Okay, folks. Here goes the latest race recap! Let's start with how things went last night...pretty smoothly, actually. The kids all went to bed well for me, and Chris and I were able to take some Tylenol PM and were in bed by 8. We planned to watch a show or two to help us relax before going to sleep. Right after I had settled into bed, I heard a knock on the front door. It was a delivery of flowers for me from my beloved friends, my running (and life) mentor and his wife, wishing me luck on my race. So thoughtful and sweet ~ thank you!!
After that the house was quiet and I fell asleep pretty quickly, probably by 9 or so. Unfortunately, I'm not used to getting a lot of sleep. I'm usually functioning on about 6 hours on average, so throw in the pre-race jitters and I was awake at 1:45am. And I could not go back to sleep. I had set the alarm for 4, but I just laid in bed until around 3 when my 5 year old came to get in bed with us, then I just went ahead and got up and started getting ready. After getting dressed, I used the foam roller for a bit, ate a Clif Bar, drank some water, got all my stuff ready, then woke up my husband. He drove me to the shuttle at 4:45. I was on the first bus to go to the starting line area. It was freezing cold (in the 30's) and pitch dark. We waited around until the start, a little late, at 6:25.
We were off! I had my Garmin set to do my 3:1 minute run/walk intervals. Of course, things started out great. I felt good, I was happy, the scenery was breathtaking as the sun rose over the mountains. I started to sip on water at aid stations starting around mile 6, I think, and then from there I started to fuel with some Shot Bloks and Energy Beans. I was hoping to preempt the fatigue by fueling early and often, without overdoing things. I actually felt really decent up until about mile 10 or so. Then, even with the walking breaks, my feet were killing me. I think I may have tied my shoes a little too tight or something, because I was having pain that I hadn't experienced before. I just kept on pushing, though. I made it to the half-way point without too much hurrah, and just kept at it, keeping with my 3:1 intervals. After mile 15 or 16, even though I was continuing the intervals, I also walked through all the aid stations and just had a few sips of water at each one. I was really hurting at that point. By the time mile 18 arrived, I seriously wanted to quit. My legs were aching like never before. Unfortunately for them (my legs), my heart and head don't quit, so on I went, focusing on one mile at a time.
At some point after 20 miles, I had resigned myself to the idea that it was highly unlikely I would break 5 hours as I had hoped, but I just changed my goal to finish and told myself it was okay to take extra walking breaks whenever I needed, but just walk fast! I was thinking to myself, "Oh, crap. I'm probably going to be like 6 hours!" This is the point when I realized it would have been nice to have been running with a friend or something. I was all up in my own head for mile after painful mile, with no one to talk to! As I was getting near the last turn before the road to the finish, my Garmin beeped at me, and when I looked down at it I saw that I had just barely hit the 5 hour mark and I only had about 1.2 miles to go ~ WHAT?!! I kicked it into high gear (sort of) at that point and ran (almost) all the way in to the finish, and after seeing and hugging my husband (who had finished his 1/2 marathon in 2:18), I stopped my Garmin:
Okay, so I didn't break 5 hours, but that's still a PR for me and by more than 10 minutes, so I'm pretty stoked.
The medals are beautiful this year. The full marathon medal (top) lists the names of the roads we run on the route along the outer edge of the ribbon, which means it has the name of the road we live on, because it's part of the route. How cool is that?
So far my recovery seems like a tough one. In other words, right now I feel like crap. :) My legs are still aching bad, I have a headache, and I have a mess of black, throbbing toenails and blisters in very weird places on my feet. At least the weather was perfect and though it was sunny, it never got too hot and I didn't get sunburned this time. I'm really looking forward to some much needed rest tonight, and maybe for the next few days...then to start planning the next race...☺