Sunday, December 22, 2013

I made myself a liar- A MARATHON race recap November 2013

You might recall after my very first half marathon several people said I should do a full and I stuck with several comments, the first being "I'm only half crazy."  The second, "No way, I'm NEVER doing a full marathon."  The third, "HAHAHAHAHA."

That all changed in March when my lovely best friend S decided that we should run the Richmond Marathon together for our 20 year friendship anniversary.  Due to personal reasons S ended up not being able to run the race, you can check her out on her blog,  My lovely friend in exercise and crazy ideas, J decided that even though she had just completed her first marathon 5 weeks before she was going to run Richmond with me and boy was I HAPPY.

The weather was pretty mild for November and we got up super early because S was running the 8K which started earlier.  As we were walking from the car it started raining and all I could think about was my wet socks.  I had brought a trash bag to wear as a little jacket to keep body heat in and it worked very well to keep the rain off at least part of me.  I was sadly very not prepared for rain, there was only a 10% chance of rain, I should have played the lottery!

Rocking my trash bag!
I was SO nervous at that point, all that I could think of was my wet socks and how I was going to definitely get blisters after 26 miles.  S's husband J came and I used his Ironman coat for a little while which definitely helped me warm up.   He left to go watch S cross the finish line and took back his warm coat and I was back to freaking out until J and M arrived to help calm me down.  We did our standard pee immediately before the did the start of the race and we were off.  We had a plan, a really good plan, we were going to rock this race.  The ground was wet and the manhole covers were a bit slippery and it was difficult to dodge the puddles but we had a good solid start.  The plan was the first 16 miles at 11:00 pace, then dropping to 10:30 for the end to get a nice negative split.  I kept repeating in my head the whole time, "run your own race, it doesn't matter that these people are passing you."

It rained a little at the beginning of the race but all in all the weather did improve and we had fun as evidenced by the professional pictures. 
Things were going really well in fact we had to really keep ourselves to pace because we would drift faster but we kept things to the plan.   My friend B and her daughter were off to the side before we crossed to the other side of the river and it was a great time to see a friend and throw my arm warmers at her, LOL.   I was feeling really strong and happy with our progress, the under part of the river was BEAUTIFUL but a little boring with not many people cheering.   Then we saw J and S and her sister right before we hit 16 and I fell apart completely.   I don't even know how it really happened but I took a GU and then got nauseous which happens to me frequently, throwing up while running is pretty automatic for me but I have gotten so much better.   It manifested itself into all kinds of GI issues and I started to literally have a complete and total meltdown.  We lost our fabulous consistent pace and I walked a little, then went to a porta potty but couldnt do anything, I tried to pull it together in there and I had told J to run ahead so I was able to catch up with her.  At the washcloth station I had mine on my forehead, J put hers on the back of my neck and I was so hot but had goosebumps, I'm telling COMPLETE meltdown.  THEN came the puking, three times over the course of about a mile or so.   I was so disappointed in myself and angry that I screwed up our plan.  

By mile 20 I was feeling better and we saw my family with all their signs, yay!  
Mom and my nephew with mom's sign!
At that point it was painfully clear that my goal of under 5 hours was likely not happening unless the last 10K was done in under an hour which as you know was my previous PR for JUST a 10K so the chances of that happening were zero.  We struggled with some IT band issues, both of us had trouble with the left leg I think due to the fact many of the streets were very slanted.  Over all that last part of the race was awesome cheering wise but pretty much all I could think in my head was how I had screwed up our goal.  It was a tough 6 miles mentally and physically but we did it.  Coming up towards the end everyone kept saying oh it is all down hill, in fact one guy said it even though a hill was RIGHT in front of us.  J yelled at him :)  In an absolutely amazing turn of events we actually saw S right before the actual all downhill finish.  I almost cried when I saw her I was so happy, it was perfect timing.  The finish was completely downhill and lined with people and the prevailing thought (after OMG I am finishing a marathon) was don't fall down the hill, don't fall down the hill.  I tell you running down hill is HARD and especially so on extremely tired legs.

As we ran down toward the finish I looked to the right and I saw my family and my mom was crying.  It was so amazing to have them see me run the race and get to the finish.   I have never been more proud or excited in my life. 
We DID it!!
The course was really great and it is called America's Friendliest Marathon for a reason.   The wall that I hit was worse than ANY other wall that I encountered in my training.  I was upset with my time from the very first glance at my watch because I know I trained to be better than 5:06.  It is truly a marathon not a sprint and it is an accomplishment to say I even finished but I want a redemption race.  Right now a redemption will be on the back burner due to Half Iron Man training and foot surgery recovery. 

No comments:

Post a Comment