Monday, April 27, 2009

my 'm' day, part one...

My first 'm' day started at 4:45a, after very fitful sleep where I'm sure I had no more than two hours total. I woke up thinking, "I don't think I can do this, I'm so exhausted, if I do this I'm going to end up dropping out." But I got up, put the thoughts aside, told myself I wouldn't know unless I tried, and took a hot shower and started to get ready.

I shoved a few handfuls of granola into my belly while tying my shoes, chugged a small cup of coffee (thanks to ed), grabbed a banana (i hate eating bananas plain by the way) and headed downstairs to meet the other girls. In all, two of us ran the full marathon, and there were seven girls who ended up running the half. We didn't all meet at my hotel though, and sadly Katie and Jenn were injured and had to bow out of the race, but they were still there to cheer everyone on.

We made it to the race start where we met up with Liz and I saw my mom, my sister Kris and her friend Kris (who is a PT and worked on me the night before the race, more on that later), and yes, they are both named Kris. My sister did a 5K portion of the relay. I said hello and started crying, I know it sounds lame, but I was so scared thanks to exhaustion and the whole calf issue. I got over that quickly and those of us running headed to the start area.

It was packed so tight we were worried we weren't going to get in because so many spectators were there. We made it into the corral just as they started the 168 seconds of silence. Those 168 seconds were incredible, total silence in honor of all the victims, we were there to run for them. It was awe inspiring. This race was massive, 19,000 total signed up. There were 2,800 running the marathon, only 2,107 finished. The rest of the runners were doing the half, a 5K or the marathon relay.

*the starting line, this is an official OKC marathon photo from their facebook page*

After 168 seconds of silence the national anthem was sung and the gun shot off. It took a good few minutes to get to the timing mat, but Kristen and I hit the mat at the same time and we were off.

To break the race down for you, I'm doing the first, second and third phase. The race was such a blur it is hard to remember all the miles clearly, but I will do the best I can.

Phase 1 Miles 1 - 10
It was an amazing thrill to start off on my first marathon, no matter how sccceerrrd I was, it was exciting. I grabbed Kristen and yelled HERE WE GO as we crossed the mat, I had a huge smile on my face! I didn't know what the race held, but I knew I made it to the start. I also knew I wanted to start conservative (little did I know I would never surpass that conservative pace) and tried to keep my pace around 9:45 - 10:00.

*another official OKC marathon photo of the race start, i simply liked it so had to post it*

I stopped and stretched for a moment at mile two, I felt good. I don't think we could tell how windy and humid it was at this point, all the downtown buildings were shielding us. I kept my pace around 9:45 for the first three miles, then the humidity started to get to me. I simply can't handle humid matched with hills (in case you don't know, when we say Wichita is flat, you have no idea, it is literally totally 100% flat). I have never been able to handle the humidity, it destroys my pace. However that is about the time we ran by the Capital and it was so amazing to see a gigantic sea of runners running up the hill in front of me. It was the coolest thing!

I was sticking to my run four miles, walk one minute plan at first. So at mile four I stopped to stretch and walk, and I just ended up walking up the hill in front of me and taking much longer than the minute I had planned. This is where the race turns into a bit of a blur of maintaining a walk / run to the best of my ability. The most exciting thing that happened during this point was that while wiping my sunglasses off, I popped out a lens, NICE, I spent the next half mile trying to get it back in the frame while running, and I did.

I hit the 10K mark around 1:02 and saw Ed. I was feeling my calf a little bit at this point, but still positive I could finish in about 4:30. Plus we were running through a neighborhood and all these kids were out there cheering us on with their parents. Some little girls had bacon, another house had chocolates. That was pure entertainment. One guy running next to me grabbed some bacon, I told him you just made that little girl's day, I'm sure not many runners took them up on their food offerings. I also loved the little kids with their tiny little hands outstretched on the curb waiting for a runner to give them a five, every time I saw a kid doing this, I made a point to run over, give them a five and yell THANKS! What a great support these people offer in their 'hoods!

Around mile seven I saw some other Wichita people doing the relay and stopped at the Port-a-Potties... so exciting eh? That was a great water stop though, lots of cheering and fun, it really lifted my spirits, and after my potty stop I was feeling better than before, hopeful I would FINALLY hit my stride. Yeah, that lasted until about mile eight. Miles eight through 10 are a bit of a blur, I think they were mostly through neighborhoods with rolling hills. My stomach started to cramp up around mile eight, that didn't go away until about mile 14 or 15, it wasn't horrible, but I could feel it. Those first 10 miles were run mostly toward the north, so the wind wasn't beating into us. At this point it still wasn't too bad, but I did walk up some of the hills, and I was feeling tired, no I was feeling exhausted already, the lack of sleep was catching up fast.

*a picture of amanda, kris, kris, brian and brad, showing their support with team robinson shirts, how awesome are they!!*

The race seemed so fast, yet took five hours, how is that possible? Those first 10 miles taught me a lot, like coming to terms with the realization of not hitting anywhere near my goal time, yet still determined to finish, that I wouldn't quit. I also learned I can push through humidity and hills, and that I have the utmost respect for anyone who ran that race in under 4:30, they are my heroes.

That's all I have for today, I will post some pictures later tonight, still waiting to pilfer from the fam! I really don't want to make my posts super long, but there is so much to say! I'll post phase two tomorrow with the promise of lots of pictures.


Mel-2nd Chances said...

great race report so far! i have tears in my eyes and goosebumps just reading it in preparation for mine! Congrats again on being part of the 2107 finishers! :)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

You really captured the feeling, even if you say it was a blur. Fear, fatigue, hills and humidity, UMMMM YUCK!!!

Good work, can't wait to read the rest.. :)

Ashley said...

I'm on the edge of my seat to hear the REST!!!!

Congrats again - I think you did amazing!!! :)

Ace said...

Love the race report. The whole nature of the race (OKC memorial) really makes it that much more amazing! Eagerly anticipating phase two reports...

Unknown said...

Once again, congratulations! Nice job with the race report. I'm looking forward to all of the pictures.

Marlene said...

That is a huge event! Sounds like there was a ton of support and excitement.

Can't wait to read the next part and see some more pics!

Irish Cream said...

Wow, I had no idea OKC was that huge of an event! Anyway, fabulous report--other than the part where you didn't take those little girls up on their offer of bacon! Ha, I kid, I kid! Amazing job both in the race and in your recap of it! I can't wait for part two!! :)

Oz Runner said...

yeah that 168 seconds of silence was awesome, as was seeing all the runners climb that first hill.....fantastic job finishing the race on a tough day. i didn't know that many dropped out...i would have been one of them if i would have tried the full...looking forward to reading the rest...