crowds were intense and kept me entertained the whole time. There were bands on the route, and random people reading your name off your number and yelling at you to keep it up (which kept me rubbernecking, who knew my name?? Oh, it's on my front. Over and over and over.) and super entertaining runners, like my personal favorite, the guy who was casually drinking a Corona and dribbling a tennis ball, who passed me around the 6.5 mile mark, and didn't appear to be breaking any sort of sweat. To that man, I tip my hat.
Also, for you, I will cop to one of my more embarrassing moments: My attempt to get photographed next to Chris Lambton, a.k.a. Cape Local Son/ final two in the most recent season of the Bachelorette, at the finish line.
I ran into two girls on my team (whom I'd never actually met before, but recognized due to our matching attire) on the final hill and I tapped one and was like, "HI I'M PAMELA BLAH BLAH BLAH HAHA I LIKE YOUR SHIRT" and she was like "cannot talk, dying" (because she'd been running a vastly faster pace than me for the whole race, which I treated like a sort of trot-ramble instead) and I was like "HAHA WHAT ANYWAY NICE SHIRT I MAKE JOKES HEY WE'RE ALMOST DONE WOO I TALK A LOT" and then I thought I saw the guy from the Bachelorette and the crowd was freaking out about this guy ("Look! It's him!"), who was running with a youngish kid, and I was DETERMINED to finish right exactly next to him for amusement purposes (my motivation for an alarmingly large percentage of what I do every day) so I flew off ZOOOOM and caught up with them and kept right next to them and people were all, "It's him! OMG! Woooo!!" and I'm bobbing and weaving all through the crowd with not even one iota of shame and then we finished and the announcer said, "Hey, it's Whoever SomeKid, who's been volunteering since he could walk, his parents Mr and Mrs Somekid have been running Falmouth for over thirty years, Yay SomeKid!" and I was like, Oh. Then I got some water and ate a hot dog and went home.
So, really, THANK YOU for all the donations and the encouragement. Raising this much money for melanoma research makes me a happy person. We hit the family plot at the cemetery on the way out of town and I wasn't as much of a wreck as I normally am, tidying up the graves, because I'd done something positive and proactive, so my kids rambling all over the place and chattering through their somewhat gothic visit to their grandmother's marker seemed just that tiniest bit sunnier (through a judicious slather of sunscreen, of course.)
And now, on to the half marathon with my sister in September, starting with a 9 mile run today. How much harder can 13.1 miles be?