Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Day I Crashed The Marathon

And lived to tell about it!
Confession Time: I didn't train for the marathon I ran today. Well not really anyway.
You see up until 11 weeks ago I'd only been planning on running the half marathon at Mesa Falls. But on June 12th, after my sisters and I ran the Dam Marathon, I watched all of the other runners coming in and thought, "If they can do a full marathon, I can too." So instead of signing up for the half marathon I registered for the full 26.2. Then I got online and downloaded a training program that would take 16 weeks (the minimum amount of time you're supposed to prepare for a marathon) and tweaked it to fit my schedule.
The only problem was that in the last month our schedule has been so crazy, I didn't even stick to the ammended training plan. Sure I ran that half marathon 3 weeks ago. And up to that point I was doing okay. But in the last month with the home study, adoption paperwork and getting Travis ready to leave I just couldn't seem to find the time to run hardly at all. In fact, during the last 14 days I've run exactly 3 times, the longest of which was a measly six miles.
Add this all up and you'll realize that before today I've never run more than almost 14 miles in a single stretch. But I figured it would either kill me or not, so there was nothing to do but just go run. And that's exactly what I did.

I spent the night at mom & daddy's last night because I had to be up early to catch the bus in Ashton that would take me to the starting line. And they were going to keep Gideon for me. At 3:45 this morning when the alarm went off I felt rested and very excited and only slightly nervous.

Can I be honest this is the only race I've ever been to where they put your goody bag in a potato sack. I thought it was funny.
The pre-race breakfast at Ashton Elementary at 4:30 this morning was awesome. Bagels, fruit, yogurt, cereals, muffins and every kind of drink you could possibly want. I got there about 4:50 and had time to eat a half a bagel, some watermelon & a few orange slices before loading the busses for the starting line.

After a bumpy ride in the dark we started at 6:30 this morning at a balmy temperature of 43 degrees. The first 10 miles just flew by. I don't think my brain was really awake so my body just went on auto-pilot & did it's thing. I felt awesome. And the scenery was spectacular. We ran right over the lookout point for lower Mesa Falls, and then cruised along the river. It was breathtaking. I got to the halfway point a full ten minutes faster than the half marathon I did three weeks ago. I was on target to be half an hour faster than my goal of 5 hours 30 minutes.

At mile 17 I hit the wall. For the next three miles I alternated walking and running. Every part of me ached. I just wanted to sit down and cry. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that if I quit moving I'd never get going again. About mile twenty I got my second wind. I was much slower than the first half of the race, but I wasn't in breakdown mode anymore. I just had to keep telling my body to tough it out. My parents showed up with Gideon at about mile 23 so I got to have a little cheering section which was a fun surprise.

By mile 24 my feet had really started to hurt. I felt two blisters forming and was pretty certain that I was going to lose a toenail. From that point it was all guts and adrenaline. I had nothing left in the tank.

A sweet lady from Florida running in her 25th marathon caught up to me in the last mile and thanks to her conversation and encouragment, she kept me going to the end. Really I don't know how I'd have done it without her.

Official times haven't been posted yet, but according to my wath I crossed the finish line at 5:31.12 So I was pretty darn close to hitting my goal and I can't complain about that. By the end I ached everywhere, but no major injuries (unlike Myrtle Beach I can actually walk!) Unless you count my pour blistered feet. I have blisters on the pads of my feet and as you can see from the photo below, blood blisters on two toes. They hurt like the dickens I guess I'll have to get a sterile needle and puncture them so they can drain, then they won't hurt as bad.

After the race mom & daddy took me to Broulim's deli for a celebratory lunch. (MMMM barbecued ribs with mac & cheese!) When Gideon and I got home this afternoon we didn't have time to rest. Just a quick shower and get dressed because we had a wedding to go to.

Trav's cousin Chad (or actually his cousin Vicki's son, Chad) got married today in a small ceremony. But it was nice and the food at the reception was excellent! One of Chad's sisters makes amazing Mexican food so we had home made tamales, pazole, rice & beans. It was great!

Gideon made friends with the flower girls, four year olds Alexis & Makayla. What a charmer!

That's Chad & his bride Stephanie at the head table. On the right toward the front of the picture is Chad's mom (Trav's first cousin) Vicki.

And so now that we're finally home for the day I'm going to put ice packs on my aching knees And pretty quickly here call it a night! I'm totally beat! I don't think I've ever felt so exhausted and yet so exhilarated at the same time. I can't wait for the next one!