Thursday, May 17, 2012

2012 Pittsburgh Marathon: Part 1

I was able to relax all day leading up to marathon Sunday.  I foam rolled and stretched twice, 20-30 minutes each time, on Saturday.  Aside from stretching, I spent every other moment compulsively reorganizing my gear, checking the weather, and lying on the couch.
Day before lunch was leftover linguine in red sauce from Friday night.  Dinner was an early, but massive, serving of protein pancakes smothered in peanut butter.  These are now one of my new favorites!
I was satiated, packed, and relaxing on the couch before 8, but I couldn't stop the racing thoughts of everything that could possibly go wrong.  To get my mind off of things, I painted my nails to match my race day outfit, complete with little running person on my thumb.  Was this totally unnecessary and silly?  Yes!  Did it help me relax and keep my mind off of things I couldn't control? Yes!
I was in bed by 8:30, and I fell asleep within minutes, which was a nice surprise.  The alarm went off at the early hour of 4:00am, and I couldn't help but hit the snooze button just once.  It was still 4.5 hours before start time, and I live a whole 5 minutes from the start.  I was paranoid about running late though, mostly because I'm always late... for everything, including my own wedding.  When I did roll out of bed, I immediately downed two whole grain waffles with peanut butter and an Emergen-C.
The hubs and I were out the door shortly after 5, and we were parked by 5:15 just a few short blocks from my corral.  We spent 20 minutes or so wasting time chatting in the car before heading down to the garage lobby.  With a stroke of good luck, the parking garage lobby had a roomy and relatively clean bathroom.  Compared to the port-a-potties, it was like a toilet from heaven.  We stayed there long enough for me to visit that slice of heaven twice.

Since the hubs would be shooting at the 4.5 and 25 mile posts, we picked out a post-race meeting spot around the corner from the finish line rather than battling to find one another in the family reunion area.  He headed over there after I passed his 25 mile spot and I walked there straight from the finish; it worked out great.

After choosing a meeting spot, the hubs sent me off with one last good luck hug and I headed for my corral. I got to the last corral somewhere around 6:15 or so and there were just a handful of runners hanging around.  I claimed a spot on the curb and got in some gentle stretching.  I ate a Clif bar around 6:30, an hour before race time.  And at 6:45 I made a visit to the port-a-pottie lines just outside the corral.  When I made my way back around 7, the corral was still mostly empty so I grabbed a space on the sidewalk and stretched-those-hips.  With the hip pain I had in the 2 weeks leading up to the race, my primary concern was not being able to walk, let alone run, through the potential pain.

As more runners started filing in, I staked a claim on a curb space inside the corral, across from the 5 hour pace group, and settled my bum on the ground.  Too many strangers' backsides came way too close to my face, but I was happy to be able to sit and made conversation with a few runners near me.  I ditched my throwaway hoodie just as the gun went off, and it was another 20 minutes before I crossed the line.  Absolutely perfect running weather at the start!  I wouldn't have froze without the hoodie, but I was more comfortable with it.  Definitely no pants needed though.

There was a lot of yelling and cheering and fist pumping in my corral as we made the march to the start line.  I'm not one of those people; I'm just not.  To each their own though, and I can't complain about people getting excited to run.  This is probably about the time I realized I should have started further up in the corral though; a lot of the cheerleaders around me were also still walking after we crossed the start line.

1 comment:

  1. I love the quote! What an awesome reminder while you run. Someone should put it on some shirts or something.