05:27:33 – 26.2 miles
Getting on a bus at 4:25am with 50 strangers and traveling 40 minutes up a canyon was a new experience for me. What lied ahead, was even more foreign. The bus dropped us off at the starting line and it was so dark that I couldn’t see more then 10 feet in front of me. Stars lined the sky above the mountains and it was 31 degrees with no wind.
Part of my mental strategy for running long distances was to run 5 miles for each family member …
1-5: 5 miles for baby #4 being born in 5 weeks
Poetic and cold. I could barely move my fingers, but the sound of the river was soothing. I started out as far back as possible so that I could not be pressured to go to fast. By mile 2, I was passing people and constantly checking to make sure I wasn’t go too fast. Great start!
5-10: 5 miles for Kirsten
A little warmer, sun was over the mountains, and getting into a great groove. I turned on my iPod around mile 8 and let my mind wander.
10-15: 5 miles for Mackenzie
And then mile 14 hit … for 2 days before this event, I had a stomach bug that kept me up every hour and incurred pressure in my stomach. Nothing more frustrating then walking and knowing you have 12 miles to go.
15-20: 5 miles for Ian
Pain in the stomach and lower back. With my stomach not able to hold up, there was no support for the back. So as I walked, I tried to apply pressure to my lower back. Weird feeling when you can feel one side of your back’s muscles sticking out further then the other.
20-25: 5 miles for Tanya
Still walking for the first few and then insanity started kicking in. There was no way I was going to walk 6 miles. I started to run a bit around mile 23 and found that it was less painful then walking. So, as I could, I ran a bit.
25-26.2: for me.
This last 1.2 miles went by quickly. It was probably because I was telling jokes to people at the aid station and those I was passing. Mostly the jokes were about how freaking hungry I was.
Finish line … it felt almost surreal to cross the finish line. All I wanted to do was sit down. So I did, ate a dozen cookies and had 2 bottles of water, and called home.
I have already been asked if I am happy with race and here is how I am responding:
1. I am happy I finished.
2. I am happy that I am not completely hurting
3. I am happy I finished in under the time limit.
I am very unhappy with the time. Tanya says I am lucky I was able to finish the 26.2 miles with being sick, and I agree, but still had higher hopes for a time under 5 hours. If anything, I should be able to beat this time in my next marathon!