It’s 2 days post race and I am finally sitting down to write about it. I really wish I had had the time and energy to do it immediately after the whole thing was over because it would likely be a slightly different story. It’s much like (look out, here comes the childbirth analogy!) giving birth- I was exhausted, yet totally buzzed following the race, still able to recount every painful step (OK they weren’t ALL painful) I could probably better describe how brutal the last 6 miles in particular were but, just like childbirth, somehow the memory of the pain starts fading away and I’m already to the point of thinking “It wasn’t THAT bad!”
Really I don’t think it could have gone any better for me and where I was physically and mentally on that day. Taking into account the injuries I dealt with, the family stresses and illness that were going on and just the fact that I haven’t slept more than 5 hours in years I feel like I nailed it. It went exactly according to plan.
The weather was perfect, sunny but not hot. The company was perfect, njb and I got dropped off close to the start line and hung out and jabbered away our nervousness while we waited and then agreed to start together but run our own races, as she runs a faster pace then me and I was going to stick to my; run 10 mins, walk 1 programme. The first few miles were difficult mentally as I really felt like running a faster pace and I found it very very hard to stop for the walk breaks but it truly paid off for me in the long run because I kept probably my most steady pace EVER, a 10:53/min mile. The first half I did in 2:22:25- and finished in 4:45:29. I never really felt that I was slowing to a shuffle of any sort (which usually happened on long runs) although there were a few miles, like at the start and then again at miles 17 and 18 that I felt like I had a burst of energy. My knees started threatening to “go” on me at around miles 8 and 9 but quieted down miraculously- except for mile 21 when I got one big jolt of pain like a thunderbolt in my left knee- I thought “No way, it’s too late now- I’m going to finish this thing” and the pain was gone! I never hit “THE WALL”- although from mile 20- to the end everything felt harder and I was just totally longing for it to be over. At mile 22 when my watch started beeping, (the signal for me to take my walk break- thanks to njb for setting that up for me… a Godsend!) I decided that I would not stop for the walk breaks anymore partially because I just wanted to get the damn race over with a quickly as possible but also because I really felt scared that I might not be able to start running again if I were to stop!
Coming down the home stretch I was searching for the ol’ man and the kids and was getting worried because I couldn’t find them- but finally! there they were right at the line- I gave them some high fives and then crossed and got jumbled up in the crowd of runners- got my medal and then had to pass all the food- which at that point just made me feel queasy… in fact I had to pass the Gatorade table and that almost did me in I don’t think I can look at Gatorade or GU gel packs for a loooooong time!
I actually started shivering and felt dizzy and sat down on the curb for a bit but that passed pretty quick.
I woke up at 4 am the next day with my legs twitching and got up to take a bath- that day walking was very difficult and stairs excruciating- of course it was an extra busy day with the kids but I just did it. Yesterday I was very very tired, the legs were still sore but the knee pain gone, and today just slightly stiff and less tired. I even considered going for a swim today as it was childcare day at the gym but talked myself out of it deciding to force some more rest on myself. I might try for a couple of miles on the treadmill tomorrow, and then 3 or 4 miles outside on the weekend.
Best thing about the race? I didn’t have to pee!!!! That amazed me and acually kept me distracted for much of the race as I kept thinking ” I can’t believe I don’t have to pee!” as I passed yet another porta-potty- I drank both my containers of water and took both Gatorade and water at each station- but still no pee!!
Worse thing about the race? Hmmmm… I guess the last 6 miles but really that’s what makes it all worth it, non?
Would I do it again? You betcha. I really don’t know when yet but I would like to work up to taking out the walk breaks and improving my time. This will require not just running but lots more strength training and to try and avoid injury.
Hey guess what?! I ran a marathon.