Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Best Race Report

My friend just did her second marathon (Portland). I love her race report. She has the right attitude and motivation, and she is a true goddess of the sport. I'm posting bits of her report here for your enjoyment!
This is a very long report! If you want the quick version of what happened, here is my race report in Haiku:

On Sunday I ran
Time: 4:53:50
[Here is my favorite part! - L]
As I approached the start line I almost cried. Crossing the starting line is more emotional for me than crossing the finish line. It just brings to mind all the work I put in to just get there. Even the fact that I decided to do this at all is amazing to me. I will let you in on my secret thoughts at this moment. Come close. A little closer. “I don’t look like a runner, but I am a runner anyway. I’m a runner not because I’m fast, but because I love doing it. I can and I WILL run. And I’m running a MARATHON. Me. Eeeek!” I satisfied myself with a strangled gasp, blinked back the ridiculous tears and started running. It felt so good after all this waiting and anticipation to actually be running this race.
I started appreciating having my name on my bib about this time, and all the people who yelled, “Hey Janet! Lookin’ good!” It is corny and silly, but it helped give me a boost. People who can cheer like a maniac for strangers at an event like this are a special class of people. They win the good karma contest in life. I hope that positive energy goes back to them tenfold.
I was coming up on mile 20, which is when most people hit the proverbial wall, and I still hadn’t hit it yet. It was so weird, and I certainly didn’t plan it this way on my playlist, but on one beat, I could hear my Garmin beep at me that it was 20 miles, and the next moment “Another Brick in the Wall” came on my iPod. Coincidence? There are no coincidences! It was a good distraction because that was about the time I went by the official 20 mile mark that I saw the 4:45 [pace] lizard dance out of sight, never to be seen again. I decided to just get a grip, stop focusing on a specific time, or a specific pace group with a specific overly-perky pace leader (who I would have enjoyed had I been able to keep up with her) and enjoy the rest of this race. I’m not going to run for three weeks, so I needed to experience every moment of this in a positive way. After that, it was fun again.

I was certainly taking longer walk breaks at this point, but when I was running, I was keeping a 10:30-ish pace. I ran all the way to mile 26, and came to the finishing chute. I stopped right after the first turn into the chute without even thinking, but started right back up. Maybe that was my wall!! I turned again, still couldn’t see the finish line, and then I heard my husband yelling. I saw him waving and taking pictures. I stopped dead in my tracks and was suddenly overcome. It was the second and last time that day I almost cried. I ran over to him and said with a whimper, “I need a kiss!!!” He obliged, and that kiss helped a lot.
The worst parts: Hearing that 4:45 pace group right on my heels on the bridge, and not being able to stave them off. Letting that almost ruin my mood between miles 16.5 and 20. Immediately thinking afterwards as I took baby steps through the finishers area, “Oh, I can do so much better next time.” Yes, I am signing up for next year. 10-10-10.

The best parts: Finishing, and finishing strong. Enjoying the race even after it was clear I would need to time travel or get a quad transplant to make my stretch goal. The girl who opened the Quik for me. Enjoying a margarita in my jammies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always get emotional at the beginning of races, too--especially Portland. In fact I was borderline weepy for a good chunk of Portland. Great vibes! And it is cool how people call out your name!

--Heather N