It’s funny, if I had been writing this yesterday, after the race , you would be able to get a better idea of the excitement and thrill I felt finishing that race- now, the day after, after I have come down from my runners high- I still feel good about it but I have had a chance to go over all the “I should have, I could have, if only I…”
It was an absolutely gorgeous day- stunning, really beautiful and sunny about 4-5C- I had an OK sleep (for me!) I probably got about 5.5- 6 hours. I went to bed at 9 and had maybe 3 interruptions from children- and then I was having “nightmares” about being late for the race! Which is so silly, but from about 2 am to 3 am I tossed and turned as I kept drifting off to this dream that it was 4:29 on the clock and I had to be at the starting line at 4:30 and I was stuck somewhere or another. There of course was a bit of the normal morning chaos- baby boy #3 had to get to hockey by 6:30, baby boy#2 had to get up to babysit and the ol’ man was driving and dropping off. I am very thankful he did not just drop me off at he race as I had suggested as there was about an hour to hang around and it’s so much nicer to have someone you know with you when you have to wait around with a bunch of strangers, he insisted on staying… very sweet.
I positioned myself near the back of the pack at the start line and the first couple of miles felt great- by mile 2 I had spied an older gentleman who had what I thought was a very nice steady pace and was running alone (there were lots of “groups of runners” who I found slightly annoying because they yakked so much- which really is nice and all but I found it a wee distracting.) Anyhoo… I tucked in behind the man and paced myself with him for several miles which I felt helped me keep focused.
I walked through the water stations accepting a cup of water and a cup of gatorade and sipping a little from each. At mile 6 I chewed on a couple of Sharkie energy gummies and sipped some water. They went down quite well (except they do get stuck in your teeth!) and I lost my pace guy. At about mile 8 I found my new pace buddy- she looked to be about 75 but was seriously steady and I shuffled just behind her until mile 11 or so when I think she stopped to blow her nose and I lost her.
This is where things got very challenging. Surprisingly my foot was not too much of an issue- it was sore-ish but not as bad as my last run- but it was my hips and my right knee that was giving me some serious problems- the hips just felt so tight that it was a major effort to move my legs. My plan to walk though the water stations was a good one but I think I should have had more of a concrete plan regarding stopping to walk in the last 3 miles. Many of the people around me were obviously doing the run 10 minutes walk 1 programme because there were watches beeping all over the place and many people (mainly groups) stopping to walk- this became all too tempting to me to rationalize a walk break near the end- and I twice stopped for unscheduled walk breaks after 11 miles and I think it broke my rhythm somehow.
The last mile was really really hard- I kept watching the 10ths of a mile drag on by looking at my watch rather obsessively- but really what kept me going is knowing that the ol’ man and the kids were somewhere near the finish line and I knew once I saw them I’d be OK- and I was. I stopped to give them all high fives and then sprinted (OK I’m sure it was a jog but it felt like I was sprinting!) for the finish line to collect my medal (thrilling!)
I think I was well prepared for where I am at right now- I was happy with my time (an un-official 2:19:32 I’m till waiting for them to post the official time- this was what my Garmin read but I did fiddle with it going over the start line).
I think my biggest issue right now is sleep. I simply must find a way to get these kids to sleep- I mean even without training for a marathon 16+ years of compromised sleep is taking it’s toil on both the ol’ man and myself- I seriously often wonder if I can have the energy I have now on so little sleep- can you imagine what I could do if I actually sleep 8 hours a night?!!
Looking at the the schedule for the next 12 weeks is a bit daunting- the long runs coming up are 13 miles, 10, 15, 16, 12, 18, 14, 20 (!) and then a taper of 12 and 8 before the 26.2. Last November 13.1 was unimaginable and now it’s done- finished, in my back pocket… hopefully I’ll be saying the same thing about the Full on May 3.
Oh, and I didn’t pee! Didn’t have to stop to pee- nothing- I went 3 times as I waited to start- and then made it all the way- so perfect!