8 Weeks ago I ran Steamtown Marathon in hopes of getting a time that was good enough for me to qualify for Boston.
8 weeks ago I missed my goal by 95 seconds
95 seconds lit a fire under my ass and made me more determined than ever
6 weeks ago I convinced the people I love the most and that are my biggest supporters to travel to California with me
6 weeks ago I signed up for the California International Marathon and booked a flight
That means, following Steamtown I had 2 weeks of recovery, 4 weeks of hard HARD work and 2 more weeks of taper
5 of my favorite people, my family, and I flew to Sacramento
I didn’t blog about it because I wanted this race to be mine. I put extra pressure on myself when I blogged about Steamtown, and I didn’t want that this time. I am super happy with this decision because I didn’t feel the extra pressure come start time. Actually…. I was extremely relaxed about the entire thing.
The week leading up to the race I had some family stuff and the race didn’t seem as important. I told people that I felt indifferent about it. Then I got a look at the forecast for race day and the race that was supposed to be THE BIG ONE turned (in my head) into just adding another notch on my marathon belt.
People were tweeting and blogging and talking about the race day weather. Everything I read said to readjust my goals, to not try for big numbers if I am borderline to qualifying, that I will never make it. What was the race day weather? Oh just 35mph winds and 100% chance of rain….and not the drizzle kind of rain. The rain kind of rain. I decided to ignore the negativity and I was still going to give it my best shot. I was still going to leave it all out there.
Still… I wasn’t too stressed before the race. I got mentally prepared to get wet and run hard. That’s all I could do.
Since the weather was going to be a bit warmer, I decided on a hat, arm warmers and tech tee, shorts and compression socks. Good decisions all around.
The start was awful. I felt like Forrest Gump where the rain was coming up instead of down. I’m pretty sure that’s as close to the truth as I could get. I still felt strangely calm. I was just going to run. It was that simple.
I lined up at the start, found the 3:35 pacer, listened to all his tips about the course and decided I would stick with him the entire time. That’s what I did. I went through the highs and lows of running. I loved it, I hated it, I laughed and I cried. Basically, a crazy lady running. The rain was constant the entire time and the wind was on and off. It actually wasn’t horrible. Focusing on my form helped SO so much. Focusing on the goal, on what I wanted the clock to say as I crossed the finished….that’s all I thought about.
I ate 5 GU’s throughout the race. I stuck to the pacer and with the pack of runners. I tucked in the crowd during the windy parts, I splashed through puddles, I dodged people falling. It was a run unlike anything I had ever run before. The most important part though? Sticking to the pacer.
The last 2 miles of the race counted down city blocks from 57 to 7. I stuck with the pacer until block 27. At that point I gave it every last bit of what I had.
Wonkey arm and all, I was leaving it all out there
I rounded the corner to the finish and ran.my.ass.off.
My shirt is blurry but VERY appropriate for this run. “Rain, snow, sleet, wind. BRAVE THE RUN.”
I crossed the finish and found a seat and my family found me….
I started my watch a few seconds late but it’s close enough
Chip time: 3:34:17!!!!!!!!!!IM GOING TO BOSTON BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!
The rest of my families reaction when they realized the 22 weeks of super hard and super strict training I had been through was over?
All I can say is FUCK YEA! I worked hard for this. I got so close I could taste it. I put family, friends and boyfriend through hell the past 22 weeks of training. I was strict. I was dedicated. I did exactly what my coach told me. I prepared mentally and physically. I learned from mistakes at my last race and fueled right this time. I am still in shock. Just goes to show…if you want it bad enough, it might take time but you will get there…