Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nike Womens Marathon 2009


We woke up at 5 am and I ate a cup of oatmeal with flax seeds and 3 dates. I lay out all my clothes the night before, so I jumped in them and did some stretching.

my gear.
Unfortunately my camera died after this picture:( so i'm still waiting for pictures-will add soon!

Around 6 am we left our hotel and went for a light run around 5 blocks to get the blood flowing. As we heading back to Union Square we were overwhelmed by the number of people! All the streets surrounding the square were PACKED with people.

I'm somewhere in there!!
With 20,000 racers and at least that many spectators I guess I should have expected that. Still. We found our pace group-I had to go to the bathroom last minute-so joined the port-a-potty line and checked a bag full of jackets. The weather was pleasant. We had been averaging about 10 minute miles during training-so we were at the front of the 10-12 minute gate. Priyanka's mom was there with us and then I spotted my family up above us in the square-totting signage! They had gotten up at the same time I did in order to drive across the bay to see us off J lots of love. The anthem played-we “ate” an espresso Clif Shot, and waited for the lines to start moving. Finally we started to walk around the sq-and at 15 minutes past the official start we were across the start line! It started off slow-a lot of weaving in the first 3 or 4 miles-trying to get around walkers and lollygaggers. I mean, I didn’t really care about my time-but I sure didn’t want to stop at mile 2 for a photo op!

The route went from Union Square, down by Fishermans Wharf, Across Chrissy Field, up to the Golden Gate Bridge, then back down to the Great Highway. There was a loop through the Golden Gate Park and around Had a quarter of an orange thanks to Yes to Carrots Started with a 20 oz bottle of water filled with Vega Sport-which I adore. Had a total of 9 luna moons throughout the course. They had stations with Gatorade and bananas-but I am not a fan of either while running. (I love bananas, I do! But not while running!) Around mile 11 I was done with my water, so I started grabbing cups at every race station. The famed “chocolate mile” was at mile 21-and even if it had been dairy-free there is NO way I would have wanted chocolate then.
At mile 18 my knees started hurting and I could start to feel myself getting tired. My knees have never hurt while running so this was a shocking and scary feeling. But I pushed that to the back of my mind and decided to have my second gel- a clif mocha shot. It helped my push through that and around the lakes-which was the worst part of the race. It seemed to go on forever-the scenery was awful and the crowd had really thinned out. Plus you were now right next to traffic *I think they should reverse the route so that you start with that awful loop and your home stretch through the city to union sq..*
I was trucking along, keeping at somewhere around a 10 minute mile but not really putting that much thought into it-I was just doing my best. Then at mile 25 we had our last water option. I grabbed a cup, took a sip and dumped the rest on my head. I felt such a surge and really picked up my pace. I basically "sprinted" the last mile. All that was going through my head was-“You’re almost done” Just Get Through This. The Faster you Go the sooner its over. Give it all You’ve got. Its now or never. All that corny stuff, but it really seemed to work! I’m not very competitive but it felt really good to still have a reserve of energy. I crossed the finish line and stumbled into the sexy firefighters who gave me a precious Tiffany blue box- haphazardly grabbed a banana and a luna bar and stumbled to the stretch station. My legs were BURNING. I can’t remember a time when my legs felt like this. Not even after doing Stadiums at Harvard do they burn like they did then and still now But it felt good and it made me believe I had actually DONE something. I finished in 4 hours and 18 minutes and averaged a 9'50"mile I was pretty happy with myself, considering I just wanted to finish the race. To qualify for Boston I’d have to cut a minute off my mile, but I think its totally feasible-if I didn’t stop once for the bathroom, ran a flat course, and trained harder I think I could do it. We’ll see how I feel next year! Oh and Janet from Pretty Green Girl also Rocked the Half Marathon!!

And how cool is this-Nike Maps out your individual run-see told you I hauled at the end!!

I am so happy to have checked this off my list of things to do-in someways it doesn’t seem real.It was easier than I thought it’d be. I didn’t hit a wall and even without music I was able to stay focused and keep my mind entertained for four hours.I loved all the uplifting “Run Like a Girl” Messages, Tiffany's Necklace at the End and the gorgeous scenery.

All in all a great experience and I’d run 26 miles every weekend if I got to relax like this! It was great being with family and finally getting sleep. Just lounging. It was even nice to get off my computer-3 days without touching a keyboard! Now I just have to decide what to do next! The day after I was definitely hobbling around-embarrassing, but today i feel find and am about to Start Operation Yoga!! Exhale Spa here I come!


Gina said...

Sounds like it was amazing! Congrats on the time, that's great :)

Anonymous said...

I would've run for a Tiffany's gift! -Cara

Annabelle Ho said...

that sounds great AWESOME job Elizabeth!!! i can't imagine running a marathon while you call it "relaxing." you should totally run the Boston Marathon sometime, I'm positive you'd rock it!