On Sunday we began to prepare for Independence Day by going to Dicks. Here we brought some running gear for the race this morning. We had an ad hoc method for our training. That is we did none. Instead we signed up two days before and brought extra equipment a day before. Oh well! It was nice looking around the store at all the other things on sale, including canoes and hammocks. We were then interrupted by a helpful assistant who thought I looked lost. This was until Luke helpfully informed him that I always look like that! Well that earned him a playful (sort of) shove. As well as a knowing jeer from the surrounding sales advisors as they obviously know what not to say to (or about) their girlfriends. Luke is still learning. Even after nearly six years! Yet, he made up for it later by letting me drive. Yes really! I have actually driven the Edge and managed to reach the pedals which is lucky really as it helped me be able to drive it. Granted it was around a deserted car park, except for a security guard, but I don’t think he minded. I think he was just glad I was driving and not speedy Gonzales Luke.
We had a quiet night on Sunday as we got up at five am this morning for the run. I woke up feeling sick with nerves. I get really nervous before events like this and I know I have been in the gym but I haven’t done a timed six-mile run for a while. As I shakily ate my peanut butter on homemade banana bread with a tiny amount of coffee, as recommended by running forums, my first thoughts were why was I putting myself through this!? It is a good thing it was so last-minute as I may have had the chance to talk some sense into myself! By the morning of the race it was too late. I refused to let nerves get the better of me and, more importantly, Luke. There was no way I was letting him do the run without me. We headed down to city market in our running clobber. On the way Luke was attacked by a tree but we still made it in one piece. Looked like I was still going to have to race!
We then went back and joined the rest of the 475 runners who were mad enough to spend their early ( eight am) bank holiday morning running through the streets of Indianapolis. Insane! We were blessed first and I even found myself saying “Amen”. I must have been nervous. There was then a rendition of the American anthem, where Luke had to stop himself saying “Come on England’ , or something else highly inappropriate to say in a crowd of over 500 Americans celebrating their independence from Britain. Thankfully, he didn’t have the chance as the race was quickly started by Firecrackers going off (hence the name). I was with Luke until my Ipod paused, which I had in a sandwich bag tucked into my shorts because of the dilemma of no pockets and impending rain. By the time I had sorted it out and began running to ‘Knights of Cydonia’, Luke was nowhere to be seen.
I kept with the crowd on mile one. I was relieved to see the dancing lady of mass Ave near mile two. I wanted to give up on mile three. The cups of water handed out by the volunteers helped, but were not so easy to drik out of whilst running. Over halfway on mile four I passed Luke on his return and was heartened to see I wasn’t that far behind him. As well as just a tad annoyed I wasn’t ahead of him. Also, I appeared to be playing a game with a fellow runner where we were both consistently overtaking each other. I had to stop myslef from saying some really unfunny comments. I just kept wanting to jokingly splurt out “are you following me?”.Yet, I refrained.
I did not know this was mile four untill I heard two old codgers ( and I mean that in a respectful way but it is the best description for them) were cheering each other up by highlighting the oncoming five-mile sign. I was ecstatic as I thought we were still on mile three. I explained this to them and told them to enjoy the race as I sped up. This spurt was to the soundtrack of ‘Where the streets have no name’ , whilst heading towards the beautiful Indiana skyline. It had never looked so good.
I was somewhat perturbed by being overtaken by these old codgers a little bit later but I re-overtook them. This apparently was a consistent theme as the person I had been playing that game with got the better of me and passed the finish line before me. Oh well it is all in the name of fun and sporting camaraderie. Well, I’ll keep telling myself that. I crossed the finish line to the sound of the world cup soundtrack ‘Waving the flag’ and my name being called out. More annoyingly my photo was taken too. I bet that will be one for the mantlepiece! How some people remain looking as if they had just started the race, even at the end, is beyond my capabilities! I was given a bottle of water which I promptly tipped over my head and Luke and I perched for a bit.
We collected more goodies and went home for a bit before heading to the Bavarian themed Rathskeller where we opted for the un-Bavarian fish and chips and a vegetarian pasta dish. However, Luke did manage to have a German beer.