Yesterday, I cheered on a friend -- and 22,000 strangers -- at the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a really weirdly emotional day for me, and I can't even imagine how emotional it would be for (a) the people actually running the marathon and (b) me to actually run a marathon. I had a few signs, and decided that next time, I should go for funny instead of inspirational. I did 2 inspirational-like ones, and got a few nice comments about them, but I would have rather made people chuckle a bit. Also, would be better to have cloth signs, maybe with collapse-able poles to hold them up; cardboard was really awkward to carry around. Was sad to not have my purple pom-poms with me, I must've left them in Oregon. I did see one girl running with a sign on her back that said "I am my own cheering section" and a pompom attached at her waist, bouncing along on her butt -- I think I might do that for a race sometime. Next time I cheer, I really need to find a friend to cheer with, or just cheer next to other people -- cheering on my own, while tolerable, is kind of pathetic actually. Also also, must have a boombox! and candy to hand out! especially at and beyond mile 20.
Anyway. Watching the marathoners, I decided: it's time. I have to run a marathon, asap. Er, as asap as possible given that I want to be decently trained. Which also means I need some races leading up to my marathon race. Suggestions welcome. ;) I'm going to do the Portland Shamrock 8k again I think, because it's tradition by now -- it'll be my fourth. I'd love love love to run the DC Cherry Blossom 10-miler -- it's entry by lottery only (what!), so while I'll definitely enter in the lotto there's zero guarantee on that one. I'm hoping to talk Kimber into doing the Fort Vancouver 5k next year, so I will probably just be a spectator there and cheer her on. Unless I should run with her...? Her choice. I think I would like to do the marathon before my August wedding...so May/June/July. Unless I could be ready before that??? I'd also like to do a big race -- discussion on today about small vs big races, and from my vast experience (ha!) I do think I like the really big races, it's just fun to see that much humanity all in one place. Also I get to make lots of friends. But the big races are also harder to get into & more expensive generally I think. Hmm. Must research.
As a spectator at the race yesterday, I did get to people-watch to my heart's content. I saw a bunch of couples running together, which was beyond adorable. There were quite a few spectators biking alongside (other side of the road) their runner -- one in particular was very sweet, he hauled ass up the final really steep hill at the very end of the marathon, dodging other spectators and fencing while yelling out encouragement to his sweetie, who was hauling ass up the hill herself. Awesome. Quite a few kids with "Support Crew" t-shirts who would run with their parent for a little ways. This race was nicely laid out such that we could take shortcuts to beat our runner to our next cheering spot. This was my first time as a spectator on a running course -- I usually just cheer for Chris at triathlons. An interesting experience to see the same runners four times -- a few of them recognized me too, even after I put away my signs, which was funny. Turns out, runners keep their pace pretty consistent -- the runners around my friend at mile 12 were around him at mile 14, 20, and 24 too. Triathletes do not stay in a pace group like that...unsurprisingly. ;) People are so amazing, really. I love seeing that.