I will say two things: 1) I am thankful for my ability to run and 2) I ran that marathon as hard as I could.
On Saturday morning I woke up at 3am, ate a plain raisin bagel, drank half a thing of Gatorade and went back to sleep. Then I woke up at 5am, had a coffee and a poo, and got dressed.
The race started at 7am and Andrew and I were sitting in traffic at 6:40 with the start line nowhere in sight so I gave my love a kiss goodbye and hopped out of the van to run to the start (about 2 miles away). Once I got there, I found out that the race had been delayed 15 minutes which gave me time to stretch, take one more Immodium (I took 3 total) and a glug of Gatorade and just generally get my shit together.
The first half was right on pace, maybe even a little too fast in the early miles (mile 5 was 6:09, when it should have been 6:50) and I hit the halfway mark right at 1:30. Then? I felt dizzy and hungry and I knew that if I kept up that pace, then I would get sick or get hurt; I know my body so well. I took a Gu at mile 9 and then again at mile 15, and another one at mile 20. I grabbed Gatorade or water at every single station. Next time, I would definitely eat my 3am bagel 3 hours before the start, not 4.
My pace slowed once I felt dizzy and hungry, down to about a 7:20 pace, but I was okay with it. From that point on I decided to not look at my watch at all, and I didn’t. Not once. I decided to just run with my heart, and I did.
I don’t remember much between miles 15-22 except that it was just me out there, nobody else. It was my moving meditation, my catharsis, my conversion. At mile 22, I realized that I had conserved energy by dialing back so I decided to use the extra gas in the tank to surge ahead. I started passing people (two women, one by one) and I finished strong. I left everything out there, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(I stole this one from the marathon photos):
If you asked me beforehand how I’d feel about a 3:06 finish, I would have told you that I’d be disappointed, even angry. But I really feel like I ran a smart race, and I pushed my body just enough to leave it all out there but not so much that I would get hurt. When I got back to our hotel, I took the hottest shower ever and I felt the sting of the mark left by my running bra. I saw my rapidly beating heart beneath my empty breasts and I knew I had given my all, my everything. And that’s all I could ever ask for.
We can do all the right things and we can train in all the right ways and then life happens, right? Life happens. But the key word? Life.
Chip time was 3:06:26 which got me 6th place out of 1084 women and third place out of 186 women in my division.
The best part of all was that I got to be close to Andrew all weekend. I am so thankful for his love and support, and for his parents for taking Callum so that we could go away like this.
These were my splits: 6:51, 6:37, 6:41, 6:09, 6:49, 6:42, 6:45, 6:55, 6:52, 6:54, 6:59, 7:13, 7:21, 7:06, 7:11, 7:05, 7:21, 7:31, 7:38, 8:30, 7:37, 7:36, 7:27, 7:21, 7:15, 7:00, 0:15 for the last 0.2
So, that’s it! I’m about to put Callum to bed and go for a shakeout run on the treadmill. I’m still the same Suzy as I’ve always been. CRAZY!
Have you ever been to Seattle?
How many days off of running do you take after a big race?