Anyway, things did not get off to a good start. There was nowhere to eat the night before except Denny's or the hotel restaurant. I chose the hotel restaurant because it seemed to have more lighter fare to choose from. This ended up being a gross mistake. Not only was it horribly overpriced, I spent the entire night in the bathroom. Yes. All those carbs were going straight though. I was seriously worried that I would have to visit every portapotty on the course. This in addition to having a nasty upper respiratory cold.
So, we get up at 6, which is pushing it since the race starts at 7:30. WHY they felt the need to start a late-October marathon in upstate New York that early is beyond me. If anything, you want to wait for it to WARM UP that time of year. Point being, all I have time to down is half a bagel. Fine for shorter races - didn't work here. In the future, I will definitely be leaving more time so I can eat a heavier breakfast.
So we get to the race site, I pick up my packet, use the porta-potty, and basically try to keep from freezing my butt off.
|Shivering in the cold.|
|Changed into my "disposable" hoodie.|
|Almost go time.|
So they have someone sing the national anthem, and we're off.
|The start. I'm really NOT at the very back, I swear.|
Mile 2: I feel silly stopping so soon, but it's the first porta-potty and my teeth were floating. I try to get in and out of there as quickly as I can. (Yes, I know. I'm wearing tri shorts and should have just peed myself. I'm not THAT hardcore. Yet.)
Mile 3: Take my first 1/2 gel, still feeling really good although the hellacious headwind is not fun. I try to tuck in behind people the best I can. At least this part of the course is pancake flat.
Mile 4: I get passed by...a guy dribbling a basketball? Really? Still on flats with a howling headwind. Someone hands me a gel that dropped out of my race belt. Hmmm....that's never happened before. I just throw it in my top.
Mile 5: The first runner from the half-marathon (which started half an hour later) flies by. The guy next to me goes, "Holy SHIT!" I look over to him and say, "My thoughts EXACTLY." I'm really looking all over for Dr. Z at this point because I desperately want to dump the hoodie and am really hoping I don't have to throw it away.
Mile 6: Dr. Z finally catches up with me on his bike and I toss him my hoodie. I take the second half of my first gel right on schedule.
Miles 7-13: The hills start. Holy crap. Luckily I'm still staying on plan, although I do let me heart rate climb a bit while jogging up the hills. Still taking gels on schedule. Very happy that my GI system is staying happy considering last night's poopfest. At one point I realize I've lost ANOTHER gel so I yank all the remaining ones out of my belt and throw them in my top.
|Dr. Z couldn't resist a butt shot. You're welcome.|
I hit the halfway mat in 2:11. These first 13 miles really did go by quickly and easily, even once the hilly section started. Every time I saw an aid station I was like, "I just ran another mile already?"
|Full-on Hurt Face|
At one point we have this stupid, really short out-and-back that's been added on. It's stupid because the course is already about a tenth of a mile long. Luckily the GI is STILL happy and I'm taking my gels on schedule. This is still all hills and my quads are really starting to hurt towards the last few miles.
|After ten miles of hills - yeah, NO KIDDING. Dr. Z thought this was hysterical.|
Miles 19-22: We're finally back on the flat section, this time with a tailwind. Unfortunately at this point my quads are so fried it doesn't help much. I find people to run with to keep me going, but lose them and have to find new people after every aid station - the downside of having a plan to walk the aid stations. (I know, I could have started running through them at this point, but I really did like how the walk breaks broke up the miles.) It is at this point I finally pass the Dribbler back.
|How can he still be smiling at mile 20? Asshole.|
Miles 24-25: At this point, I tell myself that I can settle into my Ironman Shuffle and will still break 4:30, which keeps me going. I take my last gel, right on schedule. Just never had an upset tummy.
Mile 26: At this point I've turned into the parking lot of the stadium where the race started. My true 26.2 time is 4:25 and change - wish I had hit "Lap" on my Garmin to get the split. I'm completely tunnel-visioned at this point, but make it through at 4:27:30 GUN time, with a 26.38 mile course.
|I'm in the background, coming down the finish line.|
Finish: This is where it gets ugly. I cross the finish line and my legs just give out.
|Legs give out.|
|Trying to get up.|
The EMTs come over and I spend the next half hour in medical on the nebulizer. I really did feel better after about ten minutes on it, but they always make you do a full treatment. I must have had my lungs listened to about ten times.
Once I finish up, they release me and I am one very sore but very happy girl. I thought Coach was nuts putting 4:30 as my time in TrainingPeaks, but I smashed that goal on a hilly course with a headwind so bad it pushed the truck around the entire way home. Oh yeah, and with almost NO training.
I have GOT to do another marathon with proper training someday. I really think I have a sub-4 in me. And now for nine weeks of well-earned rest. What a way to end the season!
Net Time: 4:27:01
Women's 35-29 AG: 23/41