I loved every minute of the marathon. Every stinking minute. My fueling plan worked out just fine, I met my finishing time goal (<6hrs), and the weather was fantastic. But I digress.
I got up around 4:15am. I ate a turkey sandwich around 4:30 or so, and half of a banana. We left at 4:55am. We got to the corral areas around 5:45am. It was what I consider super cold (47F), so I shivered for most of the time we stood there waiting to start. Liz used the early start option, and so she started at 4:30am. There were so many people at the starting area that none of the apps on my phone would work, so I couldn't track her. I was in the 2nd of 2 corrals, and I lined up about 50 feet beyond the 10:30 pace sign. There weren't any slower signs than that, and my pace is ~12:30. I didn't want to be at the very end, but I also didn't want to make the mistake of getting too far forward and running too fast. Every year, they have 168 seconds of silence to honor the 168 victims of the Murrah Building bombing. This year, they added an additional 3 seconds to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Those 171 seconds were so very long, and so very emotional. There were easily 20,000 people there, and the intense silence was amazing. Only one girl spoke, and I gave her some very unfriendly looks. She appeared to be foreign based on her accent, but she was so rude. My husband made the mistake of wearing one of his EMT jackets, so people kept asking him questions. The disrespectful girl kept trying to ask him how she was supposed to get into the corral (she was a pacer).
Anyway, finally we started! It took me over 13 minutes to get to the starting line. You can just barely see the starting line in the picture above (it's that white thing right to the left of the tree). I had a lot of trouble getting my nike running app to work because there were so many people there. I finally got it settled about a mile into the race. I tried very hard not to start out too fast, and I think I mostly succeeded. My first few miles were in the 11 minute range, which is faster than my average pace of ~12:30, but still slower than my epic 9 min first mile of the SoS half. I ended up taking off my arm warmers somewhere around miles 7 or 8. Mike met me at miles 12 and 18 to reapply the sunscreen so I wouldn't roast like I did on the 20 mile long run (we succeeded-no sunburn!). I managed to stay with my pre-determined fuel plan: Gu at miles 4, 9, 13, 18, and 22. I took beans when needed, usually about 2 miles after Gu. I started taking powerade at the water stops around 10 miles in. The plan was to alternate powerade and water, but towards the end I started getting both powerade, water, and pretzels at every stop. The temperature by noon was close to 80, and it was hot. I was very happy to see that the later water stops had wet sponges so I could wet my head.
My left hip started hurting around mile 14. It got bad enough that I took some aspirin around the 18 mile water stop, and then tylenol around mile 21. Nothing that I thought would be a problem hurt-my shins were completely fine! I was surprised by the hip pain. At that point, I just kept going on. I walked up any hills that I came to, and walked through water stops. One of the girls that I work out with was waiting between miles 25 and 26, and seeing her gave me the extra boost I needed to get to the end. My last mile was one of the faster ones-my pace was 12:08 lol. Once I saw the finish line, I started cheesing like a dork. I almost cried when they handed me my medal-it was close!
My time was 5:36:49, well under my less than 6 hours goal. I finished pretty strongly, but was gimpy once the adrenaline wore off. My hips and knees were fairly sore. I had asked Mike to bring me muscle milk at the finish, and they had bananas, so I avoided post-race incoherency. After the picture-taking was done, we went home. I drank 2 more cups of chocolate milk, and ate some pasta. Then I slept for 4 hours. I was really stiff once I got out of bed again. I have a blister under the skin on my heel; hopefully it won't burst. There's also a chance that I'll lose the second toenail on my right foot. I cracked it a few months ago during a long run, and it's still pretty sore after Sunday.
On Monday, I was a bit stiff in my hips and knees, but it got better as I moved around. Against a few people's advice (but not that of my trainer-she ok'd it), I did a light arm workout on Monday. If it had been a leg day, I totally would have skipped it. But since it was arms, and my arms were fine, I went ahead and worked out. I think it was beneficial to loosen up a bit. Plus, I have a mud run on June 8, and I need to get my upper body ready. Yesterday I was still a little bit stiff in the hips, and today I'm fine.
Here are my stats & splits from the results page:
163/204 in F24-29
10K: 1:15:13 (1:04:22)
15K: 1:53:14 (1:52:32)
27K: 3:26:46 (3:13:34)
32K: 4:10:46 (3:57:34)
The difference between the gun and chip times is 13:57, so the times in parenthesis are what the app said my times were, based on my chip time (I think lol). I wish I knew what my half time was, because it was almost certainly a PR.
Finally, here's my medal! :D
I signed up for this year's SoS half yesterday, and I am planning to run the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa in November. I've been bitten by the marathon bug, it seems. :D