I was late. I'm always late. This time it was the weather and trying to get the radar to load on my phone so I could figure out how much to wear. There was a huge storm front tickling the border between OH and KY and I thought I needed to find the direction and speed it was moving. Of course, I could have just packed it all in my bag. Also dropped my earphones trying to fill the vest, which I could have done the day before but I was ??? applying a tattoo. It was a fb contest and I may have won $100 to spend at running store. Have yet to hear. As it turned out, it wasn't raining and it wasn't cold enough for rain gear but wore it just in case and bc I could pitch it.
So as I walked near the gates, the runners started. That got me a little worried but the benefit of being home is knowing you're close enough and where you can just jump in. Got to the gate and had at least 10 min wait so texted back to friend who was there and snapped a bunch of pix. Was too warm in the rain pants so literally kicked them to the curb. The race was being broadcast locally so there were TVs we could watch for the Start activity. In a tribute to Boston, the race started with Sweet Caroline, then Dirty Water and then Aerosmith's Walk This Way. Nice!! It took more than 15 min. to start and that's with me jumping a gate (I didn't really jump one, I just stood in front of the two side gates rather than work my way to the back of the last one. It bugged no one.)
Jeff asked about chafing. New lesson I learned is that no matter what you wear, when you are wet enough, you can chafe. The spot between the top of your leg where it meets your torso that disappears when you sit down is bright red and sore!!! Also have spots under each breast from bra.
Updated my electronics online Friday to try and avoid aberrations. Downloaded a new HIIT program Wed and used it twice (thx 2 Debra). Plan was to start w 1:1 and work up to 3:1 as I warmed up.
The Start pushed me fast, even w walks, or so the programs were saying. I was trying to hold to a 14 mm. Programs' (3) average paces were at least a minute shorter. I worried about being too tired at the end and being forced to the sidewalk for the last miles if I was too slow so wanted a cushion from my first half bc my last mile LSD times had been slow. The times I was hearing from my phone were fast enough and I was out of breath so I never made the jump out of 1:1.
The worst of the hills were at the beginning (3 bridges) followed by a 200 ft rise from m. 4-5 and 330 ft rise up Gilbert Ave. and Eden Park from m. 6-8.7. At the top of the hill was where the HM runners broke off and returned to the start and the full marathoners moved on. There was a huge band halfway up and I wore myself out cheering them. I was telling myself "Kill the hill" and heard others say, "Its just a hill get over it." "What hill?" Actually was glad I didn't have my earphones. Elvis was also singing Sweet Caroline outside the arboretum at 7.5. There were so many performers, they had them on both sides of the street. For the first half. I was struck by the irony that the vendors, who are allegedly participants too, couldn't see how important an issue the Boston bombings would be to their customers but the planners and entertainers saw it.
At around 8:30, at the top of the hill, it was cold so I put on my jacket. It started to mist and then drizzle within the hour and just kept getting wetter. By the time 13.1 came, I was beat and ready to quit and it looked like I had only a 5 to 10 min cushion. I knew I'd finish unless something made that impossible but I had no idea how. By 16 it was steadily pouring. I was stiff and sore but breathing became better with the rain. Soooo cold and uncomfortable once I was soaked! My abdomen and feet felt bloated, like I was plodding on stiff pillows. I felt like I had to pee but couldn't and there was a lot of grumbling. I was wondering if this was signs of over-hydration? I may have stopped sweating when I got cold and wet. I had slowed down a bit and was talking w a bike monitor about how nice a warm drink would feel. Then I remembered coffee could ease the swelling so I begged some coffee off a gentleman around m. 17. It felt and tasted sooo fantastic!! I walked around for the next two miles with an empty water cup begging coffee off anyone w a travel cup. WTH? Nobody drinks coffee anymore? In 2 miles, i found 3 ppl and then gave up. My friend Amy was meeting me at m. 22 so I called and she promised to bring some and I walked more than ran from 16 to 22. Seeing Amy, w or w/o the coffee, gave me a big shot of energy that kept me run/walking for the next three miles! After that, i could see the end in my mind. I was sore in my calves along with being wet and cold so I settled for finishing at any time on the street or the sidewalk. All I wanted was to get there. I thought my time would be between 6:30 and 6:45 bc this was what my programs were telling me but time is officially 6:53. I emailed asking if they were using the official start time or my chip time and am still waiting to hear.
The shute at the end was long! In the shute, I started to run and could have but my foot cramped and there was a nagging calf pain. Damn the rain!! So I had to walk. Cameras weren't there anyway. The end made it all worthwhile. An attractive man shook my hand while he congratulated me and I have The. Biggest. Heaviest. Medal. Ever!!! I love it!!
The soup and other food were all put away, tents broken down, people gone but the signs left up so you could see what you missed. We got water, mylar, medal, and packs of whatever food was still laying around in random abandoned boxes (cheese crackers, nameless hohos, cheese stick, orange). There's no love for the slow! Sat and ate a cheese, rested and started the uphill hike to the car. Had to cross the shute. Do you know there were still ppl finishing? Amazing!! I really thought I was one of the last.
So this is how the season begins, with conquest, disappointment, hope and renewed determination.
6:15 a.m. from Paul Brown Stadium with the Princess Di building on the left and the Great American Ballpark on the right.
Some heros wear costumes. I couldn't get him to stick around, something about saving the world??
Mile 6 at 8:00 am starting up Gilbert Ave
It is two-sided and big enough for a small meal! I love it!!
I brought you all along! Thanks for all your support!!
2013 Race PRs: FM - 6:30; 5k - 36:39; 10k - 1:24:06; HM -2:57:32
Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement - Matt Biondi
I am an extraordinary achievement - Me
Congratulations on your race! Nice photos!
"You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever
But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun"
Tales of Brave Ulysses Cream
Congratulations! Marathons are never easy! Loved your race report...
Nice race report and congratulations on finishing despite the wet weather. Do you plan on doing another marathon or doing shorter distances?
The song Dirty Water by the Standells? I like that song and haven't heard it in ages. Now I have to go find it.
Art in AZ
CONGRATULATIONS MARY KAY!!! You are a MARATHONER!
You probably discovered strength you never though you had in you. To persevere through the weather conditions you faced for 26.2 miles is incredible. Enjoy your accomplishment and your medal -- it is AWESOME.
I'm so proud of you! The rain and cold made for challenging times. Bummer that they don't hang around w/ food at finish for all the finishers. Tks for sharing your report. Love the medal!!
Marie from Tennessee
Dumbo Double Dare!!!