Going into the race I was feeling prepared. I had followed a Hal Higdon plan to the T and felt ready to take on 26.2 miles. There was one thing that was making me quite uneasy about the task at hand though; the weather.
|Sneak-peek of marathon rain the day prior|
|Hydrating/TV watching/slothing day before marathon|
I stalked all weather sites, news sites, iphone weather, etc. to get all opinions on what the weather would do on marathon day and all of them pointed to rain. Not just a few sprinkles, but heavy, significant rain. Like inches of rain accumulated in a day. Rain that would cause floods in the area. And wind which would blow out of the SSW, so it would be a headwind for the marathon. You can see why I was nervous. Who wants to run in those conditions, let alone my first marathon!
So race morning came and just like the weatherman said, it was raining hard and it was very blustery. I wasn't excited about the marathon at this point, which bummed me out. I had been so excited throughout all of my training for this big day and now that it was here, I was like meh.
|Pre-swim, I mean run.|
|A zillion porta potties at the start. 300+ to be more exact|
|Yes, it was this wet.|
Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:31
Mile 3: 8:15
Mile 4: 8:21
Mile 5: 8:28
Mile 6: 8:34
The first few miles flew by and I realized I went out too fast. Although I believed I could run a 3:45, my body didn't. I should have started around 9:00 miles and tried to maintain that pace. Rookie mistake.
Mile 7: 8:36
Mile 8: 8:51
Mile 9: 8:59
Mile 10: 8:49
Mile 11: 8:57
Mile 12: 9:09
By mile 12, my foot started to twinge, which was the first sign of pain in the race. My boyfriend was at mile 12 waiting for us with a fresh bottles of Nuun, so I asked that he have some Ibuprofen at mile 20, the next place we'd see him.
The miles started to get harder about half way through and I knew it was because I went out too fast. I started to slow and let Katherine start to pull away from me. I just couldn't keep up anymore and accepted that I needed to run my race and do what I could that day.
We passed the half marathon in 1:54 ish and I easily could have been done at that point. Although I wasn't bothered by the rain anymore (already soaked to the bone), my spirits were low and I made the mistake of thinking "oh my gosh, I'm only half way!"
Mile 13: 8:59
Mile 14: 9:01
Mile 15: 9:16
Mile 16: 9:34
I can't remember exactly when my quads started to hate me and running, but I think it was around mile 16 or 17. My quads started to hurt so bad! They felt incredibly sore. I've never felt anything like it, but every step I took, it was painful, especially the downhills. CIM is "net downhill" but the first half is very up and down and I just think my body wasn't used to the hills. I never run hills, no wonder they wouldn't be used to them! :) This is when my pace started to suffer significantly and my walk breaks started.
Mile 17: 9:39
Mile 18: 9:44
Mile 19: 9:49
I somehow made it to the next meetup with my boyfriend. It all seems like a blur in retrospect. And to my defense, the course is not scenic, so there was nothing notable to remember along the way. Oh yeah, except huge puddles and street rivers. I got my much needed Ibuprofen, a fresh bottle of Nuun and some words of encouragement. I remember saying, "This is the hardest thing I've ever done" before I continued on.
Mile 20: 10:39
Mile 21: 10:19
Mile 22: 10:11
From this point to the end of the race, I was on a solid walk/run schedule. Like I said, I threw out my time goals early in the race - my goal was to finish. Miles 22-25 was on the counting schedule: Run 100 steps, walk 30, run 100 steps, walk 30, repeat. My quads were screaming each step I took. It was so painful - each mile felt like it lasted a lifetime.
Mile 23: 10:58
Mile 24: 10:38
Finally mile 25 came and I remember a spectator say, "You made it, just a mile to go, you can do it" and for some reason this got me going and I was determined to run the entire 1.2 miles we had left. The crowds were building on the sides of the streets as I approached the finish line, but they were all a blur. I bet the look on my face was awful at that point - I was in so much pain. Casey yelled my name, I tried to eeek out a smile and almost broke down in tears right there. Turned the corner, saw my man friend cheering for me as I went into the finish chute.
Mile 25: 10:58
Mile 26: 10:03
Finished! 4:07:07 (9:28 pace) Crossing the finish line was the most amazing feeling EVER. My body was totally beat, but I did it. I finished the marathon! I grabbed and chugged a chocolate milk immediately and hobbled over to meet up with my boyfriend. Walking was painful and it would be painful for 3 days after the marathon. I changed into dry clothes and we slowly made our way to meet up with other Nuunies for much needed beer and food.
|big ass heavy medal|
And the icing on the cake? The sun came out that afternoon and it was beautiful.
|Blue trees are in Sacramento, too!|
Last, but not least, I owe each and everyone of you a big, huge THANK YOU! The support I get from my blog and Twitter friends is unreal. All the tweets, messages, emails, snail mail (!) - it all was so wonderful. I'm so lucky to have such awesome people in my life! xoxo
|Special thanks to this guy for being awesome.|