Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Marathon Race Tome -- Part II -- WE FINISH!!!

After a few minutes Sis emerges from the bathroom and pronounces that she is feeling a bit better. She asked me what the new plan is. At this point we have 10 minutes in the bank, so I tell her that we need to at the very least we can't lose any minutes, and maybe should try to gain a few minutes until mile 20. She agrees and we head off.

Sis is still lagging behind and whenever I decide to slow down to let her catch up, I see her picking up her pace. I ask her if my pace is okay and she reminded me again that she will speak up if it's not.

The crowds were pretty light in Golden Gate Park. We did have a couple of groups kids lined up wanting to do some high-fives so that was a little pick me up.

Finally around mile 17, we were back on the Great Hwy and on the water. The fog lifted enough so we could see the crashing waves and the surfers out there doing their thing. Mile 17 & 18 went
okay, Sis kept up with me and I slowed my pace to around a 15 - 16 minute mile—which was fine by me at that point. Sis slowed down even further at the beginning of mile 19. I stopped and stretched a bit right near an aid station. She told me was getting dizzy and light headed again. I suggested that she go to the aid station and get her blood pressure checked and make sure all was well. At this point, we had already seen 2 ambulances pick up injured runners and I didn't want her to push it. She thought about it for a few seconds, but refused to get checked out. She didn't want to be pulled from the race involuntarily.

So she took another pottie break. A couple of minutes later, we're back to running.

At mile 20, we had about 10 minutes in the bank. I was getting pretty stiff and my knee was really affecting my gait. I was going so slow that it wasn't really hurting me, as long as I moved a certain way. That was fine by me...even if it meant not really bending my knee and sort of swinging my leg around instead of straight ahead. At this point, I couldn't go slower, Sis told me she was fine with me going ahead of her and then meeting up at the mile markers. I would have a few seconds (minutes sometimes) to stretch while she caught up.

From the Great hwy, we turned off and had to run around Lake Merced. Lake Merced is one freaking big lake; I couldn't see the path around it. This was the most difficult part of the run, it was pretty boring being without sis and there was a lot a traffic on the other side of the road. I didn't find it very scenic...but maybe I just couldn't see the beauty in much of anything at that point.

Around mile 21, a group of girls catched up to me and ask me if I have seen the girl with the striped socks. “uh...I haven't looked at anyone's socks in ages” I reply. They explain to me that they are the very same group of girls that overheard my challenge about beating the girl with the striped leg-warmers. Those TNT girls looked all the same to me at that point. I told them that I did pass her, but then found out she was only a half-marathoner.

The next 2 miles went about the same way. Sis lagging behind, and me stopping and stretching so she could catch up. I couldn't do the math anymore to figure out the banked minutes—it was more like me thinking, 4 miles to go and hour and a 20 minutes to do it.

After Eons I finally see the marker for mile 23...3 miles left--Even we can do that in our sorry states. I start yelling, to now one in particular—even Sis is not in shouting distance.

CHECK IT OUT...MILE FREAKING 23!!! WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT!” “GO GO GO!”.

Needless to say, I got a few strange stares.

Sis catches up to me and we walk a bit together. “We do 3 milers all the time, they're are super easy rest runs...we can do this!” I tell her. She nods “I have to use the bathroom again. Last time. Don't wait up for me. I'll catch up.” She says.So...I go on ahead. About a ½ mile down I spy some empty porta-porties and decide it's a good time to go myself. Near the 24th mile marker, Sis catches up to me. We're back on the Great Hwy and in the final stretch.

I tell Sis that she has to stay on with me if we're going to complete the marathon without course closing on us. She keeps up with me this time. I'm going super slow at this point. We can do 18 minute miles at this point, but we can't afford to go much slower.

At mile 25, Sis perks up a bit and we quicken our pace a little. There were plenty of TNT coaches around to offer encouragement and advice for my IT Band problem. One coach looked at me and told me that I should hit the medical tent after the race. Another one told me that walking backwards helps(?).

Most of the coaches were really cute guys. They would come out to the middle of the course between us and offer us high-fives. As we got closer, they would tell us to count the stop-lights and the 3rd one we saw in the distance is the 26 mile marker.

Oh, Shit...Mel” I tell my Sis. “We're actually going to complete a marathon!”

Stop it” Sis replies “You're gonna make me start crying”

Sis goes on to say, that while she'll happily do another ½ marathon, she's not so sure about another full marathon. “Mile 25 is NOT the time to be discussing another marathon” I tell her....

Even though even at this point I'm already thinking about marathon #2!

Finally we approach mile 26. I don't remember what the time was...I didn't care. We knew we were going to make it. We decide to run to the finish...Sis leads.

We cross the finish line and grab our Tiffany boxes. I forgot to turn off the Garmin or even look at the finishing time. We had no idea how long it took us....we can only estimate to the nearest 15 minutes.

Results came in today on the Nike Site. Official finishing time: 6:52:40!

We'll take it....after all the goal was only to finish!

Part III Post Marathon report and things I learned and PICS coming next!




10 Comments:

Blogger Firefly's Running said...

Congrads! Both of you had a lot of things looking down on you and you did not stop for NOTHING. Good for you! I can not wait to read the rest of the story.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Wanna-be 5k-er said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are two tough ladies. No, two tough marathoners.

Congratulations, wow, wow, wow!

4:02 AM  
Blogger Kurt said...

Good job! You did it and I hope you have no ITB issues that linger.

I do wonder how you would do on your own? It seems to be Sis kept you back some.

Still this was #1 and the goal is to finish without injury. You did that and made your sub 7 hrs!

6:36 AM  
Blogger Dori said...

WoW! I'm crying. Congratulations to both of you and way to hang in there for your sister! Tell your sister that when I crossed the finish line for my marathon last October, I swore I wouldn't do another. Half-marathons are so much more fun. But then I went and did Grandma's Marathon nine months later. :-)

I'm looking forward to your pictures.

8:11 AM  
Blogger runnergirl said...

Way to go! It's great hearing about your expereince. Can't wait for the pics.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Sonia said...

WOOHOOO!!! Congrats to the lovely pink ladies!! You both did awesome! I know what you mean about already be thinking about marathon #2! It's so addictive! That rush of adrenaline you get!

Great job =)

8:28 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Congrats on the finish! That's a major accomplishment!

2:39 PM  
Blogger runliarun said...

Oh, this is so great, this is so much what we all love to hear - finishing a marathon...

8:54 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Congrats to both of you!!!! Can't wait to see the pics!!! Loved reading your stories!!!

Way to go marathoners!!!

5:28 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Can't wait for the pics - what a great experience with your sister!

5:30 AM  

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