My official race recap is up on the Energy Events blog! This post is more personal... because a lot of things happened in my life around the same time as the Vancouver USA Marathon. I've rewritten this a few times, wondering what all I should include (does anyone care what I'm thinking at mile 14?). But in the end I decided that I needed to write this for me, and if you decide to read this long post, thanks :) Hopefully it was interesting/humorous/not too terrible.
Sooooo... I ended up running the full. Here's how it went down.
FRIDAY: My bf and I rrived in downtown Seattle around 4pm, got parked around 4:30. Ran into the expo, grabbed my packet, t-shirt, and swag bag. I was pleased that this year's shirts were cuter than last year's. I was also pleased that they hadn't run out of RnR Seattle Brooks running jackets, unlike last year. I limited myself to that ONE merch item (although I pondered buying a souvenir pint glass also).
Walked along the Seattle waterfront w/the boyfriend, founda delicious restaurant where we ate dinner (we were a little underdressed...oops). We crashed at my brother's and cousin's condo for the night. Only got a few hours of sleep.
SATURDAY: Woke up at 6. Got all my stuff on, ate a little breakfast. Rushed out the door. The starting line drop off point was less than 4 miles away from the condo, but traffic was CRAZY and I got to the start line way after my corral starts. Fortunately, since the race was chip timed, I just jumped in line and got started.
Within moments of starting the race, I had a weird pain in my upper left leg that I haven't ever had before. I started to get worried that I wouldn't even be able to run any distance, or even drop down to the half and walk it. I decided to stick with it and see how it goes. It got better within a few miles. My tendonitis in my left food started acting up within the first mile as well. And I dry heaved on the side of the road around mile 5. Not a good start to the race--I did ponder if it was a sign that I was supposed to quit, then decide I'm too stubborn to not race. I decide to wait and see how I feel at the fork where the half marathon and marathon courses split around mile 9/
Ended up feeling alright at the split, and I decided to try for the marathon. I hit the wall at mile 11, because I had been so nauseous that I couldn't fuel. I started eating running gummies like mad, and downing water at every post. Slowly started to feel better, but ended up taking a lot of walking breaks between mile 11 and the end of the race. Saw my bf at miles 15 and 22.
Mile 24, started getting calf and thigh cramps. Tried to stick out the last part and finish strong. Managed to run across the finish line, not in too much pain. Although my time was slow (4:50:26), I consider it a decent race given the mental and physical circumstances. And my bf bought me flowers from Pike Place Market, so I can't be too upset :)
I think I'll take a break from running marathons for awhile. I'll still run, but I need a break. Mentally and physically. Just focus on overall fitness.
How was your weekend?
So, bad news bears. I might not run this weekend's Seattle Rock 'n' Roll marathon.
My left ankle (well, probably the tibial tendon actually) has been hurting for a couple of weeks now. It'll be okay the first part of long runs, then start to hurt around mile 9. It's been killing my pace. After running, the arch hurts too. All of my searches on ta interwebs are pointing to anterior tibial tendonitis.
I've tried taking it easy, taking NSAIDS, stretching, and getting supportive insoles, but it doesn't seem much better... When I ran a mile this morning on the treadmill, I had some pain in that foot :(
I don't want to have another miserable marathon. I don't want to be in pain. I don't want to have to walk it. I don't want to mess it up more, and then have a long recovery period. It's possible for me to drop down to the half marathon, but it'd be a downer.
What would you do?
I both thought I was better prepared for this marathon than my first, and I also knew the last month of training had been pretty shoddy. I still felt like I was a faster runner overall, and hoped to beat my previous time of 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the Eugene Marathon was a bust in a lot of ways.
Saturday (packet pickup): The website promised three different parking locations at the expo, so I figured parking wouldn't be a problem. NOPE. "Wicked" was playing in the venue next door, and we had to find parking elsewhere. Fortunately, it wasn't too far away. Once inside the expo, I found out that they had run out of t-shirts in every size except L and XL.The other merch with "Eugene Marathon" on it was ugly. I was upset, and about to rant about how I paid for this race months ago, and they should have my t-shirt, when my boyfriend placated me by promising a stop at the outlet mall on the way home from the marathon. Went to dinner with some friends--it was difficult finding a place with less than an hour wait!
Sunday (race day): Woke up nice and early, 5:40 am! Threw on my clothes and choked down a little oatmeal. My boyfriend attempted to drop me off near the start, only to find that the road was blocked. I jumped out of the car, thinking I had everything... but realized later that I'd forgotten my iPod. Walked and jogged to the start area and tried to find my friends. Eventually found both of them, and ran w/my training buddy. We started out a little faster than our goal pace, but held steady. Then things went downhill, and fast. Our pace continued to drop steadily. By mile 13, I realized I wouldn't make my goal time of 4:15, nor would I beat my previous time of 4:30. I continued to run with my friend until mile 19, when another friend joined us as a bandit. I took off, hoping to minimize the damage, but mentally, I was beat. My feet were blistering, and I felt sluggish. There were many times when I wanted to give up, to stop and walk. I told myself that the only goal I could meet was that I would RUN the ENTIRE race, and that I hadn't trained this hard to walk, or give up.
Entering Autzen Stadium, approaching the finish line, I wanted to cry. Not in the way I did with my first marathon, which was a feeling of overwhelming amazement that I had actually run a marathon. It was a feeling of humility. Of failure. I tried to remind myself that I had still run an entire marathon, that I had just finished my SECOND marathon, that it was still an accomplishment.
I didn't get any pictures at the race either. I really wish I had, since it was the first race that my boyfriend had gone to.
Do I want to do another marathon? No... and yes. I'm still dealing with my disappointment from Eugene. I probably wouldn't do this particular race again. But I really want to hit 4:15. I'm toying with the idea of doing another marathon in two months--the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon, the same marathon I ran last year. But it'd be nice to be out of training mode for awhile, to refocus on the other areas of my life.
Did anyone else race this past weekend? Any good marathon stories?
Well ladies and gents. It's been about a month since my first marathon (and since my last post... oops!). What's happened since then?
How are you guys doing with working out over the summer?
Yeah, that is a lot of exclamation points, but it's a huge deal for me :) Saturday was my very first marathon. Weekend recap:
Drove up to Seattle with some of my friends who had signed up for the half marathon. There was horrendous traffic along the way, and we almost didn't make it to the Health & Fitness Expo in time to pick up our packets! Then we got separated, and had trouble locating parking for Qwest Field. Fortunately, we squeaked in with 42 minutes to spare. WHEW!
I'd never been to a pre-race Expo before, and it was AMAZING! Wow. I wish we'd had more time to look around and score free stuff, but we only had time to go in, get our race packets, buy some souvenirs (it's my first marathon, I had to buy some!), and get out. It was late by the time we got to the hotel in downtown Bellevue. We walked to the Cheesecake Factory for some delicious dinner. (Man, I love Cheesecake Factory!) Went back to the hotel, where we got ready for bed but ended up talking and laughing in the dark for awhile, since we were all too excited/nervous :P I was freaking out a little bit, thinking "What if I don't finish?! What if I didn't train well enough?! What if I hit the wall hard?! What if I forget something?!" Fortunately, my boyfriend texted me and said, "Don't freak out. Just run." While that might be pretty obvious to most runners on most days, when I heard it the night before my marathon in the midst of my FREAKOUT mode, it was the perfect reminder. JUST RUN. That's all I needed to do. That's all I could do. I've been obsessively preparing for months, I'm sticking with what works, and I'm going to just run.
Woke up at 4:30 am. Threw on my clothes, and panicked because I didn't give myself enough time to double check everything. Got in the car at 5:15. Ate my standard pre-long-run breakfast of oatmeal/protein powder and a banana. Drove to downtown Seattle, parked, took a shuttle bus to the starting area. Realized on the bus that I'd forgotten to take my allergy medicine.
Used the portapotties. Asked the medical tents if they had any kind of allergy medicine (they did not). Grabbed a water bottle and stuck a nuun tablet in it, so I'd have extra electrolyte drink in addition to my fuel belt. Found my corral and the 4:15 pacer and waited. I hoped to finish in 4:15 but realistically just wanted to finish faster that Shia LaBoeuf's LA Marathon time (4:35). Hey, I had to set a goal, and sub 4:35/better than Shia seemed like a fantastic goal. (Most photos courtesy of my friend Carla!)
At 7:21, I crossed the starting line.
Mile 1: Already had to pee again, but decided to put it off til Mile 3. Lost the 4:15 pacer as a result.
Mile 3-8: Met up with my half-marathoning friend and ran with her for awhile at a slightly faster pace. Saw a guy running the half in a full polar bear suit. Saw a guy running in an Elvis suit. Got tired and slowed the pace back down and ran by myself.
Mile 11: Ankles started to hurt a bit. Felt tired. Hoped I would get a second wind.
Miles 20 and 22: Had to battle my mental game about hitting the wall. Freaked out because 22.29 miles was my longest training run.
Miles 17 and 24: GI problems. It wasn't pretty. Almost didn't stop at Mile 24 because I was worried I wouldn't be able to get running again, especially since it was uphill at that point.
Mile 24: Kept running. Felt sick running up the bridge (probably too much water at that point), but fine coming down it. Realized I could do finish AND beat Shia if I kept up the current pace. Felt good, felt strong, and like I'd beaten the wall. Heard my cell phone beeping, knowing it was my family and friends encouraging me (I didn't read the text messages til after I finished)/
Mile 26: I could taste it.
FINISH: Finished strong!
Official chip time: 4:30:50
Yay! All done, and it's time to get some post-race beer....
Almost 1 week down... I did manage to stick to the plan today, although a little out of order because of my 18 mile training run. And my nutritionist gave me the ok to use as much running fuel as I needed, and I got 2 cups of pasta + 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in addition.
Today I ran an 18 mile run in the rain with some friends. Something was bothering my tummy--maybe last night's broccoli slaw with taco seasoning? The pre-run apple? The Margarita Shot Bloks? Who knows. Fortunately, I managed to finish the run without incident. And in 2 hours and 50 minutes! Sweeet.
So I've officially decided to run a marathon and have even picked out one... but I haven't signed up yet. I really wish I could run my first marathon with one of my good running buddies, since we seem to have a similar pace and are good at motivating the other to keep going! But she's doing her first marathon out in Montana, where her family is.
How about you?