Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First Marathon - July 29, 2012 SFO

On July 29, 2012, I ran my first 26.2, at the San Francisco Wipro Marathon. My finishing time was 5:19, appx. a 12:10 pace. Not great, slow, but I ran without any problems and enjoyed the day in full. The day started at 3:30 a.m. with coffee and clothes. At 4:30 a.m. my brother, who was running the half, came and drove both me and Andrea, my sister-in-law, to the start. His intention was to run just 5K and to win a bet that he would show (since the year before he forgot to pick up his bib.) Our wave started at 6:30, so we had to stand around for an hour, wrapped in a snuggy I brought. At the gun Andrea sprinted ahead and Carl paced me at 11:00 a mile for the first 4 miles. At the 4 mile mark he dropped out to catch the bus and cook a post-run feast. My 1/2 marathon split time was exactly 2:30 - not bad. At mile ten my brother Joe left me a care package by the side of the road, with beers and chips. I chugged a beer - a perfect carb for a run. In Golden Gate Park, my mom, sister-in-law Adriana, and brother John had a cheering committee and care package; I at Snickers and Coke with my salt pills. GGP is the worst part of the route because it gets repetative with a few loops. I much prefer the city routes. Husband Hugh meet me at mile 20 with a sign and another Coke, the perfect pick me up for the final leg. At that point the whole race was just a fun run, and pretty uneventful and pretty standard. Since San Fran is part of my regular running and training route, (and I have done many fun runs in the City) this marathon physically felt just like a regular long weekend run. My body did not recognise that this was a special event. The only time I started feeling differently was mile 24 and 25 where I started to get angry. I have read many magazines and a few books on training for a marathon, and I do not recall reading about anger. Hitting the wall, fear, excitement, being overwhelmed - all of these things are mentioned in books. But not anger. I was angry at all the walkers and folks giving up. I had a massive urge to start pep talking people to get going and finish strong. Of coarse I kept my mouth shut. The last thing a stranger at mile 24 of a marathon needs is some stranger yelling at them to start running. I never stopped runnning for those last 2 miles, and in fact, I ran after hitting the finish line until I got my metal. Then I sat down. I didn't want any food, just water and another beer. It felt good to sit. I was very happy to sit. But I felt great. No muscle pains. I did get one big blister on the right foot, but that's normal. The next race I will need to train a little differently. I will need to monitor my nutrition a little more carefully - I gained weight training for this marathon. Too many carbs. Too much pie. And I need to add strength training for the lumbar spine. That is the only sore spot - lower back. And I need a better psychology for race day. Placing myself in the last wave with the slow folks (which I am one of) brought my spirit down and made me angry. I need to be in a wave with upbeat hyper folks who shout and scream and cheer, even at the end! Yep - I have 2 more half marathons on calendar in September, and plan on signing up for my second full.

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