A few days (eek, a whole week) have passed and I have come back here a few times to add my thoughts into this post...mainly to remind myself of HOW I felt before, during and after my first full marathon.
I'm not going to bore you with a mile by mile recap, because no one cares, including me.
Packet pickup, lunching, and sneaking in a beer or two. What? You don't do that?
I woke up 23 minutes before my alarm went off (awesome) so I popped up outta bed, made coffee and starting moving around. Official wake up time was 3:37am. Effing ridiculous. I slept pretty darn good though, so I was OK with that. I was calm...which for me, is kind of rare on race morning. Normally, I am a little stressed out over getting there on time, the logistics, traffic, not knowing where the eff I'm going, etc...we drove the short distance to Fashion Island, where the start was. It was SO nice having Wade drop me off vs. riding a bus. The start line was at the Newport Beach Marriott (host hotel) so I popped in there to use the restroom and get myself together. I didn't use the bag check because I had my Wade there, but it looked efficient and quick and they provided little bags for all the runners. The start was 15 minutes late, which in my opinion is STUPID and shouldn't happen, but oh well. There were only about 1900 runners for the full, so the start was small, with just 4 corrals and it was really nice not being shoved around and feeling crowded in. We finally got started...the sun was just coming up and the sky was overcast which made excellent running weather.
The first part was uneventful. I had to pee from the get go. I finally found a port-a-potty around mile 4, did my thing and kept on trucking. The beginning of the course was gorgeous, it ran by the water and through some amazing neighborhoods. I hung around the 4:10 pace group for the majority of the race. I GU'd at miles 6, 11.5, 18 and was planning on another around 22 but my stomach was feelin nasty. The crowds rocked. So many people. So much support. A lot of people were confined to their neighborhoods for the duration of the race and they didn't disappoint. There were so many signs, cheerleaders, tables off fresh fruit, candy, drinks and cute kiddos handing out chocolate covered pretzels. That sort of thing makes races fun. I even saw a women running with hooters type nylons on. Yes, I know what those are.
Wall. Yup. I hit one. Mile 20.5 is about when I wanted to kill myself. The course got ugly, my legs started hurting, and the hills were really irritating me. Wade was awesome the entire race and I got to see him 5 times throughout the race. He handed me GU, smiled at me, took really ugly photos, told me I was awesome, and gave me aspirin at the last stop. Check this beauty out, so ugly, so awesome:
Having something to look forward to at certain points throughout the race were really helpful. I let the 4:10 pace group slip away around my "oh fuck I hit a wall" time and I kind of got into a funk and had a mental battle with myself for a few more miles....wedgie removed around 25 and I kept on trucking. Finish line was close.
I might have cried a little bit the second I saw Wade...I was SO relieved to be done, to sit down and to see him. At one point I might have also said to him "what a mind fuck those last few miles were". I don't know why I said that, but really....they were. Maybe it was because it was longest I had ran and wasn't prepared for what I was actually doing.
Wade has the ability to catch me at my finest, thanks babe.
We didn't stick around long as I was in a hurry to take a shower to wash the thick crust of salt off my body...humidity and I don't meet too often. Oh, and to drink a beer.
I have always heard a lot of people say that they will never do a marathon again after their first...and then maybe change their minds a few days/weeks/months/years later, but not me. It won't be my last. I want to run one faster, and with Wade.
It was awesome, fun, and humbling. Bucket list, check.