Thursday, October 24, 2013

KC Marathon Recap

So, I'm a few days late, but as usual, I always show up eventually. First off, I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my lovely (almost) mother-in-law! 50 years old today and she doesn't look a day over 40.

Now, on to the recap. Saturday morning dawned bright and early and COLD. I got up (very reluctantly) and had a bowl of oatmeal. I made some coffee and some Grape Spark and took both of them with me. I had a little bag packed with an extra jacket and a couple Clif bars. Since I was doing the relay, I was just planning on handing my bag off to my sister, who was running the leg right before mine.

Surprise, surprise, I did not get left as early as I wanted and I barely made it to the buses before they left to take everyone to the relay points. The buses left at 6:30AM and the race was scheduled to start at 7:05AM. My leg was the 4th starting right around the 17 1/2 mile mark which meant that I had about a 3 hour wait. Fun times.

Another runner and I walked down the street in search of a bathroom and we lucked upon a Panera. We hung out there for about an hour and just chatted. She was really nice and I found out that her group had driven down from Des Moines, IA. She had a son the same age as Hannah so we talked about them going to college next year (eek!) I swear as we walked back to the bus, it had gotten colder so it was at about 34 degrees when it was time for me to run.

Rachel gave me a big hug as she came in to the relay point and then I was off. The first half mile I was feeling great. The atmosphere was good, and I was really optimistic about my run. I had 4.5 miles to go and my leg was really flat so I figured it would be a piece of cake. Wellll, not so much.

After the first mile, I started to get tired. People kept passing me, but I was trying to not focus on others and just keep going. I let myself walk for a few seconds to get in a quick rest and then started running again. Mile 3 was a real struggle for me. I had to walk for a little bit longer each time. I got a Gu at the water station and kept taking little sips of it. It was Green Apple flavored, though and I really didn't care for it, I just needed a little boost. After I hit the 4 mile mark, I just focused on the end. I just had to talk myself through it to keep going. I was absolutely exhausted and my hips were killing me. I was never so happy as when I saw Lacey, the next runner in my group.

After hitting the port-a-potty, I hitched a ride with Lacey's boyfriend to the finish line where I met up with Rachel and the guy who ran the first leg of the race. (The woman who ran the second leg had to leave right after she finished.) The four of us ran together the last .2 miles of the race and crossed the finish line together. Again, huge struggle to run that last bit. Overall, our team finished in 4:47 which was just under a 12 minute mile. I hit my goal and ran my leg in 57 minutes, so I finished in under an hour. Woohoo!
Me, Jeff, Rachel and Lacey weary and ready for our free beer
This is the only picture I got of the whole day
I had several personal takeaways from this race. The first being that I have got to stop thinking that I can run without training. In the grand scheme of things, 4.5 miles is not that long of a distance, but for me it is. Tricking myself into thinking I can handle it without a problem only hurts me in the long run (haha). Secondly, don't eat pizza the night before. My stomach was churning all morning and I even texted Holly telling her that pink pants were a bad idea. I was just hoping I wasn't going to shart myself. Lastly, and I think I've said this before, but I just don't know that I'm cut out to be a runner. Although I desperately want to be, it just seems really difficult to me. So, I'll be mulling that over for a while. Maybe it is just mind over matter, I don't know.

I really do love the running community, though. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and supportive. The marathon itself was very well organized and the route through downtown KC was great. Warmer weather would have been nice, but you can't have everything I suppose. Maybe I should just be a volunteer. We'll see.