Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby's First Marathon

I am sorry that I can't shut up about the Nike Women's Marathon. Just a warning if you see me for the rest of the month, I may or may not still be raving about it.

I had some mixed feelings going into this race. For one, I was incredibly cranky the week prior to the race. I blame the taper. It made me grumpy and tired and all sorts of sassy. On Friday of race weekend, I was invited to partake in a focus group for Nike in which I had to do some high intensity workout for 15 minutes. This + walking around SF = slightly sore calves.

On Saturday, my friends and I went up to SF for the Expo which also required some walking. I would like to add that driving in SF is a nightmare and it stresses me out. Like, if I had a choice I would never volunteer to drive there. That place just makes me tired. Needless to say, we had trouble finding parking for our dinner reservations that night and ended up going back to our hotel area to find another one. We ate at Amici's though, so I'm not mad. By the time we got back to our room it was 10pm, much later than I was hoping to go to sleep. And I STILL had to put my stuff out for the next day.

Then of course there was last minute playlist additions and I probably didn't fall asleep until 11ish. I woke up TWICE in the 5 hours that I was asleep. Once because I thought it was time to get up and the other time to pee, which is when my calves and quads felt sore. I was really worried so I put on my ProCompression socks and slept the remaining 2hrs in them. In the morning they still felt a little sore sooo I was worried.

We got there super early this year and sought shelter from some hotel lobby. It was such a great idea. My friends are geniuses. 

Race play-by-play:
Miles 1-3: really really cold and uncomfortable because I had to pee. I missed the 1st bathroom stop and had to wait. Note to self: don't drink a whole bottle of water prior to race time!

Miles 4-???: felt fine, tried to make up for some lost bathroom time. I was determined to not make anymore stops so I ate those hills alive.

Miles 11-18: "YAY OMG IT'S HAPPENING" and then the blisters arrived. My knees, IT band, and feet were also feeling some pain at this point.

Mile 20: "WHEN IS THIS COURSE GOING TO TURN AROUND?" I felt like I had been running for sooo long with no turnaround in sight. I used my friend Anje'le as an indicator of how far I was and I hadn't seen her for milesss.

Mile 21: "Ok this is it. There's no stopping now"

Mile 23: Time to pick up the pace 

Mile 25: It was gametime. I really hustled at this point and ended up going all out for the last .5/.3 miles or so. I had this strange feeling like I was going to cry for this entire mile. It was so weird. 

Crossing the finish line felt like nothing I've ever felt. It was a mixture of wanting to cry, being so happy, so glad it was done, disbelief that I had actually ran the whole race (only walking to finish my water so I wouldn't spill on myself), and just being so proud of myself. Even though going to sleep early every Friday night to wake up too early for Saturday training runs was a pain, when I crossed that finish line I knew that it was all worth it. I am so ready to run another marathon.

To top it all off, I ran under my goal time of 4:30! Seriously could not believe it. I was behind the 4:15 pacer for awhile, but I ended with an official time of 4:21.27. 

The course was, as expected, beautiful and well populated with cheering sections and water stations. I think if I ever run a race that is small and not-Nike sponsored, I may be in for disappointment. But it's okay, I'll bring my water belt.

I did not "hit the wall" and I will attribute that to fueling. I ate my PowerGel at every 6 miles and drank water and Nuun at every station after mile 8. It really helped. It also helped that I had consumed an exorbitant amount of pasta that week.

Well, this post isn't long enough so I think I'll add some more pictures so you get your money's worth.

I couldn't figure out how to put these in order soooo, whatever.