Race day came. I was SO nervous!! Usually my nerves come out in the bathroom several times before my run, but I was only in there once...which of course made me more nervous that it would hit when I got to the race or even during it! Jason came with me and held my hand up until the horn went off. He said I was death-gripping his jacket. I was just cold. All week it said it was supposed to rain on the 27th which made me even more nervous. I was already concerned about my toenail falling off, I didn't want it to happen to more and risk more blisters.
|Ready to go!|
I was in Wave 6. This meant that 5 other big groups of people started before me. Each time a group shot off, my stomach was in knots. Finally it was my turn. I handed Jason my jacket, was so grateful that the rain was away, updated my Facebook status, of course...and off I went! I was hoping to start with my normal pace, all happy and running, but of course the people in front of me got in the way. People decided to start by walking, weren't moving and it was just a mess of people!! I finally got some distance and decided to start some music. I had wrapped my phone in saran wrap in case it rained, which made it really hard to navigate. I finally found play and all the sudden my music was blasted in my ears!! I like my music loud and was thinking that once I got my pace going that it would be fine. But now, this was like ear-drum burning loud!! I tried pressing the volume button from my arm band while running, and after several attempts and the arm band falling off, I decided to go to the sidelines and fix it. Not even 1 mile in and I'm already stopping. It was short lived and I was back on the road.
The energy in the half was awesome! Every few miles there was some random band playing, there were a ton of people on the sidelines cheering us on, holding signs and encouraging us. The signs helped a lot. They were encouraging but also funny at the same time! I wish I got pictures of the marathon itself but w/ my phone strapped to my arm, I couldn't do it. Some of my favorite signs: "If it was easy, we would all be doing it!"; "You're kind of a big deal!"; "I bet this seemed like a great idea 4 months ago!"; "Pet my puppy, it'll make you run faster"; "Free puppies at the finish line!"; and my favorite "Run faster, I just farted!" That last sign was accompanied by another sign that looked like a poof cloud by this ladies butt. I was dying! Some of the water stations were also themed. My favorite was the pirate station. Yes, everyone there offering water was dressed like a pirate. Part of me felt like I needed to get water from these stops just because they put in the effort. The other noteable one was the superhero station. There was a guy who needed to cross sides and bounded in front of his with a big black cape following him. I thought that was pretty awesome.
In the meantime, we started seeing people come back from the full marathon. It was amazing to see how these people were built!! They were like a different species! Tall, lean, muscle, SPRINTING! And for them, this was mile 24 and they're sprinting!! I didn't sprint at all during half of that!
Anyway, back to my race. I was feeling pretty good. I had experience with hills, my breathing was pretty regular, I had a good pace going. Then around mile 5 I started getting ankle pain, this time in my left ankle. I tried running in different ways in order to stretch it out a little, changed my pace. It helped a little. At one point I had to stop again because my music got loud again. Then I would speed walk when I got water, because I found out the hard way that it's difficult to drink water out of a little cup while you're running. The spilled water all around my face did feel nice though.
During the race there were a couple landmarks I was looking for. The biggest one is the big smokestack around Carlsbad.
|Image courtesy of Active Rain|
You can see that power plant from miles. When I saw it from far away, I could gauge how far I needed to go. And I knew that from our turning spot I wouldn't be able to see it anymore. I ran past it and got to the halfway point (I thought) pretty quickly! I was so glad to have mapmyrun going because they didn't have mile markers like I thought they would! I think at the halway point MMR was saying it was technically 7 miles. But at the end of the race my mileage ended up being .6 more than the 13.1. On my way back, I looked for the same smokestack. I tend to look at the ground while I'm running so I don't turn my ankle on some random piece of pavement. I was amazed when I looked up and was thinking "hey, where did it go?!" That's right...I passed it!! Whoo hoo!! Shortly after my ankle was still really bothering me and had moved into my knee. I was feeling really creaky and had passed 9 miles. I know I didn't have much farther to run but knew I needed to stretch. Did that for less than 30 seconds then back on the pavement. Not sure if that made matters worse because I started turning into lead. After 10 miles, the thoughts running through my head were, "Wow, I've NEVER run this far before!! This is awesome!! You're almost there! You can do it!!" From about 9 miles on I could see on peoples bibs that they were from Wave 4 which had started about 10 minutes before me. That's about an average of a mile! I was stoked on that. But then I would see people who were power walking and keeping w/ my pace. That was a bit embarassing.
The hardest part was when MMR said "13 miles". I really wanted to say "Whoo hoo!!!! .1 miles left!!!" But no, someone had their mileage jacked up and I still had to do another .6. That doesn't seem like much but when you're muscles are crying for a rest, it's tedious!! I could see the mall. I could see the people rounding the bend to the finish line. I could feel my face turning to smile. I was finishing!!!!! Running up to the finish line I heard my name and looked back to see Jason and Avery cheering me on! I looked towards the finish line and saw the clock say 2:59:58. I sprinted my hardest and managed to finish at exactly 3:00:00. However, I was in Wave 6, so it didn't actually take me 3 hours to finish. My final time ended up being 2:42! I was aiming for 2:15, but I don't care. I just care that I finished!
I was quickly handed a mylar blanket which looked like something from outerspace. I think it was to keep the heat on your body since you sweat, and the air will make you cold fast, it keeps the heat in. Next step in line was the medal. You just picked it up and kept walking. It was kind of anti-climatic, but I put that sucker over my neck asap! Next in line, bottle of water and then a bag w/ some snack in it. I knew it would take a while for Jason to find me, so my priority was finding a place to sit and tell him where I was. LEAD FOR LEGS!!! I could barely move. And the sea of people! I ended up finding some curb, and luckily about 2 minutes later my friend Alyssa found me. Avery was fascinated with my blanket. She was so cute and her face looked so proud of me. "You went running, Mommy!" I sure did!
|Me, my kid and my curb.|
Alyssa asked me what I thought of it. I said, "My bucket list item got checked off and I NEVER need to do that again!!" And it's the truth! Man, it was brutal!
|I came, I saw, I conquered and got a pretty medal to show for it!|
We got in the car to battle the masses out of the parking lot and Jason says, "Now that you met your goal, whats next?"