Showing posts with label KC Marathon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KC Marathon. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Race Recap: Kansas City Marathon

Alright, so I am going to do my best to recap and then analyze for y'all.

So Friday night I carbed up with the family that I choose. All you can eat Italian buffets can be troublesome diet wise, but when you are loading they lose. Three trips, and I was stuffed.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 4:30 and gleefully got up. Shocking.
I arrived at the race site at 5:45 am, there's something to this thing about getting there early instead of 5 minutes before the start. I had sooo much time to relax, warm up,stretch and chat with Megan.

We lined up in the corrals 15 minutes before gun time and stuck ourselves to the end. Neither of us had any desire to run with a pace group, we just wanted to run. Run by feeling. I did not even wear my garmin.

Gun time finally came and went and I said to Megan "If at the half split I try to follow you, you yell at me! Unless of course my knee hurts too bad!" she agreed and within the first mile, it did hurt.

Attitude can go a long way. I told myself all week, all morning and throughout the first mile: you do this because you love it. PROVE IT. Prove that you love it. So I did, Megan and I rocked out mile after mile.

Everything seemed like I was learning from last year's mistakes, Everything seemed if I was finally giving myself the perfect marathon experience.

Megan unfortunately had to split off around mile eight, and I have to admit-she is the wind beneath my wings. Dear Megan, thank you. I love you. Sincerely, Julia. Our miles together were excellent, we had fun and were not in agony.

We said our goodbyes and I got a little teary eyed. It was emotional. I was doing it, I felt it, I was doing. Alone. There is a real sobering moment when you have to realize that the only thing you have to lean on is you. That only YOU will get you through this.

At mile 9, Logan was there waiting for me. I walked through the aid station, hugged him and walked until my water was gone, he wished me luck and said he'd see me again in about 9 miles. What a daunting thought: 9 Miles until a recognizable face.
I took off and breezed through the next few miles, of course my knee was still bothering, but I consciously reminded myself that attitude was everything, that positivity can go a long way-maybe 26.2 miles, and that the right song can make anything happen.

I went though the aid station at mile 11 all by myself, there weren't other runners for a minutes. I felt like a celebrity. The full in KC is VERY thin, so even with no one around I was still mid pack.

Right after the aid station, I expected a long-drawn out incline that I had planned on walking. As I walked up this mountain, a pace group caught my tail and asked me if I was ok. Strange? Why would they ask me that? It was at this point that I finally realized I was limping. They encouraged me to run with them and stick with a group. So I did.

That pace group was a two edged sword. It was super encouraging, but I also am not a fan of being with a group. They got me through the next few miles. A great bunch of people, and I know they all finished strong. We all passed the half way mark together, cheered and continued on.

The next mile is kind of blurry. All I remember is a lot of pain. All I remember is my knee hurting but my brain telling me to overcome it. I called Logan and said that I hurt, he said he was a few miles ahead. He asked if I could get there, and I thought I could.

I continued to try to put one foot in front of the other. Then my right leg started to cramp. I took some sodium shots and tried to wait for them to hit. The compensation my right leg was making to keep my left knee from buckling felt murderous.

Volunteers at the aid station at 14 yelled at me to stretch and to keep my chin up. I felt tears pour out of my eyes. I couldn't stop them, they jutted out without permission. I fought to make them stop.
It was kind of odd, I was sobbing and couldn't really explain why. It was my body reacting to the pain, I just wasn't denying it. I wanted this so bad, and I wasn't going to let it go.

Sometimes though, it's not up to you. As I crossed an intersection, an office who has sworn to serve and protect, protected me from injuring myself further. He instructed me to stop. He help out his hand like traffic. Like I was a speeding sedan. I stopped confused. He was mouthing something, and I took out my headphones as he said "...ambulence." For who? He repeated:

"I'm sorry, but if you stay on this course I am going to have to call you an ambulence."
So I walked off the course. I don't need a $500 ambulence bill, $100 ER copay and several hours of time to know that I shouldn't have been running. I called Logan and my friends in tears, gave them my cross streets and they rescued me.

I just really don't like people telling me I can't do things.

Monday, October 17, 2011

That's Not My Name

Oook so let us talk about the marathon.

I really DON'T want to talk about the marathons, but I need to.

Here is what I will say for now:

The first 14 miles were the best miles of my life.

I did not finish.

I am really depressed.

An ambulance was called. Don't worry it was for liability purposes, it wasnt serious.

I did not get out of bed until this morning, to go to the doctor.

My knee finally gave out

So I gave up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hard to Control When it Begins

Today, packets get picked up.
Tomorrow, pasta gets eaten.
Then, 26.2 gets ran.

Um, yes please.

This year's expos was pretty jammin.

Chobani came and gave me tons of free yogurt!

KCRC reppin' strong! Signed up for the heartland 39.3 series...more on that later.

And of course, I got me a new bondi. I think it is appropriate right?

Anyone racing this weekend?
Do you like race expos?
How early do you like to register for races?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Adventure

hm mm....

I keep starrrrrring at this picture to make sure I REALLY want to run 26.2 on Saturday....

Friday, July 08, 2011

Video Viernes: BIG NEWS!! BIG NEWS!!!

(BWAHAHAHAHA  youtube always picks GREAT thumbnails)


Friday, October 29, 2010

Problems in Your Own Head

Well, now that the road to physical recovery is semi-ending it was time for me to refocus and get back out there. Other than some residual pain, like a bruised heel-I felt good enough to run a week and a few days after the marathon. My ego was still really suffering though, any time I thought about the marathon this black hole started eating my stomach, and made me feel empty.

Living with that let down for a week was hard enough, so I knew I couldn't wait long to race again. Luckily, my sister and I already were planning on running the Gobbler Grind Half Marathon on November 21st. Having a race lined up is pretty key in getting over a bad race, but there's more to it. I've outlined some of my personal tips in getting over a poopy race for all my lovely readers:

Julia and Goliath's Ways of Getting Over a No-Good-Terrible-Awful-Downright-Bad-Race
1. Sign up for another: We went over this, but this will give you something to look forward to. It takes the edge off the sting because you KNOW there's another, which means another opportunity to rock.
2. Talk about it: When people ask you how your big day went, don't be afraid to tell them. Especially if they are runners, everyone has had a bad race. The beauty of being a runner is that every one's training peaks and troughs. Our troughs aren't what we tend to share, we are inclined to fudge our times, our mile splits, etc-but when you can look someone in the eye and honestly say "I didn't do my best," it gives you the vulnerability to accept comfort and advice.
3. Wear your shirt: Weather it was a 5k or an Ultra, wear your shirt the next day. You deserve to wear the shirt because you STARTED, not because you finished. Half of the mental race is getting the balls to get your but to the starting line. On lookers will see a runner in a race shirt, not someone who struggled to finish-and will envy your back full of sponsors.
4. Treat yourself: To a meal, to a massage, to a new pair of jeans. Anything. This may be some sort of instant gratification, but allowing yourself to splurge a little to overcome your mental anguish is pretty priceless isn't it?
5. Do not look at your training log more than once: Your inclination will be to look at your log and figure out where you went wrong. You'll agonize over every mile, every minute before the race-just trying to figure it out. Let it be. Look forward. Plan ahead, look at your next race as an opportunity to a clean your slate and succeed in training. Yes, it's important to evaluate and identify mistakes-but do not dwell on them.
6. Run: When you're ready, run again. Fall in love again. It's natural to be discouraged, and paralyzed with running fear. Find the motivation to just run again, for one mile or a few. Chances are you'll remember that you're not running for glory, it's bigger than that.
7. Cry, if you have to: Hey, it's a big deal. Don't be afraid to shed a tear. You looked forward to this day all year, you trained for six months. There's no shame in letting it out-silently, alone in a dark closet. No, I'm kidding-cry, real women cry. You're only allowed to cry once for a marathon: so chances are if you didn't cry at the finish line, you can do so later.

So there that is. Rest assured, I have tried all the above. They seem to work for me. Especially, number six. My first run back was a four mile, easy run with Emily in preparations for our half. We promised to take it slow, easy-but like that ever actually happens? We did a typical TBB out and back on the trail, without gadgets and just talked. It was pretty magical. I was totally gushing about my trail to Emily the last time we ran, and promised her she'd fall in love with it.

Sho' nuff. She did. There is just something about that trail, it totally has my heart. Other than my bed, it's my favorite place to be. Lucky for us, our upcoming half is ON THAT TRAIL! win. Love.
Everyone have a magical weekend! Don't forget Goliath still needs people for his Gang, so email us your doggie picture and story!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Know I Know How

Julia's Marathon Experience Part IV
So it's been a week. A full seven days since 26.2-and despite what Runner's World says: I feel fully recovered. I'm going to give you a run down of how my recovery week went though.

Immediate after the race: Collapsed in the grass aside the finish chute, I stood up and walked myself to the car. My mom drove me home, and walked me into my home. I stretched, not much-I should have done more. Showered. I watched a movie, and laid around until five. My husband took a three hour nap, and I gimped and paced around. Uneasy and uncomfortable, and unable to rest. I was tormented by my performance, and just by how things went. I desperately wanted to feel good about it-but I couldn't. I still don't. I'm embarrassed. Don't write me off, ok? I know it's ridiculous to feel this way, I finished I frickin' marathon-but I didn't do it the way I wanted to nor the way I deserved. I knew I not only could do better, but I DESERVED to do better. Not four hours had passed after crossing the finish line, I had already registered for another. It couldn't go down like that. I couldn't sit on this time, even though I swore I'd never do it again around mile 24.

Logan took me to Red Robbin that night, I totally maxed on the biggest burger of my life and bottomless steak fries. We talked about the race, he told me he was proud and I attempted to be happy about. After passing out for a few hours, I woke up at 3am scarfed down an oatmeal cream pie and sat up in bed just thinking about everything. I went through every step of training. I identified some mistakes and evaluated what I needed to do better for my next one.

The next day: I woke up after a long night of sleeping, and much to my surprise I wasn't sore. Like at all. Except for my jaw. I guess I sucked too much-ha get it! No I actually clinched my jaw through the whole race, and it was sore. I made pancakes for breakfast, cleaned up and watched football with my family. Logan and I took Goliath to the dog park later that afternoon, and met with some friends. I did some light stretching, and taped up my blisters. I ate a ton at dinner that night-post race carb loading is just as important as pre-race carbo loading!

My finisher shirt!

The rest of the week: I took it easy for the rest of the week even if I didn't feel like I needed to. I went to yoga on Wednesday, and did lots of walking throughout the week. Friday, I went in for a deep tissue sports massage-and that was more painful than the actual race itself. Apparently, my lactic scars are pretty intense. The therapist worked the crap out of my calves. Hilariously, I was more sore from that than the race the next day. Saturday, I volunteered at a 5k/10k race and got all energized to run again.

I have a half marathon in less than a month, that I'll start "training" for today and I'm already plotting out the next six months of racing.

After this post, we'll get the 12DoGA back up and running!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Isn't Over, the Pressure is on

Julia's Marathon Experience Part III

Ok, here you go-perhaps the most anticipated part of the marathon experience-and definitely the longest: RACE DAY.

Where did I leave off? Oh right, trying to sleep. I tossed and turned all night long. That's not surprising. I was anxious about missing my alarm, and being late-since I've been known to do that before. Turns out you don't need an alarm when you don't sleep. I don't normally have anxiety issues, but my heart rate was just through the roof and I absolutely could not shut off my brain. Finally and frustrated, I got out of bed at 4am and let out Goliath. I stood barefoot in the freezing dew and thought: Today, you run a marathon. I made myself some coffee and oatmeal. While each warmed up, I got dressed and stared at myself in the mirror. TODAY, YOU RUN A MARATHON.

I sat at our computer reading the news, and surfing trying to distract myself. I had hours to kill before I needed to leave. I woke up Logan, so he could get to work and take care of his weekend assignment before the race and not miss anything. He kissed me goodbye and said he'd see me in the first three miles. I sat back down, and blankly gazed at the monitor and tried to choke down oatmeal. Too nauseated to eat, I drank some water. Then, Logan called thinking it was him being sweet and wishing me luck I answered only to hear "Uhm can you come outside? My car is dead..." Sweet. I walked outside to see Logan's Acura stuck in the middle of the lot. It's a manual, so we thought we could give it a rolling start to get it to start. We pushed it up a hill, and then I'd push it down while he ran alongside. All in vain. It was dead. We both panicked, what are we going to do? This took a considerable amount of time: he had to go to work and I had to be at the race. He just told me to drop him off at his Mom's and he'll figure out how to get down there, he kept telling me not to worry-but like that was going to stop me.

I dropped him off, and ate a cliff bar on my way to the race since there was no time to eat my oatmeal. I tried to shake off nervous energy to some songs, but a mile away from my exit I found myself stuck in traffic-which hey happens with 11,000+ try to get to one place. I had originally planned on leaving earlier to avoid this situation, but the dead acura foiled me. I inhaled and exhaled and said Today, you run a marathon-it's going to be ok, you'll get there. I sat there for 45 minutes just trying to get OFF the highway. Then Eric texts me that parking took forever, and that's when the real panic set in. It was now 7:00, and I wasn't off the highway and guntime was in 30 minutes.

By the grace of God, I finally exited but only to sit at more lights and I knew I wasn't going to have enough time to park in the designated lot so I cruised downtown KC looking for an open spot on the street. Of course most were taken, so I resolved to park in a spot that may have been illegal. I geared myself up, threw my belongings in the trunk because I knew I didn't have time for bag/gear check and took off for the start line which was about 2.5 miles from there. I arrive, out of breath and more nervous then ever. Did I mention 30 minutes ago I realized I had to pee? It's now 7:20 and almost all the runners are in their corrals and lined up with their pacers-but guess who's frantically searching for port-a-potties? me. I couldn't find one and the anthem was starting. Crap. I had found Megan and Sofia, they wished me luck and I resolved to just use a bathroom along the course and take the time penalty.

I pushed my way to my 4:15 pace group, inhaled and exhaled. I was lined up with a gentlemen who had a giant foam cowboy hat on and suddenly realized this was suppose to be fun. Duh! I smiled and then the gun went off. I still had to pee, very badly, but I said just stop at the first available. My pacer was a lady named Carol, who has paced me in several other races. I knew if I just stuck with her I'd be ok and maybe my nagging bladder would go away.

The first mile seemed to crawl by and I still couldn't shut off my brain. There were so many people who I knew running this race, and I seemed to run into them every so often, they clinch my shoulder or wave to get my attention-wish me luck and then pass me. In the second mile, we made our way up a hill that according to my garmin was a ascent of 504 feet. It just seemed to go on and on and on. I confidently forged this hill, I remember thinking "uhm yeah hill repeats what's up." Atop the hill there were hundreds of people gathered to cheer, the hill we had just climbed was Kansas City's famous Liberty Memorial Hill. With all these people, and balloons it seemed like some political rally. Overwhelming really, I looked at all the faces. Now, it's all blurry but running through it I could see everyone so vividly. I scanned each face, looking for a familiar one. Then I saw bathrooms...then I saw the line. I decided I could wait and pressed forward.

Remember that hill Megan and I were joking about? Well turns out we had to run the opposite side. It's that hill of infamy from Hospital Hill Marathon in June, the one that we approached at mile 12 that stopped us dead in our tracks. There it was. We hiked it, and our pacers stopped to walk and said "We'll need this energy for later" Little did I know how right she was. This was about the time when an old high school class mate passed me with her mom. We picked up the pace, and mile three was done. Thirty minutes were behind me, three miles complete and I felt okish despite my nagging bladder. I saw my husband, elated I waved and he pointed to the opposite street where I saw my mom holding a giant sign.

This is about the time where I started to really panic. My stomach started to hurt because I had been holding it for so long. I started asking volunteers where the next bathroom stop would be, but no one seemed to know. Mile five was approaching, and it had nearly been an hour of running with a full bladder. There were plenty of businesses along the route, but I wanted to stop in a race sanctioned stop, ya know? So I just kept going and going. Finally, it got to the point where I had to pee so bad that running was nearly impossible. I stopped because the even a jog was putting an immense pressure on my bladder. Of course the second, I stopped running I lose momentum. I knew in my head if I lost my pace group, I probably wouldn't recover either so it was so hard for me stop-but physically I had to.

The second I stopped, I saw my mom and husband again who just looked at me like what the heck are you doing?! I yelled at them why and I hoped they understood. Coming up on the course I knew there a few gas stations, and I KNEW I had to stop. I pulled to left, out of the pack and ran up to the station store, upon entering I saw two other racers in line. Dang it. We stood there for about five minutes waiting on someone else in the bathroom. Frustrated and adrenaline pumping all three of us decided that if whoever it was didn't emerge in 1 minute we would knock, and finally that time came around. The girl first in line knocked to see if the occupant was ok. The response we got was less than desired, especially after waiting for what was now nearly 10 minutes. The lady screams (not even exaggerating) "I'M IN HERE AND DOING MY BUSINESS I'LL BE OUT WHEN I'M DONE!" Well alright. Nothing like getting yelled at while someone is clearly having pooping issues. I waited another five minutes before giving up and moving to the next gas station, which was a Quik Trip less than a block away. I got there and it was basically the same situation, I waited another five minutes there and finally had relief.

The damage was done though, the grief from holding it in for over an hour had fatigued my abdomen and used a lot of energy. I tried to recover quickly with a GU, and luckily there was an aid station pretty quickly thereafter. Mile eight was approaching, and I was still on target for a 4:20 finish, I saw my cheerleaders again who got a wave and an emotional nod. Now, I have to mention that even though I was still near my target time at this point my attitude was miserable. I wasn't feeling "right" something in me was internally irritated and irrational, like the sun got in my eyes and it pissed me off-or a song on my play list that I love would piss me off. The big 8 passed and I was looking directly into the sun, and had a headwind. I just got angry. ANGRY. I felt my jaw tensing, my lips pursed and then the weird phenomena: my arms went completely numb. My hands weren't purple so I couldn't blame it on circulation, it was my tension.

This is actually coming up on mile 20

I can't tell you how irritating it is to have two limbs you can't feel. I need my arms to propel me forward, and I just couldn't even feel them. annoying. So there I was: Mile 8.2 pissed to hell because of a rude runner in the bathroom, fatigued as crap already and with numb appendages. I convinced myself that I should walk a bit to calm down, regroup and pep up. I closed my eyes, shook out my arms and inhaled then exhaled. We ran through the beautiful plaza for the next two miles, y'all have seen a few of my races down there (trolley run, dog-n-jog). Then this wave of indescribable sickness and pain hit me, I was approaching mile 10 when it happened. It was like getting struck with an emesis lightning bolt-but as quick as it hit, it was over. I clenched my tummy, bent over and hurled just missing my timing chip. My mind couldn't help but focus on what other people were thinking, they probably thought that I was under trained or over ambitious.

I pulled out my phone and sent a text to Logan "i just puked mile 11 is coming" and he responded he'd be at mile 14. I started getting really overwhelmed, Today I was WALKING a marathon crept into my head. I just kept trying to put on foot in front of the other, and then I remembered my dedication. I looked up and "Waka Waka" by Shakira came over and I had this minute of inspirational push. I gritted my teeth, and felt this urge to cry due to abdominal pain but tears wouldn't come out. I knew if I could let go of the tears, I could move on. If I could just let them out maybe I'd be able to get over the anxiety and pressure and just RELAX.

I kept curling over in absolute agony, as pace group after pace group passed me. I started hoping that Eric would catch up with me, so I wouldn't have to be alone anymore. I quickly went from finishing in under 4:20 to just finishing. Sure enough, I started up another hill when I looked down and saw Eric. Heavens to Betsy, relief. I was comforted to be able to have just someone there. He could see the agony in my face, asked me if I needed a hug-apparently I looked like I did. We tried to push the next few miles with a walk-jog-run-walk combination. At this point, I had stopped sweating and couldn't really walk a very straight line. We crossed the threshold of the half way point. As we were approaching, there was this couple who held hands and asked a stranger to take their picture in front of the mile marker. It was really sweat, their first marathon together.

After mile 13, Eric told me to go ahead my legs were turning to stones and I knew walking wasn't doing me any favors. I struggled onward, it kept me going knowing that Logan and my mom were ahead somewhere. Then it hit again, the emesis lightning bolt. Numb arms, bent over perpendicular to the group and revisiting my strawberry-banana GU, if you know what I mean. I stood back up, walked if off and kept going. All these stops, all these attitude adjustments-all these things were totally harshing my marathon experience. I kept wondering: Where's my magic? Where's my emotional breakthrough? I wanted to be able to soak every ounce of this, every inch of the 26.2 and all I could focus on is how I wanted this over. I so badly wanted it to end, but it was a marathon-they are like never ending, and that's kinda the point.

What killed me was that at mile 13.1 we didn't turn around and started heading toward the finish. That makes sense no? Apparently that's psychologically too easy. We had to run another 4 miles south and make a hypotenuse like return to the origin. That messed with my head so bad, it's so easy for me to mentally tackle a split on an out and back-but for some reason I just couldn't do the math on this. Yeah, I had reviewed the course before but it's a whole 'notha story once you're out there. Mile 16 came and this is when things started getting really real. The crowds had thinned, but there were still people along the way: high school cheer squads, volunteers and neighbors-everyone. The runners now were more spread out, and now each time you'd pass they could see your bib and cheer you on personally. I felt like the most pathetic celebrity alive, they'd say my name and it felt good and shameful at the same time. These strangers kept telling me to keep going and sharing in one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. I have never ever felt so weak, so tired and so sick and here they were telling me I was strong and to take it home.

I kept trying to think of certain monuments to look forward to, to keep me going. I knew where people would be and knowing that would keep me running temporarily. I couldn't hold my pace for very long, but every time I'd stop I would at least try to start again. Right after 16 passed, I saw my family including my sister in the distance. They all had signs, they were screaming their heads off. I wanted their energy. I wanted it refuel me but more than anything I wanted to stop and let them sweep me off the course. I kept going, anyway-but I admit, I really really didn't want to.

The next few miles were about the same, equally tough but I started a new battle with fatigue. I literally started falling asleep while running. I would forcing myself to run, and my eyes would droop and I felt like I could just nod off. I fought this giant internal war to not take a nap, you can not nap and run and finish a marathon. The muscle fatigue in my core was no better even, and right around mile 18 I started feeling full on muscle failure in my obliques and transabdominals. They vibrated like they were receiving texts messages, and holding myself up became a chore-but throwing up a third time was even more of a chore. Mile 19 came, and I saw volunteer friend Scott who I think could see things weren't going right. I tried to choke out that I've been puking to offer up an explanation-but I'm pretty sure my face was reason enough. He told me to take it home and I started to count down the miles.

I figured that once I saw mile 20, maybe I'd be able to just have this complete out of body experience and have the last SIX MILES flash forward. FAIL Worst assumption ever. Mile 20 is when things only got really more realer. My family was starting to get worried that I wouldn't finish in under 6 hours, and until that point I had never even thought about it. They shouted at me how much time I had left to get those last six miles in-and I thought Today, you FINISH a marathon. I had to finish, but I couldn't help be discouraged. How did this happen? How had things gone so wrong? How did I go from a 4:15 to worrying about making the 6 hour time limit? This is what I had trained for? This is what the last three months had been all about?

This is The Man, Steve!

Mile 20 marked my BFF Megan guarding a street. I had waited the whole race to pass her by, and all I could feel was shame. She waved at me as a motorist tried to get through on the course. Miles 21-24 were lucky enough to contain my fourth puking episode and I was lucky enough to meet a fellow struggler named Steve. I noticed we were both following the same pattern of agony, so I asked him how many of these he had done. It was his 5th. We shot the poop for the next mile or two, and the conversation was distracting enough to get to mile 25.5. I gave him my laundry list of go-wrongs and he laughed and said "Yup, you've had a bad day" I quickly told him that I don't think I'll ever being doing this again, half marats were for me. He again laughed, knowing the certainty that this could not be my only and last marathon. He encouraged me to stop by the medical tent WHEN I finished. When? Oh that's right? He then said "Guess what? In less then 6 minutes you'll be able to sit down" Glory!

We turned a corner and I saw Logan and Emily running toward me, screaming my name. They were saying the finish line was just here and I have 15 minutes to finish. I picked up, and according to my garmin I pushed that last quarter mile at an 8:30 pace. I don't know how. Megan, came in the shute with me and people were just screaming at me. I couldn't hold my head up, and halfway there I doubled over in pain. I heard a "NO! GET UP!" and I did. I saw the blue mats, then I saw my feet touch the blue mats and then I stopped. I was done.

Finished. That was it. Where were my tears? I still just couldn't let go. I think part of it was I didn't want to waste my tears on such an experience I was totally unsatisfied with-but I think it was largely due to dehydration. I gathered my medal, my finished shirt, and some food that I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat. I walked away from the shute and found the closest patch of grass and just laid down.

It was finally over. I finished in 5:48 and some change, a full hour and thirty minutes off my goal time. I did everything right in training a prep, but when you mentally wear yourself down and your luck plays out like a series of unfortunate event, it happens. I wanted to badly to be happy with finishing, but in my heat I felt cheated. I wanted better, and I know it's natural to be slightly disappointed. I knew I had to do some major reflection on accomplishment and the like. So I returned home from the race to do so.

This concludes Julia's Marathon Experience Part III, if you read this whole thing you're the best thing ever.

Up Next: Julia's Marathon Experience Part IV: Recovery and Reflection

The Last Night of Your Life

Julia's Marathon Experience Part II

By Friday morning, I had already lost too much sleep and what little sleep I was getting was full of anxiety dreams. The encroaching race was consuming me entirely. By Thursday evening, I had already pinned my bib to my shirt, tagged my shoe and set out all my gear. So what was left for Friday?

Well Friday, I had to work a full shift (in retrospect I wish I had taken this day off) and then had planned a pasta party for friends who were also racing. I had done most of the cooking Thursday evening, since I truly didn't have a spare minute Friday. So after work, I rushed my moms to get the rest of the food prep done for my friends Eric (ala training run), Megan (ala half marathons) and Megan's Megan (her friend). My two biggest fans were also in attendance, obviously: My mom and my husband...oh and Goliath.

Easy food prep the night before

If I'm allowed to say it, the food was pretty good. I roasted zucchini, and onions in minced garlic and olive oil, grilled chicken and made a gigantic salad with home made dressing. It was super easy to prep early, and super easy to get ready the evening of. Everyone arrived and we feasted, it was really great. Megan and I got a little nostalgic about previous races, and we joked about a specific hill in hospital hill. We prayed it wouldn't be a part of this race.

And then I TRIED to sleep...

It Was Only Just a Dream

alright, followers. I lived. barely.

I'm going to post my marathon story in multiple parts, starting with the Thursday before and ending with the day after (today).

Julia's Marathon Experience PART I
My anxiety started way before Thursday, but this is when it started getting really unbearable. I tried to think about anything but the race but that was all that was on my mind. I was worried, excited, planning, and everything in between. I felt like I had SO much to do, and so little time to do it. So Thursday, the second I left work I picked up my friend Sofia who was running the 5k and we headed straight to the expo. The expo opened at 4 and we were there at 4:15. We got a little confused because we were told to park one place but the expo was like two blocks away, and we got a little panicked when there were like three other conventions going on and we couldn't find the right one. Finally, we saw one guy with a marathon t-shirt and back trekked his steps through this building connector thing.

We finally found it after walking almost a mile and searching buildings. We knew we were in the right place the second we went through the doors though. I have never been a part of such a big race. To me packet pick up entails: stating your name and a happy race volunteer handing over you a bib and a t-shirt. Not this time around, we walked up to table where we got our registration receipt printed off. Then we proceeded to stroll to aisles of booths for things like bondi bands, disney marathons, chiropractic care and the like-oh and Quintiles? What the heck were they doing there...

Our registration receipts, how official!

After being bombarded with freebies like pens, magnets, and a tiara we finally made our way to the pick up stations. We handed over our tickets to a volunteer who acquired our bibs and chips, and then to another volunteer who matched our shirts. We were stopped several times on our way out by other booths, most notably was the cute old couple who were all about this alkali-water treatment system. They made us try their super special water, and all I could say was "uhm it tastes like water?" and he continued to tell me why I needed this thing to be a better runner. I'm done jumping on the product to be 'better runner' bandwagon, been there-tried that-the only thing that makes ME a better runner is ME.

oh hay thar.

And this concludes Julia's Marathon Experience Part 1.

Friday, October 15, 2010



BIB # 319

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Hundred Times More

Well that's it you guys! We made it: 100 followers and coincidentally my 100th post!

For TBB's 100th Post, I am going to take it down a notch on a more serious scale.

As my marathon draws closer and I continue to do more reflection, I can't help but wonder why did my life turn left when it should have gone right?

Only one really specific thing comes to mind.

In April of 2007, my Great Aunt Mickey was diagnosed with stage three small cell lung carcinomas and by November she was gone.

Now I know you're probably like Great Aunt? Ooook? Mickey wasn't an aunt, she was more than that. See I had grandparents, but before I as five they were gone. Mick was always there. Every basketball game, every girl scout event, every school play and anything and everything where she could support me she was there. Not only for me, but everyone in my family: my sister and brother alike, and especially my mom. She was always there.

It's hard for me to explain, even iterate why and how important she was to me.

I didn't have a Mom and Dad. I had Mom and Mickey.

Long story short, I was alone with Mickey when she first took the news and I was holding her hand while she took her last breath. Every step of the way, I went with Mickey. She knowingly helped me grow up and I was unknowingly helping her face her mortality. On Thursdays we'd go to chemotherapy, and chow down on KC bar-b-que afterwards while she still had an appetite. Along the way she dropped knowledge left and right.

In those months, I never fully faced what was happening. I was 18. It was my first real experience with death, I had never seen death. And how hackneyed is this? It changed me.

Hardcore, it messed with me.

With all that typed out, I've thought long and hard about who I would dedicate certain miles to during my marathon. I recently read Ashley's marathon experience and how her dedication helped her. I've read that the last six miles are a complete out of body experience, and these are the miles that you dedicate. Those are the miles, you need that special someone there with you.

My conclusion is to dedicate my entire marathon to Mick, I owe her every inch.

Forgive me if this post is cliche laden, but after she died I lost direction. I turned left when I should have gone right. It took me nearly three years to find my way back, but now that I'm almost there I need to remember her.

She'll be at the finish line in my heart, because unlike Mick she'd never miss a sporting event.

Thank you guys for getting TBB to 100s! It's time to celebrate!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

That Grind Don't Stop

I get really emotional. I can grit though the toughest stuff but when it comes to things like change, and accomplishing things: I get wicked emotional. The last few days I have been completely wrought with anxiety....and overwhelmed with feelings. I just have a lot of feelings. A few months ago, I signed up for the Kansas City Runner's Edge group training run for the KC Marathon. It's not a big training group, it's just a run they organize for anyone training to help them with the longest run during training.

Knowing me, and my flakiness-I signed up so I would have no excuses to not get 20 miles under my belt. Little did I know, that this farting run would cause me more anxiety than the actual race. For SOME reason, I couldn't help but freak out that maybe my training wasn't where it needed to be do this distance and that I was going to totally embarrass myself. My training style for this marathon has been pretty unorthodox, and honestly I haven't stuck much to a rigid plans as I have just gotten out there and followed a 10% build up each week. Every run for me is a fartlek, and every run I struggle to figure out what I need to do albeit hydrating, fueling, and gear. So for someone who still is trying to figure out their rhythm, showing up to a group run with other runners who've been training (and probably more consistently) was a little intimidating.

Admittedly, my nerves got the best of me before I even walked in the door. My drive there I turned up my 5k play list CD, and tried to just relax. Then that stupid Inida Arie song lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks, and I felt like I had to cry-but I couldn't cry because I was so nervous-but I was so nervous I wanted to cry-and then I got angry. KNOCK IT OFF. I don't know why I allow myself to be consumed with self doubt, and wrapped up in minutia like what people might think. God forbid, someone laughs at my gait. I quickly changed the song, to "Let's Go" and tried to get amped. As I pulled into my parking spot, I saw other runners all geared up walking into the shopping center to get their wrist bands.

Sure enough, the demographics were exactly what I feared. Guess what my first thought was? Dannnngggit, you're the fattest person here. ACK, everyone was super lean and super toned and looked super fast. I took a deep breath, and got out of my car. I felt like everyone was staring at me, haha look at the noob, as I walked in and got my wrist band. Thankfully, I planned on meeting up with two guys from the marathon's facebook. They both found me, and distracted me from being a big ball of nerves. One of which, Scott, talked me into this didn't run because of an injury-but just came for moral support, he knew a bunch of people there and introduced me to a few. Then Eric, who I talked into running this. Eric and I had decided to stick together, thick and thin-running and walking.

At 6:30 everyone lined up with a pace group, much like a race. My group kinda huddled around our pacer, Lynette. We shot the poop while we waited for a time to be called. Since this wasn't a race, they were really strict about not wearing ipods. Ya'll know me and my obsession with my ipod, so here I am: longest run of my life, with essentially strangers, and no ipod. I was seriously struggling to not shut down from nerves, so I pushed myself to talk to people. Once I got to talking and introducing myself, I kinda started feeling more like myself. It didn't even take me a mile to realize, everyone there was just as unsure, if not terrified as I was.
The organizers did a wonderful job, and the pacers were amazing. There were water and fuel stations every 2 miles, the pacer answered all your questions and everyone was just rocking and rolling. Our whole group was really chatty, and I hate chatting-but there I was just kinda running my mouth about anything and everything to whoever would listen. We talked about how we got into running, our jobs, our family, TV and movies, stuff in Kansas City, other races we've ran, fueling and nutrition-basically everything. Other than the fact that I had to pee wicked bad, I didn't realize I was even running. Before I knew it, we were at the 10 mile mark. Say what? I didn't even feel like I had ran ten miles.
Everyone had the option of turning back, and running the route for the desired distance-with the maximum distance option being 22 miles. I had talked Eric into pushing 20 miles, even though he only intended on running 18 per his schedule. Selfishly, I begged him to go 20 and I am ever so thankful he agreed. At mile 10, we found out our pacer wouldn't be splitting back to complete the back mileage. Most of our group went on to run another mile before turning around, but Eric and I split of at 10.
Without a gaggle of runners, we just kinda paced our way back and took it really easy. The front ten miles were pretty thick with runners and other groups, but the back ten we'd go for a mile without seeing fellow trainees. As the mileage increased on our garmins, it got progressively harder to put one foot in front of the other. By mile 16 we were both ready to call it and Eric said he was considering walking the final two miles. I didn't mean to get all cliche and motivationally hackneyed on him, but I was like "Buddy, you don't want to regret this later. You know later this afternoon you're gonna kick yourself in the butt for not pushing those last two miles!" He agreed and we kept trucking.
My mom drove by and honked us a serenade of encouragement. We ran through our last aid station, and then it clicked that we were almost done. HOLY CRAP....eighteen miles are finished, two more to go. My legs felt like bricks, but I was on top of the world. Those last two miles, were sooo smooth. Dare I say, smoother than the first anxiety-ful firs two??! With a half a mile left, we ran into this guy...

This is Moose, and 11 Month Boxer.
We both HAD to stop and pet him, being that we a) both love dogs and b) really love Boxers. Eric has a boxer name Daly, who also is tattooed on his arm-that's love. And well, you all know the boxer in my life. Moose had enough energy for the both of us, he showed us how he can sit and shake-and we could tell just from a distance he was a fun dog.
Moose shook us on our way, and before we knew it the shopping center from where we started was in view. It was surreal, had we really just logged 20 miles? Like TWO-ZERO. It felt like TWO. We finished really strong, and even felt like we could do more. Walking into the shopping area, the air conditioning was shocking. We high fived and were just generally elated. Walking to the area where we checked in, we strolled by a huge wall of mirrors. I glanced over my shoulder and said "Yeah,we looked like we just ran 20 miles!" and snapped this...

we killed it.
That's right. I ran 20 miles, and it felt second nature. No one made fun of me. I enjoyed myself. I will be back next year, and I guess this means I'm officially trained to run the KC Marathon. Oh and this is how I recover:
Total Mileage: 20
pssssttttt...12DoGA: GU Winner is Kate Smith! Kate email me your address, and the GU is yours! Thanks for your support! Part Two of 12DoGA coming to a blogpost near you soon.