|Super nervous, just about to head to the start line|
On Sunday morning (6/5) I woke up at 6:30am in order to have time to eat something, shower, gather all of my stuff and be out the door hopefully somewhere close to 7:45am. The first thing I did was brew a pot of coffee and sit down to try and eat some food. I stuck with the tried and true cliff bar/peanut butter/banana combination since it seems to always work for me. I don't usually get nervous for races any more, but because this was a new distance for me and it would be the first time on a starting line ALONE I was having some serious butterflies in my tummy. So I managed the cliff bar but not the banana. I decided to just eat that in the car on the drive to the start line and hopped in the shower. Yes, I shower before running for 5 hours. Don't you?
I made sure to apply tons of sunscreen (it said it would last at least 80 minutes. hmmmm...) and applied body glide literally every place I could possibly think of that may chafe. I got dressed in my running gear, fit all of my gels and energy chews into my pockets and we were out the door. We ran into Alyssa and Paul in the hallway and I wished her luck (she looked pretty nervous) and we were off at around 8:10am. Much later than I wanted, darn!
I tried to eat the banana in the car on the way to Sequim but my stomach was not really too happy with that plan. I got about 2/3 of it eaten and gave up. We parked and as we were walking across the field I was feeling really, really nervous and kind of ill. It was pretty warm out already- not a good sign if you ask me. I am pretty sure the temperature in Tacoma had not hit 70 degrees one time during my training, and now I was going to go run a freaking MARATHON in that heat? Holy cow. Granted, it isn't like 70 degrees is hot, but when you are used to running in cool, 50 degree weather and your body does not adjust well to sudden temperature changes it spells trouble!
|I am way behind all of those speedy looking people!|
I made sure to keep my pace just under 10 minutes. That was my initial goal, to always be just under 10 minutes per mile, then towards the end if I felt good to maybe try some 9:30's. Around mile 3 I noticed my feet starting to go a bit numb- my shoes were still tied too tightly! So finally I stopped and loosened them up a bit and my feet went back to normal. I was feeling pretty good, trying to just get into the rhythm and enjoy my race- but boy that sun was warm! There was literally not a speck of shade and running on the pavement started to make me overheat. As we ran down the main street in Sequim (Washington Ave I believe) one business owner had their sprinkler out so I ran through that. It was then that I realized my arm sleeves would help keep me cool if I got them wet so at that point I started pouring one cup of water on me at the water stops. Will and the kids drove past me and honked so I knew they would be up ahead somewhere waiting for me.
|I like this picture- notice how we are all landing on our right feet?|
|Pretzels in hand- not feeling too good here.|
|The beautiful scenery. I wanted to be on that mountain top in the snow :)|
Right after that last hill the trail pops out next to hwy 101 where my whole crew was waiting for me. I had made it to mile 20! I begged them to take me with them, but they told me no. I was almost done! I kind of needed to use the bathroom but decided I just wanted to be finished running. I had 6 miles left and then I was done. I was going to finish, I had complete faith in my body at that point. I also had a new focus- finish in less than 5 hours! I did NOT want a 5 to be the first number in my time. That meant I needed to RUN.
|Begging them to take me with them!!!|
Around mile 22 we popped out of the trail and were running next to the water. It was really pretty, but again we were in the direct sun the entire rest of the run. We passed the 12th water stop and the ladies there had chips and salsa out, but I just grabbed my 2 water cups and my gatorade and continued on. At this point I was starting to realize that running was less painful than walking, and if I did start walking getting back to a running stride was hard. What a terrible cycle! This is where the mental part of a marathon comes into play I suppose. Trying to convince your body to keep running when every single muscle in your body is tired and hurts.
I remember passing the 23 mile sign and thinking I had only a 5K left. I kept playing leap frog with this lady, and she was so nice every time I passed her she would encourage me and tell me to go for it. I started passing a few people here and there, realizing that was somehow giving me the focus I needed. So I just started picking people off here and there. And nearly everyone I passed looked at me and told me "good job"- how nice is that? When I knew there was only one mile left I shifted into the highest gear I could find. I passed 3 girls I had been chasing for about 1/2 a mile, skipped the last water stop and just ran with all the energy I could find. I passed quite a few people in that last stretch. I slowed to a walk for about 5 seconds before I thought "what the heck are you doing- the finish line is RIGHT THERE!"
Then all of a sudden I looked up and Jaime was walking towards me. Somehow she knew I needed that last little push to get me over that finish line. I have the best BFF in the world. She ran with me for a minute or two while I told her that if I ever mentioned running a marathon again she should smack me and remind me of this very moment. Then she stopped and let me finish my race. I finished strong and crossed that finish line with a smile. I think anyways, only the photos will tell :)
|Just before the finish line- Alyssa and Sarah cheering me on. Paul took the photo. I passed all those people behind me :)|
|Our shiny new medals. Apparently I was too tired to open my eyes properly!|
We went and had dinner at Applebee's- by then I finally had an appetite! I had a steak dinner with a baked potato and steamed veggies. I also had a well deserved beer, then we had some dessert. It was a chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. Yum. I was wearing my shirt and medal so people would know why I was walking like a 90 year old lady so a few people stopped to talk to me about the race, and our waitress was a runner so she chatted with me about it as well. Then as we were heading out of the restaurant one of the workers was holding the door for us and she looks at me and says "M'am?" and I said "yes?" She said "I just wanted to tell you that you are really pretty"- I told her thank you, that was nice of her to say. Especially since I didn't feel all that glamorous after running for 5 hours!!
|Well deserved dessert!|
|Back at the hotel after dinner.|
When I woke up the next morning I managed to get out of bed and hobble around getting ready for the day. I felt pretty good (aside from the soreness) so we decided to eat breakfast at The Oak Table in Sequim, hit the ferry in Bremerton and hang out downtown Seattle at the market for the day! We had a lot of fun, and it was a nice way to finish up my marathon weekend!
|Riding the ferry to Seattle|
|Of course that sticker was put on immediately!!!|
|Hanging out at Pike Place Market|