In January of 2008, I decided it was time to make a change. It was time to take better care of the only body I will ever get by eating healthier & exercising.
I have yet to look back.
The past three and a half years have been amazing. Life is amazing. There’s nothing that can stop you from living the life you want!
On August 9th, 2008 I completed my first sprint triathlon.
On March 14th, 2009 I completed my first 10k race.
On October 10th, 2009 I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon.
On January 24th, 2010 I completed my first Half Marathon.
And on June 5th, 2011 I completed my first Marathon!
Sunday I ran 26.2 miles. I ran 26.2 miles in 4 hrs and 16 minutes.
Ever since my taper began I had butterflies in my stomach. I was prepared for the race but had to wait for my body to be ready. Those two weeks were killer but I listened to the more experienced ones and did what I was told. I rested up, ate lots of carbohydrates and just waited.
Finally, race weekend was here. The weekend was ALL ABOUT the Marathon. I ate and slept marathon. I don’t think I did anything that wasn’t going to help me prepare for Sunday!
Saturday we went to the expo at the Convention Center. It was HUGE. It took us a good two hours to get our bibs & walk through all the sponsor booths.
We ate all the samples we could & just enjoyed being there.
Saturday’s weather was beautiful! All I wanted to do was soak up the sun, maybe have a cold cocktail and relax. Unfortunately, this was not in the cards for us. I had more important things to worry about..
We went to Isabel’s Cantina for lunch in Pacific Beach. I ordered the special breakfast sandwich with bacon, chorizo, avocado, and lots of other yummy stuff on it.
After lunch it was time to prep & drink lots of fluids.
*I made a snack cooler for Todd to carry around just in case.
*I made an iEatNeat t-shirt to wear during the race!
*I updated my music on my ipod.
*I got all my gear together for the race & for pre & post
Once I was all ready it was time to head down south for my typical pre-race meal. Todd & I picked up Missi & went to Bronx Pizza for the first time.
I drank a 22oz bottle of Racer 5… out of a paper bag..
..& ate two large slices of pizza
This has been my typical pre-race meal and I think it’s been good for me. One of these times I may try to go without it. Maybe I will have a better race!?
Todd & I slept at Missi’s house to give us an extra half hour of sleep. That being said, my alarm was set for 3:30am and I was in bed by 10pm. Race morning was there before we knew it. I had my typical toast with PB & Banana and some more fluids.
Pre-race logistics were a little stressful. With lots of traffic & long lines for the porta-potties (45 min. maybe??), we barely made it to the start line!
Pre race porty-potty line shot with the iphone..
And a group shot in line..
Before I knew it, we were off! I was now running 26.2 miles.. like it or not!
The first 7 miles or so were scenic. We ran through Balboa Park, Hillcrest, the Gaslamp District, through Petco Park and down by SD Bay on Harbor Drive.
We then made it back to the entrance of 163 freeway via Broadway I think. The freeway was a little surreal but the slant of the road was not fun on my legs. They did not like the long incline from miles 6-10 either.
We exited the freeway at about mile 11 or so on Friars Road. Friars had a good amount of spectators & took us down to Morena Blvd area. I found Todd somewhere just before mile 14. He rode the beach cruiser beside me for as long as he could until he was kicked off the course. I liked having him there just in case. The Morena Blvd. portion of the course was boring. We ran back and forth along that road for too long.
At about mile 16 I started hurting which was way too early when I had 10 miles left! My stomach was in knots and stayed that way. I need to figure out how to prevent that! I stopped a couple times to take a couple deep breaths and handed Todd my water belt which helped. It relieved some pressure for a bit. I also stopped to use the porta-potty at maybe mile 17 or 18. That is where I lost Todd and was on my own until mile 21ish.
Entering De Anza Cove I saw Danielle & Steamer, gave her a hug & continued on. I ate a Gu Roctane Gel at mile 20 from an aid station and filled my mini water bottle from their cups of water. By this point I was definitely slowing. My music was beginning to stress me out because it seemed real loud. Todd helped me to get my music to a lower volume and I slowly trucked along.
The last 6 miles were not enjoyable. I walked through aid stations and even a little extra on Fiesta Island. Too much noise bothered me (cheerleaders on the course) and nothing was making it easier! Even the otter pops made me feel a little sick!
The home stretch..
Needless to say, I finished! My official time was 4 hrs 16 min & 37 seconds. Below is my garmin time which was about 4 minutes short. The garmin stops when I stop so it’s a little off.
With a time of 4:16:37 my real pace was 9:47 (If I did my math correctly). I can honestly say I am happy with that. There are many parts of me that wished I was faster or wished those last miles felt better but honestly, I am happy. That was not easy. Those last miles are a challenge I’ve never came across before (in exercise or life).
After about an hour of recovering, I was ready to tackle those last miles again. Well, not really.. but in my head I felt I could do them better the second time! I think this feeling is the appeal to this whole marathon thing. I can do better.. I know I can.. even though I hated every second of those last miles..
After wandering around aimlessly trying to find Todd & Leslie, we made it to the beer garden & sat on the ground for a good hour. It was not easy getting up! I drank a Miller 64 Lemonade beer which was a good gimmick on their part. Take a light beer that has no flavor and add lemonade to it. Now it tastes good. The problem with light beers is in order to remove calories, you are also removing alcohol. This beer was 2.something% alcohol. Not worth it to me.. even with the lemonade flavor.
Congrats to Leslie for setting a PR on the half with a speedy time of 1:39:48! Yay Leslie!
We celebrated post race with a BBQ put on by some amazing friends.
This burger was amazing!!
And so were the tequila shots!
Here I am with the other first time marathon finishers! Great job Michelle & Brett!
I have to give a shout out to my number 1 fan! Thanks Todd! You’re the best! 🙂
What an amazing experience! Here I come Nike Women’s Marathon!!