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Monday, August 15, 2011

E.T. Full Moon Marathon

I wanted to get this down before I forget since a lot of it is already a blur. So, all day of the race I was feeling pretty confident. I wasn't sure what to eat because I've never raced at night so I was freaking about that. I slept in that morning and took a decent nap so I wasn't too worried about sleep. We loaded up the car and left at 8:15. The drive out there was pretty boring. We stopped in Alamo for gas and I grabbed some bagels and cream cheese. While I was in the bathroom there were two runners talking to each other and they were both freaking out about running the 10k. They made me feel good. When we got there I was so excited. There were runners all over the place with glow necklaces on. It felt like a rave in the middle of the desert. We parked the car. It was cold. I put on my long sleeve race t. I had Michael take a few pictures of me. We walked over to the start line. The music and the neon made the whole thing surreal. I was feeling good. They told us there would be a delayed start because some of the buses from Vegas got lost. Finally, they announced it was time to start. I gave my husband my shirt and extra water. I told him to try and find me at the finish. I lined up, put on my i-pod, turned on my Garmin and we were off. The first 8 miles were glorious. I kept saying to myself, "This is it. This is what you have been working for." I was running my goal pace with ease. I passed many. Running in the dark with all of the other neon decorated runners was just plain fun. There was this woman. She was so pretty. She kept running and then walking. Running and then walking. It was interesting at first and then after the 6th time she stopped and then caught up to me and then fell behind and then caught up to me again it got annoying. I wanted to get away from her. Do I run faster or run slower? It was so distracting. Then, I saw it. I could see little lights way up high in the distance and I knew there was a big huge hill coming. So many people were walking. The pretty run/walker was still with me. I walked some of the hill. I stopped at each station and filled up my water bottle and grabbed a gel if they had them. I decided right then and there that I didn't care about my time I just wanted to finish. Then, I got really slow. At least runner/walker lady was gone. Most of the middle of the race is a blur. I remember at the top of one hill I wanted to stop and walk back and find Michael and have him take me home. I remember saying a few times that I would NEVER run another marathon. I was so mad at myself for not running the half especially after I passed the 13 mile mark. I wanted someone to come and get me. Somewhere I decided I had to go to the bathroom. There was a porta potty with two women outside it. I stopped and I waited and I waited. I think I waited at least 5 minutes. Finally this man emerged and the woman in front of me went and then I went, and then I went on my way. I decided some where A little while later I looked down at my Garmin and I realized I was at 17. My whole attitude and pace changed. Only 3 more and I would hit 20. Only 6 more and I would reach the turn around. Only 9 more and I would be done and have my medal. I went faster, and faster, and faster. I started passing so many people, so many of them were so much younger and fitter than my self and it made me go even faster. I was running well beyond my goal pace and I kept it up until mile 20 and then I saw another climb and I freaked and I walked. I didn't walk much and I walked fast but I walked. I got to the turn around which was the top of the hill and mile 23. Only three more. I started to cry. I was overwhelmed. I was going to finish. "Suck it up," I told myself you can cry when you are done. Those last three actually flew by. A mile until the finish I could feel a huge blister on the bottom of my foot pop. Oh god, I thought. That's it. I'm going to fall down a mile from the finish. No, I was o.k. I went as fast as could. I man sitting in a chair near the sideline said, "Congratulations, you just did an amazing thing," and my eyes welled up with tears. I saw the finish line and that beautiful finish line clock. I saw my husband's smiling face. I crossed the line. Where's my medal? I want my medal! They gave me medal. It was over. I wished I hadn't of walked but I was so glad I finished. On the way home I thought about the Las Vegas Marathon and how much I wanted to finish in under 4:00 and how hard I was going to train. That is why I love marathons. They are hard. They are mentally and physically hard but once they're over there is something so awesome about knowing you just did something so difficult. The best part is wanting to do it again after suffering so much. And for the record my official time was 4:44. My first marathon was 4:29.

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