Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dallas Marathon Report Part 2

Jacob was asking why it's taking me so long to write this report. I told him I have a lot to say as it was an interesting 4 hours. He says I'm just long winded. He's probably right.

The second half of the race was different. I started focusing on different things as the euphoric high I was feeling began to wear thin. You know a guy holding a sign with Larry the Cable guy saying "Git r done" and having the path go by a store called CondomSense can only take you so far. I tried to enjoy it but then of course the pain started to set in. Significant pain didn't start affecting me until mile 18. But at the same time between mile 18 and 19 I realized I was going to finish this one. And not for the reasons you might think. It is so weird but I had just come off a turn and was running by a storage facility on my left and woods/lake on my right. Total deja vu happened at this point. I have been here before --- but I hadn't because I had never been to Dallas before. I realized this place was in one of my crazy running dreams a few months earlier. Weird I know. Then a sense of calm and resolve washed over me and I knew that was it. That no matter what the rest of the race brought I was going to finish. But I also knew I had to keep going.

Mile 19 was a big ass party. I was laughing because it was this motivating mile that Clif bar and Hooters was supporting but the Hooters girls were so cold they were in orange jumpsuits instead of their typical uniform. But all very nice nonetheless. There were funny signs like "If you wanted to get a pedicure and couldn't because you are missing toenails - you are a marathoner" and "If you have ever gotten excited for a Powerbar - you know you are a marathoner". Yep and Yep. Then they had a crappy sign. "THIS IS THE WALL" with no push through it or there is no wall. And right after that was the biggest hill on the course. Thanks for the motivation. But I got to laughing again when supporters were trying to pass out beer and donuts and trying to cheer us all up the hill. Simultaneously I was really motivated when I surged the hill and everyone started walking. I felt like such a rock star. I was just looking around at everyone thinking why you peeps walking didn't you train for hills??? No you didn't but I did!!! At that point I was apologizing for every bad thing I had ever said about hill training.

Things then became a bit quiet from this point until the end. The runners had thinned tremendously. Often I was running by myself. Plus, there didn't seem to be as much crowd support. Around the lake was cold in parts and if the wind came off the lake just right it was downright nasty. I had already ran through a mile of rain pelting the side of my face and the wind trying to blow me over. That's the mile I just reminded myself over and over that it was nothing compared to that one nasty training run on lake Michigan (http://mynicknameisbooger.blogspot.com/2007/11/happy-to-finally-be-home.html). Even after I had come off the lake it started to cool down even more. I only noticed when the wind picked up and would fight through saying to myself "you live in the freakin windy city this is nothing". It actually worked this time.

Mile 20-22 I felt myself slow down. There was no mile marker for 21 so I was really thrown off on my time. I had no idea how I was doing anymore and honestly I didn't care during those miles. At mile 22 it hit me - Shit this is the longest I have ever run and there's only 4 miles left (okay 4.2). So I envisioned where I was on my lakefront path and how I normally feel at that point and what I normally do to get home. Just get home was all I was thinking. I was really hurting. My left knee had decided to join the pain gang the left hip had started. The arches of my feet were aching horrendously. I am already flat-footed and it felt like I flattened them with a blacktop roller. Then somewhere around this point my right knee felt left out and wanted to join. I also took my last GU and as I stopped to grab water ( I walk through the water stations as I am not coordinated enough to drink on the move) my left knee/leg gave out felt like it just collapsed...F*** @#$%^&*& That's not good - Is all I could think as I didn't feel any pain. Keep moving, keep moving, drink water, suck the GU and RUN. Get your ass in gear girl. It actually felt better to run. Finally I came to mile 23. My watch read something like 3:34. I figured I could do a 5K in ~30 minutes or so at this point. The faster I get through this the sooner I'll stop hurting. Oh and for even more motivation I looked up to spot thong girl just ahead (I had been running "with" her now for nearly the entire race) . I picked up my pace and went. No way thong girl - it may be mile 23 but I am going to kick your little thong butt. I passed her and didn't look back. Really it was because I was scared to see what the front of her awesome running suit looked like.
Mile 24-25 dragged on because there were not many supporters and the marathoners merged with the half-marathoners around this time. In my pain I then had to swerve between walking half-marathoners. Not so fun. Then I saw a guy whose shirt read "CHICAGO WAS HOTTER". I wanted to catch him to talk but decided I needed to pass him instead. A major plus, it was all downhill or flat from here on to the finish. I hit mile 25 and had to go around a curve on my approach to the West End of Dallas and I started to get choked up realizing I was going to finish, it was going to happen for real not just in my mind. Tears nearly streaming down my face I had some difficulty breathing so my emotions would need to wait until I actually finished. With around .3 left my ipod shuffle shuffled onto Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Israel Kamakawiw Ole' (not Judy Garland or Katherine McPhee but the good version). I thought it was very fitting for how I was feeling. Then it died, just ran out of juice. But I didn't! I put the headphones in my pocket so I could take in the finish line (and take a good picture). Literally steps before I crossed the finish line I heard my name and saw Jacob and his uncle waving. I waved back and threw up my arms as I crossed the finish line. Again I can't wait to see that picture :)
You know what was evil though. The finish area was on a hill so I had to walk uphill to get my blanket, medal, take a picture, get some water, etc. That hurt. Really, really hurt. Then I had to go down 4 steps to go to my meeting place with Jacob (yeah didn't plan that too great either) and I looked down and just stopped. I couldn't do. Then this little old Texan man came up and said "honey, you okay? Here let me help you". So sweet because I'm not sure I would have made it myself right then!
Here are some pictures Jacob took of me finishing and after the race.
me in the pink and white - almost there! The back of me finishing!! so freaking cold but so freakin happy too
my race bling
And the shirt I have been waiting to wear since October

Overall I had a great 2nd 1st marathon experience. During the race I kept thinking "Now this is how you want a race to go" and I actually finished saying I would run another marathon. Although I do vaguely remember around mile 19/20/21 thinking maybe I might be better at only running 1/2 marathons. But eh that was just the pain talking. Next goal under 4 hour marathon! I'm still sore and wobbling around like a penguin but the pain will pass. I look forward to the day when it won't hurt to sit on the toilet or go down steps. There were some things that annoyed me about the pre and post race. Like the fact I couldn't find any food when I finished only beer and I was so not in a beer drinking mood. It all could be corrected if they chose to put up signs. But it was nice to run a smaller race and visit a new city.

If I hadn't started blogging I can't say for sure if I would have been as motivated to attempt another marathon after Chicago. You all kept me motivated throughout training and kept me moving one foot in front of the other during the tough miles of Dallas. Thank you everyone!!!

Before I leave you here are some more fun stats from the run.

start to mile 5: 9:28 min/mile pace

Mile 5 - 13.1: 9:09 min/mile pace

Mile 13.1 - Mile 19: 9:25 min/mile pace

Mile 19 - finish: 9:42 min/mile pace (need to work on this)

9 comments:

bill carter said...

I am so happy for you. This is the kind of experience you should have had in Chicago. From reading your report, it is obvious that you have the spirit of a marathoner. The ones who do are the people who fight all the way until the end, which is what you did. It is truly an amazing thing to go 26.2 like you now have and join what is a very elite club. Congratulations and I can't wait to see where you go from here.

Love the shirt, but I don't think for a second that the first part is true... Jacob is a lucky guy.

Mark Barrera said...

Congrats on finishing the race! Dallas will welcome you back anytime.

I have run the 1/2 twice now in Dallas and run a few 1/2s in other cities, but reading your blog has inspired me to try the full thing next year.

THANKS!

Marcy said...

You're so cute!!! I LOVED your report!!

I know exactly what you mean by "just knowing" everything will be ok and you'll finish. I've only had the experience once in my life while I was in the middle of a car accident and spinning out of control. But for some reason a whole bunch of calm washed over me and I was like "I'm going to be ok. No one is going to get hurt" while everyone else in the car was screaming their heads off :P

I'm seriously LMAO at thong girl. You didn't want to peek just a bit? HAHAHAHAHA. You're right though, it might have been waaayyy too scary. AWESOME JOB passing her!

Most def a sub 4 marathon in store for you! You did GREAT!! CONGRATS chica!!! AWESOME AWESOME JOB!!

The Laminator said...

Awesome race report Jamie. Couldn't get the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" theme song out of my head today after reading your inspiring story. I totally dig how you kicked some thong girl behind in the race too. You did an amazing job and should be very proud. A sub-4 marathon is definitely in the future for you. Congrats again!

Nicole said...

Great race report and MC commercial. Nice job.

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice job!!! I LOVE that sure! I want one!!!

Amanda said...

Great report, I've been thinking about doing this race next year since my best friend is moving to Dallas. You have proved this might just be a good idea!

Frayed Laces said...

Wow! Way to go! I just finished my first marathon, and definitely didn't have a great experience like you. You kicked butt! I must say that t-shirt is awesome.

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