Monday, October 31, 2011

I Can't Sit Down But I Am on TOP of the World

As day one post marathon has come to an end, I don't think I have ever stopped smiling.  I am pretty much over the top, out of my mind, psyched about this marathon.  For me, I truly feel as I went in there and crushed this thing.  It was, in my mind, a total, utter, success!  I did not just make it, I dominated it! And I am keeping my positive, on top of the world attitude and that is that!!  Maybe it is the amount of sugar from Gus or the three chocolate chip cookies and ice cream yesterday or the adrenaline rush or the runner's high that is having this impact on me, but I am just soaring.

However, soaring, is a theoretical term because in actuality, I am moving a bit slowly today.  Getting up and down (yes just up and down forget about the stairs) are hard, and don't even talk to me about the bathroom.  Seriously, why is the toilet seat so freaking low?!? Steps....well, they are just getting progressively harder.  Where does this leave me.  Happy, proud, excited?  You bet!  If I feel this way, I must have given it my all.   And my all it come the splits, courtesy of my wonderful supporting runners

Erin reported back

1   10:00.1
7  9:37.7

I know Mile 18 was somewhere around 8:48.  And Liz added to the mix at Mile 19 and change...
Ok, so maybe Liz was going a bit faster than me at points, but I am going with the theory that it all evens out so that was my pace too, right?  Come on Liz, tell me it was about even, boost my ego just a little bit more haha.  Either way, I could not be happier.  This is pretty much exactly what I wanted.  All training I struggled.  I did not get it right.  The food was off, the hydration was off, and I never ever negative split.  In fact, in my last major run at Bay State Half, I did the exact opposite - I positive split, got bad side cramps, and massive blisters.

Yet, yesterday, everything went fine.  Everything we thought about, everything I stressed about during taper, was executed perfectly.  From the moment, I crossed the start line, it was as if I was in some surreal, runner's zone.  It was like, I knew what I was doing.  It was like I had trained for it.  All my comments about how, yes I put in the miles but had not trained for the right food, just faded away and I just did it because that is what had to be done to become the marathoner I wanted and needed to be.

Something just clicked.  I got there.  I knew I was runner.  I crossed the start line and I put my plan into action.

Highlight Reel - When It Just Clicks

1)  Hydration: As soon we started, Erin handed me water and we kept hydrating from there on in.  Even the mile or two on my own, I ran through the water stops and drank up, Liz even got me Gatorade (which I swore I could not do at other times) and I drank it like a champ, even enjoying it (go figure!).

2)  Timing:  I stressed a ton on this one.  My coach never gave me times, just finally told me on the last day - first three miles slowest, 3-6 steady, 6-16 comfortable 16-23 race it, 23 to finish you will just get there because you are there.  You know I was ecstatic to race into Boston and tell him the good news this morning.  Coach, you wanted this plan? Sure here it is.  No problem.  His response: fist pump!!  That's right.  But where did it come from?  Well, first Erin gave me an awesome breakdown which was perfect. Thanks lady.  And then also...

I listened to body, I watched my times, I fought my body, and I just let the training take over.  From the start, Erin and I were constantly checking our watches.  I refused to do this too much because I needed and wanted to enjoy the race, the scenery, and the crowds, but I checked it just enough to keep myself on target.  If we saw a 8 something and were in mile 11, I said let's slow down.  If I saw we were to slow, we sped up.  We anticipated the future as much as possible, preparing for the next step.  Feeling our bodies and getting our minds ready for the challenge.  When we wanted to get faster, we did so progressively, listening and responding.

I ignored, the negative thoughts.  An ankle that said early on, no go today Steph, quads that were screaming, a tiny voice at Mile 2 whispering that if upper 9s were hard, we would never get lower.  I just would not talk or dance with that.  Not on MY day. But ultimately, it was like a dream.  It just happened.  I put in the time, hours,  commitment, and dedication and it all unraveled before my tapering folks out there. I know you will go crazy, but from one crazy lady to another (or men, you too):  You did it, you are there, sit back and let the magic unfold....

3) Nutrition:  Another wonderful stressor.  So much so that I packed sooo many options for the course.  I had no idea what was going to happen. I knew I did not want to do just Gus and Blocks. I needed to do real food.  I also knew I needed to do more food than I usually do on training runs.  Not just one an hour but more!!  I had literally calculated exactly when I was going to eat beforehand.  It was good for me to have that, but I did not do it exactly.  I listened to my body.  I thought it was going to be soo hard to think about when and what and how much to eat while running.  But my body just told me and I did the hardest thing, I listened.  I made the snap judgment to obey my body's needs and it rewarded me.  So I slowed down, I took the Gu, then the Blocks, then Granola Bars, and then more Gu.  Only regret, those Girl Scout cookies people were handing out at Mile 8 looked kind of yummy...hmmm maybe I should go back..

That's enough race day talk for one moment, insert sad face here.  Actually I will keep talking about it if you will let me ;)  I just can't get enough.  Sorry people, but there is still more to tell (hey I was out there for a while!).   I hope you come back for more - I have some great giveaways coming up and a bit of apologies to do.  Last week, I had my Nuun Giveaway and there are THREE WINNERS:

Mackenzi Hunter
Quinnys Mom
Miss Teacher

Email me your addresses ladies and you are going to get a nice package in the mail soon! Well, as soon as I can bend down and pick it up and sit in the car to get to the post might be awhile, but not too long, I have a Turkey Trot and Vegas Half to get moving on (you did not think I was just going to retire now did you?!?!)

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