Some parts of the race really stick out in my mind. First, the dilemma of when to use the porta potty. The race had a wave start letting a coral start every 1 to 2 minutes. The corals had about 1000 people each in them. I was in coral 29. So as you might have guessed, we stood at the starting line for almost an hour after the race officially began waiting to cross the start line. So there was the dilemma of do you go to the porta potty and try to find your group again as the corals inch slowly forward while you are gone. My answer was no. Then there was the problem of running with about 5 other people for the first 9 miles. After 9 miles, some people split for the half and one lady slowed down. So we were down to three of us. That made it easier to convince everyone to stop for a potty break. After all of that worrying, I only had to go twice.
Hat or no Hat
Another race issue I struggled with prior to the start was hat or no hat. I prefer to run without a hat but it was supposed to be sunny all day. I ended up wearing a hat. But even after all that worrying about how to keep the sun out of my eyes, I forgot that the sun just might also effect the rest of my body. So I wore no sunscreen and was out in the sun for about 7 hours straight. Not smart. I don't remember being that badly burned since I was a teenager who cared more about getting a tan than the pain. I peeled and underneath I was still burned. I had trouble sleeping because of the pain!
My favorite part of the race was around mile 8. We ran along Lake Washington and saw a bald eagle and my parents. Then we ran over a bridge over Lake Washington which offered a great view of Mount Rainer. I also enjoyed a stretch of the race that was on the bottom level of a double level bridge. So we were up with a view of the bay but shaded. We ran this piece twice, mile 16 and 24 I believe.
The worst part of the race was mile 17 to 19. It was uphill the entire 2 miles! I am not joking. Then it was downhill from 19 to 21 which is also not the best. But boy do you feel strong after completing a 2 mile uphill near the end of a marathon!
I always hear people talk about hitting "the wall". I am not sure exactly what that is. I think it is probably different for different people. For me, I believe my wall is defined as the point in a race when everything begins to make me cry. This was about mile 22 in this race. The thought of finishing made me cry. The thought of being 4 whole miles away from the finish made me cry. The fact that so many people were running for a great cause made me cry. Thinking about the rest of my vacation and what I was going to do after the race made me cry. Everything made me cry. I remember this same feeling in my last marathon.
One of my goals for this race was not a specific finish time instead I wanted to finish and feel good and be able to function for the rest of the day. I tend to have horrible headaches after very long runs in the heat. But I got something right that day! I went back to the hotel after the race and only had time to lay down for about an hour before we needed to leave for the victory dinner. But I felt great (in relative terms) and was able to enjoy a celebratory evening with my teammates and husband!
So hear is to accomplishing my goal I've been training 5 months for and for feeling great while I did it!
J and me after the race
Me on the left, Shannon, and Ronda right before the finish line.