Monday, June 04, 2007
SAN DIEGO -- People who know me know that I don't forget a thing -- something I am really grateful for now, because I could not post my experiences Sunday after running my first full marathon
I will never forget this experience, that's for sure.
It won't be because of the pain I'm feeling right now and will feel for about the next four days.
So let me try and recreate Sunday a bit.
I did a full marathon. Twenty-six-point-two miles. And thank God Sarah was there with me, right by my side the whole time. We pulled each other along as we kept counting down mileage ... to beer.
The Rock 'N Roll Marathon in San Diego is an incredible event. There were 20,000 participants -- 4,000 of them Team in Training runners and walkers. Seas of purple shirts, and some white shirts with purple lettering were everywhere.
The gun went off at 6:30 a.m. after the Marine Corps Recruit Depot band marched along and played a mixture of songs for the crowd. A band at almost every mile. A team of Elvises led the runners at the start.
The route was awesome. A slight incline that lasted probably for the first half of the race didn't seem to bother me.
But I should have known there was some foreshadowing occurring when, as we passed mile six, Sarah asked me if I was sure that I was running my pace.
"I don't know, but I feel GREAT." (A Tony the Tiger moment).
About mile 10, I noticed something about my breathing -- it was labored. VERY labored. So we slowed it down. We took in the beautiful scenes of San Diego.
Things were indeed great, made the half in really good time.
All awesome until mile 18. I have NEVER had an IT band issue on my right leg. Well, guess what? That nifty IT band strap I bought at the Expo for my left knee that immediately took the pain away had to be ripped off my left leg and slapped on the right. The pain in that leg went from 0-10, with 10 being intense pain, in a matter of minutes, it seems. There was limited running after that for me. It was more of a limpy, draggy leg run.
Meanwhile, Sarah began cramping in both thighs around the same time a blister took over her right little toe. I stretched her at 18, and she stopped a few times for blister care along the route after.
Things seemed OK then until mile 23 when there was this funky turnaround under an overpass that just made it seem more like 33 miles to go instead of just three. Another blister stop for Sarah, and this time I couldn't look at it. OUCH.
I had to hit the portapotty again (see below), and I thought for a moment I would stop drinking liquids until the finish so we wouldn't lose anymore time. Sarah gave me this look like I had just put a crack pipe in my mouth.
Then, the last mile. OMG. I said lets run it in. We did, right into the gates of the base. Sarah and I crossed holding hands. I cried like a baby. Sobbed, really.
We finished in 6:57. I won't round, sorry...!
OK. Here's what fueled me:
--Five packets of GU, at start, 4, 8, 12, 16.
--One packet of PowerBar gel with caffeine at 20 (should have probably taken that one at the half).
--Forty ounces of Accelerade (YUCK) in my fuel belt.
--Water at EVERY stop. That's probably why I had to hit the portapotties about 12 times between miles 18 and 26.
I had really cute conversations with my parents before I came out to San Diego and right after the race when I called my father to tell him I was on the grounds of the MCRD, where he did boot camp during WWII and was based there during the Korean War in the '50s.
He was tickled and proud.
My stepmom asked me if I won. I said no, and explained that I was just so happy to finish.
But thinking back on it, I guess I did, in so many ways that don't have a thing to do with running.
Thanks to Sarah for doing this with me. One of the top five moments of my life. (I really only have three, and you have been there for all of them).
The bloggers of MotownRunnerGirl who have stopped by and read this. Your words of wisdom and encouragement helped more than you know. Margarita, thanks for joining my mentor in talking me into changing my event from a half to a full. Your blog, e-mails and texts and phone calls of support and inspiration were and are awesome, dawg.
My family, colleagues, friends that I haven't seen because I have been training all the time, thanks for your love and support. Mi NAHJ gente, too, abrazos y besos a todos. Can't forget everyone who helped me surpass my goal. You all helped me cross the finish line in spirit.
Many thanks to Coach Senja and Coach Russell and the rest of the RNR marathoners of Team North Texas, of course. It is definitely a cult that I am proud to be a part of.
Oh, and I'll try not to be too annoying about this marathon thing for too much longer. :-D