So the long awaited race report. This is long winded and just plain words play by play of the day before and day of (which is still today). Throughout the week as I upload and get some pictures I'll be posting some of those too. Don't worry I won't leave much out in here, though Mr. R said I should stop posting about the bathrooms. :)
It began Friday night with me packing up my stuff and getting ready to go down to San Diego. This was the day where I was the most excited by far. Everything still feels like a dream as I type this. I went to bed at 9:30, and had a great sleep. Woke up at 6:00, showered, curled my hair (much to my dismay it was raining in SD and my hair became a lion's mane) and went down to meet up with Alisa, and Kristen and their husbands, who were gracious enough to let me get a roll away in their hotel room. I met up with Alisa and we were instantly friends, she is so incredibly sweet and so fun! So is her husband!
We started out with a quick trip around the expo. I'm not made of money so I didn't buy anything and wasn't too interested in anything there. It's a lot of stuff you can find online for cheaper. I swear I saw a jacket that was made out of the gear check bags for $100. Are you crazy? We then went to breakfast at a wonderful place called something along the lines of the 'pancake house' but I forget the whole name. It was amazing, and worth the wait, annnnd I taught Alisa and Justin my trick about using sour cream on pancakes instead of butter. Sounds gross but it's BOMB. We got some race morning snacks at Ralphs after.
We then went back to the hotel room, relaxed and got ready for the blogging/tweeter meet up at the expo at one. We walked over there and the expo was packed, but I met up with ALL my favorite girls and boys! It was incredible, and I felt like we were all long lost friends. I then changed my corral number to be with the some of the girls at the start. I will include all the links to every one's blogs in my picture post.
Then it was time to go back to the hotel, relax and get ready for dinner. I met up with a huge group at Spagettini's in Little Italy right down the street and it was great to hang out with everyone and meet even more people. Super fun and I gabbed away with a bunch of amazing, super fast runners.
I got back to the hotel at 7:30 and got ready for bed and watched Will Ferrel in Kicking and Screaming. I was laughing hysterically, and was super relaxed. The only thing about the whole entire day Saturday was I felt like I wasn't running a marathon the next day. I guess part of me couldn't believe that it was actually, really here. Alisa came home shortly after and french braided my hair for me, which was amazing for the race.
We went to bed and I was out by 10. I slept great, except for some drunkards wandering the halls that i heard for maybe 5 minute at our hotel. We stayed right across from the "Gaslamp District", where a lot of partiers go, but I fell back asleep shortly thereafter.
Funny thing happened though, right before I went to bed, Josh Cox, tweeted that he was in SD for the marathon tomorrow and asked if anyone else was around for it. I tweeted that I was and was going to be running my first the next morning. I also was watching one of my favorite female track stars, Allyson Felix, race on TV earlier in the afternoon. I have watched her race in high school and actually went to high school that she raced against. She blows my mind. I tweeted her too that I loved watching her race and would be channeling "her speed" during my marathon. Both are incredibly talented professional, Olympic athletes.
I wake up in the morning, realizing that today is the day, and lay in my bed letting it all sink in. I was warm and didn't want to get up yet so I checked my tweets, and BOTH JOSH and ALLYSON tweeted me back good luck in my marathon. Talk about amazing motivation. I couldn't even believe it. I was beyond excited and it made my entire day.
I got ready with my blue tank, spandex and got my gear bag ready. I was still semi-stunned and not nervous at all. I think I felt like whatever was going to happen would happen. I was just ready to get it started. We took a cab to the starting line and I had already gone to the bathroom twice and got in the portapotty line to go once more. I gear checked my bag and went over to the starting line to find corral 6. I still never felt like it was really going to happen.
Saw a few more people I knew, wished them luck and got in my corral. Though I couldn't find the girls I wanted to start with, I was just ready to get going. The gun finally went off and we slowly started moving forward, FINALLY! I still felt fine but I just wanted to go forward.
There were some rolling hills on the first few miles, and within mile 1 I saw the girls I wanted to meet up with and ran with them. I remember just wanting to get to mile 6 because then it would be 20 more miles which was what I had run before. I ran the first 16ish miles with Aron, who was amazing because she put up with my whining about my bathroom issues.
At mile 6 the balls of my feet were on fire already and I knew I wasn't going to break 4 hours. I have the issue sometimes that where my toe connects to my feet it just goes numb and burns with every step. I remembered to tell myself that it was okay, and that any pace, a finish was possible. It was somewhat discouraging to be only at mile 6 though. I had considered also already going to the bathroom which I DIDN'T want to have to do. At mile 8, I unfortunately had to stop to go to the bathroom. I thought this was going to be super helpful to me to make me feel better. Wrong. WAY wrong.
Yup, that's right. I got something that only girls get and it just happened to come at mile 8. WONDERFUL. I wasn't expecting this for a few more days and in the past 10 years of running this has NEVER happened to me. I came out and was just in disbelief. This and my somewhat upset stomach lead to four more bathroom stops for me! I sure experienced a lot of portapotties at this marathon that's for sure. Looking back, and even at the time, I laughed and just thought, no way is this happening. Really?! Out of all things that was the least expected! Oh well, it was just one of those things I guess. Nothing I could do about it.
Around mile 10, we ran up a hill that I didn't know was a hill. This sounds weird but it was a long, gradual hill that lasted a mile. That was incredibly tough for me. I think it was hard for me because some reason I didn't realize we were running up hill. Aron and I talked about some random stuff and it was seriously so amazing to run with her. I was so glad that she was there, and after the hill, she said something along the lines, "Wow that hill was rough!" and I said, "Ohhhhh that's why I was feeling like crap! okay, so I can do this!" We got to mile 13 and I realized it was going to be a long day. I'd already had two bathroom stops and knew I would have to stop more. That was the most disappointing thing.
Aron and I parted ways when she met up with Tara and I still needed to make more bathroom breaks. I saw them another time right before a hill and then they passed me again. Around mile 2o my legs were shot. This was when things got a little weird. I saw two people who were racing get engaged at the top of the hill at mile 20, I was going up the hill and started to cry when I saw them. Then for the rest of the race, I was on somewhat of the verge of tears at any given point for no reason at all. At this point, I was tired but I knew I could get it done. I just kept chugging along and tried my hardest not to think of my legs who were screaming at me to stop. Then around mile 22, I began to walk through a water station and drank some Cytomax and that stuff is pretty amazing! After the water station I would run again and then if I wanted to drink water, I would go through the station walking again and actually enjoy the water or Cytomax. I ended up walking through two water stations. I stopped three more times after my two stops with Aron for the bathroom. Awful, my stomach was not happy.
I got to mile 23 and told myself it was only a 5k to go. I knew I could run three miles. I just kept going and watched the ground. Then I saw the 24 mile marker. I kept just counting down the steps in my head and telling myself that I felt good and that I could do this and it was only another 20 minute of running. It was really messing with my mind though, and my legs were very sore. Then, I saw a friend named Emil and he ran with me from mile 24 to mile 25 and it was amazing to run with him too. He told me to keep going and he is a marathon MANIAC. He's already done 7 this year and 25 overall. I told him he was a crazy person for doing these so often, but he did keep my mind off my legs and told me how much farther to go. At mile 25, I pretty much took off and gave it everything I had left in me.
I am interested to know my last mile time, but I will not have that until I upload Claude, my garmin, but I think it was the fastest mile I ran all day. I was in so much pain but I was so over the race and I just wanted to see the finish line and to stop running. I saw so many cheerers and I was hopeful that Mr. R would be at the finish line. I felt like we were going around the 'bend' in the marine base to the finish forever. FOREVER. I was thinking to myself, I can only go this fast for so long!!!! Then finally, it was over. I did some weird movement thinking that it might look good in a picture across the finish line and started walking after I crossed the mat. My legs were killing me but I wasn't tired at all. My official finish time was 4:28. I made my A goal and finished a full marathon!
I got my medal, which is hideous and disappointing, ha ha, and some water and some of my new favorite Cytomax. Then I found chocolate milk and ditched the water and took a picture at the 'photostation' with my medal and the photographer told me it was "cute." Which I think in my somewhat dazed state I said, "Good." I continued to wander and finally saw the girls I was running with for a while. We chatted and then I got a foil blanket. Finally I went to find Mr. R who texted me he was waiting and I saw him right when I walked out of the crowd. I was so surprised to see my roommate and her mom there too! It was an amazing surprise!!
I stood around and told them what 'happened' at mile 8, which grossed everyone out, and then I think I proceeded to talk about poop, I am full of class, but honestly, my mind wasn't working at all. I feel like I was just talking nonsense. My roommate and her mom walked back to their car and I met Ryan Hall and told him that Josh Cox twittered me. I follow both of them. I got a picture (will post soon) and then Mr. R asked me how we were getting back to the hotel. Doy, didn't even think of that, so we met back up with my roommate who was kind enough to wait for us and then drive us back to our hotel. Walking was slow and steady.
We got back and Mr. R, being the best ATC that he is, got ice for an ice bath and stretched me out a little bit. I was a little nauseous but showered up, and got ready to go. We went to a nearby mall and walked around for a little bit, and he even took me to a wonderful mecca called the Tory Burch Store and in my bewildered state I just took it all in, and it was amazing. We walked around for a bit until I got too tired and then we drove home.
Honestly, I'm not really tired at all, but my legs are very sore. Mostly my ankles hurt to go straight and my quads are very tight. I chafed in a sweet spot on my thighs too so that hurt a lot when I hopped in the ice bath. My hips are sore from my fuel belt and constantly pulling it down but the part of my body that hurts the most by far is my lower back. I am going to stretch a lot and hope for the best but I know I'll be sore for a little bit. I am going to try to run again on either Wednesday or Thursday.
Well if you read that whole thing, you as well deserve a medal as well because I think I may still be in somewhat of a delusional state. I will give out cute medals though, just wait until you see the blue, yellow and red glittery WINDSURFER on my medal.... yes, I'm serious. I think I still can't believe that it's over, and I did do it, and all that crazy/funny/random stuff happened to me, but hey, it happens!
I will be posting the pictures and links and anything else exciting from the weekend soon and I am so thankful to everyone who was tweeting me, and send me such nice messages and commenting. You guys really pulled me through some tough times today, and each and every one of you are so inspiring to me! Seriously it means so much to me. I had a great time this weekend and a great race and I'm proud to say that I ran a marathon. I am going to let it marinade for a while and see how I feel about it before I post my 'feelings' and possible new endeavors. I will also be posting a review of the course for any of those interested in running it anytime soon. :) I hope you all enjoyed this long drawn out report. Everything is such, and still is a blur.
Thank you, thank you, thank you though, from the bottom of my sore little heart.