Here’s Sofia yards from finishing here half marathon down in St. George. I only hope in April when I finish my first half marathon that I can look half as beautiful and happy as she looks. But I think this picture expresses my feelings for the weekend overall. A great run, hanging out, and a first visit ever (for me) to an In-N-Out burger joint.
It started early on Friday when took the day off from work and got the chance to sleep in. Then there was the beautiful drive down to St. George. The more and more I headed south the scenery improved. There were blue skies and a new whited mountainous landscape with white fluffy clouds floating along. It was hard not stopping and taking pictures. I managed to fit a few art gallery visits in between checking into my room and going to pick up the packet for tomorrow’s run. Later Sofia arrived and she was STARVING! We ended up getting take out from a terribly busy Olive Garden and back to the hotel room. It ended up being similar to a slumber party as we hung out, watched TV, and chatted. I’m afraid I kept her up later as we talked about local music; an interest of hers that just fascinated me.
The next morning, it was still dark as we went down for the continental breakfast. I could see that the cement was wet but it was so dark you couldn’t see all of what it was doing. It was predicted a high of 42 F degrees but I imagine that it was only in the mid 30’s as we walked the block and half down to the starting line. The half marathon, which Sofia was running, started 10 minutes earlier than the 5K. We both felt good, and the skies were gray but it wasn’t raining. It would be gray and bits of rain off and on for the rest of the run for both of us. Sofia was off!
Ten minutes later it was my turn to cross the starting line. I sent off some friends a text announcing my start. I started just jogging off slowly; just trying to slower warm up and work towards a good pace. About 3 blocks into the run, I started to pick up the speed a bit more. It was then when I started following this gal in a beige plaid flannel hat that looked like a crown. I was following the Queen of Flannel and she was keeping a nice pace that I could comfortably keep up with. There were a few puddles to go around and I would try to go around slower runners but I felt really good. My head phones in and I had managed a good list of music with the help of Sofia earlier that morning. I was jamming away and running in my own little world. This was fun!
The only water station came at the half way mark. I slowed down to a fast walk as I drank really strong Gatorade. OMG! The Queen of Flannel never even slowed down to drink any water. She faded in with the runners that went past me. I just can’t seem to manage the run and drinking water thing. Something to work on I guess. I started walking faster and faster working my way back to the pace I had. It was then that I noticed a guy with bright red shorts--- it was a nice view, and he was setting a good pace. So I became a stalker of Mr. Red Shorts, as I broke into my nice even pace. A good fast paced song came on my head phones and I couldn’t resist not taking advantage of it. I poured on the speed and flew past Mr. Red Shorts. Then, it was the finish line that came into sight and I poured it on even more. A sprint to the finish!
YES! I texted that I was done after they took off the timing chip. It was 34 minutes between my first text and this last last text. WOW! A 5K in 34 minutes! That was great for me! That beat my average speed of 12 minute mile. I was elated, as I hurriedly showered and changed then came back to watch Sofia cross the finish line on her half marathon. She looked great for running all of that distance and had a good time of about 2 hours and 20 min. She was more than ready for the treat of the In-N-Out Burger.
The In-N-Out Burger was a first time for me and quite frankly I was thinking that it was another version of McDonald’s (not a place that I frequent). We arrive and it’s PACKED! There’s a line for the counter and there are people vulturing around for available seats. Sofia said that they were always this way, and I was amazed. The menu was so simple it only had two types of burgers, sizes of fries, flavors of shakes, and soda sizes listed. We got into line and she asked me what I wanted and then suggested that I keep an eye out for a table. She would stay in line and I could sit at a table for us. It was a tag team. I noticed an older couple sitting a four top table and went over asked if my friend and I could share the table with them. Sure! I waved at Sofia in line and gabbed with the older couple. They were retired and living in St. George, and had moved down from the Salt Lake area. Sofia placed order and came to the table.
As we were waiting for the food, the other couple finished and left. I was surprised that there wasn't any fighting over tables as another couple and their daughter claimed the other half of the table. They were also retired and living here, but from the Chicago area. Their daughter was from the Draper area of Salt Lake. We talked about the weather and Mid-west while Sofia went up to get our food. The food was not too bad but it was more than I could handle. We both ended up sharing our fries with the appreciative couple next to us. It was fun, and interesting place to eat. It was the most interaction that I have had with people in a burger joint in (or any restaurant) in years. The food wasn’t too bad either.