Saturday, October 14, 2006

Baltimore Marathon Race Report

So...... I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't even know where to start. So I guess I'll just start at the start.

My mom and I headed up to Baltimore on Friday to pick up our bib numbers and race time chips and to hit the Expo (where I got a sweet Coolmax long sleeve shirt for $15). We grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at ESPNZone in Inner Harbor and spent some time walking around before heading back to the hotel, where we expected to be chilling for the rest of the night....

except.....Jess forgot to pack her watch. It was and still is sitting in a drawer in her apartment. So we ran back to the expo hoping they would have some on sale their, but they only had $50 Timex ones, and well there was no need for that. So we got extremely lost trying to find the closest Wal-mart. But eventually we found it and I got a cheap-o $7 watch, which worked just fine.

We both planned on getting to sleep early so that we could obviously have energy for the morning. I was antsy/nervous/anxious as heck though, so it didn't work out so well for me. I didn't eventually fall asleep only to be woken up at 1 in the morning by my new watch which had an alarm feature i was unaware of.

Woke up again at 5:45 to get ready for the race. It was a FREEZING 39 degrees outside. Average temp at start time for this marathon is 50. I chowed down a Power Bar and an English Muffin gulped down and some Gatorade.

I was so not sure what to wear but I went with capri tights and a long sleeve top with sleeves that are easy to roll up. They gave us complimentary gloves in our race packets which were money b/c we could just throw them out if we got warm during the race.

Used the porta-potties at the starting line like 3 times because I was so nervous. Found my pace group. I signed up to run with the 5:15 group, planning on staying with them for the first half and then dropping back for the second half on the hills.

8:00 a.m. and we were off and cruising. First three miles were completely uphill, never a fun way to start a race, but our pace group was killing our splits. We pretty much caught up to the group pacing to finish in 5 hours.

Mile 4 slight downhill into mile 5. Cruising along everythign is feeling awesome. I'm so energized and thrilled the pain in my calf from the previous day was not acting up at all. At mile 6 all of our pacers had to stop to use the bathrooms so another girl and I kept going together and we were still killing our split times. We were ahead by five minutes. We stayed together for most of the race.

The course flattened out around mile 7ish and stayed pretty flat through 14. We got to mile 13 and we were still five minutes ahead of the split we were supposed to be at. I finished the first half of the marathon in something like 2:30 (I don't remember the exact time, when they post the split I'll let you all know), which is ridiculous for me.

The second half though is pure hills. It's straight uphill from about 15.5 to 20 and then "rolling" (to be read mostly uphill with a hint of down on a rare occassion) until 25. Needless to say at this point in the race that was brutal. I did a lot of walking. Mile 19 was the last time I was under a split for the 5:15 pace.

By this point my feet were killing me. It was painful every time they hit the ground. But my roommate had this thing she kept saying the week leading up to race. She was going around saying, "My roommate ran a marathon, what's your's done?" and if she was feeling sassy she'd add a "what's your's done, bitch."

I'm not sure why I remembered that so vividly during the race. But since we weren't allowed to have music I just kept chanting that to myself over and over and over. It was weird but it totally took my mind off things. I also wrote half an essay for class that's due on Monday in my head as I was going. It was a damn fine essay so I hope I remember it.

I had a few goals this race. First and foremost was crossing the finish line. Second was running at least a small portion of every single mile. And third, was running the last quarter mile. I accomplished all of them. And I acutally ran way more of a quarter mile because these people at the end of the race were like the finish line's jsut around the corner....and well I was at the corner....and the finish line was not there. Not a happy moment for me. But I finished running and I was beaming like crazy.

My time, which I'm sure you all want to know by now, was 5:26:11 (by my watch) 5:26:16 by official time.

I have a blister running the entire length of my pinky toe (it didn't hurt at all during the race though so whatever it'll go away eventually) I am sunburned like crazy on my face. But no chaffing (thank you BodyGlide). The water and gatorade stops were my heros and well as the Gu stops. I've learned the Vanilla Bean actually is tolerable.

It was so cool seeing all the people cheering. There were some lonely spots were there was no one, or just one or two people spread out. But coming in through the end was the most amazing feelings. There were so many people and they were all cheering and holding signs and it was an awesome awesome moment.

I still can't really believe I did it. Back in April I could run 2.5-3 miles. And today I ran 26.2. It's crazy. I almost started tearing up twice in the race. I'm not sure why. Just emotional I guess. It's was an amazing experience. Nothing will ever top it!

4 comments:

susie said...

Congrats! That's a huge accomplishment and worth a few tears:) Way to go!!

teacherwoman said...

Most definitely an amazing accomplishment! Way to go! I am so happy/excited for you!

Firefly's Running said...

CONGRADS!!!!

Kathy said...

Congratulations! I just found your blog, and I also ran Baltimore, and finished around the same time as you - we must have been near each other the whole time! Those hills were brutal - great job!

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