Is it just me or is there a HUGE difference between the spectators along the Minnehaha area of the course and the Summit area. It's not that one area is better than the other, just different. The Summit area is a laid back party with grills, beer, chicken, and well, anything. I suppose this makes sense, the party on Summit is longer and into lunch time versus the Minnehaha area is done fairly early. I guess it just didn't occur to me til now.
Anyhow, at Mile 22, I was feeling better. I felt that I could run, albeit slowly, the rest of the course. So somewhere during that mile I ran @ 12:30 pace, but it only lasted for about .6 miles when my left ITB screamed and when I would land on my left foot my knee would feel wobbly, weak! That's not good. So I walked .3, ran .3, walked .5, ran .5. You get the picture! Basically, after walking a certain time, my ITB would relax and I could
Mile 22: 15:06
Mile 23: 15:00
Mile 24: 14:56
Mile 25: 17:23
Mile 26: 17:22
Once I hit mile 25, I was done. Physically, mentally, I didn't have any more. There just wasn't a reason to fight it. I was going to take longer than 5 hours and it didn't matter if it was 5:05 or 5:20 so I walked and conserved that left knee for the finish. I wanted my kids to see me running across the finish, not walk. And it worked, I was actually able to run a 10 minute pace for the last .5 miles (except for the stop to give my girls a kiss)!
And just like that, it was over. It actually seemed surreal to me. I was handed a foil to warm up, given my finisher medal, handed a water, shirt, banana, chips. Every once in a while looking over to my left to see my family walking along to meet me when they can. I didn't stop to have a picture taken (stupid). It's just at the time, I didn't feel like seeing what I looked like. It was cloudy, I was cold and I am NOT photogenic at all.
I can't say that I was thrilled. I was happy! I am a marathoner now! I guess it's just hard to reconcile the difference between my time and what I feel that I am capable of. Yes, I had a couple of big injuries this year and yes, perhaps it's even amazing that I finished my first marathon with so little experience and training. I guess, it's more of the fact that I have been under-trained for most of the events that I have participated in. My first two triathlons in '06, the 10-miler last year, my first 5K last October, my first 1/2 marathon in Arizona and now this. It looks like a pattern. A pattern that I thought would be different this time. I am suppose to be Jumper 2.0, not 1.0. I am suppose to be more resilient, stronger, better focused and constant. Somebody that is perceived by others as hard working and willing to put it all on the line. Somebody that is tough, not weak, somebody to look up to (and not just because i'm 6'4" tall) and respect. These aren't things to be said, they have to be earned and I haven't done that yet.
In April I did my second 5K in 24:48, a 1:15 pace improvement and in August I ran a 1/2 marathon in 2:01:21, which was a greater than 7 minute improvement from January. And that had happened after only 2 weeks of training after almost 6 weeks off due to my broken shoulder. Which gives you an idea of how well my training was going this spring and also gives you an idea of my expectations. It would not have been unrealistic for me to have finished my first marathon in less than 4 hours.
Don't get me wrong, I am not ashamed of my time. In fact, during the last few miles, I observed the other racers with me. A father/daughter team, some people my age, some people older, some people younger and I thought about the pride that I feel finishing with these group of people that have persevered. I can't say from experience, but it may be possible that I should be just as impressed with this group than say a 3 hour finisher. In the sense that obviously, something was a lot harder for a 5-6 hour finisher than a 3 hour finisher. There were some that were doing it for the first time in honor of someone else, there were others that were injured and there were some that just don't care about the time, it's about the experience and completing the marathon, they could care less about running it faster. Just living in the moment, which is something that I could certainly improve upon.
The walk to my car was slow and painful and so was the rest of the day. By Monday evening, when I had to go to work, it wasn't too bad. Tuesday was even a little better, except my right ankle started hurting (which was what I was expecting during the marathon, not all that left sided stuff). Wednesday I ran/walked a mile with my 10 year old daughter for her 5K preparation. I am so proud of her. Eli is weak due to health issues and symptoms associated with her autism spectrum diagnosis. She wants to do the Lifetime Turkey Trot 5K and she started with a 1 mile time at school of like 19 minutes. We have that mile down to 15 now and we can see the strength in her when we are just walking around.
I then ran a second mile with Marty, our big dog, in 8:58. I just progressively ran faster during that mile starting at a 10 pace and finishing @ 7:30.
Thursday, I went to Lifetime to swim a little, row a little and then worked on back and shoulders. It's time to get back to my core, now that I can. It is my core that made me strong and flexible this spring and so it only makes sense to make it a priority.
If you read this whole thing (poor you) then thank you for listening. They are thoughts that I had to get out and whether I'm right or wrong about my attitude, this is why I blog. But then again, blogging has become so much more than I expected. I did this marathon because of you. Without your support, confidence, knowledge (or was that all just a setup;-), I think I would have just let it pass for another year, thinking that I just didn't have enough training in.
And again, thank you Sarah! I hope we race together again!