14 miles into the race.
My race synopsis-minutes after crossing the line.
3 hours and 44 minutes.
I did it. I did more than accomplish my goal.
5K mark-I ran the first 5K in 25 minutes and felt very good. I was holding back somewhat but wanted to conserve for the first half of the race.
10K mark-I came through the 10K mark at 53 minutes. It was very motivating to see that my time was faster than what I had planned for and that my legs, breathing, feet, arms, and mind felt fantastic.
10 mile mark-the Black Eyed Peas song, Just Can't Get Enough, helped me get through the first hilly section of the course. I put in on repeat.
1/2 Marathon mark-I got nervous at this point. My legs were really starting to feel it. I started to feel pain in my quads and feet mainly. I also had a major mind game dillema about when I should consume my first gel shot. I didn't feel like I needed it by the 1/2 way point but knew that I would regret it later. I had this conversation in my head for a good 5 miles until I finally made myself eat it.
20 mile mark-Jason said he would meet me somewhere along the racecourse at 20 miles. By the time I hit 20 miles I needed any type of motivation from somewhere other than my mind. Jason drove right past me going about 2mph frantically trying to spot me amongst all the runners. It was heartbreaking to see him drive by and not see me. I wanted to see him yell something funny at me and maybe even give me a drink of Powerade or something. I was mentally crushed but trucked on.
22 mile mark-Jason found me! All he did was honk and drive by but it was enough to make me feel like a million and four dollars.
23 mile mark-I saved my last gel shot for the final 5K of the race. When I took my first sip of the gooey gel I instantly started gagging. I'm sure the spectators didn't love my gagging and spitting. I thought I would feel the mental hell that is The Wall at this point. I was actually a little bit excited for The Wall because everyone makes a big huge deal about it. No Wall for me this year. I never hit it.
24 mile mark-By this point no song on my marathon playlist seemed to do the trick. I was spent. My legs felt beyond horrible. Think of the worst soreness you have felt and times that by 99. We had to run through an awkward intersection that was poorly manned by a lone teenage girl who clearly had better things to do. Traffic was not yielding to runners and you kinda had to just go for it. I basically almost got hit by a car that was going about 2mph. I blame it on the delirious state of the latter half of a marathon.
25 mile mark-The only thing keeping me going at this point was my constant reminder to myself that I had less then one mile left. I said it over and over in my head. It worked. I also heard the 3 hr 45 minute pacer on my back. I picked it up so I could come in under his pace.
26 mile mark-I sprinted across that line feeling so good. I was really pleased with my performance. I also love that Jason was right there waiting for me. He was really nice to help me walk and drink among other things. I struggled to walk for the rest of the day.
so close to the finish. I am seriously giving it all I have.
What I did right:
- sipped water and electrolyte supplement at every single water station-I never felt thirsty
- poured water on myself when I was really struggling
- stayed positive by celebrating little things along the race
- ran way ahead of the 4 hour pace because I realised that the pace was way too slow for me
- ran in Thorlos socks and successfully prevented blisters, cut my toenails extra short so they wouldn't fall off
- consumed 3 gel shots at optimal times in the latter half of the race
- I can easily think between km's and miles now. The course was marked in km's and I was able to comprehend it this year!!
FINISHED and still alive.
What I did wrong:
- ate a little too much for breakfast (museli with berries, 2 English muffins, dried fruits) I could feel my breakfast for the first 10K of the race-not good
- I should have started with the 3hr 30min pace group. I doubted my abilities before the race but realized early on that I was prepared to run a fast race. Next year I'll start with the above group.
- I did not warm up at all this year. I should have done strides before so that I did not go out so cold.
What I learned:
- Whenever I run for a really, really long time I always have life epiphanies. That is partly why I keep coming back for more. I had 2 epiphanies this year when I was out on the lonely road around Lake Rotorua.
- Epiphany 1: I need to stop being so hard on myself. I never give myself enough credit for the good things I do. I constantly feel guilty-to try harder, be faster, skinnier, smarter, etc... I need to be more grateful for the talents I am blessed with. Because I am very blessed. I'll keep the 2nd epiphany to myself for now. It is a work in progress.
- I am amazed at how much more relaxed I was this year. I chalk that up to not being a first timer this year. Knowing what to expect and how to help yourself out on the course is half the battle.
Simple Pleasures that helped me out big time:
- The "Alan" portion of this youtube clip. Watch it, the Alan part is the best part. Seriously, I would just say it in my head and laugh. It got me through some tough miles. Thank you BBC.
- The yellow Auckland 10K shirt search. Jason and I completed a 10K in Auckland 6 months ago. To this day, we see the yellow shirts that were handed out EVERYWHERE. We started counting them and continued the count during the race since they were obviously EVERYWHERE for this big running event. I counted 8 and Jason got up into the teens! To the right, Yellow Auckland shirt in all its glory; thanks to random google search with random ladies.
- Royal Wedding Party Water Station. The drink station at mile 12 was themed as the royal wedding. The lady volunteers were wearing party hats and fancy schmancy dresses while the guy volunteers had top hats and white gloves. The Union Jack was all over the place. It made me smile and took my mind off the race for a few seconds.
Checking in for the race--and loving the running expo
loving the Maori designs as a backdrop
a photo finish at the Government Gardens in Rotorua