because if you don't tell the world about your running, are you even really doing it? (just kidding)

Monday, May 23, 2005

26 miles of (sort of) fun

the drive: we left for cleveland at 7:30 am, which is 2 hours later than i originally wanted to leave, because i was originally on crack. anyway, the drive there was relatively uneventful, although i kept pestering josh with questions like, 'do you really think i'll make it?' and 'wait, do you really really think i'll make it?'. he was tolerant of this. actually, more than tolerant. but i had to take his optimism with a grain of salt, because he has run marathons without training. at all. with just one no-nonsense stop at subway for lunch and several mini driver-switching stops, we arrived in cleveland at 4:30, with plenty of time to get our numbers and chips at the expo

the carbo-load: thanks to my friend brian who is a cleveland native, we had recommendations to go on, and the place (mama santa) was perfect pre-race fuel. we ate lots of pasta and pizza (and i mean lots). josh completed his traditonal pre-race ritual of gettin' a little tipsy. i drove us back to the hotel (hampton inn, very very convenient). we crashed.

the race: so i ended up wearing the new shirt josh gave me for my birthday despite all the advice to not change anything -- and it worked out, luckily. it even had a cute little pocket in the back where i stashed 3 gels. but enough with the fashion, and on to the running . . .

* miles 1-2: very crowded. i tried to be social but realized that i'm happiest with the iPod on (i swear, i'm a really friendly person, but not so much with strangers, and especially not when i'm super-nervous, which i was.

* miles 2-13: an uneventful first half. i ran at a fairly consistent pace between 9:00 and 9:30 per mile, and i worried that i was going too fast, but i was going at what felt natural and relaxed to me, so i figured i wouldn't mess with it. ate a gel at mile 9 or so (nasty, but i am scared to run long distances without them). my iPod and i were very happy.

* miles 13-16: still feeling good. i started to think about what the wall might feel like if i hit it, and i started to get nervous, but excited to reach the mythical 20th mile. another (gross) gel at mile 15-ish. i was still happy, though. me and my iPod.

* miles 16-20: miraculously still feeling good. still rocking out to the iPod.

* sometime during mile 20: i'm rocking out to queen/david bowie singing 'under pressure'. i'm thinking about how happily appropriate the song is, becuase i'm sort of under pressure to finish strongly at that point (i spent most of this race analyzing various songs that i've heard 8 million times. dissociation -- i'm very good at it). and then . . . the THING STOPS. just stops. freezes in the middle, right in the MIDDLE, of the classic 80s anthem that i was basking in. i began to worry about my abilities to run -- even finish -- without my apple-friend.

* miles 20-23: i start to hurt. i start to worry about the wall that others around me are clearly -- hitting. people who were obviously going much faster than me before were sort of shuffling along looking like death. i didn't want that to happen to me, but . . . how could i prevent it? i ate another gel (UGH), or some of it, wishing they came in injectible or absorbable (the Gu-Patch!?)form. and oh, i missed my music. but at least there were some people in the sidelines offering encouragement. i did all i could to muster up a 'thank you'.

* miles 23-26: i realize why people say marathons are so hard. i realize why people say that the last 6 miles of the marathon are 'a different race altogether' -- it hurts! but the wall -- the evasive wall -- i'm just didn't hit it. despite my calves feeling extremely stiff and bruised, i didn't feel like going slower would help. i didn't feel like i had no fuel, just that i was tired of running and wanted to be DONE. so i kept going. josh joined me for the last .2! and then it was over.

4 hours, 1 minute, 57 seconds (chip time); 4:03:something by the clock.

i'm really really happy with how things went. i don't think i could have gone any faster -- i felt truly depleted and FINISHED at the end of the race. i am super-super-super sore now, maybe partly because we got in the car and drove right home (9 freaking hours!) after showering at our hotel. i want to run another one! and maybe someday i'll regain the ability to walk down stairs. i hope so, anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Sarah! You are the best! What a great race!!!

is a link to a graph of your mile pace.

Additionally, for an illustrated version of what it is like to hit "the wall", you can click on Josh's pace chart


10:02 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

Great race report! Congrats on a strong finish...those consistent mile splits look good :-)

7:03 AM

Blogger Running Chick said...

WOo hoo! You are officially a marathoner!

What a great, consistently paced, race! You trained smart and ran smart; you should be proud of yourself - I am!

I hope you wore your finisher's medal for all 9 hours of the drive home. And then to work. =)

9:56 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

i think the question we ALL have is: does the ipod work now?

great race and report. that's an awesome time!

1:24 PM

Blogger Cris said...

Way to go Sarah!

I know what you mean about power gels. They taste like sweet snot to me, not very pleasant. Another blogger, Beast, mentioned Hammer gels to me and I now use them exclusively. They are more palatable, especially when cut with the Plain flavor. I use 1 part Rasberry to 2 parts plain and that's the best combo I've found so far. They're also a LOT cheaper purchased by the jug.

You'll be zipping down stairs again in no time, but definitely take the recovery time needed. You deserve it; good jorb!

6:48 PM

Blogger HouseRunner said...

WOO HOO. Congrats on the great race. I laughed out loud about the gel in absorbable patches. What a great idea.
Hope the ipod recovers by the time you can walk again!

7:44 AM

Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I hate it when my music dies. Congrats on a great race.

12:02 PM

Blogger Thomas Sørensen said...

Great race report.

If you want to know what the wall feels like from the inside of a very very tired body. Go read me race report from the Copenhagen Marathon in my blog.

Congratulations on your first marathon. The first one is special.

11:35 PM

Blogger David said...

I am impressed. Great run.
Your training must have been right on and you obviously listened well to your body based on those splits.
Plain Gu gel is the only one I can stand. If it's a flavored gel, I'm spitting.
Biggest scare to me would be sitting in a car for 9 hours after a race like that. Creaky.

7:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Congratulations on running a great race!!!

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