Dinner the night before with the knocked up chicks !
Maire our marathon virgin before the de flowering!!!Wow what a great marathon course! It was hilly and challenging and fun. Kind of.
I arrived with my friend Maire early and OMG it was freezing. I was NOT prepared for how cold it was. I had come from 95 degree weather in Australia and had arrived run morning to 40 degree with icy winds. I still did not think much of it as I did my warm up. The problem was we were all in the starting corral for about 7-10 mins getting freezing again. I stood with my pace group as the gun went off and was super excited.
We took off at the perfect pace and headed out. In the first mile there is a steep medium length hill. As we headed up I felt a slight grab in my right quad. No fear I figured it was cold and it would warm up and go away with in a few miles. I was in my tiny tri shorts with a singlet top and a flimsy long sleeve top I planned on taking off later. Mile 2,3,4,5 were fine I found my rhythm and was really enjoying myself. I was ignoring the quad tightness that was getting tighter but not to bad. As we took the side road I took a quick loo break and took the chance to try to stretch the quad. Holy cow I could not lift my quad backwards. Never mind I was running really well till now so I just started running again and slowly closed the gap from the break back to my pace group. Mile 8 saw a massive long hill out the back of Carlsbad. It was not particularly steep going up just really long. As I reached the top I could feel the other quad tightening and strangely the right one loosening. Weird. Perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me.
Last year so many things went wrong in my racing I think I got a little soft in the head towards the end of the season. I had pledged that this year rain hail or shine I was going to hurt in every race and give 110 per cent no matter the challenges. Seemed like this race was going to test my resolution.
Mile 9 saw the other side of that long climb. I was starting to have real quad cramps and the weather was NOT getting any warmer. The descend was giving my legs hell. I was unable to run in my normal stride and I was loosing my pace group by just a touch. The highlight of the down hill was seeing Maire heading up looking amazing and strong. As this was her first marathon I was so impressed with her. She was still with her pace group also. Go Maire!!!
Miles 10,11,12 was a battle I did not want to stop for any reason but eventually at mile 13 I had not choice. I stop near a pole to try and stretch my quads. Both were a mess. I could not pull my ankle to my butt with out screaming like a banshee. It was so painful. I tried not to let it get to me and as soon as I felt some relief I was off again. No actual walking per say just stopping for stretching. That was the mantra.
Miles 14,15,16,17 saw me on the side of the road stretching numerous times more.... I lost count. I started to wonder if maybe I was dehydrated. Just in case I asked people for salt. Eventually one lovely man did. I swallowed them down and hoped for the best.
All day no one ran past me while I was moving. If I was standing still then yes I got passed but I was holding 8 min miles anytime I was moving which was good. Every step in mile 18,19,20 and 21 was agony. All I was thinking was that pace group 3.35 had not yet passed me so I had only lost 5 mins off my desired time. A testament to how hard I was running when moving.
Sadly mile 21 saw the 3.35 group go past. I was determined to stick with them but as mile 23 rolled around I lost them. The stopping to stretch was my only option. I was thumping my quads and praying that they could keep going. Mile 24 has you back in the thick of Carlsbad with all the crowd and I think that helped but somehow right behind me was 3.40 group. CRAP!!!
I held onto them until that descend into town. You remember the one from the beginning. I came down the hill running as hard as I could and as it flattened at the bottom my quads gave out and I hit the deck. How crazy just .7 of a mile to go and I was in agony. A lovely lady picked my sad ass up off the ground and I limped in over the line.
3.44 and I have never been so proud of myself for putting the hurt on my body like that. It hurt for all the wrong reasons but I made it and with a personal best. While I was honestly aiming for a 3.30 I had amended that to 3.35 after seeing the course. So with all the stopping and pain I feel happy with what I achieved out there. Once again the lesson is never never ever give up.
About half an hour later our marathon virgin Maire arrived. She looked amazing and so comfortable. She was awesome and I was so proud of her. Crazy German.
I was going to pay the price for this and within 2 hours of finishing I was a walking mess. I resembled a retarded crab. Sort of a weird sideways crawl. No rest for the wicked though as tomorrow morning at 6 am I am off to Tampa. Heck this could hurt more than the marathon but I doubt it!