it took me (by my time, which accounts for the 1 pee-break) 2 hours and 36 minutes, which is just shy of a 12-minute mile, which is pretty much where i expected to be, and i'm pretty happy!
i opted out of a party last night that i just couldn't bring myself to go to because i was so damn stressed and wanted to get to bed early. of course, life never cooperates, and i couldn't really sleep for various reasons (parties, yelling outside of my window, general nerves). got up at 6. made oatmeal, got dressed, packed a bag, called handsome. he was at his gf's around the corner so i picked him up and suggested we get a cab to the 7:30 ferry.
it was *freezing* and i was glad that i opted for the long sleeved shirt. we sleepily made it out to the island and headed over to the stadium, where everything was taking place. i had already picked up my registration stuff, so we basically tried to keep warm and kept drinking gatorade and peeing. the idea is to stop drinking an hour or so before you run, then pee 10 minutes before you start - that's when you start hydrating again. if you master hydration strategy, you can make it through a marathon without standing in the portapotty line. (as gross as all portapotties are, runners' portapotties are grosser than others. trust me.)
we met up with the other tnters and tried to keep warm. i packed up the camera & goo's into my pack, got my ipod all situated and ready to go and before you know it we were being asked to line up. we were in the corral for about 15 mintues before we finally started, and we were off.
handsome's faster than i am so i wished him well and pressed *play* on the ole ipod. i spent an hour or so last night picking tunes and configuring them to coinside with how i thought i'd be feeling at various points in the run. the kick off was "body movin'", by the beasties. appropriate, no?
mile 1 was nice and easy, everyone just kind of getting out there, and it's my favorite people watching mile. a speed-walker blew by me, his bum shaking left and right within 5 minutes. "larry the lighthouse" was there - some guy who ran the whole race with a 5-6' lighthouse over his body. girls like me, looking nervous, hanging back. older (like early 60's older) runners who's bodies you could tell had seen lots of miles.
by mile 2, i could no longer ignore the fact that i had to pee again, and unfortunately there was a line of women at the 2 portapotties. my left calf pain was back, so i figured what the hell, got in line and stretched while some of the girls in line grumbled about how long it was taking. after that i felt 10 times better and i was off again.
i always hate between mile 1 and mile 3. they are the roughest for me, getting all the kinks out and it is when all the self-doubt is at it's worst. between mile 2 and 3, the voice in my head goes something like: oh god, 10 more? 10 like last weekend 10 more! who am i KIDDING there's no
then somehow, my legs loosen up, a good song comes on, and the voices quiet down for a bit. miles 4-5 were a tiny bit hilly, but manageable, and around mile 5 i had been running for about an hour (right on track) and it was time for my first goo. i decided to wait until the next water station. by the way, grabbing and drinking cups of water as you run. not as easy as it looks. i think the first cup at mile 2 ended up more on my shirt than on me. anyway. vanilla bean goo and water. tasty. the goo kind of caught in my throat, and it caused the bit of water that i was trying to drink not spill to go down the wrong tube. i must have been a sight - running, coughing and spilling with a post-goo-i-don't-like-this-stuff-face on.
but man! do those things work! within a few minutes i was like a new person! my legs were on auto, there were great tunes on, it was kind of flat and it was a fantastic fall day! i love running! this is amazing! what was i complaining about! hey, there's handsome! (there was a turn around and he was coming the other way, so we yelped and pointed at each other like - YEAH, you da man!) wheeeeeeeeeeeee! did i mention those goos have caffeine.
so mile 5 - 9 were my best. a few were even in the 10-minute mile range. there was a longer hill around mile 8, which i attacked with short, swift arm movements (which, you'll remember results in short, swift strides, closer to the ground), as training taught us. that stuff works too - the hill was totally manageable even though it was a little long. mile nine was relatively easy as well. i was surprised though that there was so few spectators out and about. i guess it could have been because we were in the back, but there were few people out and those that were seemed disinterested in what was going on. it was okay cause i had my tunes. around mile 9 i mug for some photographers - de la soul on the mic "jenifa oh jenny".
the last 3 miles...wow. hard! i kept thinking just 3 more, that's nothing, but it was still 36 minutes (if i was keeping pace) and that felt like a really long time to my legs. the water station at mile 10 was closed, which is just silly because those of us that were slower probably need the water even more! around mile 11, i contemplated walking. and then i felt lame. and my legs hurt. and i was so close. but i did not want to keep going. i sighed in frustration and from somewhere a moment of clarity came through and i remembered why i was doing this in the first place. it's not because i have aspirations of becoming a great runner, have any chance of "winning" or something to prove to myself. i was doing this for steve, our bouv, for all that he went through. for how i missed him, and how i wished i had spent more time with him. for his mom and dad, and for his wife and for all of us that knew him and loved him. i got teary for a few minutes as i got another wind and pressed on.
2 miles, a little bit up hill. run run run, u2 on the ipod, where the streets have no name, i am so close. water station at mile 2 closed. argh. go go go. approaching one mile...a water station that's open - "you're almost there! you're doing great! you're beautiful!" ha. a girl peers at me as i go up the hill...my sis! "roxie! how *are* you! are you okay!" yes...only 1 mile left. she jogs along beside me for a few moments. "you're doing great!" thanks! "see you at the finish!" 1 mile 1 mile 1 mile. mostly downhill. go go go. people leaving the stadium in their cars...beeping...a few cheers and thumbs up - *Thank you* - the cops tell us to move left and utilize the sidewalk. no way dudes. i pretend i can't hear with the head phones and finally...13 miles! i kick it, and can see handsome grinning and waving, another burst of speed, can't say where it came from and there's the whole team on the left, cheering like crazy. the tears threaten again, but there's no time for crying so i grin and go faster and i've made it before they stop time and!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm done.
like i said. oof.
i'm terribly proud. course...when i think of running twice that...well. look how far i've come in 2 months...and i still have 3 to go! thanks everyone for being so supportive, and especially for my sister for cheering me on and handsome for coming out today! even though we don't run together, it's always great to know you're there.
today's mileage: 13.1
total mileage: 124.1