Before the race started, I blogged about how the weather was looking nearly perfect. The heavens were shining down on us and race day arrived and we had 40 degree temps, very little wind and sunny skies. I know some people would prefer no sun, but I actually don't mind it. Lish picked me up and we made it with plenty of time before the start of the race. We met up with other runner friends to talk about our plans for the day and to just shoot the shit. The time went quickly and to be entirely honest, all the conversation made it hard to even think about the fact that I was about to start my second marathon.
|Kathy's Friend, Kathy, John, Lish, Rachel, Matt, Brian, Me.|
|Jess, Lish, Rachel, Matt, Brian, Me|
Before we knew it, the national anthem was being sung and everyone was ready to move to the start line. We lined up in the corral and heard the horn go off. The first few miles were beautiful. It was a slight downhill so you could see the hundreds of people ahead of you. It was cold and you could see their breath in the sunlight coming up over the horizon. Just beautiful. I wish I could have taken a picture of it.
I felt very comfortable. I thought about how I was feeling. I kept thinking how everything felt like it was moving well and my breathing was easy. I ran with Matt, Rachel and Lish for the first few miles but eventually I just got into my comfortable pace and pulled ahead just a little bit. I had Gatorade in my handheld and didn't take anything other than that for the first half of the marathon.
The first half of the marathon is the hillier part of the marathon and by mile 10 I was feeling pretty light headed by them so I started to take short walk breaks up the top half of a couple of the hills. This is also when I realized my Garmin some how stopped at 4.5 miles. I must have hit the stop button and never knew it until this point. F$@*!!! I never looked at my Garmin again after this because I knew it was pointless. At this point, Lish, Rachel and Matt passed me up but I had them in my sights for up to mile 15 when I once again was right next to Lish. I quickly said a few words to her and then pushed on.
The next several miles are not a lot of fun in this marathon. The sights aren't great. It's lots of long straightaways with not a whole lot to look at. By mile 15 I started to realize my IT band wasn't bothering me. I was pretty excited about that but kept thinking that it could hit at any time. At mile 16 I put in music and just trucked along. It was at this point that I felt like I got my second wind. My walk breaks were very short and I just kept going. I saw a lot of people I knew either spectating or running the race and those small moments would give me a little boost. At mile 23 I ran up an bridge and looked down to see Matt and Rachel. I couldn't believe they were right there. Eventually I caught up to them and slapped (punched?) Kim's ass hard as I passed by. She said on Tuesday that she thinks she still has a hand print on her ass.
The last few miles were hard. My calves started to have muscle spasms with each step. They didn't hurt but would make my foot sort of go limp for a second and I was scared that I was about to pull a muscle. Eventually I made it to the final mile. There was a water stop right there so I stopped and grabbed a cup of water and started to run, only to hear "Hi Mommy!" It was Katelyn running next to me in her high heel boots. She said "I wish I could run the rest with you" but I had a full mile left and she was in heeled boots so all I could muster was "I'll see you at the finish" and then looked up at Mike and said "I'm dying!" and ran on. The finish was so close and you pass by it before you get to it so it's pretty exciting.
|My mom and dad waiting for me at the finish <3|
The last straightaway is a lot longer than it looks and I just kept thinking that I needed to get to that finish line. I knew my run was slow at this point but I just wanted so badly to be done.
|Me looking at the clock and seeing my time for the first time the whole race pretty much.|
This is a glorious sight after 26.2 miles. It makes it all worth it. The long runs are a distant memory and only this moment matters.
Official Time: 4:38:41
For being my second marathon, I'm pretty happy with that.
After the race, I grabbed my space blanket, medal and post race food that I handed off to Katelyn to eat. I can never stomach anything right away. I found my family and just tried to keep moving. My legs were so tight and stiff feeling.
|Mike showing me the text alerts he got on my race times.|
Then...it was time to drink. We headed down to a bar and had free beer and taco's courtesy of the Pace Setters. We all shared our stories about the race and how we all felt pretty darn good for just running a marathon. I actually thought right away that I would be totally up to doing another one some day soon. Last year after my terrible first marathon, I told Lish I didn't think I would do one ever again. What a difference a year makes...and what a difference a marathon can feel like when you are not sick for it...
So here we are, already 5 days out and I have already been for one run and am pretty much feeling back to normal. I must give major props to my massage therapist Dee. She saved the day and I am now officially a firm believer that IT band syndrome can be helped/cured by deep tissue massage. She made me want to cry with how painful the massage was, but on marathon day there was no IT band pain. That's pretty incredible.
I also must thank my family and friends for everything they have done for me this entire training cycle. Dealing with my burps on runs, and my complaining of IT band pain along with a million other things I could find to complain about on a run including a lack of Gatorade stops during our 20 miler. I thank you. To my family for helping me with the girls so I didn't miss a single long run. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!
I know I said that I wasn't going to train for another marathon next summer.....but I just can't say that I will stick to that. Ask me again in April.