I am so happy to report that on Sunday I finished my FIRST FULL MARATHON!!!
I had mentioned before that because of my knee injury, I was having a lot of doubt that I would be able to make it all 26.2 miles.
Thanks to a lot of rest, stretching, KT taping, and most of all, the amazing support of Team and Training, I did! And I couldn’t be happier.
Here’s a recap of the race weekend (warning – will be long!)
Leave Boston around 4:00pm.
Someone switches seats with a teammate of mine, we chat for a good part of the flight (life stories shared!), while the rest was spent sleeping/reading. Flight flies by!
Arrive in San Diego around 7:30pm (10:30 in Boston).
Go to hotel, eat, stretch, ice, and pass out for several hours (so needed).
- Eventually get out of bed to stretch and eat some breakfast.
- Meet team to go to the race expo.
- Overwhelmed – I have never been to an expo this big! Also, so excited.
- I buy a shirt, then get in line at the Sports Authority booth to get my knee taped.
- The line takes FOREVER. Luckily, an awesome friend of mine is nice enough to wait with me!
- Finally, it is my turn. The guy explains to me what he is doing (cutting two pieces in half, stretching bottom piece out to 100% then back down to 75%, next piece out to 100% then 30% for this half 80% for that, etc) – I just nod my head. Never going to remember what he said.
- Finally done! Back to the hotel.
- Lounge around in one of my teammate’s rooms with the rest of the team. She was one of the top 10 fundraisers of all of TNT (over $10k!), so she scored the presidential suite, which was out of control ridiculous.
- Get ready; walk back to convention center for Inspiration Dinner
- Great speaker, crappy food.
- Decorate our singlets in the presidential suite.
- Back to my room; lay out outfit/gear/fuel.
- Stretch/ice one last time. Say a prayer that my knee will hold up.
- Lights out, alarm set for 3:45!
- Wake up at 3:15. Drank wayyyy too much water.
- 3:18 – back in bed…somehow manage to fall back asleep for 20 minutes.
- Up and at ’em!
- Quickly brush teeth and start to get dressed, then realize my fail of the night before. It didn’t occur to me to put a piece of newspaper in between my shirt, so the paint bled right through to the other side, and onto the bedspread! OOPS!
- Gently put my still-wet singlet on, and head downstairs to meet my team.
- Take team photos(full team photo coming soon)
- Get on shuttle bus. SO NERVOUS
- It is cold. Perfect running weather, though – 65 and cloudy. Very thankful that a friend had an extra throw-away shirt she let me wear 🙂 Noted for next race.
- Get in line for porta potty.
- Chat with teammates to ease each other’s anxiety. 45 minutes later, it is our turn!
Mile by Mile
- Head to Corral 27. Myself and 6 others decided we’d all start there (some of us were in earlier corrals)
- First gun goes off at 6:15 am
- About 40 minutes later, we are finally crossing the start line! Everyone is dancing and so excited.
- Immediately break off into two groups (of 3 and 4).
- Mile 1: Instantly feel knee pain. Thinking there is no way I will finish this race.
- Mile 1-3: Great much awesome spectator energy! Great bands/music.
- Mile 3: I am already so unexpectedly sweaty. Humidity? See best sign of the day: “I just farted. Keep running!”
- Mile 5: Run through the Padres’ stadium!
- Mile 5.5: Vanilla Gu + water. Decide that my knee will be fine unless pain gets worse
- Mile 6: The other 3 girls I was with go ahead; I know I should be maintaining a slower pace.
- Mile 8: See my coaches standing above me at an overpass!!! So glad to see them.
- Mile 8-10: Highway stretch. Mostly uphill, and the road was totally slanted. Super uncomfortable. Also, so quiet! No bands/cheerleaders.
- Mile 11: Chocolate GU + lots of water.
- Mile 11-14: a bit of a blur…I remember feeling really cold at one point – maybe dried sweat? Gross.
- Mile 14: Knee goes numb. Feeling GREAT! Thinking about when I should sign up for my next marathon.
- Mile 16: Why have I not seen ANYONE I know in so long?!?
- Mile 17: Finally pass friends headed the other direction. Ecstatic to see them!
- Mile 17.5: Vanilla GU + salt packet + lots of water. See favorite runner costume of the day: Gumby!
- Mile 18 – 20: Beginning to slow down a bit…
- Mile 20: EFF this. Body is done. Everything hurts.
- Mile 20-22: take a walking break every mile. Walk about 1/10th of a mile, very slowly run the rest of each mile.
- Mile 22: Chocolate GU + water. A coach hands me another salt packet, which I figure can’t hurt.
- Mile 22: TNT coach runs with me for about .25 mile. Welcomed distraction/conversation!
- Mile 23: See my coaches again! Cross over the water to run around a 2 mile island. Thinking I can still maintain sub-5:00
- Mile 23-25: ISLAND OF DEATH. Normally, this part of the course would have been beautiful. I mean really, an island in San Diego?? Plus, it was super flat. But, during this time, I wanted nothing more than to lay down. Everything is hurting so much. I begin taking a LOT more walking breaks. There are also more TNT coaches (from other teams) during this stretch, so I frequently get asked how I’m doing/if I need anything.
- Mile 24: Realize sub-5:00 is out of the question. Primary goal becomes finishing.
- Mile 25: 1.2 miles has never seemed so long.
- Mile 25.8: Finally see my coaches again after getting off the island!! Try my best to smile for a picture
- Mile 26: Clearly see the finish line. Want to start crying. A random coach runs with me
- Mile 26.4 (race was off a bit): DONE!!! Want to immediately start crying. Get handed a metal. Do my best to compose myself for the professional pictures
Stay tuned for a Part 2 – post-race recap + my reflections on the race!