Race day began with a wake-up call of 6 a.m. Not bad at all! I dressed, pinned on my bib, had a few bites of a bagel and PB and hit the road. Angela dropped me off at the start so I didn't have to deal with all of that shuttle business. She decided she'd bike around the course so she could see me multiple times. It was the perfect plan and I highly recommend it to any spectators of this race. She got in a good 30 mile bike ride and was able to enjoy some amazing views and snap photos of the course. It was a win-win.
|Does it get any more beautiful than this?|
|There I go! I wore my Brooks jersey, so I was impossible to miss.|
|Ang snapped a picture of my terrible landing. Eek.|
My thoughts during the race:
"you don't have to do this, you get to do this"
"remember the 4 other marathons you trained for and missed due to injury? this is your chance!"
"this is nothing compared to some people's daily struggles."
"you are stronger than you think you are"
"left, right, left, right"
"just. keep. running. just. keep. running."
"you've got this"
"the sooner you finish, the sooner you get to nap"
and best of all..
"you don't want to have to post an embarrassing finish time. move your ass!"
This is the first race where I've ever wanted to quit. I genuinely wanted to just throw in the towel. My right foot was completely done, I felt slightly dizzy, I couldn't eat my Clif Bloks because the thought of them made me nauseous, and I felt weak. I have way too much pride to quit so I kept trucking along instead. I could not stop thinking about our ridiculously comfortable hotel bed and how badly I wanted to curl up and sleep in it. Usually I am motivated by food, but this time it was all about the nap.
Despite all of the aches and pains, I still enjoyed the beauty of this course. I soaked up all of the incredible views and felt grateful to be out there.
|This was right before the huge hill. |
At this point we were passing half marathoners who started later.
I so badly wanted to be one of them at this point.
So, mile 23 came along and I completely failed. It was such a steep hill and I so badly wanted to be done. I tried running it. I told myself I could go as slow as I needed as long as I was running. My defiant self decided she was going to walk this hill. Screw positive thinking. I hated this hill and I was going to walk. So I did. People passed me. It was pretty demoralizing. I knew I was adding minutes to my finish time but in the moment, I didn't even care. Of course I care now. I wish I could go back in time and drag my ass up that hill. But it is what it is.
|the final .25 miles|
After that beast of a hill it is all downhill to the finish. I flew down the hills and came in looking strong but definitely not feeling so. I wanted to die. My foot was throbbing and burning but I wanted to be done so badly that I sprinted through the finish at 3:37. In the moment I was super disappointed in my finish time. Always our worst critics, right? I know some people would kill for a sub 4, but race times are all relative.
|wondering where that darn finish line is|
Then I took of my shoe and saw that I wasn't being dramatic about my foot pain. All of that burning and throbbing was for good reason. No wonder I was just dragging my right foot along.
I won't even show you what the actual foot looked like because it is just plain nasty. I think I've shown you enough disgusting foot photos on this blog to last a lifetime. :) Everyone around me was gasping as I did the big reveal and pulled the sock off. It was pretty hilarious, actually. Everyone advised me to go to the medical tent so I did. They were incredibly nice and treated me like I was dying. Haven't they seen layers of skin fall of a foot before? Guess not. There were three adorable little kids standing nearby with their jaws dropped staring at my foot. Ang and I were laughing hysterically at that point. One of the little girls came over and tapped me on the shoulder to ask what was wrong with me. Kids are just too cute.
I waited for about 20 minutes to get a FREE massage. It was heavenly. I am so grateful for all of the massage therapists that gave up their Saturdays to rub sweaty, smelly runners. They are the ones that deserve medals!
This was an amazing race. The course was breathtaking, the volunteers were great, there were plenty of port-a-pottties, and the post-race amenities were fabulous. I would have liked to see more water and fuel stops but I realize this isn't Chicago or NYC so resources are limited.
It is now two days post-race. My thoughts have shifted on the outcome. While I was initially disappointed in myself for not reaching my goal, I have changed my tune. I overcame a lot to run this race. I really should be proud of just finishing as I was dealing with a lot of pain. I could have quit. I could have used my PF and bloody foot as an excuse to call it quits, but I didn't. I kept going, and I am proud of that.
Sub 3:30 was totally within reach had I not been dealing with other issues. Physically, I know I had it. I was trained for it. If I can kick this annoying plantar fasciitis and figure out a way to not lose all of the skin on my foot, then I will be golden. After the race, I said I was done with marathons. Today, I am looking up my training plan for Boston and getting super excited.
Marathons are painful. Even excruciating at times. They suck the life out of you. And then 2 days later, you want to do it all over again. Runners are
crazy funny like that.
I need to give a HUGE thank you to Ang who found me multiple times on the course and cheered me on. I couldn't have done it if she wasn't waiting for me at the finish line. I needed that light at the end of the tunnel. THANK YOU, Ang!!
Also, a big congratulations to Monica who PR'ed! It was so great to meet her at the start. Neither of us had any idea what was in store for the day, and she ended up having one of those magical race days. So happy for her!