Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More on the marathon

I still can't believe I completed a marathon. It's Wednesday and I'm already getting around much better than I was, although my quads still burn a bit on stairs. I was pretty much useless the rest of Sunday and Monday, which was rough considering Rick was at work for the day. There were a few more things I meant to share about my experience...

* Rick and the kids were up at 5:45am to drop me off downtown. I jumped out of the car at a stop light and joined the crowd walking towards the start line.

* I had butterflies in my tummy standing with the masses at the 5:00 pacing group. I stayed calm by listening to others talk around me. I really wasn't sure at that point if I (or my foot) would be able to complete the whole thing.

* Although it would have been fun to run the marathon with someone I knew, I think mentally I was stronger only having myself to rely on.

* I knew about 5 miles into the course that I was going to be able to finish and finish happy. I found a consistent pace (around 11:20ish) and never felt the urge or need to push to go faster. I will save that for future marathons...

* I want to give a special thank you to the makers of Gu, Nip Guards, Vaseline, Gummi Bears, iPods, and Ultima for making the experience a little better than it could have been!

* I couldn't bring myself to throw the cups on the ground at the aid stations, so I found a garbage bag whenever I could. I also walked through each aid station, taking time to drink one cup of Ultima (the Gatorade-like drink offered) and one cup of water at every one.

* Following some good advice, I spent the first half of the marathon soaking in the scenery, enjoying the thoughts in my head and NOT listening to music... I put on my headphones between miles 14 and 24, then removed them again so I could really take in the last two miles. It was perfect!

* Around mile 5, I passed the 5 hour pacer and felt pretty good being in front of that pace... until mile 21 when she passed me and I couldn't bring myself to keep up with her. I spent the next half mile upset with myself, then realized I was still going to finish and who cares if I didn't do it in under 5 hours.

* When I crossed the 13.1 mark, I sent a text to Rick with one word, "Halfway". It was all I could do while running because my right hand/arm was numb from the cold and not relaxing it. I sent another one as I was crossing the Broadway Bridge, to let him know I was getting close to the finish.

* I was secretly a little jealous of all the runners who had supporters along the way cheering them on. I imagined how emotional and excited I would have been to see Rick and the kids on the sidewalk with hugs and some food for motivation... maybe next year!

* Registration is already open for next year's Portland Marathon and a part of me wants to register to see what a low bib number I could get... it would be pretty weird to be running with the number 1 pinned to my shirt. It's also taking place on 10-10-10, which is fun... I also believe they may be adding a half marathon for the first time next year. Great news for all of you out there who would like to participate, but not do a full marathon!

* Although I'm happy with choosing to put "Thames13" on my bib to personalize it, next time I will simply put "Brooke". I think it was too hard for people to read and I only got a few shout outs from spectators, where as the two Johns, Courtney, Emily, Cliff and other easy to read names around me got MANY.

* I wish I would have run to the fence where Rick was standing near the finish and given him a kiss before making the last few yards up the hill and crossing the finish line.

* I also pulled out my iPhone when I reached the beginning of the St. John's Bridge, it was such an amazing view!



David said...

how good of you to not throw the cups on the ground, but throwing them on the ground is so much fun!! lol

can you explain what the vaseline is for in marathons? i've never understood.

again, great job!

Lisa said...

Very cool insights, thank you for sharing. And in case you haven't said it or heard it enough, be proud of yourself, YOU DID IT! =D

Arizona Lewis Photography said...

this just pumped me up!!
i loved the portland marathon.
i relived it with you.
remember when you pooped behind a train and i guy saw you and said
"um, eww"?
oh, i guess that was just me.
maybe next year brooke.

David said...

one week since the race, are you ready to do it again?