This is what the start of the Madison Mini Marathon looked like:
At 6:58 A.M. the race announcer told us all to take cover in a parking garage or in one of the campus buildings for inclement weather. It wasn’t raining at this point. My first reaction was a big W T F!
It started to drizzle, hardly. I made a silent protest against going inside and instead stood outside. Other upset runners stood by to bitch with me. We do all have the same heart, remember.
I sat down on some grass under a tree, because that’s a wise thing to do when there’s lightning in the distance. Time kept ticking away, and I began to shiver, covered in goosebumps. Cold muscles would do me no good if we ever did get to start. My silent protest was over. I went inside a campus building.
Every square inch of the floor was covered with anxious 13.1 hopefuls. I wandered around looking for somewhere to sit. In my grumpy daze I heard, “Steena!” and I was happy to see it was Diana and her husband. If I hadn’t run into these two, I likely would have left the scene by 8:00. Being in good company during a pain-in-the-ass delay was the only way I was going to make it. I have zero patience.
At 8:15 a volunteer told us to head back to the starting area and if lightning struck within the next 5 minutes we would be asked to go back inside. The race DJ thought he was witty by playing AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. I was not amused. I was shivering, cold, wet, and just wanted to be running.
Mother Nature finally gave in, we started running at 8:30. I had an hour and a half worth of delayed angst and it was raining. This was going to be a a wacky race.
With the first 5 miles all being under or very near a 9:06 pace a tiny voice in my head whispered, “You could break 2 hours if you can keep this up”
The more reasonable voice said, “You didn’t train specifically for this race, you’ll PR no matter what, don’t get all must-break-2-hours-crazy. STFU and run”
And then we hit the Arboretum and all of its asshole hills. I lost some time and energy on the hills. I have to find a flatter half marathon! Throughout the entire second half of the race, those two voices were arguing with each other, it kept me amused.
When my Garmin read 1:58 I knew I wouldn’t break 2 hours, there was still a mini hill left at the end. But the end still had a big, fat 14 minute PR waiting for me.
Official finish time was 02:01:37.
Mother Nature can delay awesome, but she can not stop it.