That’s it. 13.1 miles, conquered.
This experience was… brutal, emotional, insane…
This was also my first race. Yep, ever. I signed up because I wanted to do a race in this city that I have grown to love so much. To run and be with the mountains that protect this little bowl in the middle of the desert.
The day before, I carbo loaded like nobody’s business. I did not want a repeat of the near heat stroke experience after last week’s hike down to the Colorado. That was because I was dehydrated and hadn’t eaten enough. So for lunch I had a baked potato… and for dinner I had a baked potato- with nothing. No add-ons. I also drank about a gallon of water throughout the day.
The morning of, woke up at 4:30 and ate a bagel with just a bit of butter. The point was to maximize carbs and limit fat. Right before the race, I had half a bagel, a banana, and one energy fruit chew.
My friend’s husband hadn’t registered for the race, but so, so generously agreed to run alongside with me, at my pace. It was so nice of him because he’s a triathlete and a full marathon runner, so running with me was probably frustrating. But I appreciate it so much.
The first four miles came so quick. I was not paying attention to the initial mile markers, and when the mile four marker was pointed out to me, I was legitimately surprised. It felt like nothing.
After that, I started paying attention. Between miles 5 and 6 was rough. I slowed because I knew the uphill was coming and the dread of climbing those hills slowed me down.
The first part of the hill was hard, but not impossible. Between mile 8 and 9 was the hardest part of the race. The hills were steep and I kept looking for the mile marker or the top of the hill to tell me I could ease up, and that anticipation was mentally exhausting.
After that, I knew there were just a few miles left and I had my music on to try and motivate me (Empire soundtrack, baby!!)
Somewhere after the mile 11 marker, I got so emotional. I don’t know what happened. The combination of almost being done and listening to “Defying Gravity” from Wicked made me want to cry. I felt it in my gut that I just wanted to break down and sob, and I think I did tear up a little. But I pushed through.
Throughout all of this, my feet were hurting more than anything else. I blame my shoes. My fourth toe… these blisters that have already formed cover my entire toe. That made it really hard to finish. And my muscles were tightening up.
The things that definitely helped throughout the race- drinking gatorade at each aid station and my HAT. Seriously. Enough credit cannot be given. The weather was nice, sure, but after the first hour, the sun was really beating down and I would have gotten overheated/tired if I didn’t have my hat.
At mile 12, my friend’s husband went ahead to track down our group so we could all find each other at the end. Then I felt it. When I was running alone, it was hard. I kept wanting to stop, but I was so close to the end and I kept looking at the clock to try and finish under my goal. I didn’t think I would make it and I tried to compromise with myself, but I pushed through. Around 12.6, Meaghan came back to run the last of it with me and she pushed me to the end. I ran through the finish line with a smile on my face.
The pain and healing for the past four days has been hard. Sunday afternoon/evening was just icing my knees and feet. My shin splints have basically healed. I think I was subconsciously overcompensating for my left knee, so because of that, more strain went on my right leg and now that one hurts more. I’m not sure the state of my knees now. I don’t have pain when I walk, but at the end of the day it really hits me. It might finally be time to see a doctor. (What, like 5 years post trampoline accident?)
I am so glad I did this. I’m proud of myself for finishing and for accomplishing my goal.