Well gang, I did it, I ran 26.2 miles on Sunday and oh is there lots to tell. I used Galloway 2:1 intervals the entire race. This was actually a marathon for a few of us, well for me too, however, not an actual race but more of a training run to see if some of us could endure for our BIG race in just 3 weeks.
To begin with, I've been told by my Galloway roommates that I am a bit anal retentive...teehee!
, this is a religion for me, race or training run...this is what I do and I love, I prepare everything to perfection the night before.
So me and Becky(one of my best running buds I've made during Galloway training) get to Ft. Worth Saturday afternoon, early enough to go pick up our packets first at the Ft. Worth Marathon offices, then on our way to the hotel we stopped at Luke's Locker (Runner's store) to pick up some last minute Gu's and sport beans...oh and I just had to get a few more pairs of my favorite Thorlo socks because this store carries them in several colors. I got purple, btw, my favorite color and orange, of course for Auburn Tigers. Woohoo! The store was only a block away from our hotel, so after that we headed over to the hotel to meet Pat, our pace group leader (awesome lady). She, Becky and I were all rooming together. Dan, one of our other running cronies was also staying in the same hotel so that we could all ride together for dinner and for the race. We got everything put away and got dressed for our dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant in Ft. Worth.
This is after an awesome Italian meal, I had the shrimp asparagus risotto which was absolutely devine. Then we had the most amazing desserts, tiramusu, chocolate lava cake and vanilla creme brulee...woohoo, love dessert but not sure that was a good idea and you'll find out later in this post.
After dinner, we head over to the race site just to make sure we know where we're going the next morning. Well, the starting and finish is at the Ft. Worth Cats minor league baseball fields and well, it's absolutely desolate at this point. From my past experience with races, there are usually things already set up. There wasn't a peep of anything set up for this race...kind of got me a bit concerned....eeek! Okay, calm down Grace, it's okay, they'll be ready set go early in the AM, nothing to worry about.
We head back to the hotel and split off to get our stuff ready, jammies on and get some shut-eye...yea right, NOT! Ms. Pat and I shared the queen size bed and Becks slept on the pull out bed. I do have to say I slept at least 4-5 hrs., but that's about it. I was sweating like I was in a sauna and it's probably because Ms. Pat is cold natured and we felt bad keeping her in the cold. Oh well, it's okay, so the alarm goes off at 4am (yea, Becks thinks I'm nuts for waking up so early before races), and I am up and about to fix my breakfast. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the race director allowed the Galloway runners to start with the walkers, which was at 6:30 am as opposed to the runners start time of 7:30...woohoo! So I always get up at least 2-3 hrs. before race time and that's what I did. Fixed my Ezekial whole grain english muffin w/organic almond butter and organic honey, 1 banana, 8 oz. of water and 8 oz. of sports drink. Took my superstitious shower (yea, got laughed at for that too...teehee)....once again, I am so AR about stuff and got dressed. I was ready to go while Becks and Pat got prepared as well. We are off to the race start.
This is us in the hotel lobby on our way out. So we piled into Pat's car and headed to the stadium. Well the temps are about 42 degrees with hardly any wind and guess what no rain! Woohoo, I saw the weather Fri. and it said a chance of rain. I soooo did not want to foresee a 26.2 mile trek in rain and cold. Don't mind the rain but if it's cold, I think not. We arrive at the stadium and uhhhh, the only thing we really see are the porta potties and utter chaos, I mean chaos, one person manning the race chip table, people not sure if there is going to be a bag drop off at mile 5, water table volunteers just showing up...you'll know what that means in a bit. So we get our chips and it's almost time to line up. We start out with someone singing the Star Spangled Banner, however it's no one from the race, it's one of own. You see, there was no one there to even do that. The race director comes out and does a count down and we're off!!!
So mile 1-3 is awesome, we run down a beautiful trail towards the Trinity River and I have to say for the next 1-18 miles the route was very scenic along this river trail and we had the choice of running on a concrete path or an actual soft gravel trail...nice. The horrible thing about the first, 8 miles, we had no water. Yup, that's what I said, NO WATER! The volunteers, we found out later were late and so we had to rely on hoping for a public water fountain. I believe the first 4 miles we had no water. I am one who does not carry a fuel belt during a big race, too much bulk for me, so I expected that our race organizers would take care of us initially, that didn't happen. The frustration kept building for several miles. I was feeling and knew I had to do something. Well, I'm a tad of a cheery person, if you knew me, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. So I proceeded to start singing out loud, "I don't but I've been told, Galloway runners are made of Gold....I don't know but it's been said, if we don't have water soon, we'll all be dead." This got a good laugh from not only my running buds, but several folks around us. I have to say this helped. So on to our mile 5 bag drop, what... no bag drop, exactly, the bag drop we were promised and it was advertised, was nowhere to be found. We thought, oh good, we have a place to leave our gloves, caps, ear muffs, long sleeve shirts, etc. We had to carry that dang bag for several miles. Luckily because of my great buds, we switched off carry it every 2 min. run interval. Still didn't help. So when part of the trail went off to a neighborhood, we decided to take a chance and drop it in some shrubs and hope that we could find this place when we were done.
OMG, I forgot, we had a tagalong guy, a sort of marathon maniac dude. He'd just run a marathon in Louisiana on Sat. and was on his way home to Oklahoma so he decided to stop in Ft. Worth and run this marathon. Eeek, he says he runs several marathons a month hence the maniac name. He was pretty cool and stuck with several of us on and off throughout.
So we stick together through almost the entire race. My buddy Becky started experiencing some ITB issues that were going up to her hip so she had to slow back a bit towards the end. I had GI issues for several miles early on, I'm thinking caused by the sweets I ate the night before. My issues were the opposite of what I've experienced in the past. This time they were bloating, gassy and constipated...ugh...I know TMI. After stopping at almost every porta potty known to man, which by the way, they got that right, I finally did what I needed to do and felt so awesome. I had no issues, no soreness, no tummy issues and I was ready to fly. I got a bit concerned about one our running buddies, Bhaskar, but he managed to finish. Well, I had the intentions of not separating from Becky, but she had tummy issues later on too, so I kept going and Dan and I headed on. Pat was doing her race but she was also having some hip issues. One of the things we found as a positive in the last 10 miles, the support tables with bananas and oranges. When that banana hit my stomach, oh how it felt so good, like instant energy, not even what a GU usually does. Dan and I finished the race side by side for I bet the last 6-8 miles. Around mile 20-21, I did start having some foot issues and it felt like a golf ball in the ball of my left foot and then over to my right foot. I kept saying to myself, "mind over matter...mind over matter". It helped and I'm thinking my shoes are a bit broken down and it's time for another pair to break in within the next 3 weeks to my next marathon. We crossed the finish line with our hands up and it never felt so good.
Our time was not so good, but that's okay, it was a TRAINING RUN!!! Woohoo!!!
Here we are at the finish line.....ahhhh, time for food! We all headed over to have our carbs and protein replenishment. We did find a positive, the food was awesome, chicken fajitas, veggie fajitas for me, hot dogs, pasta w/bread, Rahr beer, plenty of fruit.
I have to keep in mind that I ran a half marathon last Sunday and then turned around and ran a marathon this past weekend and now in just 3 weeks I will be running an actual marathon race! Woohoo!!!
So there you go, my training run report. I did it and I feel good. Today, my feet were sore this AM but now, just my legs and hips are a bit sore. Tomorrow and the next few days will bring instant karma for me as I ease into some slow, easy workouts.
Woohoo, 2 blogs in just 3 days, that's good for me. Thanks for all of your words of encouragement folks!