Well. I finished! Injury free! THAT deserves some pizza and wine right there! 😉
I don’t even know where to begin here because my mind is replaying everything from yesterday – and even leading up to it. I was just really more excited about the whole thing, than I was anxious or worried. Because it was time to see my training, hard work, blood, sweat, & tears, pay off. And you guys, the expo is a dangerous place. I’m just sayin’. I could have done a lot of damage, so it’s probably a good thing that The Hus went with me. Otherwise, I would have never felt the glares. But I did score a spibelt and a long sleeve marathon shirt. I love the long sleeve race shirts.
(I had grabbed a band for the 4:45 finish pace group mile times, but I never did see the pace guy.)
First of all, I actually got some sleep the night before, so that alone was a huge race improvement! Usually, i’m practically up all night, tossing and turning, worrying about missing my alarm(s), playing the race out in my head, etc…For some reason, I was actually pretty calm, cool, and collected all week – including the day OF! I guess I just tried to focus on the fact that I trained for this. I was ready. I could do it. My body and mind had been prepped. I knew I could do it. Keeping your mind positive really will get you through the toughest of times I tell ya! 🙂 And because of that, I really never hit the dreaded “wall” – mentally, that is. Or physically for that matter.
But I did hit the “energy wall”. Like, really early. Mile 10. I could just feel my sugar and blood pressure dropping and I started getting that weak, shaky feeling I get before I pass out. I didn’t like it. At least not that early! I just don’t even know what that was about. My 20 mile training run went better than that as far as fueling, so I guess I will still be doing the trial and error thing as far as what works and what doesn’t. I ate my banana around mile 11. Didn’t help. Drank some Nuun. Helped for about 1-2 miles. I don’t even remember when, but I ate some Honey Stingers, kept taking sips of Nuun, and my sugar, blood pressure, whatever, was not improving. Miles 11-19 were REALLY rough, to say the least. Not mentally or physically, but since I was trying to NOT pass out, I had to do a lot of walking…a lot more than I wanted to. And waaaaay earlier than I wanted to. I wanted to at least make it to mile 15 before fueling and walking. Through those miles, I kept thinking about the oranges at mile 19. One of my bible study girls did this race last year (and will hopefully be able to do it with me next year?! 😉 ), and said that the oranges at mile 19 had never tasted so good. So I kept looking forward for them. For 9 miles. haha. And as soon as I saw the table at 19, I booked it to the first volunteer with oranges! And I just stood there enjoying every bite.
Let me tell you. Those oranges. They saved my LIFE. They kicked in so fast. Those last miles that I was so worried about? Weren’t anything to be worried about. I did still have to take walk breaks. Mostly because once I start taking walk breaks, that’s when my feet – the ole planter fasciitis – kicks in, so since I had been taking walk breaks for 9 miles already, and my feet were already sore/tender/bruised/dead/falling off, I did still take some walk breaks for the last miles – but not as many. Since my blood pressure/sugar was back up, I was able to push through the pain. Big difference. And my goodness! The pain that ensues your calves around mile 22! Ugh! But again, the aches and pains were much easier to run through than the low BP/sugar! It was just great to never really hit a mental wall!
And those first 13 miles went really fast! When I saw my fam at mile 13, I couldn’t believe I was half done already. And my half marathon time was right on par with my typical half times – 2:15.
I was hoping the fam would be able to catch the shuttle to the ‘shoe (mile 16), but it was too crowded and they would have only had 30 minutes to get there. I tried to video it a little, but it was kinda bouncy for some reason…
Some signs that made me laugh:
“You stay classy Columbus. With a picture of Ron Burgundy.”
“Because 26.3 would just be crazy.”
“Short cut here →” And then a man was standing next to that sign, holding another sign that said, “Ask me about my bike rentals”
Oh, my Garmin died at mile 25. Ya. Not cool Garmin. Not cool. Guess it’s only a 5 hour battery and I get punished because it took me 16 extra minutes to finish a marathon.
I really wanted an under 5 hour finish, but I’m still proud of 5:16. Just gives me a new goal for the next one. 😉 You can totally tell from my splits where I struggled. But I learned from it!
Things I loved about this race:
~The expo. It’s a runners dream.
~The start. Exhibit A & B. Self-explanatory:
Just watching those again is making me tear up. Good Lord.
~Columbus support for races is incredible. There were people cheering, bands, etc…the WHOLE time. You have no idea how much that helps!
~All the volunteers. They were great. And to give up their Sunday to pass out water, Gatorade, Gu, oranges…bless them!
~The medals of course!
And just some pics from the day:
(They had Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients at every mile. They sat out there in a tent, with an orange foam hand so WE could all high-five THEM. To say there were no tears involved in seeing those kids would be a lie.)
And. The End. It’s relax. Hobble around as best as I can. And get a massage today at 5:00. I almost fell over this morning because I practically jumped out of bed, started walking, and then felt the pain and realized I just ran a marathon and my calves & feet aren’t working. Oofos sandals and walking backwards down the steps to save the day! 🙂
Hope YOU had a great weekend! What did you do?
What is one of your best marathons? Worst marathons?