race recap (better late than never): nj marathon

i can’t believe it’s taken me almost three weeks to write this race recap, or to write a post at all.  life has kind of gotten in the way.  work, social obligations, procrastination, etc. has taken over all of my time.  but anyway — the nj marathon happened and frankly, i crushed it.  just kidding.  in all honesty i spent the two taper weeks leading up to the race terrified the training plan i’d downloaded online was completely off base and i was screwed.  i had the taper crazies for sure, i spent hours reading running blogs (especially Janae’s ) and driving the course on my way home from work.

fast forward to race day, i met up with some friends before heading over to the start.  i ate my dry cheerios, banana, Propel and chai tea beforehand and packed Honey Stinger chews for pre-race fuel.  i felt fine, nervous but overall okay.  when we got to the race i then realized i really had no idea what i was going to do, realistically i had no idea what i could do.

a few weeks back i watched my brother’s girlfriend run the boston marathon and literally cried several times watching the race the energy was so intense.  i felt this overwhelming yearning to be a part of that someday.  i didn’t know if i could do it my first time running a marathon and didn’t want to put that pressure on myself because i knew if i got attached to a BQ as my end result and didn’t achieve that, i’d be crushed.  so i just neglected to make a race plan.  i wrote down the splits i would need to BQ but was hesitant to even look at them more than a few times a day.

back to race day… i found the 3:40 pace group in corral C (mind you i was supposed to be in corral H) and attempted to chat up a few of the ladies who seemed like they had introduced themselves to the pacers previously.  i have never felt more ostracized and insulted that in those few seconds of conversation with these people.  their response was “oh, if you’re in corral h you shouldn’t try to run with these pace groups.”  thankfully, being the stubborn new jerseyian that i am, i found a lovely volunteer who let me into the corral i was not assigned to and made my way over to the 3:35 pace group.

these people were amazing.  i spent the first 14 miles chatting with the whole group, we cheered for each other and the other runners around us, we thanked the supporters and volunteers and i was on cloud 9.  the group started to kind of thin out when we entered Deal around mile 15/16.  i spent the next mile or so running with a few guys that had been running ahead of our pace group.  i expected the group to catch up to me eventually so i just kept moving.13094248_10207694009246330_3377942889392731964_n

when we hit the turn around at mile 19 i saw the rest of the group about a minute or so behind me. i felt great even though it had started raining pretty hard.  it had been raining since the start but just lightly drizzling and was honestly more refreshing while running than an annoyance.  we ran back through asbury and the wind started kicking.  at this point i knew i had less than six miles to go and i had my heart set on that BQ.   my mantra was just keep moving.  everything kindof ached and my fingers were so cold i had a hard time gripping water cups and getting my gels out of my shorts.  i kept replaying this rich roll interview with jesse itzler in my head that described itzler’s time with david goggins, the navy seal that introduced him to the 40% rule:

“He would say that when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done. And he had a motto: If it doesn’t suck we don’t do it. And that was his way of forcing us to get uncomfortable to figure out what our baseline was and what our comfort level was and just turning it upside-down.”

i had more in my tank than my head was telling me i did.  or that’s what i told myself. because when i finished at 3:32 and change i felt like i was f#$@ing done.  i fist pumped the rainy air and kept a shit eating grin on my face for at least 2 minutes straight — then the cold set in, my legs stopped moving in normal people motions and all i could think about was wrapping myself in blankets and drinking hot toddy’s.  unfortunately, i couldn’t do that because i was unable to move my hands to put my dry clothes on and my parents car was parked about 9,000 miles away from the finish.

after panicking that i would never be able to move again, i persuaded my parents and nick to walk back to the car and head home.  jumped in the bathtub and felt 100000% better.

it still hasn’t sunk in that i’m going to be able to run the freaking boston marathon.