I bet anyone who reads my blog is thinking something like, "Geez, all Ruthann has posted about lately is her marathon/running/training/the gym and now that the race actually happened, she hasn't even posted about it!" (Like anyone really cares, but I like to believe people do.)
So if anyone is still interested, here is how race day went down...
Here we are right before the race started. It was SO cold! In my marathon training book, it suggested wearing a big plastic trash bag to stay warm before the race. That way, it's easy to toss and not be sad about lost clothing. I told Devin I wanted to do it and he laughed at me and acted like it was a dumb idea that no one would do...so I didn't do it. There were lots of people using the trash bag! Next time, I'm totally doing it. Oh, except there will NOT be a next time! I don't ever want to run another marathon in my life. I'll definitely do some more halves, but running 26.2 miles at once is just madness!
Here I am at mile 12.
And here I am rounding the corner to head to the finish line...
Yea!!! I'm done!
Two of the three of my favorite boys in the whole world.
Here we are after the race in our complimentary plastic blankets. They were so warm! When your body stops running after it has been going for so long, it gets cold really quickly so these blankets were very helpful.
My mom, dad, Devin, and me
Here are my boys in the shirts I decorated for them to wear (and Jaxon in his Spiderman mask).
They say "My Mom Runs 26.2" and my number 6745.
Here's Devin in the shirt he made. It says "I think my wife's secret identity is Wonder Woman. Here's the proof: she's hot, sexy, nice legs, oh yeah, and 26.2 miles." He's very creative, huh? :)
My sister-in-law, Elisha's sign said, "You go girl!" with a pair of cute Nike shoes she drew.
My sister-in-law, Reina's sign said, "6945 Ruthann is gonna stay alive!"
My mother-in-law's sign said, "Ruthann's got the jive 6945"
So there are the pictures from the day. Now, the story...
About the last 2 weeks of training I started getting really nervous. I was mostly nervous about not performing as well as I wanted to (not getting a fast enough time). Then, a few days before the race I realized that it didn't matter what my time was and that by making a big deal about my time I was sucking the fun out of it. So, I told myself the race was just another run and I really started to look forward to it. By the day before the race I wasn't nervous at all. I was pretty calm when I thought about it. My heart didn't start pounding when I would think about the race anymore. That was a good sign.
Race day eve we spent the night at Devin's parents so we wouldn't have to wake up so early to drive to get there in time. That was a great idea and I'm very glad we did it. We went to the expo that night to pick up our numbers. There were some bumper stickers and shirts that said, "If found on the ground, please drag across the finish line" and "My sport is your sport's punishment." I liked those. Oh, and "Toenails are overrated" and "I know I run like a girl. Try to keep up." I like the toenail one because during this training I lost a total of 4 toenails, one of them twice. (All little toes. My big toes are fine.)
On race day, my mom and I got to the start line with some time to spare. We stretched, but mostly just huddled by the light generator to keep warm. We got excited as the time got closer and we filed into our corrals.
As we started, we ran behind a girl whose heels never touched the ground. Can you imagine running like that? On your toes the whole time? Try it. I did and almost fell. I don't know how she does it and I wonder if she made it the whole way...
We also ran behind a girl with a shirt that said, "In memory of my mother." I almost started bawling because I felt to lucky to be running the race with my mom. My mom is amazing!
At about mile 2 we stopped for a potty break. We stopped at some porta potties that didn't have a line to make it as quick as possible. About mile 3 we shed our pants (we had shorts underneath). The volunteers were gathering the dropped clothing and donating it to the homeless. I'm glad our "lost" clothes weren't lost after all.
At about mile 4 I started running on my own. I enjoy running with my mom, but my pace is a little faster so I went ahead.
I started looking for Devin with the kids at about mile 10. He said he's be somewhere around the half way point. I finally saw him, along with Jaxon, Henry, my dad, and my mother-in-law at mile 12. I gave them my gloves and coat. Seeing them really gave me a boost!
About a mile later, my hands got really cold and were cold for a while. I wished I hadn't given up my gloves so soon.
I thought about a lot of things while running. Mostly, my husband and kids. They are so great and I just love them so much. (Running endorphins make me a little over-the-top-thankful sometimes. If you ever feel down, start an exercise program. It'll do great things for your overall happiness!) I liked seeing all the spectators. They were all so nice and smiling and cheering for everyone. I pretended their that said, "Go Mom" were for me. And I loved the sign that said, "Go everyone!" How nice is that? They are cheering everyone on!
Miles 15-18 were rough. I stopped again for a potty break at about mile 18 and felt a little better. I felt good for a while until about mile 22. Then, I wanted to die! From that point on until the end, I literally kept telling myself over and over, "Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going." One thing that kept me going was the fact that I hadn't walked yet so I didn't want to break that streak now.
There were times during the race when I knew I had slowed my pace down, but I just couldn't speed up at that moment. I feel like I really did the best I could and gave it my all. I have never been so exhausted at the end of a run.
I started by the 4:30 pacer, but caught up and passed the 4:00 pacer. Before I started the race I thought a realistic goal was about 4:30. I thought 4:00 would be great, but probably impossible. Then, when I caught the 4:00 pacer, I decided that was my goal and I needed to make sure I was ahead of him at all times. A few times he got close, but I was not going to let him pass, so I sped up. I'm glad I pushed myself to do something I didn't think I could do. Because you know what? I DID IT!
Overall, I loved this experience and don't regret it for a second. The training and race were a lot of fun. All of it required sacrifice--from me and from Devin and my boys. I am thankful for their support. And my fabulous Oma who watched my boys for most of my long Saturday runs.
Though it was an incredible experience, I do not want to do it again! Once was enough for me. I will do more half marathons, but I am happy with my performance and do not feel like I need to do it again...though I was only 17 minutes past the time to qualify for Boston...
AND...Special thanks for all the thoughtful texts, calls, e-mails, and treats from all my sweet friends! It all meant a lot! :)
Oh, and I saw Debbie Downer before the race started and wished her good luck. Devin saw her at the Y and she said she ran a 4:15.
Chip Time 3:57:10
Age Grade 57.1%
"Age Graded" results are calculated using tables developed by the World Association of Veteran Athletes.
100% - Approximate World-Record Level
Over 90% - World Class
Over 80% - National Class
Over 70% - Regional Class
Over 60% - Local Class