I left off in my last post right after I had crossed the finish line with a final time of 5:07. Not super stoked about this time, but so happy I finished that I didn’t even care (more about this in reflections at bottom of post).
I had been instructed to go to the Team in Training tent to check in immediately upon finishing. I started to wonder around, looking for the tent and/or anyone I knew. I kept seeing signs, but the actual tent was no where in sight.
On my way over, I was stoked to find some potato chips (not sure why I was craving them so badly), but much of the other post-race food was gone by this point. I really wanted to find out where the bag pick-up was because I was eager to get my phone to call my parents. Fortunately, I spotted it before finding the tent, which was a good thing because the tent was still another good .5 mile away. Seriously?!?
After checking in at TNT, I wanted nothing more than to sit. So sit I did. I spotted some teammates and called them over; there was no way I was getting up, especially with those potato chips in hand.
We took a couple of photos, then headed to the shuttle back to the hotel.
When I got back to my room, I was in a bit of a mental funk. I wanted to take an ice bath, but also knew I needed to eat a real meal. I decided delivery was the way to go, so I started looking up places on my phone while alternately trying to figure out the bath situation. I usually just do really cold water (no ice), but the water was not getting cold, and I definitely did not feel going to the ice machine 1032492 times.
After looking through delivery menus with no success (either places were closed or had nothing I wanted), it occured to me to look at the room service menu. Umm, duh? They had a tofu breakfast burrito that sounded amazing, but it was post-breakfast hours. Luckily, they were still able to hook it up! Score.
Once I had ordered, I made a single trip to the ice machine to fill up my ice bucket, and I got into a semi-cold bath. By the time I was done, I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to shower before the room service came, so I just changed back into clothes and decided to wait. I felt absolutely disgusting, so as soon as the food came I tried to quickly shower, however that ended up being a mega fail because it took me 19319 minutes to detangle a huge knot in my hair. The braid system failed me.
Finally clean, I was more than ready to eat.
At this point, it was about 3:30. I debated taking a nap, but decided my time would be better spent hanging out with friends for my last few hours there. Plus, I figured then I would actually sleep on the plane. I slowly got my act together and headed to a friend’s room. We laid on her bed and recapped/gossiped for about an hour. Then, it was time to get ready for the Victory Dinner!
The dinner turned out to be a bit of a bust. It was a come-and-go kind of thing, very informal. Also, vegetarian options were really lacking. It was still fun to see the whole team, though! Lots of congratulations, hugs, and photos were had.
After a while, everyone was ready to move on. They wanted to go get drinks elsewhere, but I decided to head back to the hotel because we were leaving in about an hour for the airport and I needed to finish packing and do some stretching.
Luckily/coincidentally, my two coaches were on the same flight as me. I was absolutely exhausted by the time we got to the airport. After going through security, we had a bit of time before our flight, and decided to get some beverages to help us sleep a little easier ;-)
The flight was not so great. I slept, but not restfully. I woke up several times and could not get comfortable. When we landed, I just wanted to get into my bed. I actually started to feel really nauseous in the cab back to my apartment, but eventually it subsided and I was able to get to work.
Everyone was really understanding at work and tried to help me out as much as possible, which was great because the slightest movements were quite a task.
As soon as work was over, I came home and ate lunch, and promptly passed out for 3 hours. It was a fabulous nap :-)
Since then, I feel like I have definitely caught up on my sleep. The first few days my legs (especially quads) were pretty sore – stairs were a total joke. Now, I can go up and down them at a normal pace and they don’t feel sore at all. My knee is definitely not healed, so I am going to continue physical therapy and give it as much rest as it needs – although I am already getting runner envy. I have been taking it easy this week and going to yoga a lot though, which I definitely feel has helped.
1. I am so happy to have been able to have this experience.
2. I would definitely recommend Team in Training to anyone training for their first endurance event. First of all, they really take care of you and prepare you in every way possible. Additionally, they are such an amazingly supportive group of people, and I feel like I have really formed some great friendships that will last beyond this race.
3. I would definitely like to do another marathon sometime in the next year or so, after my body has totally recovered. As I mentioned, I wasn’t stoked about my time, but given my injury all I really cared about was finishing and I am so happy I achieved that goal. That being said, I definitely have even more motivation to see what my body can do when it is not injured.
4. Things I would do differently next time:
- Not be injured during training
- At least two 20mile runs beforehand – I don’t think the one 18-miler this time was enough to prepare my body for the 26.2 mile distance
- Yoga at least once a week
And that concludes my recap and reflections – hope you enjoyed reading them!
Have a wonderful weekend!