My first Marathon
Goals - #1 Have Fun :) - Masochistic fun? Well ok - mission accomplished
#2 Qualify for Boston with a sub 3:40 - mission accomplished
Here's the elevation profile
Relatively flat with a small incline in the first 2-3 miles, with a steep climb starting at about 16.25-16.50 up to 17.5 going up and over the St Johns Bridge. Pretty long decline at the end.
Reporting a marathon is so much different that a triathlon, it's pretty much non eventful. I mean there were a ton of events going on in my body and mind but much different then a triathlon.
The night before the race I joined a few friends along with my mom and grandparents for carb loading at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was REALLY nice to have my family there to support me before the race. The dinner was yummy, although the spumoni didn't compare to the gelato spumoni I had in Vegas the week prior....but still good nonetheless. I got to bed early and slept FANTASTIC.
4:30 arrives and I jump out of bed to my alarm. I'm excited and roaring to go. I do my normal pre run rituals...drink coffee, spend 20 minutes on pilates stretching for the legs and core strengthening (not going to risk a side stitch today). My mom arrives at 10 to 5. I force her to eat breakfast with me....I was not going to share another Power Gel with her :) hehe, you have to know the story. Then we head downtown to meet up with friends. Darrell's awesome wife let us stretch and keep warm in her office 2 blocks before the race start. I can not tell you how nice it was to have somewhere warm to wait, keep our stuff and have a clean bathroom right before the race. Thanks Darrell and Heidi, you're the best!
The race started in 3 waves. Wheel chairs, sub 3:45 and later 3:45. I started in wave #1 with the 3:45 group. The first mile was spent dodging and dashing around people. I was fortunate to find some large man to draft *hehe* and follow behind as he cut through all the people.
Mile 2-4 SUCKED. I am not a short distance runner. It takes me a good 3-4 miles to get in my comfort zone. My shines hurt a little and I had a hard time getting my stride on, very typical for me.
Mile 5-12 - Good times, probably the best of the race. By mile 4 I was running with the 3:35 group. I was shooting for a 3:40 and wanted to give myself a cushion in case I needed it at the end. The pace was comfortable and felt good, although my heart rate stayed at 180 for over 10 miles. This seriously scared the shit out of me. I thought I had gone out too fast and thought holding that high of heart rate for that long would decimate me. Along these 7 miles I saw Shannon and Devin, Mom (Cheering ever so loudly) Crystal, Barb and Greg and Karen....it was awesome!
Darrell caught up with me. He I chit chatted for awhile and continued to run. We were now running along the disgusting dirty 30 or Hwy 30. Ugh, it was so ugly and it started to rain.....a lot. I skipped a water aid station as I started to feel "sloshing" in my tummy from the Power Gels.....ick.
This was interesting. Around mile 16 we started to gradual climb which turned into steep very quickly up the St. Johns Bridge. I'm good at hills, I wasn't going to let this phase me....but honestly as I started to hit the crest it started to do some damage. A small spark ignited in my quads which started a small fire. Hit the bridge plateau and all was good again....for a short while. I descend off the bridge into St. Johns and then very quickly have to start climbing back up. MOTHER OF GOD! Quads are starting to hurt BAD. My legs are not happy....BUT I keep running. I run past Michele, Sheryl and Ken around mile 18.5....it was good to see them as I was starting to enter a very bad place in my head. I decided to flirt with a "visor" boy as I was "skirt" girl. That helped keep my mind off of things....for a while. I really regret not having a pen to get his number. "Visor" boy dropped me around mile 20ish.
Lol, the wall. We run right past Wall St. You know I did 4 hour runs, I did a 22 and 24 mile runs and not once did I ever hit that dreadful wall. Well today I hit that fucking wall and I hit it HARD. I caught Darrell around mile 20 and told him I was not going to make my 3:40 time goal. The 3:35 pacer had long past me and I was dropping speed. My legs were in pain and I was fighting the urge to walk. Darrell reminded me that I was far ahead and if I just continued to run I'd be ok. I kept this in the back of my head for the remainder of the race. Thank you Darrell. My Ipod pissed me off. I brought it in case I'd need it. I usually don't like to run with one, I prefer talk to others but sometimes you find yourself in a time of need so I brought it. Prior I had listened to a song and then would run with it off for 30-40 minutes, another song and then off again. Well I guess I never turned it off and just had it on pause and it wasn't fully charged because it died around mile 19-20. Grrrrr.....I needed it more then ever. The voices in my head were encouraging me to walk and I really need something to block them out.
Mile 22-24 was the descent down Greely. I was actually looking forward to this descent until I hit it. F^$%$$$^%WR^&QW&^%^&@%^%^&^&!!!!!!!! Every step I took felt like my legs were made of cement, that little fire that started around mile 18 was now a full blow inferno. I have never endured such pain before. Shit, I've never had quad pain running. Plus it was still raining....good side to rain is that it kept my body from over heating, bad side is that it soaked my feet and this hurt. On the positive side I was managing my nutrition energy well.....sort of I guess. My heart rate stayed between 170-180 for the duration of the marathon, who knew I could pull that off? But I was taking my Power Gels enough to cover the energy expenditure. So although I was in masochistic pain, I had the energy to move forward....so that is what I did. I saw Jeb around mile 23, this was good for me. I needed a high five. I hurt and was throwing a pitty party for one. The thought that I have signed up for an Ironman occurred to me at this point. WTF was I thinking?!!!! Mile 24 they offered beer, I declined......I was still ahead of the 3:40 pacer with 2.2 miles to go and could not afford any margin of error.
Mile 24-26.6 - The finish
I came up on a girl a little past mile 24, she said I looked good, I payed the same compliment back. I then confessed I couldn't feel my legs any more....neither could she and we both agreed it probably best this way. I needed water but decided to pass it up at mile 25. I knew if I slowed down I might walk. My mind and legs were having a nasty fight and my heart didn't want to be part of it. My heart wanted to qualify for Boston...so along I ran, one positive sloshy painful foot in front of the other. I turn up Salmon to approach the finish with 1 min to spare. There I see Shannon and Devin....there's no way I could miss them, I think they were the loudest cheerleaders out there. This helped push me in the last few steps. Finish - 3:39:25. I qualified for Boston on my first marathon!
The next hour was a blur. I was really sick as I crossed the line and had to take a few minutes to compose myself so that I didn't yak everywhere. Then I grabbed all the yummy goodness that I could, chocolate milk, grapes and a jamba juice. Got my finishers photo taken which I'm sure will cost me $20+ through event photos and meet my mom at the end. I was REALLY happy I saw here after I had gotten all of my goodies and was able to put myself back together. When I had finished I was on the verge of crying...yet again. I don't know why I do this every time. i think I just get so overwhelmed, that shit was hard. But thankfully I did not cry, instead my mom did :) <3 ya! We then waited for more people to finish and headed back to Heidi's work for a hot shower before drinks and celebrations. The shower was uber painful. My body was cold and the water was hot and I had chaffing and welts in a LOT of places. Body glide did not stick when it should have and for some reason my HR strap gave me some nasty welts on my back. On the other hand the bloody mary, champagne and lunch with friends was unforgettable.
Thanks Seth for the great coaching.
Thanks for all my friends that volunteered or providing kick ass friend support/cheering.
Thanks to all the people that helped with my training runs.
Thanks mom for....well being such a great mom.
Here's a few photos my mom took. I LOVE the space cape. This thing kept me warm for a good 20-30 minutes
What I learned
*Racing a marathon is #$#$%^%&*^&^&*#$@ hard!
*The mind is a power thing and can take you anywhere.
*I have awesome friends and a wonderful supportive mother.
*I can hold a 170-190 HR for 3:39:25 duration. Who knew? What I do know is my energy is going to suck serious tail for the next few days. My HR avge was 176
*I started out too fast. I ran between the 3:30-3:35 pacers up to mile 20....my speed droped from there :( I knew this would happen. Oh well, live and learn right?
*I have a lot of work to do on my run before IM if I want to shoot for a sub 4 hour IM. My God be with me.