1) Get there EARLY!! We arrived just before 7. The race started at 7:30. I definitely felt rushed and like we didn't have enough time to warm up. This made the first two miles a lot harder and left Taber with an injured knee.
2) I really like running without headphones! I was devastated when I realized I'd left my iPod at home and almost made Taber turn back. He convinced me I'd be better off without them and he was right! It was so awesome to be in tune with everything around me and it was easier to keep a steady pace because I wasn't driven by the different beats of different songs. I still like running with music for training runs but in a race it's awesome to go sans music and just connect with everything happening on the course.
3) Water stops are tricky and take practice. I didn't actually swallow any of the water until the 3rd stop when I realized I needed to slow down.
4) Have ice and ibuprofen on hand for the finish. We definitely needed ours!
And now I leave you with some footage from the race. Please excuse my cheesy faces and commentary. I never really know what to do or say on camera ; ) (Also, you'll see the lovely yellow balloons of our pace leaders that carried me through the race. Pace groups are awesome! I'm now a huge fan!)