Look closely, I guess…I can’t get them bigger!
Coming down the first stretch-the sun was starting to rise and it was beautiful.
The race went differently than I expected. I had figured I would “gut out” the first 8-10 miles and then happily fly through the last 3, knowing I was almost done. Instead, it was the opposite. It took 3 miles or so to get “in the zone” but the people and scenery was so beautiful that it wasn’t a difficult run.
In fact, for the first 10 miles I was grinning like a fool and talking to everyone-despite it being ALL hills. Not “some hills” like we had trained for but pretty much up or down, the whole race. Shins hurt going up, and quads hurt going down and just when you think “whew, done!” There is another one, coming at you…
But I was euphoric-I am here! I am doing this! It’s incredible!
And at mile 10, as we came down the Presidio, and felt the Pacific Ocean breezes cooling off the sweat, I stated to my running partner Jeanette:
” I am SO doing a full marathon!”
Then, about mile 11, I bonked.
I don’t know if it was seeing the finish line area and having to go past it another 2 miles, or exhaustion, or what?!! but suddenly I flipped emotions, and felt every pain and hated running. I wondered if this race would ever end. I had been running nonstop for almost 3 hours!
I so despaired of life, that my previously Pollyanna self actually snarled “No!” at a volunteer who innocently offered free chocolate bars to us on the “Ghiradelli Mile”.
At Mile 12, I added the mornings miles to the last five months and realized THIS was my three hundred and fifty second mile…352!! I promised my legs that, if they just kept going for ONE MORE, I would never put them through this again…I was crying and praying and then, to my running partners annoyance, I started quietly chanting to myself:
onemoremile onemoremile onemoremile
and then, we saw the finish line!
and strength came flooding back…
and the tears went from despair to joyful relief…
and hundreds of people were cheering
and I crossed like this:
It was one of the best moments of my life–ranking right up there with childbirth and marriage! (messy. life changing. cameras required.)
John missed seeing me cross (again!) but was waiting for me in the finishers tent. I wrapped up in the Mylar foil they give out, and Jeanette and I walked down to the Ocean. We braved the cold waves for the ultimate “ice bath”! It really helped, because before that I could barely walk. Then we took the long shuttle back to the hotel and I started the recovery process. It goes like this, and works well for all kinds of life-changing events. Feel free to copy these instructions.
A. Kobe beef cheeseburger with extra tomato. shoestring fries with ranch. hot coffee with cream. 2 Advil with several glasses of water. warm rhubarb crisp with ice cream ala mode–do this until food is gone.
B. shower–do this until hot water is gone.
C. dark hotel room, soft mattress, down comforter–do this until the sun goes down.
D. Get dressed and go dancing!
I want to be a faithful person, yet despite all the vows made to the lower half of my body in mile 12? I am going back on those promises, and will slip my Asics back on my feet by Saturday. I think I have the fever? I am even signing up for the Eugene Half Marathon in May, because I SO want to beat my 3 hours, 42 seconds time on a nice, flat course. Anyone local want to join me?
So here you go, Brian. Nike’s website says I placed 8,812 out of 20,000?
but it’s more accurate to state
I out-ran 11,188 Turnipheads!