I am still in shock that I ran 18.6 miles–straight–on Saturday. Here’s my long overdue race report from the experience:
I had signed up all spur-of-the-moment style, as I sometimes do, as if a quick decision will make the running be that much quicker. I knew I needed at least one good, long run before the marathon, so I figured why not run in a sweet scenic spot, just 5 miles from home? My friend AW signed up to run with me also. She drove up from Fort Bragg the night prior, so I went and picked up our packets at Omega Sports in Winston-Salem after work.
The T-shirts were sweet!
I picked up 5 packets of GU too, since my order didn’t come in time (and of course, the box showed up on the doorstep when I got home from the race!)
I carbed up Friday, and ensured no fibrous food stopping me from a good run… no one likes GI issues, especially not me when trying to get a good long run in. Saturday morning, we got up nice and early, 5:45, and lamented how we heard it raining all night. This is going to be so cold and wet and miserable, we both said. AW didn’t want to go, but I convinced her we should at least show up and see how it is (though I was feeling like crawling right back into bed!). I had toast with peanut butter and half a banana, but skipped the coffee (good call!) I brought my Nathan fuel belt with blue Gatorade, and stuffed the GU packets and a few Snickers mini’s in the mesh pockets of my shorts. I wore the bright yellow shirt from the Dammer Mannheim marathon, where I got my fastest half-marathon time in 2010 (my co-worker said I look like a highlighter in that shirt, so I figured it would be easy for Javi to spot me). We managed to find good parking, and sat in the car feeling sorry for ourselves for a while. We debated switching to the 7 miler. Then we sucked it up and said “Let’s do it.” After a few stops at the potty, it was 8 AM and ready to go.
My goal was a 10:00-10:15 pace, so finishing somewhere around 3 hours 10 minutes. AW wanted to be speedy at the beginning but I held her back, saying I wanted to conserve it for the end. The first 9.3 miles out went by pretty quickly, with us chit-chatting as ladies do 😉 AW started having knee/hammie issues, so I wasn’t sure we would finish the latter half together. She ended up telling me to go on ahead after the halfway point, so I did. My legs were starting to fatigue, and I wanted to be done. I ran with an older gentleman named Mike for a bit, then lost him to water stop. Next thing I knew, we were at the big hill–which I walked up like all the other runners around me… hey, peer pressure!–and I was back on the trail. Much easier on the legs. I told myself to just get to the Linville parking lot, where Javi and Gabe would hopefully be. I gave Javi the directions to come if it wasn’t raining and if Gabe wasn’t too cranky. I ran on, making a potty stop at mile 12, and just ran with the goal of seeing my boys at 15.5 miles. A few of the miles here were pretty fast, as I was very motivated to see them. I told myself not to be disappointed if they weren’t there, and it was a good thing, because they weren’t there (Javi said later that it was raining and Gabe was cranky… but I sure did wish I had just told him BE THERE! lol Oh, hindsight) Anyways, I still had a very nice surprise, because my friend KK and her kids came to cheer me on! Best part, KK’s little girl had brought me a Snickers bar! I carried it with me all the way to the finish… those last 3 miles were tough, and a bit painful, but knowing I had friends cheering me on gave me the energy I needed to get thru the last of it. The GU’s helped too. But my confidence in finishing the marathon grew substantially with the successful finish of the race. Oh, and my watch lost satellite reception somehow (I was cursing at it… “Stupid !@%&# watch!”) so that’s why the distance is a bit off in the pic. Awesome pottery medal though:
What wasn’t awesome was the extreme soreness that set in as soon as I stopped running. I was a hurtin’ chica. Found some bagel, water, banana and sat down, but even that hurt. Waited for AW, and this girl is so tough, she walked the last 4 miles but still managed to finish under 4 hours. And did I mention she hasn’t been training?! So incredibly proud of her! And of us!
Thank God for giving me the strength to do the whole thing, and without suffering during the race–that would come later. I was so, so glad that I was able to finish without much walking or stopping or breaks. The marathon is within my grasp!
I spent the rest of the weekend resting, tired and sore, and doing my best to look after G-man without expending much energy. Four days later, the soreness is gone, but I’m still a tired momma:
But it’s like Whitney and Mariah say:
“There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will”
Amen sisters. What can you do when you start believing in yourself?
Have a very wonderful week. Gabe update later on.