I have never really officially trained for any race before this one. I have done bricks and ran and rode and swam (or is it swum? swimmed?) either way, I have never followed any strict program I should say before I decided to do the ROCK. Also, I have never really had the desire to run 26.2 miles. Can't forget that .2!! But, when Dian signed up for it back in October, I decided then that if I was going to be out there cheering her on, I might as well run. Yea, a little macho ego going......
I registered in November. Six weeks out. I began to feverishly look up "6 week marathon training" plans. The 1st one I was following had me running 6-10 miles daily with one long run. That was not working for me, so I just did what Dian was doing.
The 12, 13, 15 ,18, 20 mile runs came and went. I was tired of running. I am used to VARIETY. Marathon training lacks that, but I was soon to find out why.
The week before the marathon was a beating doing so little. I was also getting very nervous. At what point will I hit the infamous "wall"? Will I lose bodily functions? (I hear it happens!) And most importantly: Will I make the whole distance?
The morning of the race, went as planned. Woke up, showered, ate breakfast and gathered up all our stuff, kissed the girls (Gretchen the maniac daschund Heidi the elder schaunzer) and headed to the train.
On the train there were a few fellow runners and we chatted about this and that, all the while thinking about what is to come.
Skip to the race. We got in with the 4:00 pace and started running. The crowd was very difficult to navigate. Trying not to get overly frustrated with the walkers that walked in a line 6 across in the middle of the road, strollers and dogs on leashes. After about 5 miles,we finally got some breathing room and still managed to be right there with the pace group.
The miles rolled off. At each mile mark we were exactly on pace for a 4 hour marathon. We kept this pace through mile 20. I felt pretty good! Knees were getting a bit tired and stiff, but over all, I was like, "Hey, I can do this!" I knew the pace was slowing a bit, but to too bad. At mile 22, still of a 4:04 pace. Waved to some friends. Then it happened. My wall. My monkey. My albatross....knees began to freeze. Dian saw this and was very encouraging, even slowed her pace to stay with me. I told her to "GOGO, I'll catch up...."
My mind was telling me I was done. My knees were screaming. My heart would not let me stop. I actually recovered and pick up the pace. I spotted Dian. I was gaining!!!! Mile 24. DONE!! Mile 25 DONE (a few moans and almost tears). Mile 26!!! There is the line....there is Dian! I passed a guy cramped up 50 yards out, I yelled GO JUAN!! His name was on his back.........then DONE..................BIG HUGS! 4:11:56!!!
At first I was mentally and physically numb. Then it hit. We just did a marathon. Ran the whole thing. From what I hear, we ran pretty fast! I "officially retired" from that distance afterwards.........now I find myself saying "the next one will be on a flat course under 4 hours........" I guess I'll never learn..........