Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Austin Marathon

I've been meaning to write this for a while and just have put it off. I haven't even written my race report for IM Coeur D'Alene. That will be my next post. I've only done two marathons with one being in the Ironman and the first one was a while ago. I was injured two weeks before and walked the whole marathon. It still was a very rewarding experience. My second was during the Ironman and that's a whole different beast. I decided to train with a group, Rogue Running instead of on my own. It was a very wise decision. I absolutely loved it. It pushed me and made me a better runner. When I signed up for this training I commited myself to it and didn't look back. I looked forward to each quality workout and gave it my all. I have to admit my other favorite thing about my training was having lunch after wards with my good friend, Malinda.
I had the best weather conditions on pretty much all of my runs. I loved doing my long runs in Austin. It was so nice having a change in scenery every week. I was able to meet lots of new people and form some great friendships. I think one of the best aspects of my training has been the friendships I've created. It makes me happy.
Now to the race report. I didn't sleep very well but I never do the night before a race. I woke up and had my usual breakfast and made sure I had all the things I needed packed up and ready to go. I parked at Rogue and went to the restroom and got my stuff and just hung out until it was time to leave. I wasn't really nervous which was unusual.
I walked over to the start and found the 4:15 pace group. As I was standing there a young guy with an Army tshirt began to make small talk. He said this was his first race ever. I asked why he chose a marathon as opposed to a shorter distance and his reply was he thought it would be fun. Hmmm, fun. He randomly picked 4:15 to start with because he thought it that might work out for him. I did see him at the end of the marathon and asked him how it went and he said at mile 17 he thought he was in hell. Kinda funny. On the other side of me was a guy who asked me about my Garmin. He said he had heard about the marathon on the radio and decided to sign up just a few days earlier. He also said he had ran twenty miles the day before and figured he could do the 26.2 that day. Wow! I felt like I was on a hidden camera show and these guys were telling me these things to see how I'd react. In my mind I was thinking..Are you crazy?! I mean I had been training for six months for this momentous occasion and they just decided it would be a fun "thing" to do.
So it was time to take off. The first three miles were crowded but it was good for me so that I wouldn't go out to fast. I was staying with the pacers. I was thinking of my game plan and reminding myself to stick with it.
Miles 4-6 were slightly downhill and the pacers going pretty fast to makeup for the first three miles, I guess. I was thinking to myself that it wasn't what I planned especially so early in the race. So I did my own thing. I turned on to Lake Austin and tried to find my pace but just wasn't feeling it. I felt off.
We turned off on to Exposition and the rollers began. I had run this during my training so there were no surprises. I saw Leah and Jay and stopped to give Leah a big hug and continued on. Still felt off but was trying to stay positive. At mile 11, I began to walk. I felt sick to my stomach and dizzy. I couldn't believe it. I had worked so hard for this day. I was feeling so bad that I thought I would try and find medic and call it a day but the Ironman in me would not let that happen. I was not going to get a DNF no way. I knew Jeanie was going to be near Foster and then Malinda and David near the half so I was looking forward to that. I gave hugs to them but really wanted to stop and cry.
It was all mental at this point to finish but damn I had a long way to go. At this point I looked forward to each water stop kind of like at Ironman. One mile at a time and don't think any further. The hill on Dean Keaton was just ridiculous but having Coach Amy was so helpful. She is like a little angel that is always in the right place at the right time. The end was near, down MLK and then up the San Jacinto hills and the finish. I had a wonderful surprise on MLK when Aaron was standing there. He joined me for the end. He was talking to me but I couldn't respond back for fear up throwing up. Yes. It was that bad. I got up the last hill and gave it my all to the finish. I saw my coach, Carolyn and waved. It was finished and I did it! Time...4:27 It wasn't the 4:15 but I was pretty damn proud of what I had just done and still am. I seriously didn't think I'd finish.
The Ironman spirit came out in me. My mantra that I kept repeating in my head was that it was MY race to win. I wasn't racing anyone but myself. I was well trained and prepared. I gave it all I had to give.