Monday, June 04, 2007

26.2 Rocked!

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.
--Sheer will.
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

xoxox, liz


Andrew Isaac said...

its a great accomplishment Liz...congrats

Amy said...

Yippee!! Sounds like a good time in a way that only marathoners understand. I always have IT band problems with hills especially if things are more hilly than where I trained. And never round up. Also, M said your chip time was 47 anyway. It is all about the chip. I am glad you had fun and you are part of the cult now for sure. Honestly, I have no intention of doing another (more halves but not wholes) but once you have one, you get to call yourself a marathoner!!

motownrunnergirl said...

hey dawg, you look really cute. have you been hitting the tanning beds in dallas??? just kidding. only some of us do that crazy sh...holy crap!! i loved reading this blog. you did awesome. i'm so proud, girlie. when's the next?? maybe we can get tattoos next week? as twisted sister i'm sure said at some point: you rock. smooches hermana.

Al Durham said...

Awesome job. I got teary eyed simply reading your post. Memories of my first marathon came back. Yes I cried at the end also. Good job, rest up, and then sign up for your next one.

motownrunnergirl said...

yes! sign up for the next one! is there a race in san jose?

Ken said...

Yo dawg, listen up, you hit it out the park.... That's my best Randy Jackson. I didn't get teary eyed like Al, cause I'm a coach!!! Great job and it was a pleasure following your progress. As I ask all of my team, what's next? You rock girl...

TNT Coach Ken

Amy said...

I just wanted to eat when I finished. Weird, I know but I was starving!!

liz said...

Well, after crossing the finish, I thoroughly enjoyed a PBJ, potato chips and a beer. Delish. Also had food at the victory party AND a big juicy burger as a late-night snack.
And yes, I'm doing another one -- I'll start training in August for the Dallas White Rock Marathon on Dec. 9. Who's coming down to do it?

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...


Al Durham said...

Look she is hooked! She is already saying she is doing another one. Welcome to my world.

Maria said...

I knew you could do this! From the moment I saw you cross that finish line in Austin back in February I said to myself, "There is no way she is going to do Team in Training and just do a half marathon!"
Not only did you prove me right, but you accomplished something very few people even have the courage to set out and do.
26.2 BABY!!!
And now you are an Alum for life, so please come out and run with us again. I am so proud of on chica!

Sarah said...

Liz ... that picture at the start makes me look like a 50-year-old woman. I'm much better looking than that. Ouch!

Amy said...

Does the Dallas race have a half??

liz said...

yes, the dallas race has a half. it was my first running event. check it out:
just noticed the course is only open for 6.5 hours. guess i gotta work on my time!

Amy said...

I can definitely do the half in 6.5 hrs.

Al Durham said...

Do I hear a group trip to Texas to run a marathon or half marahton?

liz said...

in the words of bob barker: COME ON DOWN!

Al Durham said...

UGH! The Las Vegas Marathon/Half Marathon is the weekend before the Texas one. We could all go to Vegas? We only have to be good the night before the race. Party the other nights/

Amy said...

Sorry Al, I would rather go to Texas. I have acquired a few friend there lately. And I would spend too much money in Vegas right before Christmas. No one would get any presents, just IOU's.

Al Durham said...

Well if the "group" is going I am sure that I can be talked into going. Plus it would be better to run a new race than one that I already did previously.