Yesterday was the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. After 5 hours 51 minutes and 46 seconds of joy that faded into excruciating pain, I managed to drag my sad sad body over the finish line. And I am so excited to do it again!!!!
Despite the rain and my poor month of training leading up to the marathon, I was pretty impressed with myself. It took me a lot longer to finish than I expected (I was shooting for 5:15-5:30), and I wasn't anticipating having to power walk 4 miles between miles 18 and 22 (although I did jog small amounts during that stretch) due to shooting pains in my knees. The hills were no problem. Training on Atlas Peak was a smart move in September and I am really glad I logged a thousand foot elevation gain. I know that if I can be better motivated to stick to a training schedule, I can drastically reduce my finish time.
I couldn't have done it without my support people. Seeing people who care about you along the route is so energizing and motivating, I don't think they truly realize how much a difference it makes. My mom was an angel for replenishing my gatorade so I could avoid the crowds at the refreshment stations, stowing rain gear, fueling me before and after the race, and enduring a flawed shuttle system and cold rain. Mike and Raquel put themselves at the perfect place in the race, the part where I was starting to really struggle to enjoy myself (miles 18-21), and found me after to make sure I didn't die. And Jeff really impressed the heck out of me by being by my side for the second half of the race, on bike and 6 miles on foot. He ran and power-walked beside me up hills and around the lake to make sure that I didn't get down and angry. What an amazing man. He was there when I started to feel pain unlike anything I have ever experienced while running and helped me get through it so I could get over the finish line.
What Went Well:
* Power-glide is amazing, and NOT optional. I had absolutely no chafing and only 1 real blister, despite running 13 miles in soaking wet shoes.
* I managed my fuel/water consumption beautifully. I never felt out of energy (in fact, I was so pumped during so parts I thought I would explode.
* Margarita shot blocks are a must have. 3x sodium cramp busters worked to get rid of cramps immediately, I was really really impressed.
* I didn't use my ipod once. Good company is so much better than good music (Thanks Jeff and Denise!)
* Lucky jacket came in handy and did a great job of keeping me warm when the rain really started coming down. I can't wait until I actually get to run Boston one day!
* Hill training is critical. Do bigger hills than your race requires. Then it just feels like a walk in the park.
Things To Learn From:
* Don't stop training. Log at least 21 training miles. Adrenaline only really carried me the last 4 miles.
* Put Power-glide EVERYWHERE. Cover your entire foot. Just in case.
New Training Goals:
* Short Term: Run another marathon. I am so excited to reduce my time. I am thinking about running the Napa Valley Marathon in March. I could get some good training in over the holidays, and it would be an excellent way to celebrate completing my Master's Degree the day before! Yay! Best part is, the marathon ends at my school, so I can just keep stuff in my classroom for after the race. I have until December to make up my mind :)
* Longer Term: Improve my half marathon time. I really want to get it down to 2:00:00, but I don't think I am going to met my goal of getting down that low before the end of the year. Maybe if it was on a really flat course. Hmmm.
* Really Long Term: Qualify for the Boston Marathon. Volunteering for the Boston Marathon is what inspired me to complete a marathon. I never thought I would complete that goal so soon in my life. I want to take it back to where it all started. I know I can make it up heartbreak hill. I know I can finish that race. And someday, I WILL. All it takes is a 3:40 qualifying time :)