Believe it or not I just couldn’t wrap my mind around my recent marathon experience to blog about it. To help you understand I’ll have to explain. Greg and I left for Washington as soon as we dropped the kids off to school. We arrived in DC around 1:30pm. We were able to check into our hotel and grab lunch. We made our way to the expo via the metro- which was how we planned on getting to the race the next morning.
The expo was good. I actually prefered last years expo at the Napa Valley marathon. Smaller vendors, more specialized stuff. But packet pick up was quick and easy. I was disappointed that they didn’t have more vendors for cute running tees etc. New Balance was the primary sponsor so it seemed that they were the only “clothing option”, so to speak. No new running gear for me. Anyway we headed back to the hotel via the metro. It was a 20 minute metro ride and we pre-bought our metro tickets for race morning to avoid lines.
We ate dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant in DC, called I Ricci. They had “tappas” so we were able to try a bunch of things without feeling stuffed. My favorite menu item was the Polenta Tartufata ai Funghi Farciti. I ate just enough carbs to feel satisfied.It was back to the hotel, making sure all my race day belongings were laid out. My diabetes action shirt was ready to go. Many of the people who sponsored me signed it which was really cool. My friends from Catalysts Health & Fitness who were my biggest sponsors, donating $262.00 (get it 26.2) wrote some amazing quotes on my shirt! One was from Kosta, the owner of Catalysts “Man imposes his own limitations, DON’T SET ANY! Another from my trainer, Nikki “Strength doesn’t come from physical capacity but from an indomitable will. It’s just so encouraging to have people who surround you with support when you work for a goal. My Ipod was on the charger, garmin ready to go, I was off to bed. I got an early start to have my greek yogurt, raspberries and honey for breakfast.
My hubby went to Starbucks to get me a latte to get “things moving” if you know what I mean. Mission accomplished so everything was good and we left the hotel at 6:45 am for the 8am start. Plenty of time with the metro only being a 20 min ride. Well all best laid plans can crash and burn and the Rock & Roll marathon people really dropped the ball with the metro. They encouraged people to take the metro and then were ill-equipped to handle the masses of runners who took their advice. We hopped on the train, having to wait for two trains to pass before finding one that wasn’t packed to the gills. We boarded standing room only. We abruptly came to a stop, the conductor informing us that the train in front of us (which had 10 cars on that train) was having door issues and they had to unload. That took about 15-20 minutes. When we finally began to move our train stopped at the next stop. Frantic runners literally pushed into the car. I was smashed up against my husbands chest. Claustrophobic didn’t even begin to explain it. Plus my nerves before a race are slightly higher and combined with people literally on top of you, I felt nauseous. We had to wait in the tunnel to disembark because they trains were backed up. We did not even reach the stairs to get out of the metro tunnel until 8am. Yes 1 hour and 15 minutes for a 20 min metro ride.
I have to say everyone was very orderly, calm, and polite. I mean at that point it was what it was. I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that I probably would not be making it to my corral. There was a guy on our train that was in corral number 1 for the 1/2 marathon. That means he’s running 5 min miles, contention to place and he missed that start. Awful. I made it to the start line at 8:29, going over with Corral 23, with the 5:30 marathon goal runners. My original corral number was 13, the 4:20 goal runners. I felt like a rock star running past people with ease. The morning was cool, mid 50′s at the start. Over cast skies just perfect. I kept close watch on my pacing and my heart rate. Which this is the first race I’ve run really trying to run with my heart rate. I was hitting my splits 4-5 minutes under where I wanted to be. Around mile 16-18 I remember thinking to myself- “wow I’ve got this!” It was at about the 3:20 mark that I hit the waterfront area of the course. There was no shade like there was in the downtown area with the buildings. The fog had lifted and it was clear blue sunny skies. This would have been good if you wanted to just leisurely stroll along the water front. But trying to run a marathon 80 degrees it was awful. I watched my time at miles 20 & 21. Readjusting my goals as I looked at the tatoo of my running split times for the 4:20 goal. I thought “ok we won’t shot for 4:20 maybe 4:25″, even 4:30 will still be ok, I just wanted to desperately beat my time from last year of 4:33. Then at mile 22 I was so hot, I was dizzy. There was zip, zero, no shade and hills. Not huge but big enough to increase my already high heart rate. I found myself running and then walking, but that just seemed to be making me slower. By mile 23 I just decided that I could power walk faster than alternating. It took me an hour and 17 minutes to do the last 6 miles. I was so disgusted. I had never seen so many people walking at the end of a race. There were lots of people sitting on the curbs, medics people handing out ice, grocery stores giving out bottles of waters in front of their stores (which wasn’t a sponsored water stop).
- 29:59 5K
- 1:00:42 10K
- 3:28:02 20 M
- 4:45:16 26.2M
I was able to see my husband at the finish line, which ugh was a freaking up hill finish! I went over the timer just feeling happy I made it but so incredibly disappointed that I fell short of my personal goals. Last year going to Napa to run the marathon I had severely over trained. This year I followed my plan to a tee. I didn’t over do or under my mileage. I went to the chiropractor and had my IT Bands worked on prior to the race. I mean I felt so healthy when I stepped over that starting line. But weather…ahh the weather… the old adage “you take what the race day gives you”. No body knows that better than the people who ran Boston this past Monday. You train all winter in the cold temps and mother nature just throws that curve ball.
I had made up my mind before I went over the finish line, (when I resigned myself to walk) that another marathon will be in my future. I just cannot let this “thing” a.k.a “the marathon” beat me. So now I wait. I am in the lottery for NYC (Nov), which will be announced Wed April 24th. I also but in for the Nike Woman’s Marathon lottery in San Fran CA (Oct) for this fall. Knowing me I’ll get into both LOL! But really what are the chances of that.
But I just couldn’t wrap my head around the disappointment and really I just couldn’t talk about it to many people. They just didn’t seem to understand. I mean most people said hey you finished. Blah blah blah….I know and I’m sitting with it much better now. As far as recovery it’s been great. I felt really good afterwards and resisted the urge to run for 3 weeks. Doing only hot yoga. I was actually very scared to take my first post marathon run. But it felt amazing and I ran much faster. My legs were really. No IT band issues. Just me and the road.
So that’s my tale of the DC Marathon. I hope your all doing well and are having a fit-astic (yes I just made up that word) spring!
~xoxo Sole Momma Deana