26.2 – i finished! part 2

Heading into mile 14 I started to get a fresher feeling in my legs and spirit.  Mile 13 had been tough and when I turned the corner for the last half of it and into 14 I got a second wind.  I felt my form depleting a bit so I pushed my shoulders up and back and kept on.  I know my pace had slowed but I didn’t care too much.  When I crossed over the 25k marker I wasn’t too far off my time from the 25k I did back in March.  I also didn’t feel as hopeless as I did back then.  Haha – at the 25k for the last two miles I thought I wouldn’t finish.  Not feeling like this was refreshing and confidence boosting!

The path took us to by the ending of the 1/2 marathon where I grabbed a mini Luna bar and literally SHOVED that thing in my face!  Haha, I was hungry!  Then we ran along side mile markers 23, 24 and 25.  Seeing this was cool!  I couldn’t believe I was going to be there soon!  Of course it made me a bit jealous to see them but in my mind it made the miles seem SO CLOSE!  It was also on the beach, which was neat.  Around mile 11 I also noticed that my feet were bothering me.  I think the going up and down the big hills and using the balls of my feet/toes definitely caused some issues for me.  This would continue to be a problem for the rest of the race.  I would have to stop a bit, flex my toes to ease the pain and then keep going.  At one point, I saw this and knew it wouldn’t stop me.

*tons of support from awesome strangers! my fave was one that read, “good luck random stranger!”

I would say I started to hit a physical wall around mike 18.  I knew I would finish but I was getting tired of running.  The course wasn’t as scenic, it had started to “mist” a bit more and a ton of people were walking around me.  It was hard to stay motivated.  This is when some of the walking breaks started.  I kept them short and limited.  19 was tough and I kept thinking when I hit mile 20, things would really turn up.

Um… that didn’t happen.

Mile 20 was just as hard.  More shot bloks were offered somewhere along the way and every water station had Nuun and water – I started taking both.  I kind of wondered if I was over-doing it but I went with it.    When I had the final 10k left, it had been 4 hrs.  In my mind, I had a moment of hope that I could finish in one more hour.    This was a pipe dream and I soon gave up on it and concentrated on finishing.

There was one more f-ing hill at mile 22-ish, (which seemed just mean at that point) and I walked a small portion of this and started running again.  I knew I would finish but I didn’t know HOW LONG it was going to take me.  I almost started to cry around mile 24 or 25 because apparently when I’ve been running that long, I can’t count and I thought I had one less mile than I actually did.  NOOO!  haha… it was also hard because there were so few miles to go but it was taking FOR-E-VER!

But then the time came when I needed to run (and stay running) and just finish this beast.  Running down the final shoot I think I looked more like a zombie running down there.  I wanted to walk.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to sit down!  I didn’t.  I ran across the finish line and in my head, I sprinted.  In reality, paint dries quicker ;)  I pumped my arm across the finish line and the picture turned out well!

Then I got this

*little blue boxes of happiness

oooo – look what was inside!

I call this my “bling of glory”

then I also got my first warmer blanket

the hoarder in me wanted to keep this forever and ever… I settled for a pic

I also grabbed a half of a banana and a half of a bagel.  I thought for a second and grabbed another bagel half.  I was starving.  I got in line for my finisher’s pic with a hottie fireman.  I apologized and said I was disgusting.  He said, “nooo, you ARE NOT disgusting.”  Awww, yes, hottie fireman, we can get married :)

Okay, so at this point in time, I was kind of on autopilot.  Safeway also provided bottles of chocolate milk that did wonders for my mental state!  I had expected this massive overflow of emotions and it didn’t happen.  I headed to the tent where you could buy more race gear, which of course I did!  There is one shirt that was all sold out that I am going to order and it says, :26.2 miles of glory”… I want that shirt.  I did get one that said, “I Can, I Will, I Did”

my bib got a work out as well!

Got on the shuttle for a ride home and D listened to me go on and on about the race – thanks D!  I FINISHED!  One thing I totally wasn’t ready for is just plain how exhausted I was while doing it.  Wow.  I never quite knew how to combat this so I will need to think on this a bit.  While my time was over what I had originally wanted, I also knew finishing was special.  I’ll get a bit more into the whole aftermath and recovery tomorrow since I have a lot of thoughts on what I did well and what I can improved upon for my next 26.2.  Not to mention some horrible chafing, a bomb reward of a cupcake and a trip to Trader Joe’s… yep, it’s all waiting for you!

Thanks so much for all of the incredible kind words, cheers and confidence!  Sharing this wild ride with all of you has been so much fun – I love it!

*all the pics marked were from the Nike Women’s Marathon facebook page

4 thoughts on “26.2 – i finished! part 2

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