Haha, NO! Totally not the end – for some reason, this 25k recap has been on the top of my list of things to do but I haven’t done it. Along with laundry (great scott, I need to do laundry), taking out the garbage, calling home and a billion other things on my “Monster Summer To-Do” list that seems to grow everyday. But clearly, writing about a race is far more fun than almost everything on this list (except calling home and doing laundry – totes serious here folks!) so here we goooooooooo!
Last week was an insane week with work. I had to run and work in my coffee shop for a conference. This particular conference LOVES their coffee/espresso, which don’t get me wrong, I understand but it also means it is super busy. I knew being on my feet for 8 hours a day two days BEFORE running 15.6 was going to be unpleasant but I tried to think of it as more training. On Friday morning I did a shake-out run that merely managed to shake my confidence. For some reason, this turned into a really tough 2.5 mile run. Yay!
I fought mad traffic and got to the slightly disappointing expo around 6:30 pm. I found the list of folks and looked for my name. Ummm… no Amy German. I looked again… WTF?! I frantically tried to remember if I still had the receipt and then looked up and realized I was looking at the 10k list of participants. Gonzaga is so proud to call me an alum!
Dinner was with friends at a local restaurant and I, along with two of my dinner mates ordered the mac and cheese. It was delish! It was also incredibly rich and perhaps not the best thing (read settled very heavily in my tummy) the night before running
I should preface this next part with the following… I didn’t train enough. I knew this going into the race and was hoping a) that I would finish. I mean, I knew that I WOULD but I wanted to finish still upright! And b) that I would get it done in 3 hours. While I had done some training, it wasn’t nearly enough but in my heart I knew I could do it. I also knew it would hurt.
We got up bright and early on Saturday and I had peanut butter on a sandwich thin and a banana. We got to the start right as the 10k-er’s were getting started. This part of the race was very organized. The 5k had started earlier and then the 10k and then we were up next. Standing in line for the porta potty, my friend Meagan wrote on my legs
Then it was time to line up – this race is/was HUGE! I lined up with the 11 min pacers and we were off. I crossed the start line at 8:25 am and the race started at 8:20 exactly – well done race folks.
I started out pretty slowly but did pull ahead of the pace group a bit. I took a bit of Chocolate Rage GU right as the race was getting started for the caffeine kick and then took the rest of it at mile 4. I did NOT turn my Garmin on during the race. I knew I wouldn’t stop staring at the pace and was trying to run according to feel rather than obsessing about going too fast or too slow.
The race was going well – much better than it should have actually. I felt pretty good and knew I clippin’ along faster than I thought I was going to be able too. There were a ton of water stops and I took some water at each one and then started alternating with Gatorade. At mile 9 I took some of my Espresso Love Gu and was saving the rest of it for the last push. I knew I was ahead of schedule and no longer was “just finishing” an option. I knew I could get in under 3 hours by a lot and I also knew I would be proud of myself – yay!
Mile 11… you fickle creature.
Right before mile 11 hit I started to cramp and feel pretty sickly. Special note, I had/get REALLY bad monthly cramps and took a Motrin 800 before the race started. This was a poor choice. Usually, running while I have cramps helps relieve them but apparently running 15 miles DOES NOT. The cramps were making themselves known and I think I was getting dehydrated (apparently Motrin can do this). I started getting woozy and proceeded to have to puke my guts out and walk/run for about 15 mins. Needless to say, my spirit was kind of crushed here.
At this point, I was really calling on my mom for help. I just started talking to her and hoping she would give me strength to keep running. Some of the cramping and dizziness went away and I drank more water. I thought maybe I could still make my goal so I attempted to push it. I was incredibly lucky that the weather was ideal – breezy and overcast so this helped. Right before mile 14 I almost quit. As in, I stopped for .2 seconds and didn’t think I could finish. But I dug deep and just kept going.
The finish line is uphill – completely unnecessary if you ask me, and a 73 year old woman came up from behind me and wanted to talk about my mom, which made me start to cry. This made me start to hyperventulate=really hard to sprint to the finish. But I ran through it and guess what? My time was 3:02:59. Yep, I missed it by 2 mins.
I crossed the finish line and another woman came up to me and said I should be proud for honoring my mom like this. I cried. I cried for my mom, I cried because this was the furthest I have ever run and I cried because I missed my goal by 2 mins. Oh and I probably cried because I was cramping so badly (dehydration) that I thought I might vomit. Again.
My friends found me – btw, Meagan KILLED the 25k! So proud of her! And Aaron PR’d! Yay! and we took a few pics
The top three pics are blatantly stolen from Meagan’s blog – check it out! Oh and there was another injury from this race:
Of course, the pic of my bling, which really, isn’t this one of the reasons we race?!
I have done a lot of processing about this race/run. I’ll go more into it tomorrow because I learned some really important lessons both during and afterward that merit sharing. But for now I will say the absolute best part of this race was running it for my mom. It helped ease the sting of the first Mother’s Day without her, helped me dig deeper physically and mentally than I thought I would be able to and helped me to realize she is here with me. My mom never got to see me run in person but she was so stinkin’ proud of me. She would tell me how impressed she was all the time and as I was running the last two and half miles, I kept saying, “hey mom, I am RUNNING 15 miles! How cool is THIS?!” I am very grateful to have had this “time” with her!