Tag Archives: race report

Getting My Move Back

Hello interwebs!

We are almost 1 full week into 2013, and so far it’s been great.

Great New Year’s celebration.

Eh work week last week. BUT – not too bad. Except for the first day when I was there until 7:30.

Great commitment to my healthy eating plan (mostly). Fantastic job with the walking to and from my car to work (1 mile round trip).

AND – I finished my first official race since early June 2011 and my first running race since April 2011.

My friend Sarah & I signed up for the ORCC 10K Series. Saturday morning was the first of seven 10Ks in the series. I am planning on doing 6 out of the 7 (as I think I’ll be in Atlanta for the 4th race). In addition to Sarah & I, our friend Jen came out to do the race, too! (She also brought along official race photographer Zach and adorable cheerleader Penny.)

I knew going into this race that it was going to be slow. I anticipated a personal worst time. I haven’t been running (in fact, it was my first run since my 10 mile run on 12/9/12). Also, I may have stepped on some very sharp ice on the 29th of December, slicing up my foot a bit. SO MANY EXCUSES! BUT – I was determined. I will do this race, and I will finish it, and I will not die!

All goals were accomplished. For the first time in, well, ever, I was running electronic free. (I told Sarah I was running naked, which led to a very amusing discussion about strip running & taking off an article of clothing for every mile. I could’ve finished with my sports bra & both socks & shoes. You’re welcome for that image.)

So – no idea what my splits were. I just tried to run when I felt like it and take walk breaks when I needed them. And so I did. There were 3 big hills in the last half of the race that were a bit challenging. And the fact that I am just not in 10K shape kind of sucked. The 3rd hill, right at mile six, crested at a cemetery. That was just super demotivational!

ANYWAY – when I got close to the finish line, I saw Jen, Zach & Penny, and then just as I crossed, I saw Sarah! Nice thing about being slow is having automatic cheerleaders at the end.

I finished in 1:17:59 which is my slowest official 10K ever (although a wee bit faster than my 2012 Turkey Trot 10K. Average pace was 12:34. It was actually a bit faster than I’d anticipated, so I’m okay with it.

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The best part about the race, hands down, was being able to wait in the warm school before the race, and hang out there after. The next 10K isn’t until 3/2, and I’m hoping to shave 1 min/mile off my pace by then. By the end of the series, I am gunning for a PR.

What that means is that it’s time to get serious again. I can do that. I am no longer breastfeeding. I have a super supportive husband and awesomely fantastic friends. AND – I have even more motivation than that!

I just finished the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge (hosted by Amanda) and have signed up for Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp. So, in addition to my regular workouts, I’ll be adding in some much-needed core & strength training. I’m also signed up for the 5 by the 5th – which is a commitment to run a 5K by the 5th of each month, January – June.  I did a 10K for my first one, but I decided that I’m following the spirit of the challenge, rather than the letter.

And, for the first time in AGES, I think I can post a weekly training plan and follow it!

January 7 – 13, 2013

Monday: swim + weights/core (BBB)
Tuesday: 2 mile run + yoga (home)
Wednesday: weights/core (BBB)
Thursday: Rest/Restorative yoga
Friday: 2 mile run + weights/core (BBB)
Saturday: Yoga (trying Core Power!)
Sunday: 3 mile run + Yoga (Core Power Sculpt)

Also, every day that it’s not pouring down rain, I’m wearing my fancy new (very, very pink) Nikes to do a 1 mile round trip walk between my car & work.

The first six months of 2013 are all about getting strong. Endurance. Arms & Legs. Core. (Especially core.) Once I’m strong again, then I will refocus on distance and speed. I think I can be much faster than I have been if I get leaner, meaner, and stronger. The last half of my 30s are going to be kick-ass.

Blue Lake Triathlon Race Report

I just want to start out by clearing up any expectations for Saturday’s race. I met zero percent of my goals. Total PW (personal worst) for sprint tris. BUT – since it was only my 2nd sprint tri-, I guess that’s not so bad. And since it was my first sprint tri that was shortly after foot surgery instead of midway through marathon training, I guess it could’ve been worse.

Let’s review my 2009 times:

Swim: 19:27
T1: 4:21
Bike: 44:58 (16 mph avg)
T2: 2:03
Run: 31:29 (10:09 pace)
Total: 1:42:18

My expectations were that I would PR the swim (I am such a stronger swimmer now; I took lessons, I can breathe on both sides!), come in about the same on the bike, and totally be waaay slower on the run (see not in marathon shape above).

I was so nervous the night before. I packed my bag, got everything ready, and laid out my tri suit. (Thanks for the tri-ready-list Jen & Alisa!)

That night, I dreamed that I’d forgotten my bike and the tri race officials made me run the bike course moving my arms & legs in a biking parody.

I woke up at 5 the morning of the race & laid in bed until alarm #1 went off. I got up, made coffee and a smoothie (neither of which I finished) and hopped around anxiously making the architect nervous.

We loaded my bike, my 17 bottles of water, and my bag/wetsuit & headed out.  I got body marked & headed into transition.

Marked up & ready!

I got into transition & as I was setting up my stuff, I heard my name!  I looked over & saw Jen & Alisa waving at me.

After getting all set up, I went out to find the architect & we tracked down Jen & Alisa. There was a little pre-race chit-chat, and then we put on our wetsuits & headed towards the swim area.

As we got close to the 8 am start time, I knew I needed to get in the water & warm up to avoid any pesky panic attacks. Whenever the water gets above my neck level, and I feel that cold just below my face, that’s when I start to freak out, and since I was in wave 2 for the swim start, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to be panicking in front of everyone!

Getting ready to go

I am the third from the left, right up toward the front (adjusting my goggles, I think).

I got in, swam about a bit, and then made my way over to the start. I got my watch ready to go & then the horn started and we were off.

The course seemed waaaaaaaaaay longer than it had two years ago. Way longer. I swam the whole thing, only stopping to tread water once when someone swimming perpendicular to the course kicked me in the face. (I hope they got lost & ended up on the wrong side of the lake.)

I felt really strong throughout the whole swim, but it seemed to take forever! I honestly have am having a really hard time believing that it was the same distance as two years ago.

I came out of the water feeling a little wobbly, but overall good.

Finishign the swim

Swim time: 21:19 (or 1:52 slower than before….dammit).

The transition area also seemed longer than before. I know they’d had to reconfigure everything due to flooding, but although the distance from teh swim to transition seemed the same, the transition out to the bike course took forever. I dried off, put on my helmet, socks & shoes, took a gu, and headed out.

T2: 5:23 (or 1:02 slower than 2009)

The bike was hard. Really hard. I was prepared for the headwind that one always gets on Marine drive headed west, but I was not prepared for actual pain. My shoulder started hurting a LOT (and for the rest of the day, I was convinced it hurt because of the bike ride, because that’s when it started, although everyone I talked to seemed to think that it would make more sense if it hurt because of the swim, and in retrospect, I think that I must have hurt it during the swim; but didn’t really feel it until the bike?). I didn’t pass a single person on the way out.

Not one.

And I was getting passed by people on crappy old bikes who looked like they might die at any point. I just told myself that I was going to just keep going, do my best, and not worry about time. My goal was to finish.

I got to the turn-around, and realized then that the wind had been more of an effect than I’d thought. About 1.5 miles past the turn-around, I saw Alisa! She looked so strong! I was excited to see her, since in 2009, she’d seen me, but I’d missed her.

I didn’t feel any faster, though, and by that point, it didn’t even matter. I passed one person on the way back. One. Last time, I was passing people left & right. I think the combination of the heavier bike (I rode my ‘cross bike instead of my road bike, because my road bike has the bad habit of vibrating violently every time I go over 15 mph [strangely enough, my car occasionally does the same when I go over 65 mph...hmmm]) and the heavier Amy just made this harder for me.

I didn’t get very close to my 45 minute goal, and I’m a little bummed about that, but I did feel strong when I finished (minus the sore shoulder, of course).

Finishing the bike

 

Bike time: 48:18 (14.9 mph, i.e. 1.1 mph & 3:20 off my 2009 speed).

Again, it took forever to get back to transition & then out again – super duper long. Also, this year I changed shoes between the bike & run, and in 2009, I wore my running shoes on the bike. I took a gu & started jogging to the start line.

T2: 3:45 (1:44 slower than 2009)

I was expecting the run to be hard. Wicked hard. And it was. It felt so much slower/harder/worse than 2009. I was pretty sure I was going to have to stop & walk the whole thing. I’d turned my ankle the week before & it had been bothering me off & on, and I could feel it twinging as I got started.

Immediately after starting my run, I saw Alisa coming in on the bike (and, on her race report, if you look at her finishing the bike pic, you can see me in the background starting my run!)

Starting the run

I did walk briefly right before mile 1, and then told myself that I could totally take a break every mile if need be.  There was no need, though. After convincing my legs that yes, we were supposed to run now, I started to feel better. Not faster, but better. I saw Alisa again just before I hit mile 2 & we high-fived in passing.

My mile splits were pretty consistent ~10:30 each. Not the time I was hoping for, but after the turn around, I did start passing people. In the last mile, there were two little uphills, and that’s were I really started kicking past people. I am an uphill running queen!

I finished really strong, and although my time wasn’t what I wanted, I did finish with a smile!

Approaching the finish line

Run time: 32:25 (10:27 avg pace and only 56 seconds slower than last time – who knew the run would be the strongest?).

 

Overall time: 1:51:12 (8:54 slower than 2009. :(  BUT! still faster than 2 hours!)

 

ETA: The numbers

430/483 – overall
35/42 – age group
367/500– swim
465/493– bike
428/491– run

After finishing, I grabbed some water & headed back to the finish line chute to find the architect & Jen and watch Alisa finish. I found Jen, but the architect had gone off to find me. Eventually, however, we were all back to the finish line to watch Alisa cross the line.

After hanging about a bit post-race, it was time to gather our stuff & go.

Post-race!

Alisa & I were numbers 58 & 57 respectively, so our stuff was right next to each other in transition. We grabbed our gear & went to find our sherpas, then headed out.

The architect & I stopped at home so I could put on clothes & then we went to find food. I was so hungry. I ate an awesome cheeseburger and drank the best beer in the history of beers, and then went home. I intended to have a little down time before making cupcakes, but ended up taking a 2.5 hour nap. I never take naps, so that was weird.

I got up, showered, got dressed, and then we headed out to Jen & Zach’s housewarming party!

I think I drank about 17 million glasses of water, and look a wee bitt tired here, definitely had a good time! (Thanks for the awesome party!) (Also, check out the Iron Man & triathlon magnets on the fridge – so many awesomely athletic people in my group of friends.)

Yesterday was not nearly so busy. I skipped my planned 10 mile run due to extreme soreness in body & shoulder when I woke up at 6 am. I made hotdogs and salted some bacon, and then spent the rest of the day in that most noble of pursuits – finally having enough time to finish Dragon Age so that I can buy Dragon Age II. (Oh yeah, ambitious!)

Today, I am spending my vacation day at work for a few hours, and then I have tomorrow as a REAL vacation day! Woo! I am getting a massage tonight, a haircut tomorrow, and am planning to make up yesterday’s missed run before heading out for HH with my classmates to celebrate surviving another class.

Have a great week, everyone!

Bridge to Brews 10K Race Report (2010)

Subtitled: The race of hate.

Actually, I’m pretty sure Terrapin Events is going to go with my subtitle next year – it will be right under the logo.

My race of hate started yesterday at packet pickup. I was behind these two suburban soccer moms who were the bitchiest people I’ve ever had to stand near for an hour. Nothing was good enough for them. The line was too long. The (50% off) merchandise was too expensive. They are Wal-Mart shoppers and Dominos pizza eaters, and they are THOSE moms that yell at the coaches for not putting their kids in the game, because obviously, the coach doesn’t know what he’s doing.

I hated them, and texted about my hate for them during the whole packet pickup, which may have made me as annoying as them.  I don’t know. I was not in the mood for the high road.

This morning, I woke up early, and it was a beautiful morning, although a bit chilly.

I had all my stuff laid out (as is my custom), and the architect had programmed the coffee maker for me, so I had a leisurely time as I prepared for the race.

I drove to MAX and was at the start line just before 8 AM. (The race was scheduled to start at 8:35.)

I drank a couple of glasses of water, and got my wrist band, so that I could get my beers immediately after the race. At about 8:15, I gave up my sweat pants & jacket to the clothing check people & then was chilly until I crossed the start line at about 8:50.

While waiting for the start of the race, I saw the annoying people again. They were dressed all matchy-matchy (which wouldn’t have bothered me if I wasn’t already annoyed at them for their very existence), and when a man bumped one of them trying to get by, she said, “EXCUSE ME! Maybe you should watch where you’re going. You’re not the only one out here.” *stabby stabby feelings*

And there were other people whose existence annoyed me as well – Ferragamo sunglasses lady who was wearing more makeup than I’ve ever seen at a race. I wish I’d seen her afterward to see how well it held up, because if it was still in place after a WARM 10K, I might need to ask her what brand she wears.

Once the race started, I was less annoyed with people’s clothing choices than all the walkers and stroller pushers who apparently decided that the instruction to line up at the back applied to everyone but them.  (I was not, however, annoyed with the person pushing the Iron Man double-wide stroller – I just got out of that person’s way.)

Then, I was annoyed because the Mile 1 marker was long, and miles 2 & 3 weren’t right, either. I was mostly full of hate because the race sucks, and once again, I felt myself contemplating not finishing.

Mile 1: 11:41 (wicked slow, even when taking into account that it was a long mile, and Leo says my pace was 10:33)
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 9:40

Miles 2 & 3 were both a bit short, so although I felt happier about my times, I still wasn’t turning in a very good pace.

After mile 3, I knew I’d at least finish, because I was already half way done, and I’d turned in two decent miles. I don’t know what happened after that, but I was spent. The water station before mile 5 (one of two on the course) was out of cups, and they had very little water left (people were drinking out of the jugs, and I wasn’t waiting in line to put my mouth on a jug of water that 100 people had licked (or whatever) on the off chance that I’d actually get some water).

Just past mile 5, you start running up the Broadway Bridge. This is where I kicked ass last year – picking off people left & right. I don’t think I passed a single person this year, and I felt like I was running through quicksand.

Mile 4: 10:32
Mile 5: 10:00
Mile 6: 10:35
Mile 6.2: 1:52 (9:20 pace)

I hit last year’s time, and my current PR at about mile 5.7. I knew I wasn’t going to PR – I haven’t been running as regularly, and then, of course, there’s Damian.

I finished the race to the cheers of Jen & Zach (thanks guys!) and met up with them for our free beers after. Then, I hobbled home. And am still hobbling.

The architect & I went out for food (after I took of my shoes), and then I took a two hour nap. Which is unusual for me. I seldom nap. And by seldom, I mean I had to google myself to see if I’d ever even talked about napping on this site before. I have, but not often.

My overall time was 1:04:21 (unofficial), which is about 5 minutes slower than my PR, and 2:38 slower than my 2008 time. This is the first time in over a year that I haven’t bested a time from 2008 and is a course PW. The only happiness is that at least it was still 9:21 faster than my overall 10K PW.

Right now, I’m not sure what I’m going to do about my half marathon in two weeks. This race wiped me out, and my foot hurts. I know that there is no way I can turn out a 1/2 PR in two weeks (today’s goals was just to run an average 10:09 pace, which is what I wanted to do in Eugene, and obviously, I didn’t do that…my pace was 10:22). I’m not even sure at this point if I can beat my current half PW (2:25). Not that the finish time is the most important factor. It’s possible that I cannot run 13.1 miles and still walk the next day – and what good is putting off surgery for a few months if I can’t even use my foot DURING those months?

ACK.

So – I am going to get through this week, and see how my Friday (trail) run and Sunday (long) run go, if I’m not racing. And then I’ll decide if I’m running or just taking an overnight to Eugene and spectating the race.

ANYWAYS – since it’s not all about me, I just want to say:

Congratulations to Jen for coming in 8th in her age group in today’s 10K

Congratulations to L & A for running their 8K today & doing better than expected

Congratulations to Marya & James for having a kick-ass 10K today (it was nice to get to meet you!)

AND – best of luck to Emily in tomorrow’s running of the 114th Boston Marathon. Kick some ass!

2010 Shamrock 15K Race Report

I never sleep well the night before a race, and last night was no exception. I tossed and turned, double-checked that I’d set the clock ahead & turned on the alarm about a dozen times, and got up to pee at least 3 times.

Finally – it was time. I got up, got dressed, checked the temperature (34*) and changed from my capris into a pair of tights that I’ve never raced in before (this is important).

I made coffee, choked down a Clif bar, and paced around nervously. I was going to ride to the MAX Station with my kick-ass neighbors, but had too much nervous energy, and just needed to go, so I went & hopped on the bus (leaving my delicious coffee on the counter).

Just as my transfer bus was approaching the bus stop, my neighbors pulled up in their car!

I got downtown just after 8 AM, and made my way to the start line. I immediately saw Lori, which in a crowd of 21,000 is a miracle, I think.  I check my jacket & gloves & then we watched the 5K finishers, hoping to see her son finish his first 5K! We didn’t get to see him, but we did see the Ambitious One finish strong!

The 15K got underway in fits and starts. They’d let a few people go, and then stop everyone to let 5K finishers cross the road in front. I was about 11 minutes behind the gun time, by the time I crossed the mat. Lori quickly disappeared into the distance, and I took off, reminding myself to start slow.  Immediately, I noticed a problem with my tights. They don’t stay up. Every once in a while, my shirt would ride up too, and then I’d get a cold breeze in a place one should have a cold breeze when surrounded by thousands of your closest friends. Much of the race was spent (a) hiking my pants up and (b) pulling my shirt down. I have so much butt chafing, people. I am a delicate flower.

Mile one went by quickly, but halfway through Mile 2, my goal changed from PR to finish. My right ankle/shin/calf hurt terribly. I stopped and stretched it out, and that helped a bit. Right after Mile 2 (which is deceptively uphill), the big hill starts. It is uphill to just past mile 4.5, and then it heads down for a bit before angling upwards again.

Mile 1 – 9:35 (not exactly what I had in mind for a slow start)
Mile 2 – 11:59 (bit slow, also an unscheduled stop to stretch out the complaining lower right leg)
Mile 3 – 11:26 (beginning of the journey up the big hill)

I was feeling pretty good on my uphill run. I know those hills. I run them a lot. And I run them and a pretty decent pace (usually 10:30 – 10:45 on Tuesday evening runs). My pace today was no where near what I’m capable of. Shortly after mile 4, I had to stop again – my feet were ANGRY. I wore new shoes today for the first time (I KNOW! But it was vital.) and there was some weird numbness happening. My goal that point changed from finish to “find someone who will drive me back to the finish line.” BUT, once I saw the Chart House (where the aid station was out of cups, and people were just drinking out of the gallon water jugs where other people’s lips had just been, ICK!), I thought I could probably keep going – after all, I was already half way done, and the worst was behind me. I spend up a little for mile 6, as that was the beginning of the downhill.

Mile 4 – 11:36 (up & up – slowest up & up I’ve done on Terwilliger in ages)
Mile 5 – 12:11 (another stop & stretch)
Mile 6 – 10:01 (finally DOWN)

When I saw my overall time at mile 6 – which was 1:06 and change, my goal changed back to PR. I knew it would be close, but I couldn’t remember exactly what my PR was. I ran the last of the race thinking my PR was 1:39:xx, and just going to beat that time. The last part of the race is a mild downhill/flat grade. There’s a bit of an uphill right before mile 9, but it’s insignificant. Each mile kept getting faster, and I knew that if I could just stay strong, I’d have that PR. Once I ran past mile 9, it seemed so far to the finish line – longest .3 miles ever (Leo agreed, he said it was .33 miles). I was just nearly out of gas at that point. Just before I crossed the finish line I heard my name and saw the Ambitious One, Mr. Pi & newly minted 5K runners Andrew & Lisa at the sidelines. That gave me the extra boost I needed to get across the finish line strong.

Mile 7 – 9:39
Mile 8 – 9:16
Mile 9 – 9:03
Mile 9.3 – 3:06 (10:20 pace – I had nothing left to give, apparently)

Overall: 1:37:56 – a 10 second PR (I totally had my previous time wrong in my head, so it’s a good thing I was pushing it)!

I crossed the finish line, got rid of my timing chip (I HATE the Shamrock ankle-strap chips….they chafe) and got my medal (it’s awesome – it’s a bottle opener) and started looking for Lori. She was going to be at the finish line, and when I didn’t see her I got all worried that she’d died at the side of the race course this morning and I’d stepped over her body without noticing (she wasn’t feeling very well this morning). I got my coat out of the bag check area, and then miracle of miracles, I spotted her!

We went to meet up with the other PBRs, but never did find them again, so we just went to find the rest of her family and then headed home.

On the walk back to the car, I kept getting stiffer and stiffer, until my whole right leg, starting at the ankle & half way up to my knee, was so stiff that I could barely walk. My ankle wasn’t flexing right, and it was hurting even to stand still.

At home, I stuck my leg in a bucket of ice water, took some ibuprofen, and drank a beer and that seemed to do the trick.

I had a pretty lazy day for the rest of the day, and am now ready to hit the hay.

My foot is still sore, but not any more sore than it was yesterday, so I’m hoping it’ll be fine. I’m going to swim tomorrow & then try to run again on Tuesday and Wednesday. The next big test is this weekend’s long run. I’m going for a 17 miler Friday morning (I’m headed out of town for the weekend Friday afternoon), and if I make that with no problems, then I will declare myself cured!

Congrats to all the other Shamrock runners out there this weekend, both in Portland & all over!

(Imagine that I took some great pictures today, and visualize them being here.)

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 2009 – Race Report

I had a fantastic weekend. The architect & I stayed with my good friends S & J in Milwaukee (and their new baby, who is pretty cute as far as babies go).

We flew to Milwaukee Thursday & arrived about 6:30 that evening. We stopped for burritos on the way home (I had to start carb-loading, right?). Friday was a nice, laid back day. I slept so well Thursday evening – the best I’d slept in WEEKS! Friday we lazed for a while, then had coffee cake for lunch, and a lovely stew for lunch. After lunch digested, S & I headed out for an easy run. I did 3.3 miles in 39:08 – a bit slower than I’d intended, but I wasn’t really out there for speed work – just to remind my legs what they were supposed to do!

Friday afternoon, we went for a brewery tour at Sprecher. The tour was very short – which was nice – it got us to the finish and the FREE BEER SAMPLES that much sooner. After beer, we picked up some pizza & headed home.

Saturday was another great lazy day. The only thing I really did that day was head to the expo. We got there about 40 minutes before it closed, so I didn’t walk around & look at anything.

Saturday night I tried to go to sleep early, but couldn’t – and then didn’t sleep well at all when I finally managed to sleep. It didn’t surprise me, I never sleep well before a race.

Sunday dawned bright(ish) and a bit too early. The race didn’t start until 8, so we were going to leave about 7 to get there with plenty of time. We ended up getting to the start line at 7:50, so I didn’t have time to do much to warm up (or hit the porto-johns, or find some water for my fuel belt). After a bit of shivering (it was about 46*), I took off my (sweat) pants, got my picture taken, and went to line up with the 4:30 (10:18/mile) pace group. After an interesting rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, we were off!

It took me 1.5 minutes to hit the start line.  The pace group started out a little faster than I was hoping (and I heard the sign holder talking about how he has a really hard time keeping the pace under 10 minute miles), so after running with them for the first couple miles, I knew I had to drop back. I stayed pretty close to my target goal for the first 6 miles, and hit mile 6 at 1:01:43 (for my pacing, I wanted to be at about 1:02:00 – so SCORE).

Mile 1: 10:02
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 10:22
Mile 4: 10:32
Mile 5: 10:17
Mile 6: 10:33

Overall pace for miles 1-6 – 10:17.

This is where things started to go downhill.

I don’t remember much about the next 7 miles. There was the 1st relay exchange point. I stopped and peed at mile 12ish. I called the architect at mile 9ish to ask him to bring my Advil to the mile 17.5 spot he was going to meet me at. My quads were already on fire, which pissed me off, because I wasn’t running that fast, and hadn’t even gone that far yet. I started counting down the distance to when I would see the architect, and more than once contemplated asking him to just take me home, this was a stupid idea, and I don’t need to run a marathon. At mile 9, I started walking a bit at the top of each mile – hoping that I could keep that up through mile 20, at least.

There were some great spectators out on the course, and a lot of support. That was really nice.

Mile 7: 10:53
Mile 8: 10:50
Mile 9: 10:32
Mile 10: 11:32
Mile 11: 11:14
Mile 12: 11:22
Mile 13.1: 13:39 (pee break!)

Miles 7-13.1 – 1:20:02 (11:16 pace)

At this point, I was still under a 5 hour marathon pace, and was hoping that I’d get that.

Somewhere between the halfway point & the architect the 4:45 group passed me – I didn’t even try to keep up with them. I was still counting down the mileage to see the architect (I was expecting him at mile 17), and when I got to mile 17.5 and still didn’t see my friends, I was getting…upset. But soon, there they were! I ripped off my fuel belt (I’d taken all the gu that I had in my belt – the others were in my shirt pocket; and my cell phone was dead) and handed it to the architect. I took the Advil he’d brought me & chatted (and tried not to cry) with my friends for a couple of minutes. It was about 3.25 hours in at this point, and I said I thought it would be another couple of hours to the finish for me.

I finally, after a last kiss, got going again, and kept up my ‘walk only through water stops & at the top of the mile rhythm going. I knew if I could just get to mile 20, then I would make it to the end.

Mile 14 (.9, as I hit my lap button at 13.1): 10:18 (11:31 pace)
Mile 15: 11:41
Mile 16: 11:27
Mile 17: 12:19
Mile 18: 16:07 (architect break)
Mile 19: 12:04
Mile 20: 11:59

Total mileage: 6.9 miles, 1:25:55, 12:27 pace. As you can see, this is definitely getting worse.

I managed to keep my walking to a minimum through mile 22, and then I had to start taking more frequent walk breaks. My quads were completely shredded, and although I knew I was going to make it, I also knew that I wasn’t going to hit the 5 hour mark – I was just hoping it wouldn’t be too much over 5.

Around mile 22 or so, the 5 hour pace group caught up with me, and I ran with them for a little ways. However, their sign holder kept stopping to do 20 push-ups at every fuel station, which I found really arrogant. Nothing says “I’m so much better than you slow-pokes & this is too easy” than having to do a couple hundred push-ups throughout the course of a marathon. Maybe not everyone saw it that way, but I was almost offended. I found out that she’s pacing the 3:30 pace group in Chicago & is an ultra marathoner, but that really only made me feel worse about myself. I was pushing myself to the absolute limit of my physical ability, and although I know that it wasn’t as hard for everyone as it was for me, that really didn’t inspire confidence. Now that I’m not dying, I am still pretty pissed actually. The 4:30 pace group was led by a couple of guys who ran out too fast & only talked to each other, and the 5:00 leader was too cool for her group. I’ve never run with pacers before, but that seemed lame. Thoughts?

ANYWAYS – the last 6.2 miles were both awful & fantastic. Awful, because well, it’s the last 6.2 miles of a freaking marathon. Fantastic, because I knew I was going to finish, I was running further than I’d ever run before, and because the spectators & support people were awesome.

Right after mile 25.5, I didn’t turn when I was supposed to turn, but some nice person chased me down & got me going in the right direction. I think I was delirious at that point!

I was taking a walk break shortly thereafter, and some spectator hopped on the sidewalk & jogged with me for a couple hundred feet & made me promise I wouldn’t walk again for the rest of the race (and I didn’t).

The last .2 miles were lined with spectators all yelling my name & telling me how awesome I was. I heard my name as I crossed the finish line & I burst into tears. Tears of pain & joy & all sorts of unnamed emotion. I got herded through a chute where I got my blanket, my medal & a bottle of water, and then was in the runner’s area. I grabbed some chips, some crackers, and some cookies & started looking for my crew. Just as I was about to lose it, I saw them. They’d been having coffee at mile 25.5 and saw me run by. The architect ran as fast as he could in his non-running shoes, but didn’t make it to the finish line before me, so there are no finish line pics of me. Apparently I was a bit faster than they’d expected.

Mile 21: 12:36
Mile 22: 12:25
Mile 23: 12:36
Mile 24: 13:03
Mile 25: 12:53
Mile 26: 12:31
Mile 26.2: 2:20 (10:24 pace)

Total: 6.2 miles, 1:18:24 (12:38 pace) -not too  much worse than the previous 7 miles, actually.

This is actually a pretty bad pic of me, I was so cold I couldn’t stand up straight, but I don’t care because as of now, it’s the only finish line photo I have.

Overall – I finished (according to the official time) in 5:06:17, an average 11:41 pace. I’ll take it, but next time (because I’m crazy), I am definitely going under 5.

After a couple of pictures, I was shivering, so I changed into my awesome blue compression socks, my race shirt, and a fleece.

My awesome friends took us to Indian buffet for lunch, but I couldn’t eat nearly as much as I wanted. We drove around & looked at some pretty neighborhoods before heading back to their place. I did some homework, ate some delicious dinner, drank a couple of beers, and eventually went to bed (oh, I showered in there sometime, too).

Monday morning sucked. I could barely move, and that faint cold-like feeling I’d had the last couple of days was no longer faint.

We met up with my friend S for lunch, and then J took us to the airport. The first flight left almost 50 minutes late, and it was awful. It’s been a long time since I’ve experience turbulence that bad. At one point, the plane dropped so suddenly that a man in front of us had a fountain instead of a soda!

We landed in Denver 15 minutes before our next flight was to take off, and by the time we got to deplane, we had just over 5 minutes to spare. It wasn’t too far – only about 3 gates down, but I could barely move! I jogged (ha ha ha) to the next gate, and just as we got there, they announced our flight to Portland was going to be 10 minutes late. I’ve never been so happy to have a late flight!

We got on, and although there were a few bumps leaving Denver, it was a much smoother flight. Even better? Our bags made it too!

We came home, had a sandwich & a beer, and then I took some Advil PM & passed out. I slept about 9 hours last night, and although I’m still sore (stairs are hard), I feel much better!

Congrats to all the other runners out there, but most especially to Emily, who is having a pretty fantastic couple of weeks, what with the getting married & qualifying for BOSTON and all! Way to go everyone!

Also – thank you to everyone who made this possible. My PBR group for being super awesome & extremely encouraging – especially my regular Sunday running buddies Sarah & Alisa. My neighbors for not only being super awesome, but also for taking care of the cats while we were away. All my other friends who sent encouraging emails, left encouraging comments & said nice things to me on Facebook. My friends S&J who hosted us, chauffeured us, and fed us while we were in Milwaukee. (Dudes – I expect to be able to return the favor VERY VERY SOON.) But, most especially, the architect. There is no way I could’ve done this without his encouragement & support & understanding of why I need to eat RIGHT NOW and how I’ve been so tired, and for going to Milwaukee & then telling everyone yesterday that I couldn’t walk because I’d just run an entire marathon! You are all so freaking awesome. Thank you.

I know that was super long, and if you made it to the end, thanks!