Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rock n' Roll Marthon Race Recap

Today was absolutely awesome! I don't think it could have gone any better. 

We woke up, ate, and headed down to start line. We were able to get down there and park (in our $15 dollar parking spot) without any problems. (I don't think that's ever happened for us- we usually run into road closures or a ton of traffic.)
We walked around and found the start line and immediately got in the ridiculously long lines for the porta-potties. After that, we shared a banana and made our way to our corrals. I dropped 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' off in one of the first corrals and made my way towards the back to the slower cooler corrals. ;) Once I got in my corral I was surrounded by SO many nice people and a lot of first time marathoners. It was great to chat with them and definitely helped pass the time and ease some pre-race nerves.

1 national anthem and a few corral countdowns later- we were off! I was so excited and felt like I was really ready for this race. I brought my ipod but figured I would listen to the first few bands (They have bands about every mile) and then listen to it once I got bored.

I stopped at every aid station for water (and Gatorade if they had it) and when I I left the aid station around mile 5 I heard a crowd of people behind me shout "5 HOURS ROCKS!!". I turned and the 5 hour pace team was right behind me. There was no way I was going to let them pass me. (Last year, I finished my first marathon in 5:30 minutes and really wanted to be under 5 hours this time.) So I picked up the pace a little and remained in front of them. I kept hearing a TON of laughing and once we passed every mile marker I would hear "5 HOURS ROCKS!!". I decided to slow down a bit and let them catch up. The pacer lady (I never got her name) was a nut!! She was an older woman who has run 100's of marathons and just kept talking and telling stories. She talked about how she got hit by a car and then left the hospital against doctors orders to run a marathon, how she ran a marathon with her son (his 1st) when he hadn't done any training for it. Listening to her stories made the time (and miles) FLY by and it took my mind off of running completely.

As we approached every mile marker she would sing out "Do you see what I see? It mile marker #". Then she would say "3...2...1..." And that's when we would shout "5 HOURS ROCKS!" Then she would dedicate that mile to someone. Someone in our group dedicated it to their mom who was battling cancer, another was for police officers, firefighters, victims of bullies, etc. I thought it was really nice, and gave us all something else to think about during that 1 mile as we listened to her stories- which often corresponded with whoever we dedicated that mile to.

As the miles went by, our group was getting smaller and smaller but I still felt great. My plan at that point was to stay with them until the last few miles and then take off, so I would hopefully finished under 5 hours. Everything was going great and towards mile 23, there were only 3 people left in our group. Since we had some 'extra time' the group had been walking through the aid stations. I would usually jog through, grab some water and then slowly jog and wait for them to catch up. We went through the aid station and I turned to look for them and couldn't find them anywhere? I had kept jogging and eventually spotted them about 100 yards ahead of me? I still do not know how this happened. I figured I wasn't going to be able to catch up to them and then got extremely sad because I figured me being this far behind them, I wasn't going to finish under 5 hours. I then remembered I had my GPS watch on and looked down and to my surprise I was at 23.5 and still had 40 minutes to get under 5 hours! (They must have started before me and then I passed them since our times were so different?)

I picked up the pace and for the last 2 miles I turned on my ipod and hauled butt towards the finish line. I was practically sprinting when I looked down and saw my watch reading 26.18 miles with 5 minutes to spare.... but.... the finish line was seriously no where in sight. I was so confused and getting tired but kept going- knowing I HAD to be getting really close. I did see Skinny Runner's friend Monica on the side and screamed out to her 'I read her blog!' (Not creepy at all right?!)- she smiled and waved. (She ended up joining in with one of her friends and we actually ran by each other for the last bit of the race. Blog highlight for sure! :))
Me with a side of Monica
I finally saw the finish line and literally flew towards it- I looked at my watch and I had 5 seconds to get there. I finished and immediately looked at my watch which read 26.48 miles in 5:00:12, I just knew my official time HAD to be under 5 hours- I practically ran an additional half mile! I left the finisher area and headed off to find 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' in our designated meet-up area. I found him and said I beat 5 hours- that was a 30 minute PR for me! (Unfortunately, when we looked up my official time it says 5:01:12. :( Depressing, I know.) However, 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' is a total beast and finished 3:54-- PR'ing by an hour and a half!! Seriously-- who does that?! AND in brand new, never-worn-before, shoes that he bought at the expo! Amazing!

I sat down for a couple minutes and we talked about the race,bands, etc. and then found the booth where we were able to pick up our 'Double Down' medals- for running both Las Vegas and Arizona. Super cool, super heavy medal.

Who knew you could get sunburned in January?! ;)

We then had to walk what felt like another marathon to our friends car, and then met more friends at a restaurant for lunch and to watch the football games going on. After that, we got our car and kept with tradition and got massive amounts of fro-yo! It was a great race and an amazing day!!

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