"pushing my body to limits never before experienced with a goal of experiencing 26.2 miles ill never forget"
date: october 4th, 2009. location: portland, maine
i did it. I RAN A FREAKING MARATHON!!!
as mentioned in an earlier post (ok so i have like 3 other posts... the one where i said i would run a marathon, im sure you just read it about 5 minutes ago...) i once stated that i wanted to run a marathon before i turned 30. well folks, that dreaded date was fastly approaching (fastly? a word? eh whatever).
so i set out to train starting back in june to run the maine marathon in october. for those of you that dont know, maine gets kinda hot in the summer time. training during the few short months of summer we do have really sucks (and im probably the only stupid person who runs at like noon when it probably couldnt get much hotter). so yeah. 18 weeks of training. throw in there about a zillion weddings we had to go to (which also equals a zillion hangovers... im not too good at being "reserved" when bud light is around) and we'll just say training didnt go as planned for those long runs on sundays. i also got hurt with three weeks left (the monday before Reach the Beach, notice the knee brace in those pics... IT band issues. sucks pretty bad).
so for the two weeks pre 26.2, i ran three miles. i was doomed. at the expo we were given lovely hunting orange backpacks full of goodies (hunting orange? really? who is going to use this bag again?! not useful). inside i found a bag of doritos (thanks maine. dont you know i gave up chips for 2009? ugh), some other random stuff i wont use, a brochure for the Bermuda Triangle Challenge (http://www.bermudaraceweekend.com/) which i am SO doing when i win the lottery, and most importantly, KT Tape (http://www.kttape.com/). you might have seen this on some of the olympic athletes before and wondered what the heck it was (ok maybe that was just me). but because my knees were acting up, i figured i would try it. what did i have to lose, right?
now keep in mind i hadnt been able to run over ONE mile in the past two weeks without knee pain. i was hoping that one mile would just magically turn into 26 on the day of the race, but i had my doubts. i woke up on the morning of october 4th feeling good, but worried about my knees in the back of my mind. so i applied the KT Tape after watching the video online about how to do it, and ty dropped me off at the starting line. usually im so nervous before races, but i wasnt trying to get a PR like i usually do, i had a bunch of friends to hang out with before starting, and i knew i had good tunes ready to go, so i was pumped. they had also forcasted rain and that was not yet happening, so that kept me smiling.
here is a pic of melissa and me, right when i got dropped off at the starting line (***note the hunting bag! i was really not kidding about the color)
melissa, brett, me, and erin pre race (they all ran the half, still very hardcore!)
our pre race hardcore pic... that chick is definitely looking at us funny. shes just jealous.
i often times forget that i have the zoom on. love this pic though
so off we went...
TU (*twitter update)- "One down 25.2 to go :-)"
miles 1-4 were pain free! i dont know if it was a mental thing or if the KT Tape really worked, but i was really feeling good. i didnt run with a watch but from the times they had posted ever other mile i was doing sub 9 minute miles, which is slow for me but good for a marathon pace i figured.
TU- "Almost to mile 5 and the leader of the half has already passed me going back. Wow."
and then, it happened. the tape, which on their website claims you can pretty much shower with it on and it wont come off for like days, started to peel. and that peeling part flapped. and it was annoying. by mile 6 almost the whole thing had come off and i was very sad. thats when the pain came back (shocking). i called ty (*fun fact- i called him while running. didnt even stop. HC!) to see if he would bring the rest of the tape they had given us in our hunting pack, but when i saw him at mile 10, i was so sweaty the new tape wouldnt stick. awesome. (*side note- i knew the tape wasnt going to stick when he brought it to me but it gave me something to hope for, haha. im definitely not going to bash the tape just yet, i would like to try it out again. i think it has great potential. any one else use this with more success?)
TU- "Well that hill we just went down at mile 10 is really going to suck going up at 16.5"
TU- "http://twitpic.com/k8l79 - Amazing."- these soldiers started walking the course at 6am. quite an unbelievable site.
ty met up with me again at mile 17 (the race went out to a point and did this little loop, then turned around and went back to the start for the finish- yawn) and at that point i was pretty broken down but knew i could finish. id come this far, i NEEDED to finish. he was heading back to the finish to meet up with his parents, my parents and some extremely supportive friends of mine who were there waiting, so i told him i was going to try to make it to 20 miles before i walked, and that i would text him updates to let him know when i would be coming in.
TU- "guy just passed me bare foot. COME ON!"- (*fun fact- i ended up catching up to barefoot man with a mile left as he was coming out of a port-a-potty... he has had quite a few set backs in his life causing him to run barefoot for a reason. more power to you buddy!)
TU- "Marathon: a 10k race with a 20 mile warm up. Time to race!"
i got to mile 20 and still felt really good, so i decided to keep running. it actually hurt more to walk at this point because my body was so accustomed to the movement of running. i stopped to take this pic at mile 22, cuz 22 is my favorite number, and i think i was still not quite believing i was doing it haha. i also had only done 21 miles in my training, so everything was new now. what an awesome feeling!
around mile 23 i met up with a dad running with his 10 year old son. they were in the relay so they had loads of energy and it was so motivating to see the little kid just powering up the last hill. they really kept me going. (*fun fact- met up with the little kid post race when i was picking up my hunting gear and he looked up at me, gave me a high five, and said "nice job on your race". TEAR!)
TU- "25 down 1.2 to go"
the last mile or so is pretty much a huge blur. i took a pic coming on to back cove and sent it to ty to let him know i was almost there. i started crying (not shocking... i have this crying issue during road races. seriously difficult to breathe. maybe ill write about that later. or not, its kinda stupid. not HC). there was a couple running right near me who i had been staying up with for about the last 8 or so miles (they would pass me, i would pass them, a back and forth game really). i decided to run with them for about a half mile, then wanted to finish before them. they were super nice, both from connecticut, his first marathon (or was it hers? i forget. again, a blur).
the photographers got a pretty sweet pic of me:
and you can even see the couple behind me :-) im pretty sure this picture sarah took of me (below) out does any other pic taken of me by the professionals... this is about 20 yards from the finish (again got the couple in there). i was SO pumped to finish, if you couldnt tell. lots of endorphins flying around in that body, thats for sure. unfortunately my legs look like huge tree stumps. gross.
finishing thoughts on my first marathon? two thumbs up for sure. i really wasnt in a lot of pain here (i pretty much couldnt feel anything). i was just so psyched i actually did it. i really thought that i would have been crying at this point, maybe throwing up? nope. alllll good.
and there you have it. the next few days were a bit rough... climbing UP stairs, not a problem, actually felt good to stretch. going DOWN stairs on the other hand... close to impossible. it also probably didnt help that i spent the afternoon post marathon with family and friends downing bud light and pumpkinhead instead of water, and then went to the kelly clarkson concert, BUT live and learn i guess. i had said leading up to the race that i would probably do it once and never do it again, but now that its been a month (one month exactly!) and all the feelings have set in, i definitely cant wait to run another one, although i know nothing will compare to the experience of the very first one. i really had no time in mind, but i was happy with a) finishing before monday october 5th, and b) RUNNING across the finish line. my official finishing time was 4:43:13, and i KNOW i can do better if my knees are healthy. sugarloaf and chicago 2010, prove me right!
OH YEAH, almost forgot....
love it. stay hardcore.