Hello everyone, you may or may not know me yet but I’m Mike, Jamie’s husband. I’ve written one guest post before and Jamie (plus several others of you out there!) wanted me to do another one to tell you about my experience this past weekend with team "Drove From New York to Run with a Dork" at the Hyannis Marathon/Half/Relay.
The three of us
Let me start by saying that up until maybe 12 hours before the race was set to go off we had no idea who was going to run with Crystal for the first half and who was going to get her through the second half. Our plan the whole time was to leave it up to Crystal, we kind of had our own set of pros and cons for each. Little did we know that Crystal had been mulling the decision for the past two months or so and had a MUCH BIGGER pros and cons list. So in the end it was decided that I would go first, and I was looking forward to the duties of Sherpa #1, because I knew Crystal said she has issues pacing herself and I thought (knew) I was up to the task of keeping her right in the 10:25-10:35 range she wanted.
When we first got to the convention center it had of course been raining all morning and we had heard/were hopeful that the weather would be letting up at least for Jamie’s second half (haha, sorry guys!). Crystal and I got out of the car because we wanted to go check out the awesome port-a-potties (am I right fellow runners!?) before we went inside, stretched a little, and did their blogging/tweople meet-up, yup I made that up.
The conditions were worse than we had thought, we had to navigate some puddles that seemed like waterfalls, and we didn’t want to get our shoes too wet before we even started running. When we were finally ready to toe the line we saw that they had some pacing corrals but nothing too elaborate and we settled in somewhere in between the 9:00 group and 12:00 group (quite the gap there, I know). Crystal and I joked around a little bit at this point and this would be the theme for the first three miles or so.
Keeping her laughing
Crystal or I would make some fun observation and then the other would laugh about it, we even came up on this guy wearing a Chicago Marathon jacket and we both agreed that we wanted to do that race. The guy must have overheard us talking and he joined in the conversation. I told him that I had done the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon, he asked about my baton, and Crystal and I explained to him our Sherpa situation. He also asked about the sparkle skirt Crystal was wearing and I said my matching red shorts were the closest they were getting me to one of those things!
Matching red bottoms
Things went on this way for the first three miles, and then all of a sudden Crystal tells me she’s starting to feel side stitches. I told her to do the best thing I knew to do for those, which is to take deep breaths like you're breathing all the way down to your stomach so you can get some oxygen to your muscles down there (not sure if this actually works, but it usually worked to at least take my mind off the pain when I used to get them). She also at this point started to take her shot blocks and I was getting a little worried because I thought it was a little early for her to start taking them, but she assured she was okay and they were helping.
I just tried to keep her talking/laughing as much as I could, and for those who don’t know me that well I am not a huge talker, so this got difficult from time to time but I think I managed! And as far as the talking thing goes, it’s quite funny because Crystal’s husband Joe (who was an AWESOME spectator throughout this whole thing) is strangely similar, the four of us have a running joke that we’re long lost brothers.
As far as pacing goes, we nailed it! We reached the halfway/relay exchange point at a time of 2:17 for an average pace of 10:24. By the end I felt it was mission accomplished for my Sherpa duties. I knew Crystal was excited to see and to start running with Jamie, and that Jamie would do just as good a job as I did keeping her entertained/motivated (maybe better!).
When I was done running I met up with Joe, he assured me I had enough time to quickly change (in the car!) out of my sopping running clothes and into some “fresh” ones. Although these clothes would eventually become soaked themselves because we went out to the 5 (18 for the second loop) mile mark to catch the ladies there and get some more pictures of course. They looked great and as Crystal says Jamie was her bubbly self that she had been the whole time. Then we got back to the finish line with plenty of time to stop in the convention center for what was left of the food (mmmmmm soup!), and to warm up.
Then it was time to head-out back into the elements to watch the glorious finish. It was so inspiring to see Crystal finish her first marathon with the added bonus of a great friend by her side and holding hands for the cherry on top! This whole weekend was a HUGE motivator for me, a way to remember the not so great first marathon attempt, a way to look forward to what’s coming up this year, and make me hungry to achieve the goals we’ve set.