Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Lost Dutchman Marathon

The Lost Dutchman Marathon 2012

So on February 19th, 2012 I ran a marathon. I’ve blogged about previous races that I’ve done but this, THIS was the one that this was all for. I trained for 23 weeks to run a marathon. I ran a 12k, a half marathon, and a 5k, in preparation for the race. I ran for hours every Sunday building up mileage, every Tuesday I upped my time training in speed and hills (mostly hills), on Thursdays I built up slowly with regular running. For 23 weeks I ran 4 days a week. I only missed ONE run due to illness and if I couldn’t do it on the day I rescheduled my week and made sure I got it all in. I did stretching, yoga, ice baths, ice packs, reading and more reading, juices and gels. Then I went and did the cutting back at the end, the wind down, so I could heal and have all my energy for the race. I was full of panic, thinking this was going to hurt me in the marathon, I was going to lose my running ability, but I did not…

And I ran a marathon. In the mountains. There was elevation changes, terrain changes, weather
changes, and it was crazy. It took me a while to write this blog because it was such an immense event in my life I needed it all to settle and I needed to remember the event as best as I could. So let’s start the night before the race…

I had everything ready. My number was pre-pinned to my shirt (Batman, naturally), my running sock
and shoes together, all of the pins for my hair, my water pack filled and snacks put in, I even premade
a smoothie to drink in the morning, since I knew actual food was not an option. I wanted to go to sleep and be able to wake up seamlessly with the only thing I need to do was get dressed and wake Evan to drive me.

That’s exactly what happened. I got up before dawn, got dressed and ready, and got Evan up and we
were on our way. He dropped my freezing self off (dude, it was cold) and I climbed into the bus that
would take us up the mountain to the start. I’m really glad we left when we did because when I was on the bus I heard the radio go off and that there were not enough buses for people to start the race on
time. Getting early really helped me stay calm and ahead of the game. We got up to the starting area
and it was like a marathoner refugee camp. There were pads of carpet on the ground with tiny little fires between them and we were all huddled on them freezing. They had some breakfast options for people to eat but my nerves and cold were too great and I drank my smoothie in silence.

It started getting light out and we were nestled in the mountains of the Superstitions. We were
instructed to go to our corrals and wait for the start. There was about 600 people at the start and with a small cheer the gun went off and off we went.

I was not concerned with my time too much. I needed to keep about a 14 min a mile pace and once
I made it to the halfway point I knew I’d be able to relax more. I had ran my half marathon without
stopping and I was determined to do the same for my marathon. We started off and it was amazingly beautiful and I got to see some Big Horned Cows, they were watching us run very confused. They were giant Cows, not just the horns, the cows were the biggest cows I have ever seen. I was slightly afraid they would get pissed and start running after us all, but they were content to chewing their cud and watching us crazy people.

I did really well for a really long time. I wasn’t really passing people like I did for PF Changs half
marathon, but I kept up a good clip. I reached a mile 11 and I had to start taking walking breaks. Oh my goodness, the hills. It was just this steady uphill motion that would last for multiple miles with a slight decline and then more incline. It was too much and tried so hard not to stop until the halfway point but my legs said, “If you are going to finish this thing you best start walking” So I listened and walked for a bit. I alternated about every three-quarters of a mile, I would run the .75 then walk a quarter. There was just so many hills.

At about mile 15 it started to get cold and drizzle, it never fully began raining which I was thankful for but I started texting Evan on my walking breaks. I texted blue the entire time, you’d have thought I was a sailor. I kept going though. I even started passing some people who started off too strong and were falling behind, and some people who I passed at the beginning passed me near the end. I didn’t even care, my goal was to finish. I had too many people waiting at the finish line to give up.

No seriously, I had Evan, my parents, my 3 teacher friends, and 2 geek girls who were there. Plus all
of my friends in MI knew I was doing this and the rest of my friends who couldn’t come. I couldn’t let everyone down, including myself. 23 Weeks is a long time to train, I’ve never kept up something like this for that long. I was going to do it.

My friend Rochel started texting me every once in awhile with praises and cheers, she was super excited I was doing this. I was texting Evan about every 15 minutes (what it was taking me to finish every mile, thank goodness I had done all my math correctly on pacing.).

At about mile 20 I started getting misty, I was 6.2 miles from my goal and I was about to achieve it. I
was going to finish, I wasn’t going to quit and no one was going to sweep me up from being too slow.
The enormity of the situation was almost too much. I couldn’t cry yet, it’d mess up my breathing. I

Then at about mile 25 I saw someone running the wrong direction. Rochel. She had broke onto the
course to run the last mile with me and cheer me on. I cracked up I couldn’t believe it. She was bounding along, took pictures with her cell to post on Facebook, and to keep me going. It really was what I needed.

We ran the last long stretch of road together and then we turning the corner to the path to the finish. I
could see it but my legs were set on one running pace: slow. I didn’t care I was going to finish with my head held up high, posture perfect, and a smile on my face. So we ran and then Rochel broke off for me to cross the finish in my own glory. On the left side of the finish lane were my friends, and on the right were my parents and Evan, and they were all yelling and cheering at the top of their lungs, I thought I would cry right there but I smiled big and crossed the finish. I got my medal and waited for everyone to come and meet up.
Hugs for all! I was giddy from being done, my parents; although supportive were absolutely amazed.
My dad said, “I never thought I’d be doing this.” “Doing what?” I asked. “Cheering you at a race.” (I’ve never been one for athletics; this is a new hobby/passion for me.) But they were really proud of me. I got a huge hug from my hubby who had rollerbladed with me the entire time I was running ( a big shout out of thanks to my rollerblading, hottie husband/bodyguard!) We then walked around the grounds of the marathon, where I got some food, a picture with the “Lost Dutchman” and got my medal engraved with my finishing time.

It really made my finish really special to have all the people there and it was an amazing experience.
I was sore for a week and ended up sick as a dog during my recovery. Which apparently is pretty
common. I’ve wandered from my running path but am starting again strong and full of vigor and I
have a new running partner. My husband. He caught the running bug and has given up the rollerblades and begun his own training. We are going to do a half marathon on my birthday. I’ve also begun incorporating swimming to my regimen as my big goal for 2013 is to do triathlons. I will probably do another marathon (one that is less hilly) at least one, if not more. I will NOT do the Lost Dutchman again. It was beautiful and gorgeous and a great life experience but it was so painful by the end. I won’t do it. But I am glad I did.

So here is the race low down:

Distance: MAR: 26.2 miles

Clock Time: 5:13:20

Chip Time: 5:12:37
Overall Place: 457 / 531

Gender Place: 172 / 209
Division Place: 20 / 20

Pace: 11:56

Halfway: 2:21:49

1 comment:

  1. I could say a lot, but I'll just say you are an amazing woman.