Stepping back to before the race, about a week away from Bayshore, I got some nagging and throbbing aches in my right leg. It worried me, as anything on my right leg, near my right hip, brings back memories of my stress fracture. I rested for a couple days, saw an amazing massage therapist in TC, Dan Zemper, and did a good nice taper. Luckily things cleared up and come Friday, my easy 30 minute jog was fine. Phew. I was gearing to go and really wanting to run!
The morning of it was the typical routine, bagel with peanut butter and banana, getting to the start with a good hour to spare, listening to Payphone by Maroon 5 (a new favorite since becoming a fan of 'The Voice'), jogging for ten minutes, finding a bush to pee, and switching up my shoes before heading to the start line. Once at the start it was a matter of keeping the legs warm, finding a building to tuck behind for pee #2, and then jogging to the start line. Then we were basically off. Before mile one I found Jake Flynn to keep me company. We both were "a bit hot" going through mile one in just under six minutes. So we settled in and chatted along with another guy who I can't for the life of me recall his name (but good luck in your next triathlon!). It was ideal, we were consistent, and I felt relaxed. Seeing my family at mile five was super fun, then I continued to get cheers from other spectators, volunteers, and around mile nine from the half-marathoners. "You go girl!" was a frequent usually followed with a quick smile and fist shake from me.
|There's me, my shaking fist, Jake, and triathlon guy!|
I was through the half-marathon mark in just under 1:20 and feeling absolutely awesome, but I had lost my buddies, Jake and triathlon guy, who were now slightly behind me. It was a lonely next five miles and that's probably where things started to go awry. Mile 18 will be forever engrained as a difficult mile (as that's where I dropped at the trials). When I got past that mile marker, I knew I was going to finish, but maybe not feeling like I had through the first half. After mile 21 things started to really go poorly. I was gulping water down like I couldn't believe and walking here and there. Luckily a few other marathoners and half-marathoners encouraged me to keep moving and that I was almost there. It was a walk-run finish over those final two miles. I've never been so happy to see a finish line in my life. And thank goodness for the Pepsi that followed. And the hugs from my family and friends that followed the Pepsi. And, the pizza and beer at the Filling Station which followed a much needed shower.
At first I was disappointed with my insane positive split. I mean that's an incredible positive split (1:19:54 (6:06 pace) and 1:28:37 (6:45 pace)... ouch!), but hey I gained a few new perspective over the last few days...
- I ran a good half-marathon talking at a 6:06 pace. That's great! Although as I learned, neither are probably a good idea during a marathon race.
- I finished and won even though I thought I was going to keel over in that last stretch.
- I have such amazing friends and family.
- My right leg doesn't hurt, ache, or throb! It didn't during the race or after... whahooo!
- There will always be more races, learn from past races, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
- Long runs are a staple... more to come.
- It's fun being a hometown star. Thanks to the Record Eagle for your interviews and pre-race and post-race articles and Vic McCarty for the radio interviews! And thanks to the locals for being excited by my presence, win, and determination.
Ironically, I never knew I had a talent with running in 1992 (that was my bib number in the race on Saturday and coincidentally the first year I ran a race on Central High School's track), but with a sixth grade track coach saying, "you're a distance runner" and all my family and friend's support over the past twenty years a lot has changed. And, without all that support it's likely I would not be winning any marathons. I am so incredibly grateful, so thank you Traverse City and all those who have kept reminding me to do what I love! I may be back next year as I still have a course record to tackle!
|Starting to hit the wall. Mile 21.|
|Finishing at Central High School's track.|