Monday, February 28, 2011

Blood. Sweat. Tears.

Okay, okay. That might be a little bit dramatic. There was, after all, no blood. How about this:

Snow. Wind. Sweat. Tears. Blisters. Blinding stomach pain.

Let me back up. On Saturday Pat and I drove down to Hyannis. We went to the race expo, and I got to meet Jack Fultz, who won the Boston Marathon in 1976 and placed a couple other times.

We also came across some North Face jackets and I found a red one for Pat that matches my yellow one! I insisted that he get it so that we can be huge dorks and wear them together. I love it!

Pat wanted to take me to a nice dinner, but all I wanted was some pasta, and its hard to enjoy a nice meal out when you're trying to mentally prepare for a race the next morning. So instead we were lazy and ordered in (I'd packed some pasta and tofu just in case) and watched movies and ate candy all night. I was actually good and only had 2 Reese's cups and some mango sorbet - eating too much candy the night before a race is never a good idea.

On Sunday morning I woke up with terrible stomach cramps. I don't know what was wrong but it felt like I was being stabbed by several knives. Not how you want to feel when you're about to set out for a 13.1 mile run. But I pulled myself together, had some tea and a banana, and went to the starting corral. It was snowing like mad, but as usual I'd overdressed, so the snow was actually refreshing (until the wind kicked in). Luckily I felt a little bit better when I started running and my stomach pain eased up. I was still uncomfortable, but at least I could move. I've never not finished a race, and the thought of a big fat DNF was totally unappealing. I'm a pretty stubborn person, so I think that helped me get through it. I just kept thinking:

Pain is only temporary.
Pain is weakness leaving the body. 
This isn't supposed to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Over and over and over. I walked for one minute at mile 8, and again at mile 11. I told myself that walking is not for wimps, but I also didn't want to stop, I just wanted to run it and be done.

At mile 13 I saw Pat waving and cheering for me. As I sprinted up to finish, he was sprinting to meet me there. It was such a good feeling to be done and know that I'd pushed through, when all I'd wanted to do was curl up in a ball. I'm so happy that I did it because I know I would have regretted it if I hadn't. If I'd had an injury, I certainly wouldn't have run, but I knew that I could make it through this and I'm glad I did.

My Garmin watch gave me a finishing time of 1:54:47. My official nettime was 1:54:35, with an average pace of 8:45/minute. This was right in the middle of the finishing times I had for the two half marathons I ran in November, so I was happy with this time.

Pat and me after I finished:

Pat asked me to pose. This was about the nicest pose I could muster:

After downing a mango protein drink, half a bagel with peanut butter and banana, and a small cup of minestrone soup, Pat and I went back to the hotel. They gave late check-out to everyone who ran the race, which was so nice. I took my first ice bath ever - ice baths are good for reducing muscle pain and soreness after intense training sessions and may help you recover faster.

Do I really want to get in there!?

This is not fun...

Maybe if I pout you'll feel sorry for me?

It was really cold but I had a large 50/50 (half black coffee/half hot chocolate) to warm me up a bit.

Finally we got on the road to go home, and after a quick stop at Trader Joe's (essentials!) we were back. I was so tired and sore that I could barely even think straight. I made myself a random picnic of food (mashed potatoes, squash soup, cashews and lemonade - followed up by some peanut butter m&ms) and stretched my exhausted body out on the couch to watch the Oscars. Relaxing ending to the weekend!


  1. You are absolutely the cutest thing in the whole wide world!! Girl, I am SO SORRY about the stomach pain you experienced!! That is the worst and you still ROCKED YOUR RACE. I ate too much candy the night before my race too. Good job taking an ice bath....they hurt!!! LOVE the mantras. Great job gorgeous girl!

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! you are speedy! love the last few pics, haha. seriously - this is such an awesome accomplishment and you should be so proud!