All of my training runs went really well and on my last super long run three weeks before the race, I felt really ready. For some reason, in my three week taper, I felt kind of sluggish and tired, even though I was reducing my weekly mileage. Also, the day before the race, I started feeling some cold symptoms come on (really unusual for me- I rarely get sick). I really didn't think race day would go very well. Oh, and the forecast was in the 30s and rainy, so my expectations were kind of low.
Friday, I left work early and took the metro downtown to go to the expo. Originally I planned on running with a friend, but she developed some injuries during training and had to scratch. I wished I had someone to walk around the expo with, but let's be honest, I can be kind of a loner sometimes. I'm cool with it. I grabbed lots of samples, wished I had money to buy some cool products and gear, and got really intimidated by these moniters that showed a video of the whole course.
Okay, it seemed long just standing there watching it in fast speed. And I think I can run it?
After staying at said friend's apartment that night, I only had a short metro ride to the starting line. This was my first really big race with corrals and all the high energy that goes with it. Me and 30,000 other runners trying to use the porta potties, check gear bags, and get in the right corral. I made some friends in my corral, and before you know it the gun went off for the first group. Eventually it was our turn to start and I could not BELIEVE that I was actually running a marathon. I do this at the beginning of all races, short or long. I actually get a little emotional, just feeling so grateful and excited that I'm actually doing something I've prepared so much for. My wedding? Nope. But all of my races and big horse shows and the start of my thru hike? Yup.
One thing that is so cool about marathons and big races is the spectator support. I wish I could've taken a picture of all the clever signs people were holding. Instead I'll turn to the Googles. And people giving out food! People who were not affiliated with the race organizers, standinging in the middle of the course with a platter of peeled oranges. Or sitting on the bumper on the side with a big bowl of gummy bears.
After a few miles I hit a good stride and time passed pretty quickly. Most of the other runners were doing the half, so it was a little humorous/annoying when everyone around you is saying things like, "Just 3 miles left! Almost there!". Yeah. 3 miles plus 13 more. Thanks for reminding me. Once the half runners split off, it was a lot more quiet and lonely. Some people have asked, "what do you think about during long runs?" This makes me chuckle, because a 4 hours of "thinking time" during a marathon is nothing compared to the all day every day of thru hiking.
Sometimes, among thru hikers, people would talk about what they had thought about that day. "Well, first I went through the entire movie of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", then I thought about what kind of food I want in the next town, and then I was thinking about my 6th grade science project. Oh and I couldn't get "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" out of my head, either. Yep, that pretty much covers it."
You knew I couldn't do a whole post without talking about thru hiking, right?
Anyway, running. So I ran a bunch more, and then miles 20-25 was the longest 5 mile stretch of my life, and then at mile 25 I probably passed more people in 1.2 miles than I did in the entire race. My parents and Beau found me at mile 25.5 and boosted me through the finish. Smiles all around!
|the BEST supporters ever|
What a great weekend! Thanks for all the support.