Anatomy of the Cooper River Bridge Run (newbie style)

04/04/2012 at 3:17 pm | Posted in me | 13 Comments

5:45 a.m. — Alarm rings; I press snooze twice.

6:15 a.m. — Eat breakfast, lovingly packed for me by The Deputy (mini bagel, peanut butter, half a banana, water).

6:30 a.m. — Suit up! It takes me four attempts to pin my bib straight. I’m a Virgo after all.

6:45 a.m. — Meet my crew in the hotel lobby, make everyone pose for a photo. Marc drives us to within a mile of the start. I love him.

7:00 to about 7:30 a.m. — Walk to my corral, pee behind a Taco Bell, stretch.

7:30 to 9:15 a.m. — Wait and wait and wait and wait. Adrenaline is gone, stomach is a mess. I’m hungry, thirsty, and contemplate taking a quick nap on the pavement.

9:30 a.m. — Dash to the port-o-potty to “take care of” my stomach issues. Whew. And apologies to the person who used it just after me.

9:40 a.m. — Watch runners from my corral walking out of the convenience store, stuffing potato chips and soft drinks into their mouth parts. These are my people.

10:00-ish — Start the race! FINALLY.

Here’s where everything blurs together. I walked most of the first mile after developing a horrendous stitch in my side (rookie mistake). Determined to run the entire second mile, I made it just to the start of the bridge before I started walking again.

The bridge was amazing. Like, totally amazing. How I wish I’d carried my phone to take pictures. It was blustery and crowded and there was even a band at the top. Bridge party!

I decided to run down the bridge, mostly because it would get me to the water station quicker. Also: I was determined to get around the guy wearing the red bikini because I couldn’t look at those hairy butt cheeks any longer.

And then, after the bridge, somewhere around mile 4,  THERE WAS NO WATER. Well, there were big barrels of it, but they’d run out of cups. I seriously thought I was going to cry. I also seriously thought about picking up a used cup off the ground. But I held out.

And, thank goodness, the next water stop had cups.

I drank a little, afraid of that stupid stitch coming back. Then I see the marker for mile 5 and decide right then that I’m going to run the last mile. Thoughts of Lily and Sophie and Marc flood my mind, and I become emotional. This carries me all the way to the finish line.

I wouldn’t be lying if I said people were walking faster than I was jogging at the end. It also might be true that my pregnant friend who walked the whole thing only came in six minutes behind me.

But I did it. I DID IT!

Crossing that line was like no other feeling I’ve ever experienced. We promptly started celebrating over bloody mary’s, mimosas and greasy lunch. Perfection.

I can’t wait to do it again.



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  1. Great job!! I’m impressed that you could hit snooze…I always sleep horribly the night before a race and always just give up and get up before the alarm.

  2. Congratulations! It’s a huge accomplishment, so don’t discount your efforts! 🙂 Great seeing you at CNAC.

  3. I am so proud of you! I have bridge phobia so I’m just as impressed about that as the running!

  4. SOOOOO proud of you! That’s amazing. And I love your insider viewpoint.

  5. Amazing work lady! The very first time I ‘ran’ a 10k it took me almost one hour and twenty minutes. When I ran one this past summer just four months after I really started running, it took me 59 minutes. During my half marathon my 10k time was 56 minutes. I’m pretty sure I could do one in less than 54 now. I’m not telling you that to imply that you’ll get better/faster or whatever (you will, but that isn’t the point). The point is, I was damn proud of my run each time that I finished. And I’m still proud. That first 10k was the longest distance I’d ever covered consecutively. I seriously felt like I had run a marathon. The second one was the first time I ever ran a 10k straight. I sort of cried at the finish line. Just because someone finished faster than you, doesn’t mean your efforts don’t deserve celebration.

    Not that you said you weren’t proud of yourself or anything, I just wanted you to know I am proud of you, and think you should be incredibly proud of yourself!!

  6. AWESOME!!!!
    Way to go =D

  7. Congratulations!!! Way to go 🙂

  8. GREAT JOB!!!! And didn’t that celebration meal taste amazing afterwards? 🙂

  9. I’m a little late but BIG congrats! That’s definitely on my bucket list and so happy you did it!!!

  10. Late to the party, but wanted to say congrats!! Love the race report :). Can’t wait to hear more about it next time I see you.

  11. So proud of you! I’m just getting the running bug… I’ve been doing C25K and love it. I can’t wait to get far enough in the program to do a race.

    • That’s awesome! I’ve been hearing such good things about that program. Good luck!!

  12. […] I walked. And then I signed up for the Cooper River Bridge Run. And that motivated me to try jogging. I ran until it hurt too much, then I walked some more. My […]

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