Chile Day 2: Race Day!

I woke early on race morning with my stomach churning. I thought that since I had dropped down to the half, that I wouldn't be. Wrong-o. I think it was a combination of not being able to officially switch to the half, not having as much time to acclimate as planed, and being in a foreign country. I had everything laid out and ready to go. Until the 26.2 with Donna, I had no technical difficulties. My garmin and i-pod were full charged. I heard that pretty much everyone in the race wears the official race shirt, but I didn't want to try anything new. 




I had brought peanut butter from home for my traditional pre-race breakfast, but then couldn't find it. So I had a bowl of oatmeal instead and tried not to be too jealous of R's bacon, eggs, and pastries. After a quick pit stop back in the room, we were off. 

I picked our hotel somewhat randomly, but the location was awesome. It was about 4 blocks from the entry chute. I got a little confused at the chutes and ended up in the 10k chute, but managed to extricate myself. The guard then  tried to send me over to the marathon chute, but I played the clueless American and went right by him into the half area. I had expected the worst when it came to porta-potties after Rome last year. But the lines were short and they were clean. I came prepared with my own TP so all was good.

I still had half an hour before the start so I sat down on a curb to chill out. I was still super nervous and could tell my heart rate was high. It was really strange because I couldn't understand anything going on around me. The announcer was blaring and occasionally everyone broke into this cheer, "T, A, TTT, AAA, viva TA." No idea what it means but soon I was shouting along.The chute was absolutely packed and not organized by pace so the first mile was a mess. But then the road opened up into 4 lanes and we spread out.


The race is kind of a blur. I had no idea where I was going and it was so crowded that I had to watch my feet a lot to keep from stumbling. The half course ended up being totally flat, mostly on big wide boulevards. The crowd support was fairly consistent. There was water/gatorade every 5k, but I never saw any food. The race started at 9 so the sun was already fully up and it got hotter as the race went on. Luckily there were firefighters blasting us with water fairly often. At one point they aimed it directly at me and it was so powerful that I got knocked sideways!

I had been worried about the heat since not a single one of my training runs was warmed than 45, but it didn't affect me. In fact, I felt great. I ended up doing a 4 min run/ 30 sec walk ratio until mile 11 when I just ran until the end. I told myself I didn't have to push, that I was just here to finish, but it just came naturally. So when I crossed the line in 2:02 I was thrilled. So strange that in my last race where I felt like I working so, so hard, I finished almost 2 minutes slower.

After the finish there was a giant crush to get into the finish area. I was tired, hot, thirsty, and not thrilled to be shoved and smushed. I grabbed a medal, pushed my way to grab fruit from the fruit table, and water from the water table and got out. I did like that they had separate finish areas for the full, half, and 10k, so that the short distance people didn't take all the food and water.

Overall, I was really impressed with the race organization. There were 25,000 people between the 3 races, but they separated the races nicely and had plenty of resources for each. Also, the humidity and smog wasn't nearly as bad I had heard.

R and I had arranged a meeting place down the road so I made my way there. We headed back to the hotel and headed to the pool. I totally wore my medal into the pool. Is there anything better after a race than swimming and then lying in the sun with a cold Gatorade??





After a hour or so, we got dressed and headed out for a late lunch. We headed to Barrio Lastaria, a cool artsy neighborhood we walked through yesterday with lots of sidewalk restaurants. We chose, Squadritto, a cute Chilean/Italian place and promptly ordered 2 Pisco Sours, another special Chilean drink. They were STRONG, but cold and yummy. We shared an amazing giant salad to start with lettuce, spinach, kale, cucumber and avocado. Everything was so crisp and it was dressed perfectly with oil and vinegar. I got squid ink pasta filled with shrimp and topped with crab sauce. R got fillet over fried potatoes. The food was amazing and it was so nice to sit out in the sun and have a long leisurely meal.




After the pool and lunch, I was feeling recovered enough to climb to the top of Santa Lucia hill. We only went half way yesterday and wanted to see the view from the top. It was spectacular. There was less smog than yesterday, so we had a better view of the mountains. The whole city is surrounded by these absolutely massive peaks. It is strange to be standing where it is 85 and sunny and looking at snow capped mountains.



We weren't starving after our late lunch, so we stopped at a bar right by the hotel for another round of Pisco Sours and some cheese empanadas for a snack before an early bed time.

Comments

  1. Yay! So happy to read that you had a great race despite the heat! Sounds like the early run/walk miles really helped. And getting blasted with the water. LOL.

    What an amazing view! I love going on hikes like that, especially if you are awarded with a view like that at the end!

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