My Favorite Quote:

"There is an inner beauty about a woman who believes in herself, who knows she is capable of anything that she puts her mind to. There is a beauty in the strength and determination of a woman who follows her own path, who isn't thrown off by obstacles along the way. There is a beauty about a woman whose confidence comes from experiences; who knows she can fall, pick herself up, and move on."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Marathon #5: Women Rock!


Well now, this was unplanned.  It worked out pretty good though!  I wasn't thinking of running another Minnesota marathon, mostly because 50 states seems like enough to me.  This marathon had a purpose for me though, and that was to push me to see if I am prepared (i.e. endurance, injuries, and mental toughness) for the Fall 50 in seven weeks.  I'm not sure that I'm prepared for it, but we'll get to that later.

I had a group of clients (my "girls") running various distances for this event.  It was an all female race and it was the first all female race that I have run.  It was very different, but in a good way! I had to dig pretty deep to embrace my girly side.  I even wore pink!  It was my first time wearing pink in a race!

It started with the expo on Friday, August 31, which was actually called the "Expotique" (seriously...)  I was the only one in my group that wasn't dressed up for the packet pick up!  All along, we had been expecting our shirtless firemen and were finally greeted by one at the door!  Turns out he was just a model.  I would have preferred a real fireman :)  But we got over it!

My "girls"

I went to pick up my packet and gear check bag.  I was not prepared at all because I had just registered for this race on Sunday.  I didn't know what my bib number was and had to spend some time retrieving that info before getting my packet.  I hadn't really thought about the race until I was handed my packet.  I immediately texted Eric that "I'm freaking out here!"  It occurred to me at that moment that making my way through life thinking that I can do anything might actually backfire on me the following day :)

Packet in hand!

We received a cool windbreaker as race swag.  I also bought my usual marathon glass at the expo, only to remember afterward that we get a champagne flute at the end of the race!  We received our drink wristbands for the post-race champagne after being carded and then walked around the expo.  It wasn't super big, but it was a lot of fun to do something social with my clients.  I never get to just hang out with them!

"Bring it" pink marathon!
Can't wait to use this :)
Took a pic of this very true!

After the expo, Jill, Lisa, Jen, and I went out for lunch at Jake's in Eagan.  We sat on the patio and enjoyed a beautiful day and even more social time with my "girls".  They were so much fun to hang out with!  It made the event to have some friends to run it with!  It didn't seem to matter that we were all running different distances!

That evening, I headed over to SSTAR (with two s's) and got taped up by Dr. Luke.  Then went home to have dinner with my guys.  Eric made me a pasta dinner and bought some strawberries and chocolate dip...oh so good!  Not sure if this was a good thing or not, but I figured I needed to store some sugar, so I embraced it!  This was the first marathon I didn't eat at Olive Garden the night before.  That turned out to be a good thing!

Saturday, September 1:  Race Day
My alarm went off at 4:30am (I have got to quit getting up this early!)  I hit snooze until 5am.  The girls picked me up at 5:45am.  We drove to the River Center parking ramp in St. Paul and headed down to the gear check.  I brought clean clothes to change into this time!  And flip flops!  Lisa ran the half marathon which had the same start location as the full marathon which required us to shuttle to it, so we said goodbye to our 10K friends and hopped on the bus!

While on the bus, Lisa commented about how far we had been driving and how she would have to run that back.  I tried to reassure her, but in my head I was thinking the same thing (except I would have to loop it 2 times.)  Shepard Road is just so long and boring.  And painful.  And hot.  We were dropped off at the Ford Plant and had just enough time to do a quick warmup and hit the porta-potties!

I lined up with the 3:50 pacer thinking that it would be a good pace to go out at.  That chick was on fire though and tore off pretty fast!  I held back and by the 5K, she realized she was going too fast and slowed way down.  She ended up too slow for me though, so I passed her and stayed ahead of her until mile 21.  So, basically my plan was to do some sort of run/walk since I had not trained for this.  I ended up running a pace that would have brought me across the finish line somewhere around 3:45 if my legs could have held on!

Some interesting things with an all women's race.  A lot of pony tail sweat flicking at me.  I had to close my mouth one time it was so bad..disgusting!  Then there was the "drunk runner chick".  I almost tripped her.  I've never been so ticked off at another runner.  First of all, she was a half marathoner and not to be mean, but if you get in my way during a marathon, you had better be running the full.  I was running a steady pace and she was not.  Every time I passed her, she would sprint back past me.  When she did this, she zig-zagged in front of me.  She did this for four miles.  I even stopped to use the porta-potty and hoped to lose her, but I caught her and it started all over again.  I finally ditched her at the full marathon turn around as she went straight for the half finish.  I wanted so badly to trip her.  I don't think she was trying specifically to aggravate me, but COME ON!  I was running her same pace and I had to go twice as far, show some respect!  Aside from that, I do have to say it was pretty cool to see so many women doing something like this.  I was proud to be among them and received a lot of cheers from them as well!

I got to see Lisa around miles 5 and 11.  The full and the half marathoners started together and shared the course until mile 9.5.  The course was a two-way so a lot of the half marathoners were cheering for full marathoners as we made the turn around!  That was awesome!  I even ran by some Team Challenge Napa runners that cheered me on!  It was so hard to turn at mile 9.5 and go back and do it all again.  My legs started to hurt by mile 12 - more of a lack of endurance type of hurt due to a lack of running and training.  I knew I would get to see Eric and the boys at miles 13 and 19, so I kicked it in and tried not to think about my body!  I had a twitchy knee, in a tight IT band kind of way.  I decided I shouldn't think about it and just take it one mile at a time.  I made the half marathon split at 1:52.  Right before the split I saw my guys and Ethan had brought me a water bottle, so I just had to stop and take a sip :)

Ethan waiting for mom!
Ryan waiting for mom!

I headed out down River Rd again and at mile 16 there was a chalk outline on the street.  I wanted to lie down on it!  I saw friends on the course - Juli and Jayne were pacers, Jan was volunteering at a street closure, Andrea was at a water stop, and then a few more running in the full - Corrie and Lisa!  We kept going by each other with such a loopy course!  It felt good to get some renewed energy from seeing them!

After I passed Eric and the boys at mile 19, all hell broke loose :)  I had passed the Ford Plant and was heading toward Shepard Road.  I was passed by the 3:50 pacer at mile 21.  It was on an uphill and after not stopping to walk at all up until then, my body just stopped and walked up that hill.  I didn't even care.  I picked a light pole in the distance and told myself that I would start running again when I reached it.  I tried running again... and felt like a ginormous noodle.  I could barely restart the legs.  I started talking to them (my legs)... I was able to get to mile 22 and then walked again.  I tried to walk for a minute at each mile, but it turned into walking a minute, then running 3 or 4 minutes.  I repeated this to mile 25.

Shepard Road stunk.  It was boring, with hardly any spectators.  The runners were so spread out.  I came in 38th out of 238 full marathoners, so I didn't have many people by me at my pace.  It was smokin' hot with a head wind.  No shade to hide in, and every sprinkler that I passed was pointing away from me at the time I went by.  There was a water stop where a girl handed me a freezing wet sponge with ice on it.  I almost cried as I squeezed it out over my head.  It was AWESOME!  The following water stop (mile 24ish) had high school boys fanning us as we went by and the workers handed us grapes.  They were refreshing to eat since I had eaten 5 gel packs and half a clif bar up until then! 

I finally made it to mile 25 and started to see people up ahead.  I'd swear to you that the finish line kept moving away from me as I approached it!  I spent the past hour knowing that I would sub 4 hours and wasn't too worried about my walking stints, but the final approach felt like forever and I questioned if I would hit a sub 4.  As I hit the finish line, Lisa, Jill, and Debra were cheering for me like crazy people :)  Lisa pointed to me and yelled "That's our running coach!"  That made me smile.  I am so proud of what they accomplished today and it felt good to have them be proud of me too :)

The final stretch!
Happy to be done!  Walking through the sprinkler!
SO tired, but SO happy!
Debra, me, Lisa, and Jill (my "girls")

After we took some pictures in the finish area, I chowed some free food and made it to the restrooms for a quick change of clothes.  We headed over to the post-race party (which was pretty lame) and had our complimentary glass of champagne!  We chatted with a couple of ladies from Chicago and took our pictures with them.  Everyone was sad that our glasses were empty, so I asked the volunteer to top us off again and she did :)  Then I headed over to meet Eric and the boys at the fountain and we took off for lunch at Cosetta's!  What a race!  I think next time I will train before I jump into a marathon :)  I also decided that I won't be running the Fall 50 in October.  No need to run 50 miles for now.  Maybe someday down the road.  I'll cap it at 50Ks for now :)

Post-Race Champagne
Ethan and Ryan playing in the fountain while I attended the post-race party!
The End!

Event: Women Rock Marathon
Place: St. Paul, MN
Theme Song: N/A
Date: Saturday, September 12012
Time: 7:30am
Official Splits:
19.3 Mile2:47:39
16 Mile2:18:15
3 Mile25:59
Average Pace 9:02 per mile
Age Graded Percentage 59 percent
Overall Place 38 out of 238
Sex Place 38 out of 238 Females
Division Place 11 out of 38 Females in the F3539 Age Group

Final Time:  3:56:21