Monday, October 16, 2006

Go Green Gloves!

Mrp and I got into Columbus around 5:00 on Saturday and hurried over to the expo to get my number and house arrest bracelet, I mean chip. It was an ankle cuff chip--very intimidating looking. Then we slyly found a hotel worker who helped us find a downtown restaurant to provide us take-out spaghetti sauce on the side. Thanks Brandon! We walked the block over to pick up the food and then hoofed it a few blocks back to the hotel. I was jittery and anxious but finally starting to relax. Mrp helped me figure out how to pin gu to my shorts and I wrote a few splits on my number. He also let me borrow his watch that recorded splits and was much easier to use than my $12.99 lime green target watch. I set out my base layer clothes and then my warm-ups too because it was going to be cold at the start!

I finally got to sleep--and I did actually sleep--around 11. I tossed and turned a little and woke up at 5. I had a cup of coffee, a bagel, and a banana. Drank some gatorade but quickly just couldn't stomach any more sugar. After carbo loading, I just never wanted sugar again at that point! I couldn't wait to have a nice hamburger and some vegetables or something! Ok, where was I. Oh yes, I then started the every 10-minute bathroom trips. I was so nervous. I was so afraid of having to stop in the middle of the race that I felt compelled to squeeze every last drop out my bladder. By 6 o'clock I started to get dressed a little at a time. By 7:15 (remember, I was in the bathroom a lot!) I wanted to jog the block over to check out the start. We did just that and I was so pleased with the weather. There was hardly a breeze and it was really not that cold. I was psyched. We went back to our room and I took off my jacket and warm-up pants and put them in my gear bag.

We went back out and I lined up and gave mrp my long sleeve top. I waited for a few minutes in my singlet, shorts, gloves, and hat (oh and that ankle-cuff chip thing that ended up not bothering me at all). I lined up in between the 3:30 and 3:20 pace groups just as planned. While we waited, some big plane flew over. The mayor of Columbus made a big deal about it and the guy next to me laughed and said it was one of those planes that drops food down to troops or refugees. We expected bags of rice to rain down at any minute. Luckily it didn't happen and before I knew it the horn sounded and we were off!!

It was a bit crowded at the start. Under strict orders from mrp I did not swerve or swear or anything. I just waited it out. I got to one mile around 8:10. (I saw mrp and tossed my hat so I didn't record that split.)

Shortly after mile 1 the 3:30 pace group caught up to me. Although I didn't panic I knew it meant I had to quit being lazy and pick it up. So I did. My 2 mile split was 16:05.

I don't remember much about mile 3 other than it had to be short. I clocked in with a 7:26 without picking it up and others around me were remarking about how fast it seemed to be. Some people were stoked to be going that "fast" but I really sensed it was short and didn't sweat it.

Mile 4 was 7:53 and mile 5 was 7:45. I hit 5 miles in 39:09. Somewhere in there we saw the governor. I wanted to say something snarky to him--you know something like "invest in any coins lately?" or "what are your thoughts on the Foley scandel?"--but I saved my energy and just smiled at him. It was nice of him to be out there afterall--and he can't even run for reelection! Also in here this guy wearing white spandex shorts that were pretty much see-through kept running with me. You could see his ass people! Those shorts were fresking scary and I tried to go ahead, I tried to drop back and he wouldn't budge. It bugged me. I finally lost him when he walked through the next water station. Also here it was nice because the 1/2 marathoners split from the course. It opened things up a bit and things quieted down.

Mile 6 was 7:45. At this point I took my first gu. It went down just fine. Also half-way through this mile the 1/2'ers joined back up but now instead of being at the same pace as the full'ers at this point, they were a mile back. So, it was congested and there was a lot of passing people. It threw me off a little in that I was worried I would get over-zealous with passing or that I would get caught behind people but I really didn't too much. I almost ran into one guy who stopped in the middle of a water stop and then walked horizontally across the road. I think I swore under my breath but relative to me I didn't sweat it.

Mile 7 was 7:49 and mile 8 had a mild head-wind and a gradual uphill so it was 8:01. The head wind and periodic uphills made mile 9 a 7:54 and mile 10 an 8:00. I knew I was slower than 3:25 pace but I really didn't sweat it. I was confident, yet cautious and I think this is really the theme of the day for me.

Anyway, I saw mrp at mile 10 and that helped a bit as I was getting a little bored and a little worried that I wasn't feeling like things were so easy at this point. I wasn't hurting bad or anything, I just wasn't feeling like my pace was cake. He made me happy and I perked up quite a bit.

Mile 11 was 7:53 and mile 12 was 7:57. Before the half-point the crowd started getting really dense and really loud. This helped me a bit and even though there was a head-wind (the wind seemed to be in my face the rest of the race no matter which direction I was headed!) up High Street I clocked a 7:49 at 13. I said "see ya!" to the half marathoners and relaxed my way to the 1/2 point on the full course. I clocked a 1:43:13 for the half. I was happy. I knew I was slow still but I really was ok with it. Again, confident yet cautious. I saw my wonderful mrp again here and he cheered and it made me even more happy. This carried me through the parts of high street that were uphill, breezy, and pretty desolate.

Mile 14 was 8:06 my slowest mile after the first. This was the longest hill and the wind was the most intense there. It wasn't really bad at all, but it was noticeable and it did impact my pace. Between 14 and 15 was a folk singer and I can't remember what the song was but it was depressing and it made me have a second of doubt but then I got mad and then laughed at myself and continued on. Mile 15 was 7:50.

Between 15 and 16 some spectators said I get the award for matching gloves and then shortly after that someone yelled "go green gloves!" Those people made me happy and I gave them a jazz hands ackowledgement. Somebody in an apartment yelled out the window in a really bitchy queen voice to some guy who was walking and I can't remember what they said but it was really kind of funny and they made me laugh too. Mile 16 was 7:53.

Mile 17 was just desolate. I can hardly remember anything about it. I think it was uphill or at least I hope. My split was 8:04.

At mile 18 I took my third gu. I started eating it and then I could see The Hill up ahead. Mrp told me about it and told me to hate that hill. So I gradually ate the gu and finished right before The Hill. I threw down my gu package (I felt bad littering but there was no water stop or anything so I am relying on the race ops to get it) and started up. I hated that thing and I stomped it and went on to the water station above and forgot about it. No big deal. My split was 7:53.

Mile 19 I don't remember except thinking I need to get to 20, I need to get to 20. Almost to 20! Oh, and I passed a guy with a grass skirt. My split was 8:00.

Mile 20. I wanted to be at 2:36:xx to be on pace for my 3:25. I rolled in with a 7:52 mile at 2:37:56. Again, no worries. I was feeling good. No hint of a wall. My legs hurt but not as bad as I had feared and I could still do math in my head. I knew I could go a little faster but I was worried about hitting the wall somewhere in this last 10k. So I picked it up a little.

Mile 21 was 7:46. A little later I saw the guy with the white shorts again, Somewhere he passed me and I didn't notice (hey, I didn't care as long as he wasn't right next to me!) I passed him and he was sweet and said "you go girl." I felt bad. Maybe I should have told him that transparent shorts were not his color or that the blue thong underneath was not becoming. Anyway, around here was a radio station BLARING really bad R&B and it annoyed me, but I was feeling good.

Mile 22 was 7:34. Spectators were commenting on how "fresh" I looked or how strong I looked. I was hurting but not that bad. Still doing math. But still scared of that darn wall. Mile 23 was 7:40. I was just passing person after person. I started passing one girl and she stayed with me. She was the only person I ran with and the only person I talked to. I turned to her and said "let's go." She was chatting but I never said another word. For the next mile and a half we passed person after person together.

Mile 24 was a 7:41. Somewhere in the middle of this mile that girl fell back. I kept going. My legs were burning a little now, but I could still do math. I knew I could still make 3:25:xx. It was hard, but I kept going. I kept passing people and many people said encouraging things as I passed. I couldn't talk but I gave them a weak little jazz hand with my now naked hands. (I tucked the green gloves in my shorts--I was getting hot around mile 24).

Mile 25 was 7:46. I got to mile 25 and I was still worried about the wall! I didn't want to pour it on yet. I was hurting, I was tired, I was a bit dizzy feeling, yet KNEW I could get the 3:25. I passed some spectator who was yelling at us that we were on pace for 3:26. I said to myself, oh no we're not and I picked it up. I pushed, I ran, I focused, and I ran and I ran and I turned that corner and I saw the finish and I just hauled @ss down that brick covered hill. I heard my mom yell my name and I saw the clock ticking down the seconds past 3:25. I came in at 3:25:48 on the clock and 3:25:32 on my watch (official chip time was 3:25:31).

I crossed the line and I looked up and I thought of all the work and all the doubting and all the fear and just how I did it. I made a goal and despite all the naysayers and all my fears and everything I did it!!!! And as I got wrapped in mylar I felt a tear and then another.

I somehow made it to the back of the corral and a photographer grabbed me. I almost tripped over the little Columbus Marathon sign because I had no control over my leg muscles any more Then I made my way out of the corral and found mrp. I was so excited. I said "I did it! I'm going to Boston!"

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