It was 26.2 miles of Hard Work, Sweat, Pain, Joy, and Satisfaction. Satisfaction because I am pleased and Proud. I figured I would beat myself up over my time (well let's be honest, I still do just a little bit). But I am about 90% Proud and 10% wish-I-could-have-done-more. Ask me on a different day and those percentages might change, but that's just the nature of being uber competitive.
This marathon was different than my first. This training was Oh-so-freaking-HARD. I had a hard time on most my long runs both physically and mentally. Kudos to all you mom's out there (like Heather who I admire with each blog post) that work your butt off in the office, wear your super cape around the house, while you tend to the kids, cook for the hubby, AND train like a rock star. I had a hard time with that balance and had a hard time keeping my head positive. But looking back, I am happy that I finished and it felt so good to be done!!
The Colorado Marathon started at 6:00am. Wanna know what time that required me and Gator Guy to set our alarm for? 3:15 in the A-freaking-M!! If only Rob Thomas could have serenaded me with his Matchbox's classic, "Its 3AM". But I'm pretty sure he didn't intend for 3AM to be spent eating breakfast and putting on all the Gear. We left the hotel at 4AM, and I was on the bus by 4:15AM. The ride to the start was about 45 minutes, and I thought, HOLY CRAP this is a long drive up this canyon road....and I have to run ALL the way back!! Take. A. Deep. Breath.
Even though it was still dark when we arrived to the Start Line, starting this early actually was great. It meant that we saw the sunrise and it wasn't too hot by the time we finished. In fact, it was 32 degrees at the start and 68 degrees at the finish. (Only that kind of mercury swing happens in Colo "rad" o).
The course was BEAUTIFUL, and fast. It is the number one qualifying race for Boston, which meant that there was a lot of people that kicked my butt and then some. But I tried to soak up some of the dedicated energy that they had left on the trail hours before me.
As for my performance....it was rough. Previously, I had talked about my Poise. When really...I was ok in that department. However, my other "track" chose to fail me and I spent a total of at least 17 minutes waiting in line and going to the bathroom. YIKES. Not my idea of a good way to run a race.
I have to say that most runners are crazy. Crazy about our Time. We constantly have to know our pace, know our finish prediction, and once one race is completed...its on to the next to beat that time. When I started training in January I was sure that I would run a sub 4:20:00. But as my training runs became longer and harder...And my head just wasn't in the Game like I had wanted it to be, I learned to drop my expectations. I set what I thought was a major cushion of "If I finish under 5 hours, I will be just fine". When really I thought, "I'll probably finish under 4:45 and hopefully under 4:30". So when I crossed the line just at 5 hours (well 4:59:22 to be exact), I had thought I would be upset.
But instead, I was Proud. Actually Proud of myself. Because I had known that the last 26.2 miles officially kicked my ass!! I was Proud that I finished and was even more Proud to have my family on the sidelines cheering me on. I heard the announcer say my name as I neared the finish line, threw my arms up with joy and I felt Oh-So-Proud.