Be careful to what you will say never to. I could have sworn less than a year a go I said I would NEVER run a marathon. I just 'couldn't' do it. That distance was too big for me, and that this injury prone runner would never be able to finish.
Never underestimate yourselves...
I got to the race pretty early thanks to Stephanie Backman, who so generously agreed to pick me up so I didn't have to drive myself and then drive home since my family was coming up to cheer me on and would be able to drive me back..We were able to park 3 blocks from the start line and wandered around for a bit. I hit the port a potty, and then hung out by the fountain for a few pre race photos.
I described myself as nervously excited, and excitedly nervous. I did my pre-race dynamic stretches, ran into a few friends, and then walked over to line up at the start.
I was surprised when we opened the race in prayer. I have not seen any of the larger races do this and it just made me so happy. I was in the third wave (10min+) and within 5 minutes we were off.. my marathon was starting...
I didn't know what this race would hold.. My knee had been so weird during the taper I didn't know if I would be able to run this race pain free... but I knew, I was determined I would finish, no matter what.
I began the race with the 4:45 pace group, but after the first 3 miles and trying to hold to a 10:45ish pace, I decided that was not in the cards for me today. Not on 3 hours of sleep and full of my first marathon doubt. I slowed my pace to a 11 min mile as planned.
The first few miles take you through parts of Vancouver I had never seen before. It was very pretty - though lonely if you need a lot of cheering. You get to see the faster folks on their return which is fun (and inspiring). By mile 8 I decided I would dedicate miles to things/people which was a nice distracting game. I expected to see my family somewhere between 10-13 miles and had my friend Marianne meeting me at mile 15, so I just needed to get through the first half is what I kept telling myself.
Around mile 9 I started talking with a lady who had flown out from NY to cross Washington off her 50 states list - we ran together for about 2 miles but then she pulled ahead of me for a little bit, but then I took her at the overpass/hill coming back into Vancouver and I never saw her again.. I am thankful for the distraction she provided for a while when I was struggling a little for no reason, except for the mental part.
I was beyond happy to see my cheering/support crew at mile 15..
|Don't know how I look so happy...|
Marianne jumped into the race and was so happy and offered to be chatty or quiet, so I opted for chatty on her part and told her not to expect much from me. We ran through Fort Vancouver - sort of a reverse Girlfriends Half Marathon route.. I was starting to fade, now I know it was because I wasn't eating enough. And I was running a marathon. It's not easy. By Mile 18 I really wanted to see my family, but they were having a hard time navigating the streets of Vancouver.. Marianne was texting and let me know my wish was going to be granted soon. She was also the most awesome race photographer, always running ahead or behind to capture the memories.
Just past Mile 19 I saw the happiest sight.. My girls and my husband.. Rowan ran right over to me and ran a little bit with me.
|Probably one of my favorites.. ever.|