Monday, October 17, 2011

Marathon Recap!

This in insanely long. Definitely make sure you are comfy before reading.

How to put yesterday into words?

The night before I laid out all my stuff. Which included 3 possible outfits. The weather was horrible on Saturday and thankfully the winds calmed down a bit for Sunday morning. I decided to not force myself to go to bed earlier and it worked well. I had a fantastic solid sleep. Of course my stomach started feeling the nerves once I was up at 6am. I checked my facebook and twitter as I ate breakfast. The outpouring of “Good Lucks” I had received had me crying a bit. I then got dressed and took a picture of my chosen outfit so people would know what I looked like.  I got a ride down with a friend (IR) at 7am and actually felt pretty calm. There was an OMG moment when we down at the race start and saw the amount of people and the set up. Bag check was a bit late but we found some of our other clinic friends and chatted away. Once we checked our bags we went off to the Hilton and met up with more of our clinic friends. It was great to see everyone in such good spirits.

Around 8:30 we went to our corrals. It was a mad house. I think weren’t big enough to hold their people or something because there were tons of blue corral people standing outside and blocking the sidewalks.  IR and I managed to get seeded in our corral but we lost pretty much everyone else from our group. At 9am the gun went off and we waited for our turn to move up. It was basically a walk up to the starting line and then we were off!

Note: I don’t have any splits since I forgot to set the laps on my watch.

The goal for the first 5k was to take it easy and just allow my body to warm up. It was busy and I was getting annoyed with the 2:15 pacer group that was doing 10 and 1s. While most would go off to the side not everyone did so there was more weaving than I would have liked. IR and I were doing great and it was hard to make ourselves take our walk breaks since we felt fantastic but knew we had to take it easy so we wouldn’t blow up later.

It was about 6k when we saw the leaders and I yelled and cheered for our Canadian guys. They were looking great! After that I put my music on to keep me in the zone. I saw Marlene and whooped for her but she couldn’t hear me with the band playing next to her.  I was feeling great and just worked on not letting myself get to speedy. We hit the 10k mats at 1:04:26. Then we hit the 12k turnaround and headed up for the division of half and full. I told IR around 16k that I was feeling great and it didn’t feel like we had been running that far at all. We were on target for a 4:30 with a tiny buffer.

Around 20k we hit the divide where the half marathoners head up to the finish and I got all teary eyed as I went under the Marathon arch. I even made the comment that we were really doing a marathon once we turned down to Front Street.

21.1k split - 2:14:23

It was around here that my legs stared to feel sore. Nothing bad but in a “we’ve been doing this a while now” kind of way. My stomach felt off and so I stopped at a porta potty. It added 5 minutes to my time since there was only 1! Just before 25k I saw my first support group and it really made my day.

 As you can tell I got teary eyed again and was trying not to cry.

 The winds on the east side of the city seemed to be worse than the west side. I’m not sure if that was just because I was getting tired as well. On the Lakeshore towards Coxwell I was having to stop and walk a bit more than planned because the winds were making it hard to catch my breath even though I know I was at a comfortable pace. I was so happy to be in the Beaches since to me it was home court. Seeing everyone cheering was great. But the real highlight was getting to see my parents and my boys.

30k split: 3:18:14

I saw them around the Neville Park turnaround. I actually went off course technically and past some traffic cones so I could hug them all. I SO NEEDED that.

I was crying a bit again after my quick 30 second hug break. I got to see and hug them again as I headed towards the finish. On my way out of the Beaches I saw my Clinic Leader and waved. She jumped in and ran with me in her boots for a couple minutes and we talked. I told her my original goal was out the window but I for the most part felt great and that I hadn’t hit the wall yet. She told me that I looked strong and she was so proud of me.

35k split: 3:54:08

 Then we were headed to Eastern and by that point we were running into the winds and it hard. My legs were so sore and tired. IR was feeling it a lot now too and we ended up taking longer walk breaks and kept checking in with each other. The Don Valley flyover was a bitch and I complained about it. I ended up doing most of my slowing down here. It was literally just to finish with my legs and the crazy head wind.

40k split: 4:30:44

 I saw my friends from 25k again around 41k and I ended up giving them my fuel belt. I couldn’t stomach anything from about 37k on. I would take water if there was some at station but I was worried my stomach was going to revolt.

IR and I took one last walk break and I kept repeating to her that her family was waiting. “Your daughter is at the finish” She had pulled me through some rough patches earlier and I wasn’t letting her go down now. We were so close!

At 500m to go all of sudden my pain went away! It was like I was on cloud 9 and my legs were on their own and just wanted to go. At 400m I realized that IR was behind me but I couldn’t stop. I knew that while my endorphins had kicked in and I couldn’t feel the pain I knew it was there. If I stopped it would be hard to start again.  The tears started coming and it was hard to push them away.

My husband and step-daughter were at the last turn before the finish and the tears couldn’t be held back as I waved to them. I cried and held my hands up as I crossed the finish with a time of 4:44:59(chip).

I stopped and looked for IR and she wasn’t far behind at all and we hugged and fought back more tears. Of course once we stopped all the pain came rushing back and I thought I was going to throw up. I got my medal and space blanket and got my bag. I found my husband and stepdaughter easily and we went straight for home. The idea of food grossed me out and I knew if I stopped for anything at this point I wasn’t starting again.

Having given birth twice med free I can honestly say that to me this was harder. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and it’s also one of my proudest. Yesterday ranks right up there with the birth of my children and my wedding day.

Gun Time: 4:55:52

Chip Time: 4:45:59

W25-29: 172/231

Gender: 971/1400


  1. I LOVE that you blogged this Jessica and how could you NOT! You are AWESOME..the highs and lows and OMG the "with 500m to go you were pain free really hits me cause that's how I felt with my piddly 10K! You are an inspiration and congrats girly just LOOK at all you've done! Frame those babies in a giant shadow box! :D
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Seriously awesome job! Great report too! Oh my god. I was getting teary reading it.

    I keep trying to tell myself that a marathon isn't practical yet, but it's reading reports like this that totally convince me that it's not "if", it's "when".

  3. Bummer that I didn't hear you, but thanks for cheering! :)

    HUGE congrats! That wind for the last ~9K was KIL-LER. Way to hang in there and get 'er done.

    And don't you just LOVE running under that marathon arch? Like joining a special club.

    Is that an Adidas tank? I think we were wearing the same on. lol

  4. I just realized I forgot to post a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!

    And- this was an amazing race recap! And such a fantastic race to even just watch! You make me want to run my first full marathon so badly!

    Congrats again, you fabulous lady!!

  5. WOO HOO! You did it! I'm so excited for you. It has been so fun to watch your confidence grow, and now to see it all come to fruition!

  6. yay! i read this while i was away but couldn't i'm catchin' up. great race report, wooohoooo!!!!