We interrupt regularly scheduled programming for a little announcement. 😛 My workout recap will be up on Wednesday.
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Big Sur International Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I thought it was fitting that I drop the news about marathon #2 on the anniversary of marathon #1.
One year ago today, I crossed the finish line of my very first marathon. Unlike some, I hadn’t planned on running a marathon, in fact when asked, I usually said “oh hell no”. It was never a goal of mine, it just kind of happened. All of sudden I was registering for it, training for it, hurting over it, and then running it. And I didn’t hate it. 😛
I kind of always knew I was going to run another one but nothing ever seemed right. Every time I looked at websites or checked dates, it all seemed too forced. Nothing clicked for me. Then a chance to run the Big Sur International Marathon came up. Once again, it just seemed to happen.
Big Sur is an amazing race that runs point to point along Highway 1 in CA with some of the most amazing views. It offers a marathon, 21 miler, 11 miler, 12K, 5K and 3K. You name it and there is a distance that will work for you. It is also is extremely popular and registration for the marathon runs by lottery system, the remaining distances are first come, first served. A few years ago, I ran the Monterey Bay Half Marathon (then named the Big Sur Half) and the loved it. We drove Highway one home and the scenery is just amazing.
That said, I had my hesitations before throwing my name into the hat. I know I say I prefer races with hills but this has HILLS. It took me 5+ hours to run San Francisco, could I do this? But it was calling my name, so I took a chance. When I found I was in, I was torn between jumping up and down in excitement and wondering what I gotten myself into.😛
But self doubts aside- I am so looking forward to this race. My hotel is already booked and I have a starting day for marathon training- Christmas Day. 😂 Now I just need a training plan. I got this.
It’s that time of year again- time for the Slacker’s recap of the Shiny and the Dull for the year.
Let’s get the dull out of the way so we can move on to shinier things. We all need shiny right? So without further adieu, the Dullof 2016-
I lost both grandmother’s this year. While one was kind of expected, the other was a total blind side. Either way, both sucked. I don’t handle loss well. I don’t adult well in that way.
My identity was stolen. That was fun.
3 debit cards were hacked. All at different times. Separate issue from above.
My credit card was also hacked. And who the hell spends that much money at Whole Foods??!!?!
I added 10 pounds to the 10 pounds from 2015 I needed to lose. Probably from a combination of my litany of meds and my reliance on chips and pizza as comfort food. Like I said, I don’t adult well.
I officially DNS’ed my first 2 races- Rock n Roll LA and Spooner’s Cove Trail Run. Grrr.
Ok, ok, enough Dull. Bring on the Shiny!!!!!!!
I started 2016 by kicking goals to the curb. I do not regret that decision. As far as I am concerned goals can get taken out with the trash. They work for some people but they do not work for me. I did not miss them this year and I will not miss them in 2017 but, oops, spoilers. 😛 So why did my goal free year work for me?
I ran 12 races this year. 6 half marathons, 1 8 mile race, 2 10k’s, 2 5k’s and a little something else😉😉. Fewer races than previous years but I tried to approach this year differently.
As of thetime this post goes up, I have run 850 miles in 2016. 100 more than my highest previous year. Woo hoo! Do I wish it was higher? Sure. Had I not had such a lackluster November and December I might have come close to that ever elusive (for me) 1000 mile mark. One day I will get there, until then I can dream right?
I had the opportunity to join Bibrave. Join a group of runners where we can talk about running and races all the time??? Sweet! I’ve also been able to meet some of them in real life except I’m fired because I now realize I’ve never taken pictures. Boo. I’ve had the opportunity to try some really great products too. Which is awesome because I use a lotof them on a daily basis now.
I road tripped to 3 races- Huntington Beach for one and San Francisco for two. I went to Disneyland twice. This from the person who used to never go anywhere. Woah there!
And that little something else race?
I TRAINED for and RANa freakin’ marathon!! This from the Slacker who said she would never run a marathon. Not only was the distance daunting but I couldn’t imagine that I would ever stick to the training. I am not the type to voluntarily get up early and run 20 miles on my own. And yet I did and I was smiling at the end. Ok, smirking.
Even more surprising was the marathon itself. If you followed along during training, you know I was a hot mess in July leading up to San Francisco. When I left for race weekend, I was seriously considering dropping to the half, I was still thinking that when I picked up my bib. Then race morning dawned and I was cool as a cucumber. I had no doubt I was going to finish… and I did. Without hitting a wall. Who am I???? Granted I was slower than I wanted to be and went over 5 hours but you guys I ran a marathon! And somehow looked like that after 25+ miles.
2016 had a mix of the shiny and dull. I let myself get mired in the dull a little too often. It’s something I need to work on. Overall, there were some really Shiny moments in there though. As for 2017? More on that to come.
Did I really run a marathon 2 weeks ago?! It’s been over a week and I am still not sure how I pulled it off. How did I go from the year of no goals to running a marathon?
I mean, there is a reason I call this blog “Slacker Runner”. I am lazy. Sleeping in on weekends and sitting in my comfy chair binge watching Netflix are kind of my things. I’m good at those things. But training for a marathon? Running that marathon? And not hating life during it? That’s not me.
And yet I did it. Training didn’t go like planned but I did ok. Panic attacks leading up to race day were rampant… so was the doubt. Yet, somehow it all went away race morning. I realize that I got really lucky. Incredibly lucky- 26 miles of hills and fog, under fueled by most people’s standards but never hit a wall. I also somehow managed to avoid chafing.
I was so afraid the marathon was going to break me. I feared that I would cross the finish line ( if I made it that far) and hate running. I felt that way after my first half- I took 3- 4 months off of running. Well, I raced ran a 10K after and it just made things worse. But that’s another story.
Instead I went a little crazy the other way. Last week, I was like “run all the races!!!!!”. This week, I’ve calmed down a little. 😛 But that doesn’t change what I did. Yeah… I have 3 half marathons in a 5 week time frame starting in October. Oops. I really should look at a calendar more often. There should be an app that inputs all your races into a calendar that will pop up with flashing lights shouting “slow your roll”. But it is what it is.
My hope is for 2 of the races to be run for fun and one to be a challenge. I think it’s time to push myself a little. Maybe to see what happens? I also really need to get back on track with healthier eating habits. While I made it through marathon training without gaining any weight, I sure didn’t lose any. I rationalized a few too many indulgences. There’s only so many times you can tell yourself that life is short, eat the pizza. 😛❤🍕
I am still sussing out how I am going to train over the next couple of months but I am looking forward to it. And I’ll leave you with a funny-
I can’t believe this post is here. How did the 6 months since I registered fly by so fast?
I was also seriously doubting that I would be able to write this post. I was losing my mind the 2 weeks leading up to race day. I even had a back up plan all picked out. I was going to have some valid (to me) reason to quit at the halfway point and then say I was going to run a local marathon in October. And then come up with some reason by then why I couldn’t. This was still in my mind even on expo day.
Race day dawned all too quickly. I stayed in bed until the last moment. I got up, got dressed, panicked a bit and we were out the door. Disclaimer moment- the way I fueled for this race was specific to me and my weird stomach- I in no way recommend it. I did not eat anything prior to the race. My Camelback was filled with orange Gatorade and I had Honey Stinger chews in the front pockets.
Ashley was awesome enough to drop me off as close to the start as possible before she parked and Uber’ed to the Second half starting line. I felt like I needed a bathroom but couldn’t find the port-a-potties. I stood in the line for the one pier bathroom I saw but decided screw it about 5 minutes before they closed the gates to my starting wave. So I lost my throw away layer, took a place near the 2:30 half marathon pacer and took a deep breath. Wave 7 started right on time at 6:22 and we were off.
Miles 1-5 Hello, speedy. 10:40, 10:48, 11:08, 10:48, 10:54
I started at what felt like a comfortable pace and just tried to enjoy the sights of running along the Embarcadero in SF. Ocean views, boats and the prettiest McDonald’s I’d ever seen. I saw Coit Tower in the distance. I came up behind the 4:55 pacer and tucked myself in behind them. I heard the guy say that he was planning on running everything but the hills- those he would walk. Perfect! That had been my strategy anyway. Hit the first water station- I walked through and drank some water. Mile 3 included the first hill but it was a baby one so I almost ran it but forced myself to walk. Yeah, remember how that pacer said he would walk the hills? His walk was my running pace. We ran into the Presidio and I caught up with the pace group again. We were looping around towards the bridge and all I could see was the fog around the bridge. My mother was tracking me via the app and she sent me a text telling me to watch my pace. No problem as up next was another hill…and it was bigger. I took 2 Honey Stinger chews at mile 5. My Garmin was also about .25 miles off the mile markers.
Miles 6-10 Hello bridge. 13:00, 11:11, 11:20, 12:07, 11:34
Totally lost the pace group on this climb. I kept them in my sights until the bridge and then they were gone. I had been looking forward to running the bridge and enjoying the sights but Karl had other plans. I thought I was prepared for fog but yeah no. This was more like rain. The mist was making me wet and the bridge was drenched in water. There were metal plates that were slick and I almost face planted twice. I slowed down as my shoes filled with water. Grrr. Once across the bridge we looped Vista Point before heading back to the bridge. The aid station as Vista Point was having some issues- they had run out of premixed Nuun and were low on filled water cups. I still managed to snag one but I was glad I had my Camelbak and was sipping on Gatorade every mile or so. Then I was heading back over the bridge and I was done with the fog and the water- I wanted off the bridge. Coming off the bridge led to another hill but it was a little drier and less foggy so I was loving it. I took another 2 chews at mile 10.
Miles 11-15 Kind of a blur. 10:46, 12:55, 12:45, 11:42, 12:43
Downhill holla! It was too short. I was bouncing back and forth with the 5:10 pace group. What the hell? I was on track for a 2:30 half and they were ahead of the 2:30 pace group. They eventually left me in the dust so I have no idea when they finished. I started to slow down but can’t pinpoint why, I was still walking the hills and there were a lot but I was running a decent pace on the rest. We ran through city streets until we turned into Golden Gate Park. The second half runners were merging with us and the first half runners were heading towards their finish line. I didn’t even think about following them. I hit the halfway point at 2:33:13. Ok, a little slower than I hoped for but still good. I had been told the second half was less hilly so I was hoping for a negative split. Oh, naive Slacker. Miles 14 and 15 were a longish out and back and it was a bit mind numbing. Mile marker 15 was also in the wrong spot. My watch said 14.5 miles and I knew it was ahead anyways. Grrr. 2 more chews around 15.
Miles 16-18 Uh oh miles. 13:03, 13:29, 13:54
We were deep in the park looping paths and I passed an aid station around 15.5 They were also having troubles keeping up with the demand. I felt ok so I grabbed a cup of water and kept going. Just before the mile 16 marker, things changed. My stomach cramped in a very bad way. I knew there was a bathroom 1/2 mile behind me but the thought of adding distance to already long race was too much. So I walked more than I would have like and ran when I could. I knew the next bathrooms had to be around 2 miles farther. I am sure that at any other time, I would have enjoyed looking at the park around me but I just wanted the hell out of the place. I felt like we were looping around forever. I could even hear the First Half finish line but had no idea where it was coming from. Let me out! We were finally out of the loops and running past the First Half finish, I just kept looking for the bathrooms. Aid station!!! I ran towards the port-a-potties but it didn’t have toilet paper. Nor the second or the third. WTF?! Success at the fourth. And nothing happened!! Stupid stomach. Since I wasn’t breaking any speed goals I made sure to use the hand washing station before running on. I have to say the cold water felt amazing. Considering the pitstop in mile 18, I have no idea how it came in at only 13:54. Ashley started texting me encouragement at this point along with my mom so I had those to look forward to.
Miles 19-21 Park, still?! 12:33, 12:18, 11:38
I’m still in the park?! Yes, it was pretty but I felt like it was taking forever. As we were finally coming out of the park there was a group of ummm, homeless men to the right. They were cheering on the runners as we ran by. One shouted out the he had heard that cannabis helped increase stamina. Ummm, thanks? I admit it made me laugh though and I dug myself out of my park coma as we headed towards Haight-Ashbury. I glanced at my watch around mile 20 and knew I was slower than my 20 mile training run but it is what it is. These hills were no joke. I ate 2 more chews at mile 20 and water at every aid station.
Miles 22-24 Headphone time. 12:55, 12:28, 12:55
The beginning of the city streets were pretty and interesting to look at but I needed a kick in the pants so I turned on my music around mile 21. Yes, I ran 21 miles with nothing but sounds of my breathing and the sounds on the course. I only had one earbud in so I could still check out my surroundings. I passed a Taco Bell/ KFC combo and the smell of fried chicken made me nauseous. I passed cool looking houses and homeless tents camped on the sidewalks. I passed the scariest Burger King I’ve seen in my life. I ran passed a man in jeans, heeled boots and a black lace bra singing to the runners. I won’t lie, I was getting tired and my hips were hurting but I kept trucking. I did have to slow down for a cable car to go through the course. The last few miles were very industrial.
Miles 25-26 Damn is the bridge ever getting closer? 12:30, 5:57, 12:05
Yeah, I did something funky to my Garmin there and by this point in the race, my watch was reading 1/2 mile longer than the course. AT&T Stadium and the Bay Bridge were looming but they seemed like mirages in the distance, never getting closer. The crowds picked up as we got closer- it was a game day so there were people heading into the stadium. We ran around the stadium and back onto the Embarcadero. I wish I could say I was running this last bit but it was more like run 100 yards, walk 100 yards. Text messages were coming in constantly from friends and family in the last 1/2 mile but I just ignored them. Turns out my mom was posting my time updates to Facebook while I was running.
26.2 Holy crap. 5:22:27
Crowds were cheering, under the bridge and to the finish line. I actually did it. I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch.
Then I just stood there, I had no idea what to do next and there wasn’t much direction. I was finally handed a bottle of water and pointed towards the medals which were farther away than I was used to. From there, I found a picture line but still little to no direction from the volunteers. I marched in place while in line and responded to my mom’s texts and then Ashley’s. Then I was out of the picture line and headed towards food tables where volunteers handed me a banana and bar of sort but no bag to carry them. I didn’t have the manual dexterity to carry all that plus my pack which I had taken off at some point and I was starting to get emotional. I ended up standing in the road just past that and started crying. What was wrong with me?! Ashley called me and I headed towards where she said she was but I was feeling very lost. I found her and her sister and calmed down a bit. They asked me how I was feeling and what I needed. I said that physically I was feeling ok but I didn’t really feel like food. I was really craving a Diet Coke. Ashley’s sister went and found me a soda while Ashley and I headed to the challenge tent to pick up my California Dreamin’ medal.
I am not sure how I went from being a hot mess for 2 weeks to never even doubting that I could finish come race day. The fog made me wheeze during the bridge miles, the hills kicked my ass but I just kept running. I saw the turn off for the first half finish but it never seemed like an option. I was slower than I would have liked but I just kept moving forward. I walked more than I would have like but I just kept moving. I somehow managed to thank volunteers on the back half of the course, I talked to another “marathon virgin” on the course and spoke to one of the bad ass ultra runners. I am not a talker during races. At the finish a guy thanked me for pushing him. Umm, what? Turns out he focused on my socks for the last bit and followed me.
It’s been 2 days and I still haven’t processed a lot from the race or training. There will probably be another post coming. And a whole lot of thank yous to people.
I feel like it just last week that I was writing the post about signing up for the marathon. In some ways time flew and in some ways, I wish that I had had more time. I don’t think you ever really feel prepared for a race let alone your first marathon but I felt like a wreck.
Monday- Rest With my last longish run of 9 miles the day before, I knew I wasn’t running today. It was another day of flats at work and trying not to freak out.
Tuesday- 3.1 miles With the race so close, I knew I wanted to run but also didn’t want to go crazy with the miles. Especially since week 17 was such a small one. I thought abut running in work town to expose myself to more humidity but decided that was silly. I thought it would be akin to trying to run ALL the miles right before a race. So instead I headed to home town and temps of 93 degrees. Why not dry out the lungs? 😛 My calves were so tight. They might have gotten better if I had run more but as it was a short run, they never loosened up. It stressed me out and I headed home for a date with my foam roller.
Wednesday- Rest Not only did I think 2 days in a row would be silly, this was also the day I dropped a FULL 5 gallon water jug on my left foot. Son of a monkey. I later found a bruise where it hit my stomach on the way down too.
Thursday- Rest Yeah. I fell off my chair this day and re-bruised the same foot. Like fall on the ground, legs splayed in a dress. What the hell?!
Friday- 2.21 miles Last run before race day. I had the day off work and I forced myself to stay in bed until 9. Once up, I headed out for a very short run. Figured the heat wouldn’t be too bad as I was only running for 2 miles. I didn’t take the fires into account. Oops. The smoke from the Sobraones fire has been burning for over a week and the smoke coming our way made for a severe air quality warning last week. My legs felt ok but I was disgustingly sweaty and gasping for air after a slow 2 miles. I had taken a 24 oz bottle with Ultima in it and I drank the whole damn thing. It was only 2 miles!
Then I headed home to pack for San Francisco and to try to not stress. I watched a lot of Lost. 😛 Saturday- Expo day!! Ashley picked me up and we headed north. We made good time and checked into our hotel before heading for the expo. Seriously, roads and traffic in San Francisco are a giant cluster f***. Who designed that crap? It took the Uber driver 20 minutes to go less than 2 miles! It’s not even the time that made it stressful- that actually happens in Paso all the time but in apparently in SF red lights mean nothing and everyone loves their horn. Grrr.
I won’t lie- the second we got out of the car at the expo, my heart rate spiked. My Fitbit says it hit 105. Ha! We wandered around the expo a bit and picked up our bibs. I caved and bought a San Francisco marathon 3/4 zip. I hadn’t wanted to buy anything until after the race since I wasn’t even sure I was capable of finishing but they were selling out too fast. From there it was back to the hotel after picking up a pizza for me. I piled up my clothes for Sunday, tried not to panic and was in bed by 9. Once we had linens for the pull out bed that is. I think we frustrated room service that night. 😛 Surprisingly, I slept a decent amount of time. But race morning arrived all too quickly.