Monday, June 1, 2009

I am a finisher!





I am sitting in Grandma Jane's den at the moment taking advantage of her massaging chair.  As you know I have spent the last 6 months training for the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego which occurred yesterday.  Since I got back to California from Colorado I had a hard time training, I was hitting walls very early into my runs and was completely drained of any energy.  I was very anxious and worried that would not be able to do the marathon at all until 2 weeks ago.  I decided I would do the marathon and try to finish in anyway I could.  Then I went out for a run and 10 miles later I hadn't walked once and I knew I could still pull it off.  I did my longest run last Monday and then flew to Detroit with my parents to begin my brother's wedding celebrations.  We had a wonderful time in Detroit, the wedding was beautiful and the couple very clearly happy and madly in love.  I was the emotional sap the entire day and cried more than my Mom!  I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Brittani into our family and am thinking relaxing thoughts for them while they honeymoon in Antigua this week.
The wedding was friday and saturday I flew out L.A. and met up with my friends Shannon and Jocelyn.  We headed out the San Diego and picked up Jocelyn's sister Jenna who had decided to join us at the last minute but didn't have any expectations of finishing the marathon.  We were all exhausted and got into bed around 9pm and woke up at 4:30am to head to the start line.
I was nervous, it was sinking in that I was about to attempt something absolutely ridiculous!  We got to the start line and stretched out before entering our corral to start the race.  I joined Jocelyn and Jenna in the 6hr 30min corral.  There were SOOOOOOOOOOOO many people, it took us 10 mins to go from our corral to the actual start line!  The 3 of us hung together for the the first 9 miles and we were making good time and running very consistent 12 min miles.  Around mile 10 Jocelyn stopped to fix her shoe and I went ahead we didn't end up meeting up again until the finish line.  Miles 8 to 12 were my least favorite because they were on the highway and cantilevered, running on the slant is very tiring and easy to injury yourself on.  I was really happy to run up the on ramp and turn into Fashion Valley with the flat road!  I saw Shannon at mile 13 and I was feeling great I hadn't walked yet and was in the zone.  Apparently I looked good too because Shannon said I looked like I had just run 5 miles instead of 13!  Shannon picked up some pretzels cause I was worried about losing too much salt.  It wasn't exactly hot in San Diego but we were sweating a lot.  It was an overcast morning with some drizzle so the humidity was more than I had expected.  I was very anxious about fueling and hydrating during the race so I took the approach of not turning anything down.  I took a drink at all stations, took Cytomax ( a Gatorade like drink) when they offered it and at the last few took both. Around mile 15 I took two tylenol from the medical aid tent, that made the last part of the marathon much easier.  Nothing was hurting at the time but it took the edge off of my joint pain and minor muscle tweaks.  I knew I was in good shape because between mile 16 and 25 you could see people's pain in their movements.  I was still jogging at that point and feeling good.  It's always painful to go from walking back to running but it dissipates if you push through the first minute.  I tried not to walk for long periods because I knew the longer I walked the harder it would be to start running again.  Instead I walked shorter amounts a bit more frequently.  I still didn't walk anywhere near as much as I thought I would.  

I didn't do any appreciable walking til I hit mile 16 but I was still running at least 90% of each mile.  It wasn't until I hit mile 18 and was still feeling so great that I realized I was going to finish the marathon better than I had thought I could.  Mile 20 came and went with no problems, it was kind of cruel that the most infamous mile in any marathon was on the incline of a bridge, thanks Rock N Roll you made my day *rolls eyes*.  Mile 20 is known as "The Wall" it is the most common place that runner's hit the wall as far as energy, if there was a wall there I ran through it and never knew it was there.  I felt great, my feet hurt but nothing I couldn't push through.  I finished the last 6 miles with about 10 minutes of walking and a sprint across the finish line.  Shannon was right there and as soon as I saw her I burst into tears as did she.  

I am officially a marathon finisher, it's something I never thought I would be able to do.  Not only did I finish it but I enjoyed it!  I actually had fun the whole time and would willingly do another one!  I crossed the line at 5 hours and 48 minutes, Jenna finished 3 minutes before more and I waited for Jocelyn to cross at 6 horus and 8 minutes, she cried as well which made me cry again!  We got our finisher's medals, which are really heavy!  I think it's hilarious that after 26.2 miles of running they expect us to be able to hold up our necks with these heavy ass medals on!  I wouldn't trade mine for the world though!

I am defiantly sore but nothing like what I had expected.  I'm just about as sore as I have been after my other long runs.  My knees are the worst though, they have taken a lot of pounding and are talking back!  My shoulders are very tight as well so I am keeping heat on them to keep them loose.  I am going to treat myself to a massage this week cause I earned it!  I had my camera with me on the course and I took videos at different points which I am posting here so be sure to check those out!  When I get photos from jocelyn and shannon I will post those as well.  There was a live feed of the finish line that my parents were able to watch me finish.  The feed will be post on their website this week so if you want to see me finish go check it out!  I am bib #12215 and I finished around 5:58 on the finish line clock.  This is the link to my results.  

I will post another recap of the race later on but I knew many of you were eager to hear how it went!

video