A little over a week ago I ran the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon. As I mentioned in my last post my reason for doing so was because the only other marathon I have run was a decade ago this month. I wanted to prove to myself that 10 years and 3 babies later I could run another and that's really about the only goal I accomplished that day because it was a BRUTAL, miserable race.
We've had unseasonable warm weather, but that day in particular was especially bad. It was about 85 degrees with 98% humidity. The weather was so bad that early on the race officials, in conjunction with the city of Savannah, started making modifications to the course. They started re routing runners if they weren't at a certain point by a certain time, diverting some to the half, and just turning people around in some cases. But, I will say as much as it sucked to not have things go as planned, I was really impressed with the way the race handled things. Sadly two people died that day - one on the course and another as soon as he got home. There were six others hospitalized and numerous people who stopped at the medical tents that were set up along the way. I found there to be plenty of water stations with water, gatorade, and salt offered and even though I hated life, I did feel taken care of, especially by the amazing support crew of friends and family who showed up that day. I knew by the half way point that the race was going downhill fast (only not literally - somehow there were several inclines in our usually flat city!). By mile 15 I was wondering if I just dreamed I trained because my legs didn't feel like the had and by mile 18 I was cramping up in some muscles despite a decent amount of salt intake, plenty of water and gatorade, chews and Gu.
My sister Kate flew in from California to run the half and my dear friend Brandy came out from Chicago with her family to cheer on her sister-in-law who was also running the full. Brandy not only watched my kids during the race, but was there to cheer me on during a couple much needed times. I don't know what it is about races that make me so damn emotional, but combined with the fact that it was so brutal out, I was such a train wreck. My friend Melanie ran with me for six miles and then I had another friend and my sister join in for my last mile. The group of ladies in Stroller Strong Moms has been such an inspiring and uplifting group and their support really helped leading up to the race and during. Running that long just takes so much out of you physically and emotionally and by mile 18 I was runner-drunk where you just feel sort of out of it. A friend of mine put it best when she said running a marathon is a lot like being in labor and you don't know what sort of emotions you'll experience - you may cry, you may swear, you may just be really quiet and in the zone. In my case I was all of those.
|Seeing this little nugget was seriously the highlight of the race for me. Brandy snapped these pictures and I'm forever grateful she had the kids out there cheering me on because it was a much needed morale boost.|
|Sister Kate. One of my most favorite people on the planet.|
Had the race gone according to plan (ha) I would have liked to have been able to say I met my goal (sub 4 hours) and will never run another. Buuuut, I'm a glutton for punishment and am looking at some races in January or February. But I sure do look forward to the day I can "retire" from marathons :)