Wow! Marathon Weekend…already?! It kind of seems like just a few weeks ago I started my marathon training…and now the big day is here!
Little man and I came to KC Friday afternoon and played around at the expo. There was tons of snacks, a lot of people too be shy around, things to climb on, and tables to crawl under…basically a little boy’s dream playground (minus the slides).
Gypsy Runner had some great shirts, headbands, hats, and everything a running lady would love to wear!
The KC Running Co had some of their upcoming race medals out on display and some create tees for sale.
The Ultramax team, same sponsor of the Go Girl Run KC I ran last fall, was there and heat pressing shirts 🙂
Of course we had to look at all of the Garmin watches and play on the display!
Little man was not fond of the cardboard cutouts…
…and then we went and played around the JEEPs outside!
The Expo was nice! There was enough to see without being overwhelmed. There was clothes, fuel, massages (which I would have got one Friday since they were packed up and gone when I finished Saturday…), snacks for the little man, and several running related companies with great giveaways!
Pre Marathon – Morning
Since I laid my clothes out the night before, I was set and dressed in no time flat!
I started the day with my long-long run pre-workout fuel of PB + banana + carb (today, it was toast – other days, it is a tortilla). I added a little cinnamon for extra credit… 🙂
I put ice in my Nathans hydration pack, Nuun (sat overnight in the fridge) and water in said hydration pack, put Honey Stingers in my pockets, and sunscreen on my face. My nerves were calm, as long as no body asked be about being nervous… Whoops! I then realized that I forgot my hat in Manhattan…good thing I grabbed one at the Olathe Runner’s group table at the expo the day before…I guess “nothing new on race day” was out the window at this point…
Since my MIL was up with me getting ready, she decided to take me to the start area rather than taking me to the “drop off” area down the street. Due to the size of the race and the location of the start, there was no way the 3,500+ runners were going to be able to park around the start/finish area. There were 2 locations in the city to stop and leave your car and take a bus to the start – it would then also be running after the race to take runners back. My “plan” was to go to the bus location close to their house to get the “full experience”, but a driver to the start is nice as well 🙂
Once we worked out the logistics of where I thought she should have turned (twice), I was ready to go! As I crossed the street, I noticed a fellow RTY member walking across the street on the opposite side (Mike!!)…but I didn’t want to yell (for risk of looking crazy) or run to catch up (for risk of falling due to the amount of random things I was carrying before checking my bag at the tent). So, I walked fast but didn’t catch up in time…
As I was walking up to the start area, I was overtook by the greatness of the American flag – it was huge! I am overcome by emotions when I am in the presence of such an iconic representation of our freedom…I THEN got super excited and super nervous!
…and it was time to check my bag and find a port-a-potty, STAT! What about those potty lines!! **Disclaimer – when there are 3-4 port-a-potties are flagged off, DO NOT start a second line in the same group of potties!! ARG!!** Due to my poor selection of bathroom lines, I waited for 30 minutes as I watched people cut over to other lines (just as long as mine) and get through in 1/2 the time…that was when I realized that there was a second line started in the same group of potties I was standing in… WHAT?! So, I switched groups, was in and out of the bathroom in 5 minutes, and walked right into the moving group of runners starting the race…
Again, the flag was an amazing thing to see as the sun came up and it gave me that boost of adrenaline I needed in the beginning 🙂
Once the race started, I realized that I started with or around the 2:20 half marathon pacers. This pace was a little faster than I thought I would/could/should run at the beginning of this race, but I went with it. I started weaving and bobbing through the walkers (not sure why they start so far up and not towards the back…) and settled into a pace – yes, faster than I wanted to be, but it felt comfortable.
Along the first mile, I spotted another RTY shirt!! Yes!! I met Rebecca and we ran for the first mile or so together, chatting about running and the races we have been a part of recently 🙂 We broke off and I just kept on trucking… I now have a pal to run with in KC if I ever remember to ask 😉
The hills started from the beginning and we rolled up and down Ridgeview for the first 3 miles. There was one water stop around mile 2, but I didn’t stop. The first major turn was around the Mahaffie Farmstead area. There is a small tallgrass prairie reserve on the corner, a great visiter’s center, and land and buildings to walk through. Granted, we were not stopping to enjoy the area, but I did get a few quick snaps of the atmosphere.
Once we passed the Mahaffie area, we were on our way to Olathe North High School and there was a guy videoing the runners passing with a drone…odd, but cool! Soon, we were at the second water stop – I slowed to a fast walk, took a water, drank it, and was off running again soon after 🙂 While I run in these areas when I am in town for races or visiting family and friends, I don’t generally take the time to really embrace the scenery… Not today. It seemed like my senses were on overdrive and I took in as much of the day as I could.
About this time, I passed the 4:30 marathon pacer. I mentioned to her that I was going to try and keep her in my sights… While that seemed like a doable goal around mile 4, I had no clue what I was getting myself into!
The rolling hills of Olathe were starting to show more and more. I ran with and past several people talking about how they didn’t anticipate the hills – I just laughed (silently)… Whenever I am in town, I run my hill workouts – I am not sure why locals would think that it is flat…
The rolling hills continued… Around mile 6, I could hear music coming up behind me… There was a gal with her phone on blast in her running belt. The music was similar to what I listen to and it had a nice beat for a good running cadence. I slightly quickened my pace to keep up with her for the next several miles. While I was still running faster than I anticipated to this point, we had a fun conversation about running, tri training, and life!
The Garmin 1/2 was her 2nd half from coming back from hip surgery…and she was clocking a new post-op PR! **Mental Note : I need to look through the images around the area where we broke away to check her bib # and see how she finished!
We broke away around mile 10 and I could hear her tell something about, “You’ll do awesome in the marathon! Great work marathon runners!” While I didn’t formally excuse myself, there were several other runners chatting it up with her and it was a natural feeling to just keep on running…
We rounded the corner of Olathe Northwest High School and another water stop. I walked through this area and took several cups of whatever they had to serve.
Mile 8.75 & 11.25
Due to my running faster than expected, my MIL missed me at our first meeting point at around mile 8.75…whoops! If I would have looked hard enough, I could have seen her speed walking up the street! They live about 1/2 mile from the 8.75 mark and a mile from the 11.25 mark of the race.
Her second try was around mile 11.25 and I saw her and just kept trucking along 🙂
Around the mile 12 mark, the half marathoners continued to the finish and the full marathoners veered off to the left onto the Mill Creek trail system for 6.5 miles out and then back.
I am lumping the entire trail into 1 category because it was the beginning of the end!
My family was planning on being around mile 15 and 23 (the same spot). I got a call from my dad when I was around 14.5 miles in…good timing! They just settled in and were waiting on me. I tossed off my hydration pack to be refilled and took a bottle of water. Everyone was excited to see me, even the little man!
Once I was on my own again, my feet started hurting… I lasted until around mile 17/18 before I really had to take some walk breaks. My feet were on FIRE!! I hadn’t ever felt pain like this in my feet before and I wasn’t sure if it was just from the miles or if I had hurt myself somehow.
I pushed through, walking and running… I met some fellow first-timers along the way with similar aches and pains. We reveled in the fact that we were going to distance and joked about running a different course 🙂
I made my way back to where my family was and I fed off of their energy a little – I was beat, but the cold water and smiles helped a little!
The race maker must have had a good sense of humor, because no one liked him after the climb back to the main road…
Once I was to this point, I knew I could make my way back to the start/FINISH!! There were only a few people on the path and road…and it was a lonely finish.
I was very pleased with this race! I know that I was physically prepared for the course, but I was not prepared for the speed of the first 1/2 of the race. If I was only running the 1/2, I could have PR’d most likely! – this is not a good reality check, I should have started out much, much slower!
There are always “could have” “should have” “would have’s” after a race…and yes, I…could/should/would have started out a little slower and then I could/should/would have been able to last longer without burning my feet out. There is no rewriting history. I will just have to run a little smarter next time… I am not in a big hurry to start training for another full…but I will!
But in the meantime…
I AM A MARATHONER!!
Wow, that was long. Have you run a marathon? Did you feel like you wanted to run another after your finish?
Time for a little rest and relaxation…or just a little more running!