I seriously didn't know if I wanted to poop or vomit for a good 45 minutes. As we were walking to the start (~1 mile) my stomach started FREAKING out. I've never been so nervous about anything in my life!
I had to stop at a hotel on the way to the start to go poop one last time. I was in major nerves-ville. Can you tell?! note about the outfit: I bought a cheap sweat suit and hat from target to throw away at the start so I didn't have to stand around in the chilly air freezing my buns off. I looked like a total nerd, but while everyone was standing around trying to stay warm I was nice and toasty. Suckas.
Once I got to the start area I did some plyos and light jogging to warm up my muscles and that really helped calm my nerves. Finally; I kissed my hubby good-bye, got my good luck wishes and went into the start area. I lined up with the 4:30 pace group. I was intending to stay with them and then if I had it in me in the last 3 miles speed up and give it all I had. My nerves had turned into confidence and I was so ready to do this.
note: I didn't set my Garmin to record any mile splits, I just wanted to keep an eye on my average pace (which was to be 10:18)
Miles 1 - 7: I have never run in a pace group before and it was so interesting. Everyone was kind of jocking for positions. I started out in the back and was just watching peoples feet in front of me hoping they didn't fall or trip and take me out. It was kinda crazy. Around mile 3 I had to go pee. Frick. I was so irritated with myself. There was a bunch of port-o-johns with no line at mile 5 so I ran across the course to pee quickly and forcefully. Obviously I lost the pace group, but I settled back into a 10:15 pace and felt great.
Miles 7 - 12: Around mile 7 my legs began to get a little heavy. I was actually slowed down to a 10:20 pace and was trying to figure out why I was feeling so fatigued. It was getting worse by the minute and I was starting to get pissed. What was going wrong? There was a turnaround at mile 9 that I was headed for which meant I could see all the faster runners on the other side of the road. I was trying to draw so much strength from them. They all looked so strong and graceful and I was feeling like a pile of lead. I kept pushing thinking my legs would come back and reward me for the last two weeks of downtime I gave them.
Mile 12: This was my lowest moment of the race. I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain this for the next 14 miles. My HR was already hoovering in the 180's and I was only maintaining around a 10:20 pace (slowly drifting though). I realized this was not going to be my day to hit 4:30 at this point. My legs were not having any of it. I saw my husband shortly after this point and I shed a few tears at the realization that all the work I had done to get here was not going to come to fruition this morning.
I really wanted to quit. Why bother going through with it? In the end I couldn't. I couldn't stop thinking about all the time, money and support that my husband invested into this goal. It was going to happen at least on some level. I shed my tears and slowed down.
Miles 13 - 19: After I came to terms with my loss of 4:30, I just plugged along. I walked through the water stations and gritted through it. As if my legs failing me weren't enough, I started getting THE WORST blisters I've ever experienced in my life! I could actually feel them pulsing and filling with fluid. My racing flats were failing me big time. I refused to alter my gait to accommodate them so I just literally gritted my teeth and tried to block them out.
Mile 20 - 21: This was another major low point in the race. I had enough of the blisters and I was just feeling sorry for myself. I was beginning to walk more and more. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Half-way through mile 20, I saw one of my friends from my running group. She ran to me and walked beside me for a minute. I will forever be indebted to her for the words of encouragement she offered me at this point.
Her: "You look strong girl. Keep going." Lie
Me: Wiping tears and snot from my face "This is not my day"
Her: "Yes it is! You got this. Your gonna just do a mile repeat. Run a mile repeat and then when you get to the downhill you can relax. Then your going to run another mile repeat at the bottom. That will put you at mile 23 and your going to bring it home."
Her: "feel sorry for yourself until mile 21 marker and then go."
Me: "ok" wipe tears and snot again. start running.
Mile 23: See my husband again. Feeling better.
Garmin: 4:47:22/26.52 miles/10:50 av pace Ugh, I can't believe I ran an extra 1/4 of a mile.
Post-Marathon: These pictures say it all..........
After I took my shoes off I was much happier!
Post-marathon thoughts: Even though my marathon didn't turn out like I was expecting I did get faster training for it and that is a MAJOR SUCCESS. Right now I am swearing off marathons forever. I don't think my body was made for them. Will I do another, more than likely. My blisters are healing, but my ego is still bruised. I know you can't will em' all, but I am disappointed that I was not able to dig a little deeper. Of course I feel better about it very minute and when I think about the pain I was in for the majority of the race, I am actually quite surprised that I pulled out what I did.
This spring I'm concentrating on speed. Lots of short courses. 5k's, 10k's, halfs. Bring It.
I'm calling it....
Project Suck IT - The Sequel "Ones best success comes after their greatest disappointment"
Lastly, I just really want to say thanks to all you guys. Whenever I was feeling down or discouraged you all were there to pick me up and your support really meant the world to me. You guys are awesome!