Monday, July 31, 2006

Gay Games Marathon...or was that lap 2 or 3??

Quick stats:

61 out of 142 finishers

Laps (6.5 miles each)

1: 54:01
2: 55:52
3: 1:00:54
4: 1:04:33

According to my Garmin Forerunner the course was 1/2 mile long. It was on a bike path, so there isn't much room for "cutting corners" to vary the distance. The course was 4 laps (out-and-back) on the Lakeshore bike path from 31st to 48th Streets. The path was NOT closed to the public. We got to fight for space on the narrow bike path among our fellow marathoners and bicyclist, other runners, people BBQing on the side of the path (I didn't think about "Smoke training").

I started out feeling pretty strong. My legs felt a bit stiff, but I figured they would loosen up within the first four miles. It usually takes me four miles before I really get into a groove. Well, thank God I had a GPS unit telling me my mileage (there were sporadic mile markers). Going out, not too bad. Still dark from the morning and there was a slight breeze keeping the humidity bearable. Mile 3 - 4ish, we turned around and whop right in the face (besides the fact we had about 5 feet to turn around in) the WIND!! We were right on the lake. And there is very little vegetation between the lake and the path (And in many cases...nothing at all!) The wind...the wind!! It was soo strong. The slight elevation changes felt huge. It was terrible. Then back to the beginning were we turn around a little orange cone and start back out.
...wait...did I repeat enough, or do I need to go out again??? Hmmm...
What was great about the course, Johan, my cousin Tiffany (whom we stayed with), my sister Liz and her friend Angie were able to set-up camp right before the finish line (or right before the turnaround). I was able to see them coming in, running over to the turnaround (about .25 miles all together) and then when I was going back out to do a "lap". After the first lap, I threw my camelbak over to them. It was not sitting on my lower back correctly (and I spent most of the first lap messing with it). It was great to come through, request what I needed from the pack and when I came back a couple of minutes later, to have it handed to me. They made a GREAT crew! They are soo hired the day I do Badwater!
At mile 18-19 whatever, I was DONE. I was really done. Coming back from yet another "lap" to my left was the finish line, to my right was the turnaround. Oh, I really wanted to quit and turn left. Luckily there was a bike zooming towards me, so I had to stay to the right. Kept going.
The last lap was misery. At first, I looked down at my watch and thought that it could be possible to pull a 3:45...if I kept to it and finished strong. After giving my crew a smile and a "love you" to Johan, I was feeling strong again. I picked up my pace to 8:30 min/mi. About four minutes later, I thought I was going to die again. It was too late to turn around...I was going to finish, even if I had to walk the rest of the way. I would run 3 minutes, walk 1. Run 5 minutes, walk 2. There was no rhyme or reason to it...I was giving it everything I had to just keep in forward motion.
Finally at the end, my sister ran down to the finish line to take pictures of me as I came through the finish line and Johan was there to run me in the last few hundred yards. Even though the clock said 3:55...I felt I gave it my all. It took pretty much all I had to lift my foot up to get the chip cut off. One of the race volunteers came over to me. I was crying and hugging Johan and my sister. The volunteer asked me if everything was ok. I, hot, hot...I'm hot. I stood there while they poured a few gallons of water over my head and neck. I was pretty heated up. Liz was a little worried, but afterwards I told her that the dazed and confused look only last for a minute or two, which luckily it did.
I quickly signed up for a massage and waiting as long as I could for the "20 minutes after the race" as I could (which I did wait 13 minutes). My legs were screaming at me and they needed to be rubbed down. Thank God for wonderful massage therapist!! They are the best!

I think that this is going to be marked as an "Experience" marathon. No massages throughout my training period...mistake! Running 7:30 min/mi easy runs during the week...mistake! Going out at 8 min/mi because I really want to have a 3:30 marathon which would be 30 minute PR in only 7 months...mistake! Skipping a walk break because I don't want to look bad....really big mistake! Eating a great pasta dinner with lots of bread with great people...Great idea!

So, it wasn't my best of all was the best for that day, and that's all one can ask of one's self. As I was lying on the ground in agonizing pain, totally spent, I sort of smiled, knowing I was loving every minute of it. And reminding myself that I have 4 months to get prepared to do it all again!

Next marathon...November 26, 2006, Florence, Italy!!


Anonymous angie's pink fuzzy said...

WOO HOO!!!!!!!

and Florence, Italy?! Awesome.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Chacho said...

Good Job.

Did San Fran Half on 07/30.
Italy....Chacho is jealous.

1:37 PM  

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