I awoke at 4am Sunday to the alarm clock playing "THUNDERSTRUCK" by AC/DC. Dressed, ate my whole wheat english muffin with almond butter and banana, filled the water bottles for my fuel belt, and the hubby and I were on the road to Huntington Beach. Crossed the start line on time and I was off and running. I finished my race in 5 hours and 10 minutes which makes it the slowest full marathon I've ever run...but given that my training was sidelined more than a couple times and I'm carrying a little extra weight, I'm thrilled with my results.
With that in mind, here are the Top Ten lessons, celebrations, and take-aways from today's race:
1. It was GREAT to not only receive my race medal, but to also receive the Beach Cities Challenge for competing in the OC Half Marathon and Long Beach Half Marathon previous to this Surf City Full Marathon. AND - because I ran the half in OC and the full today in Surf City, I also received the Double Dog Dare Medal.
|Two of the Three Pieces of Bling!|
2. Coach Jenny Hadfield gave me a great training program and I know that I will have to take her advice in moving forward for more races. I was fully able to "listen to my body" and consider the concept of the body knowing effort, not pace. She equipped me with the idea of running for 4 minutes and walking for 2; and I can say I took that advice for most of the race. It certainly did serve me well.
3. I was WAY properly hydrated today! So much so that I stopped to use porta potties FOUR TIMES on the course! That is by far a McPeak record! In some ways, that fact makes me want to kick myself. I suppose if I hadn't stopped that many times, I might have broken the five hour mark on this race. Oh well....live and learn. For sure no fat sausage fingers, LOL.
4. For the full marathoners, there was a portion of the course that took us into residential areas and then into a really neat park. While we were racing in the park, the volunteers and cheer stations were full of what I assume were junior high kids. They were adorable, giving high-fives and cheers, and their band was even set up to play. I had a good time with these kids and hammed it up as much as I could. While passing by the band that was preparing to play, I spread my arms out wide and shouted to them, "Wow, is all this for me?" The kids didn't seem to get it, but the parents thought it was hilarious. I loved getting their cheers of support. I got as many high-fives as I could and let those kids lift me up through those miles! It was super fun!
5. Against my better judgment, I had to stop at the 12 mile marker to take a photo that I could share with my Sole Sisters, Heather and Liz. I wanted them to know that I was thinking about them during their tribute mile!
6. And speaking of my tribute miles...OMG! I really think having that additional "bib" on my racing skirt reminding me who I was running for was a huge motivator for me. Everytime I made it to a mile marker, I checked my bib for who that mile was for. In some cases, I reflected and meditated briefly with them in mind. And I prayed to both my parents as well, who are no longer alive. I'm quite sure they were up in heaven, holding hands, and cheering loudly for me!
|The Running Tribute List that I Wore Like a Race Bib!|
7. Initially I did this race so I could get another medal and increase my bling. But I gotta tell ya - I LOVED running this race. Not just Surf City, but the FULL Marathon. The 26.2 miles. I felt so completely in the moment and able to just enjoy the experience. At my first marathon, Rock and Roll San Diego, I was pretty well injured and just trying to get through it all with my Team in Training buddies. I was so emotional - i don't think I had any fun at all. At the LA Marathon in 2011, it was pouring rain. All I cared about was finishing and getting home to be warm and dry. At Surf City on Sunday, I just felt so grateful and happy. It was truly a spiritual experience for me!
8. BUT - I for sure need to be more intentional on training and getting in those long runs. For my next full marathon, I have to train during a time when I can actually get outside and run during the week. It was hard to conceive 8 mile runs that had to be done on a treadmill. I already know that for the Hog Eye Marathon in March of 2016, this is gonna be a similar experience because I'll be training in the winter. But I can cross that bridge when I come to it.
9. How beautiful was it to see my husband just moments after crossing the finish line! He's such a dear - telling me that I have to do all my races with him and vice versa because he can't go through the stress of not knowing where I am and if I'm okay. How cute is that? When I saw him I grinned so big and then started crying. I could feel how proud he was of me. And that feeling was so amazing and special. (of course, the 1.5 mile walk to the car kind of sucked, but hey...the man wanted to see me finish, so that's where he had to park!)
|Me and The Hubby (Chaz) after Packet Pick Up in HB!|
10. The ice bath was great - but icing my knees would have been better. I don't know why I neglected to do this once I got cleaned up and positioned on the couch! Probably could've allowed me to get to work on Monday - I was still so sore Monday morning that I called in sick. I felt like a dancer in a mermaid costume trying to flip my way over to get in and out of bed. Hysterical.
So - that's my story. Feeling really great about the entire experience and can't wait until my next race. Mostly. Right now I just will be happy to finish work and get back on the couch.