Where to Start?
It's been over 6 months and I am just getting this up because I am not a very good blogger. Oh well...this will do.
I looked forward to this Day and week for a very long time, about 3 years to be exact. We were to head over to Seattle on Saturday and then Sunday would be gametime...I mean racetime. Neither is a word but just roll with it. This is a blog not a newspaper article. I'm not sure how much I should talk about the pre-race mumbo jumbo but lets just say it was hectic for me. And not really all about the race. More Thanksgiving...which I had at my house...for the first time...first turkey...stress city is the word...well 2 words I have for it. Not much sleep, woke up thanksgiving AM at 1 (yes 1 AM) and cleaned for a couple hours then went back to bed only to be woken up by my husband getting home at 4:45am from a job he was trying to complete before we left on Saturday and still take Thanksgiving off. Does this make much sense? No not really. But move along. I tried "carb" loading during the week, but when you eat primarily gluten/grain free it's a little more complicated. Especially because I thought potatoes had more carbs then they do and was eating a bunch. I had planned to pack my dinner and breakfast for the night before and morning of the race. But I didn't have enough time. Let's just say that job my hubby was working on made him go in Saturday and so my scheduled plan to leave at 10am shifted to 2pm, grrr, not only that but I had to run with my daughter and it had snowed and rained and it was slush and guess what? I wasn't going to push the stroller in that. That meant gym which then meant an extra hour for the commute and getting Miss Bean (my daughter) ready to go and putting her in gym daycare, yada, yada, yada (oh Seinfeld I miss you). Anywho...(still not a word)
We rolled into Seattle around 6:30pm and went to the EXPO immediately and it really looked cool and I wish I could of strolled around and seen everything but Miss Bean and Hubs were hungry so I ran (fast walked...saving the legs) in and grabbed my packet and ran(slower walk...remember save the legs) out. We then went and checked in at the Hotel and then located the nearest place were I thought I could maybe have something gluten and dairy free. The Cheesecake Factory! Ok so maybe not dairy free but maybe gluten free, there menu didn't seem to have what I needed because although they boasted of gluten free pasta I couldn't have any dairy free sauce since I recently have become sensitive to tomatoes (allergic maybe...not sure) pasta was out. So I had a steak and sweet potato fries (they had more carbs than white potato fries or mashed potatoes). Maybe not ideal but when your regular diet consists of this it seemed to do the trick. No cheesecake for me or anyone else (yes I was mean and wouldn't let the Hubs or Miss Bean get any...since it's cruelty!...don't worry we had some latter that week since we stayed in Seattle for 5 days). I didn't worry about getting to bed on "time" because I read most of the time you should get your sleep in the week before...which I didn't really do...insert Thanksgiving. I figured it is what it is. Then I realized how hilly Seattle really is and I must of been stupid or drugged to think it was flat. Not sure where I got this idea, maybe the elevation chart messed with my mind since it only shows the hill heights and not overall and the majority looked flat...which it is...but don't forget about the hills after mile 20...which your biggest battle is after mile 20 but with hills it's like an all out war. We'll get into that more later.
Ok so went to bed roughly around 10ish and then woke up multiple times, speeding car, sirens, maybe it was a police chase? Not sure but it woke me up at 3am. I woke up before my alarm went off at 5. Got up, read my devotion and prayed. I needed the Lord's strength that day because I felt uncertain about everything. Read the perfect verse.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I know a lot of people say let the mind run the body and there is some truth in that but the mind can fail due to it's perception of the task at hand, fear has many a time caused me to not do something that I am completely capable of doing. Therefore we must not rely only on our mind to guide us but by our spirits for it is the heart of our being.
I ate 2 of my gluten free pumpkin muffins and waited for my breakfast I ordered. Potatoes and bacon...mmm. I didn't know what to do with my hair. I was irritated with my hair (wouldn't be the first time...curly hair folks may understand) and finally asked my hubby to braid it. He did surprisingly well, he said he used to braid girls hair all the time..hmm...interesting...I learned something new about him that day. I started to get panicked because I was going to leave at 6:30 and get to the Monorail to take me to the start and it was 6:38, my hubs said chill because I would have plenty of time, race started at 8:15. But I only was able to chill slightly and mainly because Miss Bean wanted cuddles and hugs. Ahhh melt my heart. I ran out the door at about 6:45 and we plenty of time to get the monorail but I had "Marathon" brain and got all twisted up and went the wrong way and ended up following two runners who I thought were going to the monorail but were not, they were walking, interesting couple too, they had run 3 marathons in the last 3 weeks and were just doing the half to see if their legs would hold up. They didn't ask me anything and we separated paths, I thought I started to go the right direction to the monorail but obviously I did not because I ended up walking to the start which was about a mile. Nice. Just warming up the legs right? I got to the start in plenty of time, it was 7:00ish and the Half hadn't started yet which it was starting before the Full. Phew, yeah Hubs was right, I did not need to worry or panic, chillin was right on. I started to get excited, I love the feeling of a race, the people, the adrenaline and expectancy of adventure awaiting. I am an adrenaline junkie so the race atmosphere fuels me and causes my anxiety to dissipate. It's getting up to the race that plays with my mind. I was asked to have my picture taken and I did. I met another girl who was running her first Full, I didn't catch her name and forgot her bib number, so I hope she did well she was super nice and from the Seattle area. I had brought some garbage bags since they fore casted rain but none had shown up yet, although it was overcast. My fueling strategy was to take my Cliff Shot Mocha 15 mins prior and then half a Cliff Shot Block every couple miles after 40 mins or so. I had been training with minimal fuel on long runs and did all 8 mile runs and under with no fuel and my last 12 mile run with no fuel to prepare my body for the "wall" as well as I am pretty much gluten and dairy free and carbs are harder to stock pile for me.
I put so much into training but still lacked some quality hill training. Which to my dismay did slow me down after mile 20. But who doesn't slow down after Mile 20? This was my First FULL marathon so I really didn't feel like I hit a "wall", I felt like I hit hill after hill and still had plenty of energy but my IT Bands on both my legs did not think so. Tight and painful they were and with only running an average of 100-200 elevation gain on runs and maxing out at 550 elevation gain it was quite a jump to 1,467 elevation gain with the Seattle Marathon. My error for some reason thinking it was mostly flat, which it is about 50% flat and 25% downhill and 25% uphill (pretty much all after Mile 20!).
Miles 1-4.5 Chip Time at 4.5=38:57 Average: 8:40/mile
First Mile I felt like my legs were bricks and my feet hurt which didn't make much since although I had been standing and walking a lot that week. I told them to stop and it went away after the first mile. I went out faster then I would of wanted to but most seemed to be down hill so it was hard to adjust. My goal was to be around a 9:10/mile average by mile 3-4 but that didn't happen and going through the tunnel nearing the 4.5 mark caused my GPS to go off so I was running blind. I went by feel which in turn made it quicker than I wanted to be.
Minutes per M
This seemed to be an easier stretch and I made It a goal to pass the 4:00 hour pacer and I did. I felt good and didn't feel like I was pushing myself too hard. I felt in the zone, strong and with energy to spare.
Miles 8.1-13.1 Chip Time at 13.1:=1:53:46 Average: 8:42/mile
These miles seemed to be quick and nice since they were by the water and I almost had a chance to relax but had to keep my pace up if I wanted to hit my A goal of a 3:48 which I knew was possible on a Perfect Day but I did know because it was first marathon which I would be happy to finish if anything.
Miles 13.1-20 Chip Time at 20= 2:54:07 Average: 8:43/mile
These miles seemed to be a little more challenging than the first half but I still felt strong and that I could make it through and keep the pace at least at an average of 9:00-9:30 for the last 10k but I was not fully prepared for what the terrain held after mile 20 which I feel was an integral part of why it was so tough at the end for me.
Miles 20-26.2 Chip Time at 26.2= 4:09:40 Average: 9:32/mile
War...it was a straight up battle fighting my mind and getting my body to just keep going. I kept running and walked briefly up 1 portion of a hill but I kept at least a nice slow jog because I wanted to finish running. Does it really matter? Probably not but for some reason to me it did. I remember just praying "God help me through, carry me through, I know you're here and with me just be my strength for I have none left to give." I was not angry with the hill or even myself for it seemed to not make any difference for it did not change my circumstance. I kept reminding myself "I chose this. I wanted this. I will be grateful. I will not be upset." Each time I looked down at my watch and so my goal slipping away I did not feel regret but I felt a release of my pride and a humbling. My greatest joy during these miles was seeing my hubby and Miss Bean just before the finish. I started to tear up when I saw them because I was so happy they were there to support me and loved me so much.
.2 3:41 (Garmin recorded .36 @ 10:15/mile avg pace)
Running to me has been a journey and this marathon was a journey and I am so glad that I trained and completed it and look forward to more running adventures. I love the person I am becoming, not because I made myself this way but because I have humbled myself to allow the One True Leader, to lead me into LIFE and LIFE ABUNDANT. As I continue to grow and change I realize it's not just circumstance that I am here but the choice I get to run and to chose my attitude and path which determines my destiny. Many people do things so they can say they did and boast about it. But this seemed greater to me because I realized that although our lives may not be all about victories they can still be great if we allow the dark moments to propel us to grow. We cannot live with a disgruntle and pessimistic view, it kills the essence of life to become the very people we desire to be. Triumphant moments generally come after defeating ones and only if we allow the setbacks to be learning curves will we then be victorious. Keep trying...get back up...don't allow the blow to keep you down. Get back up! FIGHT HARD FINISH YOUR RACE. I named my blog this because I felt it had a lot of what I have stood for in my life but what I didn't realize is that LIFE truly is about fighting hard, fighting well and finishing your race. I am thankful to the Lord who has led me to this place and I look forward to all the other places He will lead me to come. I just pray that I will stay humble and meek to follow Him.
So my friends my encouragement to you is:
GO FIGHT HARD and FINISH YOUR RACE WELL!!
p.s. I will try to blog more since my inspiration to do so is returning :)
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