Saturday night, we went to the hotel's business centre to check the weather, only to find a group of people (who, we found out later, were just a couple rooms down from us) there for the same reason. So, we hung around after promising not to look over anyone's shoulder to find out what weather.com had to say. During the course of our friendly conversation, one of the women said, "Are you from Lubbock?" I was a bit freaked out, wondering what on earth made her know that... we hadn't mentioned Lubbock, and it certainly wasn't our accents that gave us away. I think "freaked out" showed up on my face, because she clarified by saying, "I saw that your shirt says 'West Texas Running Club.'" Ah. Mystery solved. Yes, I was wearing my super-cool new t-shirt.
So I got up at 5 AM Sunday, being the one and only member of the gang of six who wanted to have breakfast before the race. Of course, my husband joined me for breakfast, because he's a nice guy. Also, he was hoping for better breakfast than he usually gets at home.
After our Saturday check of the weather, we were expecting it to be chilly out. All the other sensible pre-race eaters were discussing the temps and rain (apparently there was a light sprinkle), and the general consensus was that it was good weather for running. Which, when translated, means: "Susan, you're going to be freezing cold." Yes, I like it to be about 10 - 15 degrees warmer than everyone else does. And I only like rain if the temperature is over 80. Yikes.
We went back upstairs, got the rest of our stuff, I decided against wearing my joggies: I had to take my shoes off to get them on or off, so there was no way I was going to take them off during the race, which was my plan A. So, I still have them, instead of them being donated to a local Austin charity.
Anyway, once the rest of the gang was ready to go, we headed out of the hotel and up the street to the start line. After a couple of pre-race photos, we split up to our respective spots: I lined up with the 4:45 pace group (marathon pace, that is; the two courses were together for the first 10 miles), Chad headed to the back, and I really don't know where everyone else was, except that they were in front of me somewhere. I introduced myself to the two pacers; that was as close as I got to them for the rest of the race.
Much shuffling, chatting, and grumbling about the delay ensued among the pack of 14000. A man in front of me had enough Gu for three marathons strapped to his back. There were t-shirts for just about every running charity in existence around me. A few rows ahead, a man with longish white hair was wearing a "50 States Marathon Club" shirt. Cool.