I woke up at 3am (as if running a marathon isn't hard enough..) got dressed, pinned on my number, ate half a bagel with peanut butter and double, no triple checked to make sure I had everything before I left. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. When I loaded onto the bus at 4:15am I realized what it was... my Garmin... dang it! At first I panicked but then I figured I would be okay and just stay close by a race pacer.
We arrived at the start line at 5am. The race would start at 6am so I had a good hour to wait. I did some yoga, stretching, and drink a little green tea to help wake me up. I was really glad I wore full on sweats to keep me warm. It wasn't too cold but it was nice to not be standing and shivering for an hour.
As the race was about to start I lined up with the 4:35 pacer so I would be reminded to start slow. The race started and we were off! It was a beautiful morning. I didn't listen to music at first, I just tried to enjoy the moment and soak it all in. I was still nervous... what would happen during the next 26 miles?? I tried to relax and ease into my pace. Before I knew it I was passing mile 3.. at mile 4 I turned my music on and that relaxed me a lot. I was in the groove. At mile 6 I could hear a number of people around me discussing where the porta potties were. They were supposed to be at mile 3 and every other mile after that but they were no where to be found. Runners were running into the bushes left and right. Oh the joys of being a runner :) But I was confused about where the potties where. It kind of freaked me out because there is really nothing worse than running and having nowhere to go if an emergency hits. Because of this I didn't drink as much water as I should have.
At mile 9 I ate some of my chews and drank a little water. Right after that a cramp hit my tummy. Uh oh... I ran it off but it was a really bad moment. It was a little disappointing too because I was at one of the most beautiful parts of the course. Deer Creek was to my right and a gorgeous mountain stretch was to my left.
Mile 13 brought a whole stretch of porta potties where the half marathon started. I decided to use one just in case there weren't any more during the rest of the race. Mile 14 I saw my friend Tika running towards me with a big sign that said "Chelsea Power" it was awesome! She is so cool! It gave me such a boost of energy just as I was thinking ohhh crap I'm only halfway done.
2 miles later I saw my sister Larissa - another boost of energy but short lived as the sun began to pound down on me. Oh the heat. I thought my shoulders were going to fry up. Between mile 19 and 20 there was a archway that said "Crush the Wall" which I thought was cool. I ran through that thing like I was crushing the wall, which I would soon hit at 22.
Mile 21 I saw a glorious sight, Eric was there with an ice cold water bottle! From mile 21 on I felt like I could not get enough water. I'm pretty sure I got dehydrated because by mile 23 I felt totally delirious. I was not myself and I was angry even though Larissa jumped in to run the rest of the way with me. I wanted to cry. I wanted to be done. I really didn't think I could make it. I was so thirsty. I had to turn off my music just to stay focused. My legs weighed 1000 pounds and the sun was pounding down on me. I tried to put on a brave face. I knew it would be hard... but I didn't expect it to be that hard. I walked for a few minutes and then ran and then walked again for another couple minutes.
|^^Can you spy me as I head towards the finish line??^^|
|^^Comparing the marathon medal to the half marathon medal... Olivia is amazing, she won 3rd place in her division!^^|
|This guy..... :) Haha|