Going to bed on Friday night was hard, and basically useless. I couldn’t sleep until I made sure EVERYTHING was in order for the following day.
I laid out my clothes, the gear bag, my water bottles, my GU, my music, my bib number, and numerous alarms.
It was finally here. 4:00am. I woke up jumped in the shower, and tried to keep calm. I got dressed with all of my gear all while trying not to freak out. I came down stairs and shoved a banana down my throat (hah) and some coffee. Then it was out the door.
We got to the metro uber early, which was good, because they decided to let the first train go early.
And we were off.
The metro slowly with every stop got more and more packed. We finally made it to Stadium Armory which was when everything felt real. We walked around a bit basically killing time. I stomached half of a cinnamon rasin bagel and then I lined up in the corral. Shaking, cold, scared, and anxious barely described how I was feeling.
One by one, corral, by corral, the race started. I waved goodbye to Jason started my GPS and music and I was off. I had no idea what this would be like, and every step was pretty much a surprise.
Mile 1 – mile 2.5 : A Freaking Breeze. It was like perfect. I basically picked someone who looked to be working about as hard as I wanted to, and ran behind them. That helped me keep pace. Plus the Washington Triathlon Training team were out on their bike trainers cheering us on. So that was awesome. I toyed with the idea of attempting to run the whole thing.
Then I realized that was not possible.
Mile 2.5 – Mile 5: Right side cramp. It almost pulsated. I walked a bit and then pushed through it.
Mile 5 – Mile 6 : I took a GU and chugged Gatorade. I was feeling weak, and slightly delirious. My legs had started to hurt until I realized I had hit the 10K mark! Somehow this pumped me back up.
Mile 6 – Mile 8 : Boring. I was pretty much in my stride, slower than normal, but pretty much comfortable. I had a mental idea of being able to somehow fit this into like 2 hours and 15 minutes, and I pretty much threw that out the window. I was comfortable at that pace and taking walk breaks. I sped up at times, but for the most part I was hitting like a 10’50″ pace.
Mile 8 – Mile 11 : OMG. I want to rip my legs off and throw them at the people with smiles on their faces. WHY ARE YOU SMILING? THIS SUCKS. Well I was just in pain at this point. Every injury I had sustained over the past 3 years was now on fire and screaming. My foot throbbed, and then went numb – I was sure I had broken it. My hip was screaming and throwing a temper tantrum. My head was throbbing, my back was aching. It was the “Dark Time” of the race.
**Mile 7.3 : Jason met me here to trade water bottles – I still stopped at water stops as well, but I liked having water whenever I needed it. I jumped off the course and traded bottles and gave him a kiss before continuing on.
Mile 11 – 12.5 : Still chugging along. This is the time frame that the Marathon portion broke off down a different route. I was given a bit of happiness knowing that I would be following the half route. My legs thanked me.
Mile 12.5 – 13.1 : I see the finish line in the distance. My legs aching and throbbing. I see it. My mind is whirling with everything. My phone is no longer displaying a screen because the battery is so low. I have no idea how long this has been going on. I have no idea what my time is. I don’t care.
I cross the finish line hands raised up high and Face smiling. I’m beaming. I’ve done this. I did it.
I mingled through the after race area and grabbed water, gatorade, a bagel and got my post race photo taken. Then it was to find my family.
Edit: My Official Time was 2:28:47 – I beat my goal of 2:30:00