Saturday, May 8, 2010

We DID it!!!!

Today was the big day~ Months of negotiations, correspondences, tears, fears, and then miles and MILES of walking to train have come to a culmination today! :)

We left home bright and early this morning, shortly after 5am to head to downtown Indy. We were fortunate enough to get there early enough that we were able to obtain street parking since the lot we'd planned to park in was designated as 500 Festival employees only. After parking, we made our way in the dark over to Military Park, where the Connection Pointe Christian Church tent was and where all the CPCC Mini Training Group were meeting up. We made a bathroom break for Rei and myself to make sure we were good and about 6:30, we headed over toward the start line on Washington Street.

The route itself runs over and through Speedway main street, then around the Indy 500 Motor Speedway track and then back to Downtown Indianapolis, ending up in Military Park. Here's a map of the route:

It was bitter cold as the 18-20mph winds whipped through the downtown buildings and the temps were in the low to mid 40's. Overall though with all the bodies packed in we were pretty good. First we headed to the Marriott hotel as a group for one last bathroom break and to hang out in the hallways in the warmth and stretch out and do last minute planning/strategies for the race. It was almost awkward as we walked through the hallways lined with other runners and feeling all the eyes watching the two of us walk through. I heard a lot of comments of "there's the dog on the news!" in reference to the interview that aired on Thursday night about 5:50pm Indiana time. For whatever reason, this has not shown up as a link online yet, so I used the camera to record and share this with you all- this is courtesy of Wish TV 8 news:

****** NOTE: If you want to play the video, you will need to go down and hit pause on the playlist down to the lower right side of this page- or you won't be able to hear the words of the video.

If you are receiving this post in an email- you'll need to go to the web page to view the video, as the videos are not posted in the emails*******

So we had about 10 minutes to make our way down to our corral, which was letter Z since we had to start at the very back. We had to really work to get through the super crowded sidewalks and Steve, who walked with min in the 15K lead off. Unfortunately, David that was our lead walker and pace setter was ill and unable to attend today, so prayers are with him for a speedy recovery!

Steve and I picked our way through the heavy crowds and suddenly found ourselves face to face with another large yellow lab that immediately went up on its rear legs lunging towards Rei and growling. So in defense, Rei responded in a similar manner and both of us immediately corrected our dogs and the spectator pulled his dog over to the side and out of our path, which I immediately got Rei to re-focus and back to work and we quickly put distance between us and the dog to get moving on toward our corral.

The race start line was located just west of West Street and as David had told us from his experience, we were just under the overhanging building of the Circle Center Arts Garden. We placed ourselves at the back and along the back rope of corral Z, but it still seemed that there were a LOT of people behind us, especially once we started working forward.

The start took a good while to get us to the start line, which you can see from this photo of the start- you see the start line at the front- I was right under that big glass semi circle way back at the back!

So once we finally made our start- we took off and it was quite a challenge those first 3 miles. People were rather indignant and lacking in understanding the running etiquette of moving over when calling out that we were passing on the left/right. Also since there were quite a few "runners" in the back corrals, people kept cutting between Steve and Rei & I, making things a little confusing for Rei, however we just hugged the left curb as much as we could and Steve did an awesome job of keeping track of where we were behind him so that he could call out as we began to pass.
We made our way along Washington street past the zoo and over the bridge for White River. We rounded the turn onto White River parkway and I was amazed at the huge line for the port-o-lets after that first turn before we'd even made it to mile 2! We plugged away and continued on and made our way along the divider median and things started loosening up and people started spreading out as we worked our way to Michigan Street and made the left hand turn there.

I have to say that since this week has been off in training, I started out kind of slow and really feeling it in my ankles and it took the first three miles to get myself loosened up and that started to happen as we were headed down Michigan street and about to pass mile marker 4. So far we were seeing all kinds of mom and pop bands along the road as well as spectators standing out there to cheer us on despite the cold!

We then rounded the turn to take Main street through Speedway and made good work of that and came to Steve's daughter. Lorrie and her hubby, who had came and set up up a sign for us all and took some pictures of us coming in. I had my hat on backwards as the winds were strong enough I lost my hat once and it seemed every time I'd turn it around the right way, the wind would start and flip it right off my head.

Lorrie took some good pictures here:

The signs she made saying: 1. Guide dogs should Lead the Pack! 2. Go David, Steve, Casey, and a paw print. Then the last one was to her dad, Steve- Go Steve, we LOVE you. :)

Then these two shots are of Steve and I coming down Main Street in Speedway,
and Rei was on the move! :)
****To be Continued*****