Julie (sister in law) Derek (brother in law) Ben (husband) and I took the ferry from Washington state to Victoria on Saturday afternoon. After we got checked in to the hotel we went across the street to the convention center to pick up our race numbers and tech. shirts. I was super impressed at how flawless and quick the whole process was. This race was super organized! We walked through the Expo, but it was way too crowded for me to enjoy so we left pretty quick without a single purchase. We got lunch, attempted to drive the course, and relaxed a bit before dinner. Dinner was... you guessed it... pasta! After dinner we said goodnight and set a time to meet the next morning. Derek and Julie were signed up to run the half marathon which was to start an hour before the marathon, but I wanted to go down early and wish them luck and cheer them on at the start.
Do I look scared??? I should be!
Fast forward to Sunday morning. I woke up feeling pretty calm and ready to get this show on the road. Everything was feeling pretty good breakfast was pumpkin granola with soy milk and I packed with me from home. When it was time to meet Ben and I headed down to Julie and Dereks room. When he answed the door he was in just his street clothes. We learned that his nagging cough was bothering him too much and he decided not to run the race. His wife is much tougher because she had been up half the night in the bathroom and still ran the race (even after getting sick on the course twice). She is one tough cookie.
We all walked to the start line after Julie took off we had some time to kill. I started to get cold and nervous at this point. I took a few NSAIDS to make sure that my sciatic nerve didn't give me too much trouble, unfortunately I only had a sip of water with them and this I believe caused me really bad heart burn the entire race, ugh!
Finally we were off and running right on time at 8:30 am...
Mile 1-7 Man was I ever feeling strong during these miles. The first 3 miles flew by at warp speed. I was running just over 9 minute miles. I knew that this was fast for me but didn't think that it would affect me very shortly. The 4th thru 7th mile I started to feel my sciatic nerve and lack of training over the past month.
Mile 8-13 I think these were the miles where I had the most self doubt that I would be able to finish the race. I know that if I would of had a cell phone on me I would have quite during this period. But the fear of never making it back to the hotel kept me going. I took my first walk break about mile 9. Did I really need to walk at this early point of the race? No. It was all mental I was starting to catch up with the half marathoners at this point and when I saw them walking I thought "hey, they're walking, I can walk". I really wish that I would have worn a hat with a bill so that I could have just stared at the ground and zoned out. By mile 11 I was walking all the hills and thought that I was really going to be the very last person to finish the race. When I hit the half way point I felt a glimmer of hope that I could get through the whole darned thing.
Mile 13-20 Lots of walking and negative self talk. Then there was the turn around point around at mile 16, there were a group of older men standing there and one of them said "never give up". And that was my motivation for the rest of the day. Just the way that he said those three words sounded so sympathetic and understanding and it really helped my mindset. Around mile 18 I was passing a lady who was walking and she told me that she had stopped training a week before and was happy to have made it that far. That got me thinking about the fact that I hadn't really ran in a full month so I should be proud of myself. It was also about this time that I tried to stop and stretch and when I went to pull my leg up to do a hamstring stretch my entire body revolted in a full body cramp (charlie horse). It took everything in my power not to sit on the curb and cry. Never Give Up.
Mile 20-26 By this time there were very few runners still on the road. I just really didn't want to finish last :( At mile 23 I met a girl with the race number 911, and we ran the rest of it together. We high five as we crossed the finish line.
Here is the 911 girl and I in the last 3 miles, ugh!
Husband was there waiting, Julie and Derek had to catch the ferry back to WA so they were already gone. We got back to the hotel and I took an ice bath ordered pizza and had a glass of wine.
I lost 3 toenails
I actually gained about 10 lbs. through the process of training
Felt nauseous for about 3 days after the race
Pretty disappointed with my time (5:25)
Instantly wanted to prove that I can do better next time and trying to pick a run for next fall (thinking maybe Chicago)