Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Last Marathon!

Well, I finished!

Now is the time where it is common for marathon runners to experience a phenomenon called the "Post Marathon Blues". (It's funny how many emotions occur around marathon training, that mirror the emotions that go into having a baby. ie:
  • nesting pre baby/cleaning like crazy to burn off the taper-energy 
  • Being super emotional before the race. I cried the day before the race over nothing, and I haven't cried in like 6 months!
  • Not sleeping well.
  • Post-Race-Blues/Baby-Blues
In NO WAY am I comparing doing a marathon to having a baby. So please, do not misunderstand me. Having a baby = way more intense, strenuous, life-changing, emotional, ect. I just think it's interesting how some of the behaviors mirror.


I do not have the "Post-Marathon-Blues". In fact, I am kicking my heels in a fit of joy. Well, I would be, but I'm a bit too sore to move in that fashion. As my previous posts explained, I did not train like I should have for this race. I only did one 20 miler, and believe me it showed when I hit mile 20 on Sunday!

I am so happy to have this behind me. I am also happy I did it! I'm happy I got it out of my system. Training for a marathon in 2010, and not getting to run it because of an a-hole boss really put a dent on my psyche. I had to prove myself I could do another 26.2. Now it is out of my system.

To be honest, I'm being a bit hard on myself. The last 5 miles I "raced" in the run/walk fashion - and I've really spent a lot of time beating myself up over that. But that needs to stop.

Last time I ran a marathon was in 2007 and I finished just under 5 hours. Sunday my official time was 4:14:10. Here is a little breakdown of Sunday:

Mile 1-14: I was booking it. I was about an 8:20/mi pace for the 1st 10 miles, and I felt as I was holding back. So I thought, "Alright! I'm going to hit my goal!" I felt so strong, so smooth, and I was having so much fun.

Mile 14.2: Suddenly I could not bear any weight on my right knee. It was a struggle to hobble over the to the curb (especially with hundreds of runners that I needed to dodge). I got to the curb, stretched out my hips & quads, and managed to keep going. (definitely my IT Band)

Mile 14.5-18: The knee pain wore off. Which scared me, because adrenaline can sometimes trick you into thinking you're "okay". However, my pace took a hit. I was now running 9:00/mi as my average. But at this point, I didn't care. I still hadn't seen the 4-hour pacing group.

Mile 18: I saw one of the girls in my DTG Training Group laying on the ground with medics all around her starting IV's and getting EKG's set up. The only reason I didn't stop is because there were several professional's helping, and another team-mate was on the phone w/ her husband. But now worry set in - praying she was okay. (She is okay, by the way)

Mile 20: I told Ryan I'd shoot him a text @ this marker, so he'd know when to head to the finish line. I snapped this fake-happy photo.

Mile 21-26: The pain set in. Every muscle in my body hurt, and I felt like I had absolutely nothing to give. They didn't hand out any gels during this entire race (which really pissed me off, because I would have packed my own, had I known this. They advertised they would at miles 10 & 17 - but didn't). So I was literally running on empty (my toast & PB from 5 am had worn off by this point. Ha!) My text to Ryan sad, "Dying. Walking. Can't do this." -- but he quickly responded with positive words to keep me going!

I started praying at this point. Asking God to give me the strength to push me through this. I started praying about people who have endured much tougher battles than this silly marathon. And I think he sent me an angel at this point.

A man came up next to me and said, "Come on! You've got this. Jog nice and easy with me, and we can walk at the end of the bridge." I said nothing...I just followed instructions. He and I did this side by side for the rest of the race. He was from St Louis, MO - I don't remember his name. But I am calling this stranger my angel - as I don't think I'd have finished if it weren't for him!

Finally, I could see the finish line - my pace picked up - and I was so unbelievably relieved!


2 days post-race, and actually feel really good! No more sore knees, my muscles aren't even that sore! I am really surprised by this. From here on out -- I will stick to halfs, 10K's, triathlons. Happy I got to do it though! It was a super fun weekend - and I got some quality time with Ryan! Feeling satisfied and thankful..........


Amber said...

Congratulations on your last marathon! Sorry to hear it was such a struggle for you. I felt like that a lot during the Portland marathon but I had SO MUCH FUN running the Chicago marathon that I know I will do more, but probably just slower. I find the slower I run the more fun I have and the less I hurt!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I definitely think you should cut yourself some slack and not be hard on your because you did run a strong race and it was a huge PR. That sucks about the gels. I would have died as I seem to need them every 4-6 miles! So doing a whole marathon without them would have resulted in me crashing.

I am glad you finished the race strong and had an angel there to help you. And it's great that you are not very sore!!