I'd been waiting to see if I could get my pictures off my camera. For some reason it's been weird and won't let me do it. So here goes another picture-less post. You'll just have to use your imagination.
I'll start with the last week of tapering. I have this book called "CHI Running" It's great! and I have been trying to apply it to my running for the past couple of years. It all makes a lot of sense when you read it, like one of those things you learn about and think "Geez! Why didn't I think of that before?" I recommend it, go read it. So this book says that on day 6,5, and 4 before the race you should eat protein for breakfast and dinner and then days 3,2, and 1 before the race you load up on carbs, NO PROTEIN whatsoever. And of course you make sure to drink lots of water all 6 days. So I did that. I had already been at rest for the past 3 weeks, and did not want to risk taking a "brisk walk or jog" because I was too afraid to make things any worse. So I just concentrated on resting and icing my foot a lot. My sweet husband even suggested I took the week off doing my house keeping chores to make sure I was as healed as possible for race day. Of course I gladly agreed with his idea! and limited myself to cooking, because we still had to eat :) The day before the race I took a drive of the course. Thank goodness my little girls fell asleep in the car and did not even noticed mom drove around for more than an hour. They were angels.
I went to bed late, because I figured I was not going to be able to get a lot of sleep anyway. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep. Not only did I go to bed late, but I woke up at about 2:30 am and could not get back to sleep. In fact, I'm not sure I fell asleep completely for the rest of the night, morning, whatever. It was one of those nights. In the morning I had a banana, and peanut butter on a toast first thing after getting up and very little water just enough to swallow some MORE ibuprofen. I stretched, got ready and jogged it to the Trax Station. I realized right away that the back pocket on my shirt was not going to work to keep all of my GU in it. It got very heavy and bouncy so I stuffed some of my GU in my bra and pants. Not a good idea. I finished with sores in my chest from the sharp edges of the packages, ouch! Not doing that next time. Trax was super packed! A lot of people, including me, had to wait a couple times before boarding because there wasn't enough room. I made it to the starting line just on time for the countdown. I was glad to have stretched really well while waiting for the train to come, or else.
Once I was there amongst the crowd the nerves seemed to go away. Maybe it was the fact that I had already been there a year prior when I ran the half. The feeling was definitely different. I was calm. The race started and I knew in my head what I would do to get me through 26.2 miles. I started slow. My strategy was to pace myself at 10 m/m for the first 16. After that I would take the last 10.2 miles two at the time, that way instead of thinking about 10 more segments to go I would think of 5 (of 2 miles each). And that's what I did. I took it one mile at the time for the first 16 miles. I made sure to check in on my watch at every mile marker to make sure I stayed on schedule. A lot of things I read emphasized about not going too fast at the beginning or else you would be in trouble by mile 20 or so and I did not want that to be me. I tried to keep my pace down but for the most part I was coming in at 9.30- 9.45 m/m at every mile marker. I was feeling good. My plan was to pick the pace up for the last 10 miles, but I could not get myself out of the rhythm I had already pace myself to and felt that if I tried I would soon run out of gas. I spent the last 10 miles trying to pick it up, but was never able to, in fact I slowed down and was then averaging between 10- 11 m/m.
About mile 19 I ran a couple of miles next to this very quite, unfriendly lady. I tried to start a conversation but maybe she didn't hear me or was too in the zone to talk. She was probably annoyed by me because I think she tried to pass me but couldn't. I was not trying to go at her same pace, I just was. Then this other lady came from behind and started talking to me. She must had been hitting a wall, we were between mile 19 and 20 by then. She was very friendly and tired. I only knew that because she told me she was struggling and trying to keep up. Otherwise I wouldn't have know because she was all smiles. I stopped for water and she kept going. I didn't see her after that. Mile 20 came and even though I wasn't running the pace I had planned to I was feeling OK. Didn't hit a wall there, but I have to admit I wasn't feeling super great either. Then my dad jumped in from the sidelines to join me. He is such a sport. I could tell it was taking him some effort to keep up, but he never gave up and that help me to keep pushing too. He gave me a run for my money! And I really think he got me from mile 20 to 22 because right after I left him I started to feel the WALL ( dan,dan dan...). My younger sister joined me at this point. She wasn't going fast, but neither was I, and all I could think of was that stupid up-hill at the top of State Street. I thought it would be a good idea to save some energy for that. I slowed down for about a mile and then fell a little better. At mile 24 a met with my other 2 sisters. One of them only stayed for a few blocks and the other, Areli (we are 1.5 yrs apart, me being older) stayed with me. She did awesome! She got me through that dumb hill cheering me along the whole way. I was very surprised at her level of fitness, being that she's not a consistent runner, but she does run every now and then. Later she told me she was having a really hard time, but getting me up that hill and knowing how far I'd already come kept her going. All the while I never knew. She kept shouting and clapping me on and seemed just excited to be out there. Me on the other hand, not so much. That was my biggest WALL right there. Same spot as last year when I ran my first (and only) half. I wanted to just walk, and then I thought of Kim "Just don't think about it!", "Don't look up!" And that seemed like a great idea at the time. I lowered my head and just looked at my feet. One in front of the other. And then I was there, at the top. Aaaaaaah! Thanks Kim! And to my sister. I could not have had anyone better than her during those last couple of miles.
I started picking up speed as we passed the Temple and my sister was still there. I lost her right about the Energy Solutions and took off! Somehow I gathered enough energy to sprint through the finish line. I did not cry. I could SEE myself smiling. Yes, I said SEE myself. It was an out of body experience. It really was.
What I learned from this, and it's funny that running a marathon will let you see things in a different way. I was not expecting to come out of this wiser, I just wanted to run a marathon. So this I got extra and for free. I learned that I can do hard things. I can prepare and be ready. I can start and follow through. I will apply this principles to other areas in my life where I feel I fall short and not quiet accomplish everything that I can accomplish and be. All it takes it's one foot in front of the other. The same way in everyday life. Little by little, one thing at the time until I finish what I set myself to do. There!
Oh yeah! I came in at 4 hrs 25 mins 24 secs.
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