Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seattle... The Marathon Part

The Seattle marathon was a tough one for me. There were so many differences between this run and the San Diego marathon. The weather, the scenery, the people. There were hills... lots of them and one in particular around mile 18 that just killed me. The one below is a picture of a small out and back incline around mile 9. Not bad... but this was also when my iPhone decided to stop playing my music properly. 
It was brutal... I do not like to run without music... in fact... running a marathon without good music is torture to me.

Running 26.2 miles is tough enough.

 The other difficult thing I learned is that you don't actually run 26.2 miles.

When I ran my training run at home I did 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 53 minutes. I was ecstatic having broken the 6 hour time because that is the time limit for the SF marathon coming up this weekend.

When you run in an official marathon though the actual distance is close to 27 miles... maybe even more because you serpentine and weave through people so much that you add distance.

And let me just say.... at that point running an extra mile could be a difference of 10-20 minutes. When you are crawling to the finish line... that extra mile is KILLER.

For the past two marathons I have gotten to a point where I realized that I wasn't going to break the 6 hour mark and I just completely ran out of gas. 

My time for the Seattle marathon was horrible.... 6 hours 19 minutes. 
Participant Detail
Finished In:
Andrea Voci
San Francisco, CA
Age: 26 | Gender: F
Overall: 3391 out of 3529 · Division: 362 out of 379 · Gender: 1551 out of 1645
Pace5 Km10 Km9 MileHalf30 Km24 MileChipTimeClockTime

The steep inclines, the loss of music, the lack of people there to run with me and cheer me on.... it just worked against me. The beautiful race course and the wonderful weather conditions just couldn't make up for it. Seattle was tough.... and in many ways I think there was a point where I realized something that day. I realized that I was not made for this.
 I am not a marathoner. 
I love running. 
I love half marathons. 
I love trail running and all that it entails. 
I am surely not a marathoner.... I am simply a runner.
And you know what? I am so okay with that.

There were parts of the Seattle race that I enjoyed and I am still glad I did it. I am proud that I finished.
I got to run with a group of folks from "Run to Remember"
A pack of men and women who run in remembrance of those who have been lost at war.
Many of them women who have lost their husbands in Iraq and Afghanistan. Runner's World did an article about them earlier this year and I could not wait to cheer them on during the race.
In many ways they inspired me that day and I felt myself welling up with such emotion as I ran past the row of flags and pictures of fallen soldiers that day. Each flag bearer a friend or family member of a fallen soldier.

A few paces further and there was a group of army and marine soldiers passing us water and cytomax.
It was an honor to be served by them that day and it made me proud to be a VA nurse too. 
This upcoming weekend I have the SF marathon scheduled. As of right now I have made a mental decision to allow myself to drop down to the half marathon course. I am preparing for the full in case I wake up that morning and feel like I can tackle the full 27 miles.

We shall see....
No matter what happens though... I can always say, "I ran two full marathons in 20 days!" Not quite enough to make marathon maniac status.... but definitely enough to be proud of. 
:) Marathon #2 is on the books.

1 comment :

  1. Congratulations on finishing the marathon. That is an amazing accomplishment, and it takes a lot of inner strength to push through and complete it. Wow! Best of luck on the upcoming race in SF!