Captain's Log, Stardate 12.13.2010
(Chip time is the electronically tracked time using a chip I got that attached to my shoe. Every time I passed a special strip on the road, the sensor picked up my chip, which was registered to my race number and identification, and that’s how my time was posted on my Facebook wall—the company who does the whole chip thing has a program that posted my time on my Facebook whenever I passed a chip sensor strip. For some reason, when I passed the 10K mark, it didn’t post on my wall, but it posted at 13.1 miles and on.)
We got to the starting line at 4:30 a.m. and the gun went off at 5 a.m., but I was so far in back that it took me about 10 minutes just to cross the start line. When I crossed the start line, my timing chip on my shoe recorded my start time, so my actual race time wasn’t affected by the fact I started so far back. There were 22,000 people so there were a LOT of people lined up for the race.
The weather was hot and rather humid but I’d much rather run in hot weather than cold weather because in cold weather, my hands get numb (even though my torso will be covered in sweat. Go figure).
I have been training using the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run method, and I also paid for 6 months of e-coaching with Jeff, and he suggested that for my first marathon, I should start at a :10 seconds run/ :50 seconds walk ratio for the first 5 miles, then up it to :15/:45 until mile 20, and then I can do whatever. So I did that.
The :10/:50 ratio kept me from starting off too fast, which is the biggest problem of most people who run marathons (from what I’ve read). You start off too fast, and then you completely poop out around mile 20. So I was really glad I made myself keep to that ratio.
I ran/walked steadily, although when I walk, I tend to walk very slowly. I’ve actually tried walking faster, and I always end up hyperextending my knee and being out of commission for a few days, so I stopped trying and just walk with a gentle stride. (I’m going to do a few exercises to strengthen my knee to see if that will help with the hyperextension.)
Anyway, when I walked in the marathon, everyone passed me. And I mean everyone. 90-year-old grandmas walk faster than I do when I walk.
But I kept running/walking, and the walking segments kept my legs fresh. I stopped to walk at each water station (there were 16 along the course) and drink water, eat gummi bears (to keep my blood sugar up) and also take electrolyte caps to replenish my electrolyte and salt since I was sweating so much.
However, around mile 8 or 10, I suddenly had a dull ache at the top of my right thigh, near where the tendon attaches to my hip. It made running painful and I started worrying I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. I started praying like you wouldn’t believe, and I knew a lot of people were praying for me, too, and I asked God to please take away the pain and help me to finish the marathon.
Then around mile 10, my left foot stepped on a rock. I didn’t sprain my ankle, but I definitely strained it a little. And I started worrying and praying again.
And do you know what??? By mile 13, the pain in both my hip and my ankle had died to only a twinge, and my hip pain (the worst of the two) stayed that way for the rest of the marathon. Praise God!!! The pain in my hip came back a few hours afterward, but by that time, I was so achy all over my body it was just one of a million other aches and pains.
By mile 18, I started passing a lot of people who were getting too tired/sore to keep walking or running. Thank you, Jeff Galloway!
At mile 20, I switched to a :30/:30 ratio and I really started passing people. I was running slower than I had in the beginning, but my legs felt pretty good (and my hip pain was still only a twinge).
However, and I don’t know why, but my right ankle started to hurt just like my left one, but I don’t remember twisting it in any way. It was really painful especially when I started running from a walk, so the longer run segments actually helped. I did a 1 minute/1 minute ratio for a while, but then I switched back to :30/:30 because we started going uphill around mile 23.
I was really starting to pass people by then, because everyone was walking up the hill. My ankles hurt, but my legs and lungs and heart still felt very fresh, and so the running was painful, but not tiring. Did I mention Jeff Galloway rocks???
Did I ever want to quit? NO. I was going to finish this marathon, darn it, and the only way I wouldn’t finish would be if I passed out on the course.
Was I in a lot of pain? Oh, heck yes. But I remembered a sign from one of the people cheering us on along the course: If it was easy, everyone would do it.
It was also hotter than the seventh level of hell, but since I’d done a lot of running at midday in California, the heat didn’t really bother me too much. I’m really glad I did that “hot running” training during the summer and early autumn.
I crossed the finish line and was so tired, I didn’t even feel any sort of elation. But when I saw Captain Caffeine just outside the fenced-off area for the finishers, I admit I started tearing up, because I was so hormonal and emotional from all that running.
The only thing I didn’t like was that they made the finishers walk ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE PARK CLEAR TO THE OTHER SIDE to pick up our finisher’s T-shirt and medal. I mean, seriously. I’ve just run 26 miles. That extra 0.25 mile was torture.
I am definitely going to run another marathon! I hope I can run faster if I keep training. I think I’d like to one day run a marathon in 5 hours.
This is a shot of the finish line behind it, when finishers were heading to get their medals.
This is me, exhausted, before I heard Captain Caffeine call to me from behind the fence of the finisher's section.
I think I look pretty good considering my feet were screaming bloody murder.
This is Kapiolani park, where the finish line was.
Here are shots Captain Caffeine took of the volunteers at the race in their orange T-shirts.
This is a Banyan tree (I think).
I was being facetious and pretending to be a Japanese tourist.
My ankles were so painful, I sat on the curb and waited for my parents to drive around with the car to pick me up.
My post-race pig-out was at Kua'Aina hamburgers, which have the BEST FRENCH FRIES IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!
My finisher's medal!