Monday, October 19, 2009

Grand Rapids Marathon Recap

I will do my best to give a recap of the marathon!
I actually slept quite well on Saturday night. I was in bed before 10:30pm and I think I was sleeping before 11 That's really good for me.
I slept pretty soundly until around 3:30am or so and then I was up every 15 minutes or so. I finally got out of bed at 4:45, this was about 30 minutes sooner than my alarm was set for.
I went through my usual routine of eating, caffeinating and getting dressed and was out the door by 6:50am.
My running club met at a Burger King about 45 minutes before the race stated.
It was freezing cold!! To me anyway-- it was in the low 30's with some frost action going on too. I had my cheap gloves on with my hand warmers inside.

Anyway....the race started promptly at 8am and my running partner Elsa and I started behind the pace group time of 3:44. This was George Dubya's marathon time so we had to look at his ugly mug for a while. And for the record, this pace group started out way too fast. Elsa and I were to run 8:23 minute miles and we were running 8 minute pace or better the first 3 miles and Georgie's face was still at least 100 meters in front of us!
SO the first few miles were pure excited adrenaline. It was cold. It was crowded and we were on a mission.
We finally hit our pace and got into a good groove. We were both feeling excellent.
Right around mile 6 we met a new friend; Em. Super nice and cute girl that shared our same goal = 3:40. She was keeping a faster pace then us so she took off ahead of us.

It was around mile 11 or 12 that things started falling apart. Not for me but for my buddy. She was expecting some IT trouble around mile 16 or so, but her calf decided to cramp instead. It was bad enough that she had to stop for a bit to stretch. She made me leave her. I hated to do it. Really I did. She caught back up to me though. We ran together for about 2 more miles before she had to stop again. That was the last I saw of Elsa for a while. She was kind enough to tell me to pick up my pace enough before she fell back ( you have to remember that I am not so great at figuring out what my mile splits are etc. Elsa is awesome at that). So I was totally freaked out and worried. Worried for her and for myself! I felt really good. My legs were behaving and so were my was my mind and mental state that started playing tricks on me!
Things got better for me after I saw my family on the sideline! This always gives me more pep in my step! I saw Matt and the kids, my running coach and other members of the club that were not running. They were all very encouraging on the sidelines.

I also saw my new friend Em. I spotted her around mile 16 or so. I had to pick up my pace to catch her. She seemed very happy to see me again, I know I was happy to see her! She said she was starting to get tired, but would keep us on pace. We found our groove and by her calculations we were headed for a 3:30 marathon! What?!??! I was so happy and shocked to hear this. I just wanted to remain calm and keep running strong.

We ran together for 4 more miles when both of her IT bands started bothering her. She told me to go on. So I did. Again, I felt like I abandoned yet another friend on this course. She helped me so much. I went ahead and was even able to calculate my own pace. Who would have thought! Must be because I was delirious. I must get smarter while dehydrated and in pain......
I was on my way. I was running 8:00, 8:10 and 8:15 mile pace. I was feeling AWESOME.
Mile 22 came and I still felt AWESOME.
Then came mile 22.5. Crap. There's that dang wall. MOVE outta my way please. I did the best I could, but I also somehow figured out in my delirium that I could run 10:00 miles from here until the end and still qualify for Boston. I ran a 9:00 mile and then with a 5k left I turned it back up to at least an 8:30 if not better pace.

I started getting emotional when I knew I would make it. I saw my coach with less than a mile to go. He came and ran with me and congratulated me on making it to Boston! I had the biggest smile on my face. I still had about .5 or so to go. I was racing to the finish with all that I had left which was not much. I heard the crowd, Matt and a few friends cheering for me and sped to the finish. I crossed the finish line and just kind of hugged whoever was near me. It was the guy handing out the medals! I am not much of a crier and I did not shed a tear..until I saw my new friend Em cross the time--she did it! She ran right into my arms as if we were old friends and we both bawled like babies; thanking each other for helping one another meet our goal! Oh I love this sport!
Elsa came in a few minutes later. She crossed the finish in 3:44. She did not make it. I feel for her. We hugged and cried and all that too. Total mush fest. Mary came in next. 3:56! She did it..she beat her goal too! I knew she could do it! She collapsed in my arms. Another cry fest over here. So much emotions on this day. It's hard to explain. You're crying because you are happy, excited, in pain, sad, mad you name it!
So this experience was such a good one. The race was hard, but I had the proper training. It could have been worse!

Boston here I come!


Krystal said...

Geez girl, I am totally crying reading this! (honestly. what the heck?!) I am so proud of you!

FitCrazedMomma said...

It's crazy Krys!
Thanks so much for following along with the journey!

The Red One said...

WOW!! you always amaze me. what a journey! your determination is incredible! So proud of you and your family looks beautiful! (reddgoddess)

FitCrazedMomma said...

Thanks Dee!!
Good to see you here!!