I just ran 26.2 miles (actually probably more like 26.4-so an ULTRA marathon!). It doesn't seem like there is enough weight to those words. Not enough to show the depth of foot power, will power and gumption that went into running for almost FIVE hours.
**Pictures first, details next....
Hubby and I before the start. It was SO cold.
Friends and I before the start
The crowd in front of us (well) before we crossed the start line
The crowd behind us...
A drum group around mile 1. I really liked these guys!
The trash was atrocious! I've never run a race this big (or long!) so I never knew the 'road mess' a crowd of runners this big can make!
HAHA 'Sweat like a pig to look like a fox' Or in my case sweat like a pig to look like a sweaty pig. ;)
This was on a crowded, narrow path so I couldn't stop to get a picture, but this guy was holding a real, live water fowl (duck? goose?) while he was cheering for us!
DONE! 4:43:23....1141 out of 1455 overall, 426 out of 606 females, 86 of 125 females in my age group...It also says I passed 86 runners in the overall category and 0 runners passed me in the overall category, whatever THAT means. My brain is a bit chewed up right now...
Ok, so here's the run down...
Went to bed at 9:30 the night before and just as I knew would happen, I had SUCH trouble falling asleep. When I did finally fall asleep, I kept waking up and it was one of those weird nights where you're never quite sure when you're actually awake and when you're asleep...
Woke up a bit before 4:30 and woke up the hubs so we could get ready. Wanted to get out the door by 5 but it ended up being closer to 5:10. I had SO much stuff I was taking with me:
-A checked bag (Which I didn't even check-sort of wish I had taken the time as I was SO hungry at the finishline!!)
-A bag of clothes to leave in the car incase I wanted to change (I didn't)
-A bag of a bunch of different food choices (crackers, pretzels, M&Ms, choc covered pretzels, tortilla chips, tuna salad in a pouch, PB & J) so I could have a variety to much on on the way home (only nibbled on a few things)
-All the normal race do-dads (Garmin, music, bibs/pins, PB and J and banana to eat on the way down, water, hydration belt, camera and so on and so on-I felt like I was packing for trip instead of a race!)
We got there in fine time (so glad hubby was with me or I think I may have ended up in Seward or something) and found a parking spot that was relatively close.
Tried to find my group before time and only managed to locate a few of them.
Around 6:50 or so we started to walk to our pace group (we planned to line up around the 4:50 pace group). One the way we passed the port a potties and the lines were ridiculous! Thankfully I was able to drink water accordingly this morning and thru the race and never needed a potty break. Yay me!
They were sending out the pace groups in waves. Gun time was 7 a.m., but we didn't cross the mat until 7:40!
We kept the pace slow and comfortable for quite sometime. It was nice to just chat and enjoy the sites. Lots of spectators brought their dogs and I enjoyed trying to name all the different breeds (I think I got most all of them right! Except for the mutts. No tellin' there)
This is a pretty flat race and the hills are very slight, so that was nice. I got a stitch in my side around mile 6 and then again around mile 17. Thankfully neither one lasted long.
Also, my foot bone started to bug me around mile 7 or so off and on. By around mile 10 I didn't notice it any more (Hallelujah!)
It felt SO good and finally 'real' when we hit the stadium at the 13 mile mark and the 1/2 marathoners turned in for their finish and us CRAZY full marathoners kept on for an easy 7 out and 7 back. We got to mile 16 and hubby decided that he should probably turn back. I gave him my jacket to carry with him. (I had gotten it yesterday at Goodwill to 'throw away' but it was still chilly and I thought I might need it at the end-so glad I did) so he jogged/walked back to the stadium where he waited for a SWEET FOREVER for me to finish. It was COLD. Poor guy.
I picked up the pace a bit after he turned around. Saw lots of friends during the next 4 miles and that was a real boost.
At mile 20, I was tired and my legs were tired, but NOTHING like what I was feeling in my only 20 mile training run so I was so thankful for that. 20-22ish wasn't too bad but from 22 to the finish was SO hard. I had to take little 15-20 seconds walk breaks here and there (probably 5 or so of them). My lower back was also really bugging me during this time frame and the wind from this point on was like Mach 9. UNREAL how hard it was blowing. I kept trying to draft off people but then I would pass them, so that wasnt' working so well =)
There were several times during the last 2 miles where I SERIOUSLY considered just walking the rest of the way, but running almost felt better than walking. Such a quandary.
Finally the stadium came in sight and I was able to slowly increase my speed knowing that my hubby (and food!) would be there when I finished. When I came to the entrance of the stadium I lit the fire in my feet and booked it to the 50 yard line. It felt INCREDIBLE to finish!!!
I got a medal, a rose, a delicious hug from hubby (I was SOOO glad to see him) and a dry chunk of bagel (I think they need to keep those things covered!) =) Oh and some salsa Sun Chips (bleh). Thankfully I had packed a teeny bit of trail mix in my hydration belt so I munched on that.
I was walking SO funny when I got done, TOTALLY could not keep my balance. If I wasn't amidst that group of people, one would TOTALLY have thoughtt I'd had one to many Zima's.
We started to walk back to the car (SLOWLY) and right after we got out of the stadium, my right knee hurt so bad I thought I wasn't going to make it! I had to try to walk without bending it and that seemed to help a bit. Walking backwards helped the most. We got over to the rec center as it was SO cold out and I knew I needed to stretch but I didn't want to stretch out in the cold.
Thankfully they sold chocolate milk in there so I had hubby buy me some while I stretched. It didn't hit the spot like I thought it would. I was starting to feel unwell. I knew I needed to eat but nothing sounded good. I stretched for a while and that made my knee feel better, and drank more water. Then hubby went to bring the van around to me.
Once I got in the car, I munched on a few crackers and a few pretzels but everything was just turning my stomach. We got on the road and after about 30 minutes my stomach started to calm down so I was able to drink the rest of the chocolate milk.
Once we got back to town, we stopped at Pepperjax to pick up some sandwiches to take home. To watch me walk was to laugh til your belly hurt. I was quite a sight.
It was so good to see my kiddos when we got home. THEY thought my new walkin' style was quite funny too, especially when I tried to walk up the stairs.
Was able to eat most of the Pepperjax but it took awhile before my tummy felt totally normal again.
Luckily my Poppa is coming up tomorrow to help out incase I need a grown up pair of legs around here =)
All in all, I can say I am super pleased that I did it. For ME to complete a marathon is just way out of character for me. RUNNING is out of character for me! But by God's grace, I do/did both. I did a lot of praying during this race (didn't listen to music once the whole time) and I really felt that helped me get thru a lot of rough spots.
Will I do it again?
Does a cow touch its nose against an electric fence more than once?
Yeah. We'll see.... ;)