Where to even begin? Yesterday’s marathon has been a long time coming! 18 weeks to be exact. Now that it’s all said and done I couldn’t be happier, prouder, or more sore. (Really I don’t think it’s possible to hurt in places I didn’t even know existed.)
The past 18 weeks of sleeping, eating, and breathing running were so worth it when I crossed that finish line and the clock was under 4 hours. I was blown away. And promptly threw up a fist pump (x7). Then almost assaulted the chocolate milk man for the cartons of non-Gu deliciousness.
In an effort to not have a post with 15,000 words and 745 photos, I decided to break up the race recaps by pre-race, race, post-race, and then do a post on training (you’re talking to a girl who a year ago couldn’t run a sub 2-hour marathon by a long shot) and some other marathon thoughts.
Boyfriend, Lexi and I took off from SF Saturday afternoon to head to Sacramento. About 2 hours later we arrived at the expo, got ripped off for parking (the $5 parking lot magically had a scotch-taped $10 sign when we went to pay), and had our numbers, shirts, and timing chips in hand! My parents had driven up from the East Bay and had a hotel Saturday night so they stopped by the Expo to see what it was all about.
I was so happy we got there right at the end of the day (4:30) because it wasn’t crowded at all and we were able to get in, sample about 21 Clif Bars (Chocolate Coconut Mojo bars being my new favorite), purchase some sparkly headbands and armwarmers, and get out. I usually get really claustrophobic in those expos and like to get in and out as quickly as possible so it was really nice to be able to wander around a bit!
The expo was pretty standard – it was quiet, which was a plus, and extremely organized and efficient (as was the entire race, I was extremely impressed!)
My dad took the opportunity to get his gait analyzed at the New Balance booth. More so for skiing than for running. Us flat-footed people really make the computer screen come alive.
From there we all set off for Lexi’s parents house for a delicious pre-race dinner her parents had prepared consisting of grilled chicken, a brown rice/barley pilaf, pomegranate/apple/avocado/pecan salad, roasted veggies and a freshly sliced baguette. And since beer is carbs afterall, Lex and I split a Full Sail Alaskan Amber Ale (DELICIOUS!) in a wine glass, for effect. Homemade chocolate chip walnut cookies followed, along with some herbal tea. It was a delicious pre-race meal and I can’t thank Lexi’s parents enough for having all of us over! Her parents have both run Boston, as well as a handful of other marathons so they knew the drill very well and had us very prepared come race morning!
Lots and lots of playing with Lexi’s parents adorable cats ensued.
Since our wake-up call was at 5am, we laid out all of our clothes, plugged in Garmins and phones, and got out bibs nice and ready and headed to bed early… the marathon was mere hours away!
Clothes laid out and ready to go:
My first bib ever that didn’t have the word “half” in front of “marathon”.
The only pre-race holy sh$t moment I had was when I woke up both Friday AND Saturday with a splitting headache and minor symptoms of a cold. I had a minor freakout that same thing would happen on Sunday and it would make the marathon exponentially harder to run. Aside from that (the headache on Saturday was quickly cured with a latte) I trusted my training, knew I had put the mileage in over the last 4.5 months, and was raring to go!
After a surprisingly solid night of sleep the alarm was screaming at 5am. I jumped out of bed, (shut off the alarm so boyfriend could at least make it to 6am) to inhale a couple of cups of coffee with Lexi and some almond butter/toast. (Yes I brought my cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and honey… I wasn’t taking any chances on the stomach.)
An hour later at 6am we were on our way! It was FREEZING outside. Boyfriend and Lexi’s dad dropped us about a mile from the start and we boarded the CIM buses that took us up and over the hill to the start!
The start was PACKED with people and really got us excited and pumped up. Apartment complexes were handing out Gu’s, coffee, muffins, and bagels and we saw more than a few people creating their own bathrooms pre-race.
Something along the lines of 8,000 marathoners ready to run:
After the national anthem, the gun sounded, and we were off!
Race Recap coming soon! 🙂