I’m back in Colorado just in time for a snowstorm. My body has weather confusion. It is not sure if I should be sweating and sitting by the pool or shivering and shoveling the driveway.
But, you are not here for a meteorological report. You are here for a 26.2 mile race report.
This was marathon #6 for me (if you include the marathon I did within the Ironman. Some people don’t “count” that, but in my mind if there is ever a time to “count” a marathon, it is the one you do after swimming 2.4 miles and riding a bike 112 miles).
What to say about this race? I broke a bunch of personal rules including:
- Not eating dinner until 10 pm the night before (11 pm if you moved your clock forward)
- Eating pizza for dinner (in the past this has not been a good pre-race dinner for me. Interpretation = CD - colon distress)
- Wearing new shoes (Yes. Can you believe it? The story is that I had been training in shoes ASICS sent me. While I loved them, they were slightly big. So, at the expo I got pair that was a half size smaller and decided to chance it. Not sure it was the best move. Let me rephrase: I am positively sure it was not the right move).
But enough about me. Let’s talk more about me and what transpired over 26.2 miles.
First I will say, Asics was incredibly generous and good to us as bloggers. From covering flight/hotel to amazing gear, to running idol meet ups, to lots of support and good meals. My favorite thing, however, might have been the private club room we had at Dodger Stadium before the race. Typically on race morning I can be found huddled somewhere on a street trying to gag down a banana or in a port potty line 15 miles long. Not this morning. We had private bathrooms, food, coffee and a great view of the stadium.
Anne from FANNEtastic Food and I really bonded on this trip. Love that girl.
And..me doing a nice pre-race braid for her (4:30 a.m. at the hotel – thanks for the pic, Mark):
Another mistake I made - when I registered, I did not put in a past marathon time. This meant that I was not put into a corral. This meant that I was not with those of the same pace (I was way behind the 5:30 pacer, to give you an idea) . This meant that I spent the first three miles weaving in and out of people, which ultimately added .5 miles to my race. I really was not planning on running a 26.7 mile marathon. My fault, however. I have never run such a crowded or congested race at the beginning. I actually remember passing those big letters.
Here is Brian (Pavement Runner) and me at the start. I never saw him after that!
Here I am looking for spare change.
Abbreviated thought process throughout race:
Miles 1-8: It’s crowded. I am having the time of my life. I love running. Who knew there was so much downhill? I am flying. I love people. I love marathons. I love being in shorts. It’s nice and cool, and to think I worried about the heat. Wait. WTF with this hill (mile 3)?
Miles 9-13: My feet hurt. New shoes, bad idea. It’s still cool. I am not sweating. That GU tasted good. I think I like the plain flavor after all. I’m settling in. Just keep moving forward. Halfway is coming up. Stay hydrated. Why is it so fun to listen to Eye of the Tiger during a marathon? My feet really hurt. That couple in front of me is running holding hands. Really? Aren’t their hands sweaty and gross? Doesn’t that mess up their gait? Will they do that the whole race?
Miles 14-18: Good. Halfway in 1:53. I can do this. I might get a BQ after all. I see shadows. The sun is out. It is hot. Why didn’t I know about all these hills? That sign just said “Smile if you just peed a little.” I did not pee, but I am smiling anyway and now that sign holder thinks I peed. I am not sure why I do marathons. I am not having fun right now. I actually would really like to stop. Let me GU some more. I do think “GU” is a verb. ROCTANE might help. I hate this right now. My feet hurt. How do people run ultras?
Miles 19-23: Coach Kastor said that there are hills around miles 20-22, then we head down for the rest of the race. I just have to get to mile 22. Great, now I am walking through aid stations. I am gulping water, pouring it on my head and I just put an ice pack between my boobs. Can this please be over? I am hot and everything hurts. I will stretch for a second. That did not help. What else did Coach say? Oh yeah, imagine the ocean is pulling you to the finish. Let me try that. Why am I doing this? I am in Ironman! This should be nothing for me.
Miles 24-26.2: Okay, here we go. It’s all downhill from here. If I have any hope of breaking four hours I need to pick it up big time. Got to keep these last miles around 8:30-8:45 min/miles. Push it, push it, don’t stop. Do.not.stop. I have transcended my body and am not running completely with my spirit/heart/determination. This is what keeps me going.
I didn’t stop. I crossed the finish in 3:57:40. Actually this is my second to fastest marathon time, but slower than I expected to go for this race. I’ll take it.
Alysia Montano gave me my medal and off I went to the little VIP gathering at the Bungalows. Two words = open bar. I ran (well, hobbled) to my room first to get my slippers on. Then I joined the party. 2 beers and three pieces of pizza later I was a new woman.
That night we had an amazing dinner at the BOA Steakhouse. I got the “40 day” dry aged steak because it sounded exotic (although I don’t usually eat food that is 40 days old).
Here’s me with Jamie Walker (Fit Approach). Love this girl for how down to earth and real she is.
And now for my most lady-like, special moment. Group photo at the end of the night. How could I have not known how I was posing? What is wrong with me? (Thanks, Ryan, for the photo).
Just for the record, those are built in shorts for my skort, not underwear.
Like it matters.
Thanks again to Asics for a first class and amazing trip. I really enjoyed meeting the other bloggers and hearing their personal stories and goals. You can check out their race reports/blogs too:
Brian from Pavement Runner
Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat
Rachel from Running Rachel
Jess from Race Pace Jess
Ryan from I Tri Because I Can
Jamie from Fit Approach
Anne from Fannetastic Food
Kristin from STUFT Mama
Michele from NYC Running Mama
You can see more about the whole team HERE.
Best race sign you’ve ever seen? I like “Run now, poop later”, “If a marathon was easy it would be called your mom”, “You could have chosen chess” and “Shut up legs.”
What’s the crowdest race you've ever run? Probably this one – but I do think it was because of being in the wrong pace group.
Do you have an embarrassing photo? I have a few good ones from when I gave birth. The nurse was nice enough to take pictures of Ken and me, but she didn’t do a very good cropping job.
Worst race mistake you’ve ever made?