Nike Women's Marathon
October 20, 2013
Megan and Me at the Start - 6:00 a.m.!
My alarm clock went off at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. Yikes. What in the hell had I been thinking when I signed up for this again, anyway? After some coffee and my usual pre-race breakfast of peanut butter on raisin bread, Jim and I went to pick up Mary, who was doing the half. Thanks to Jim, we were spared another Muni nightmare like the one we dealt with last year when the bus schedule was completely off and we were really late to the start.
Of course, I ended up having stomach ssues as soon as I got out of the car. Thank goodness the Sutter-Stockton Garage was open and that their bathrooms were decent. It turned out that I did all of my pre-race "stuff" in this location rather than at the Hyatt like we usually do.
Megan and I met up in front of the garage, and we walked down to the starting area. It was a zoo, as always, but the excitement was contagious. Once the gun went off, it took us about 20 minutes to get through the start, and then, we were off.
As always, I had to stop and use the port-o-let at mile 1. Normally, that's it until much later in the race. This time, I had to stop again, and again, and again, and again. I must have been retaining water in the days leading up to the race or something, because my bladder was out of control! I have never made so many port-o-let stops in ANY race, ever!
Thank goodness I also knew the locations of the public bathrooms along the Great Highway, because those had no lines at all. It took a couple of extra minutes to get to them, but it was worth it. Much nicer than the portables, that's for sure!
And now, to make a long story short: I had a really great race. I ran very carefully up through the half marathon split at mile 12, mostly because I was still unsure as to whether I was going to cut it short or do the full. It must have been a good strategy, because I was feeling great by then and I decided to keep going.
I kept that same conservative pace up through mile 16, because I was still unsure of myself and my energy level. By the time I hit mile 20, though, I felt confident enough to start speeding up. So that's what I did. The splits tell the story:
And yes, according to my Garmin, I finished quite a bit faster than my official time of 5.33.xx, but that's because I usually stop the GPS when I take a bathroom break.
I will let the photos tell the rest of the story. If I had to sum this race up in one word it would be, "surprise." Surprised that I got to the start. Surprised that I decided to keep going after the half marathon split. Surprised that I felt strong. And STUNNED at those last six splits.
Now, it's time to take a break from marathon training. I will keep running and racing, but the next marathon on tap is the San Francisco Marathon on July 29, 2014. With the way things are going this school year, I think I need to give myself a bit of a break. But I can't wait to start training for the SFM -- my favorite marathon -- next spring!
Marina Blvd, Mile 4
Point Lobos - Mile 7
Heading out on the Great Highway toward Lake Merced
Great Highway - Mile 24
Don't know whether to laugh or cry!
Glad it's DONE!
Marathon #7 is in the books!