Marathon weekend kicked off with a Masquerade party. How fun! Knowing we were heading out bright and early on Saturday morning for Vermont, we made a pact to leave early.
Although I had been smart about my eating/drinking all week, a few bad choices Friday night (delicious, but not conducive to my stomach apparently) lead to a rough Friday night and an even rougher Saturday. Let’s just say that my dietary choices created a perfectly dehydrated body by Saturday. Ruh roh….
So I drank...powerade. I drank powerade like it was my job. And I forced myself to eat lunch. I later forced myself to eat dinner. All the while, drinking more powerade. Between the dehydration headache and the fear of my body not being able to run on Sunday, I was getting nervous. After a late day nap, I felt a twinge of improvement. I’m pretty sure I was asleep for the night by 8:00pm.
|Calm before the race along Lake Champlain|
One of my most favorite moments occurred in the start corral. Scott and I were a few minutes from starting and just behind the rope that separated the “preferred” corral from the masses. We struck up a conversation with a couple of women nearby, when one of them said to me, “You look like you belong in that (preferred) corral!”. I was so flattered! I was slightly uncomfortable being so close to the front, but with all of the preferred/faster runners officially segregated, I knew my placement at the start would afford me the ability to find my pace early without darting around other runners. Finding my pace became an interesting adventure….
Here’s a glance at my first 5 miles. Note: Mile 5 at Boston 2012 felt like mile 17. VCM was a very different day….
Inner dialog went something like this:
Lisa: I don’t belong here!
Lisa2: But you feel OK; just run how you feel
Lisa: OK, but….
Lisa2: You’re fine
And then the real race began –
It got hot. I got dizzy. I walked (as proven by mile 23). One of my 4 coworkers cheering on the runners yelled out to me “GO LISA!” on the bike path at mile 24 and that gave me such a lift. I also saw 3 of my coworkers over the 26.2 miles (sometimes more than once), heard one of them, and hugged one of them. I offered to dry clean her top, but she insisted the hug was most welcomed J. I reminded myself that I could do 2+ miles in my sleep. Then at the 1.5 mile mark, the memory of my warm up run just the day before reminded me that I only had to keep my feet moving and let gravity take me on this gentle decline into the…..
Were my first 14 miles my best race strategy? Maybe not. Did I expect to PR after feeling so terrible the day before? No way. But once I started running and let go of everything that was the day before, I found my mojo. It was a great opportunity to see what I had and I was lucky to have rehydrated in time for the race. I was well trained to cover the miles and had recently even felt a little speediness during my shorter training runs. I felt mentally strong enough to get through the rough spots and finish with a little bit of a kick.
Early on, I remember feeling like I was still wearing my mask at the Masquerade party – why did I think I could run with the 3:45 pace group and why did I think I could maintain an unfamiliar marathon pace for a little over half of the course? Because I believed I could.
Maybe not the most strategic race I've ever run, but definitely one of my most satisfying. I didn’t know I had that in me. And now I do. And after running his own 3:27 marathon, Scott was right there at the Finish Line to hug me, congratulate me, and steady me.
Masquerader? Nah. Marathoner? Yeah, that's right, marathoner.