Hoover Dam Marathon Complete!

Hoover Dam Marathon Complete!

It is Saturday morning, 4am, and I am feeling the butterflies start to set in.  I wake up, with my normal routine, and grab some oatmeal.  I wonder if this will be enough to sustain me for the duration.  I grab a banana, two, three.  Camelbak, check.  Sunscreen, check.  Granola bars, check.  Timing chip, check.  cash, band aid in case, sunglasses, bib number, chapstick, all check.  We are ready to go!  I headed to Lake Mead to get to the start line nice and early, just how I like it.  Nothing worse then feeling rushed on race day.  I knew it was going to be a good day by the full rainbow as I pulled out of my apartment complex.  The start time is 7:02am so I arrive around 6:30 to eat my second banana and make sure I empty the bladder as much as possible before the start.  It was a cool, very crisp 59 degrees and it felt like 30! 

At around 6:45am I ditch the sweatshirt, grab my camelbak and my headphones, and head on over to the start line.  I am feeling super excited, especially because I know I have prepared as much as I possibly could.  I feel like all my training is going to pay off and I am super excited for this one.  One last bathroom trip and it's time to line up.  3…2….1…GO!  I take off with my normal pace, trying not to get over anxious and peter out early.  It is pretty easy to keep my stride considering I have run this speed so many times.  Some people pass, some of those people I pass not too long after.  It is a beautiful course, the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the blue water & blue sky.  It was a gorgeous course and a very pleasant run.  Rolling hills, nothing too unmanageable.  Things were going great! 

Mile 17, here we go…..I can begin to feel my right lateral tendon near my knee starting to talk.  Not a big deal, I can push through this one.  I'm not one to give up at the first sight of some minor knee pain.  Then it starts, the right hip, the top of my foot.  All the stories I had read about the onsetting pain during a long run like this, all about to come true.  By the time I reached mile 19, I was really feeling it.  I walked for a minute and then thought, wait! There is no way I am going to let this keep me from the finish time I have been waiting for.  Screw it!  I began to run, in pain, but managed to figure out a way to modify my stride to shift my impact to other areas of my leg.  It felt like I was running with a peg leg, but I didn't care.  I was going to run to the finish and get a good time even if I had to pay for it the following day(which I surely did!).  I reached the final 1.2 miles, I could tell people were losing steam, some were walking just trying to finish the race all together.  Others were on a run/walk finish course.  I could see the final turn into the finish and I was thrilled!  Who is this girl running side by side with me?  That's it, I'm making a sprint for it if it kills me.  I will make it ahead of this person!  So I turned the corner and sprinted with everything I had left in the tank.  I ran so fast I was waiting for something to snap and for me to collapse on the ground.  Next thing I know, there it is, the finish line.  I crossed over, let out a huge smile, and collapsed on the curb. I did it!  I finished and it felt great! 

4 hours and 45 minutes complete! I beat my 5 hour expectation AND finished under an 11 minute mile average!  WooHoo! 

Nothing beats the feeling of your first marathon, of knowing that all the hard work you put in paid off.  After the pain set back in, I thought about tomorrow and how much I was going to struggle to function, I thought "Ok, now what's next!"  Not one better sign then finishing your first 26.2 mile run and already looking for the next big thing.  I was elated!

Now, I didn't want to focus on the pain of the run or the after effects of the distance, but I will mention for informational purposes.  Think about it this way, normal everyday activities like going to the bathroom, getting in and out of the car, walking, stairs, getting up and down, sitting, standing, lying.  They ALL hurt!  My right hip was screaming in pain, and I heard it loud & clear.  All I could do was ice, try to move as much as I could.  I will say this though, by the following evening, things were feeling pretty darn good.  It was like I had just done a good leg workout.  Fantastic!  If my body can recover like this and hold its own like this, I am SO doing this again!

THE PLAN:

Running with the Angel marathon (january 7th, 2012) www.calicoracing.com

Labor of Love 50K run (April 2012) www.calicoracing.com

 

Nothing says success like looking ahead to the next big run!  Happy running!

 

**If you are looking to get started with running or would like to discuss a running plan for an upcoming race, contact me at strengthenandconquer@gmail.com

 

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