the day before the marathon, my friend and i went to the marathon expo to pick up our race bibs and have our photo taken by the wall (above)...uncomfortable smile as everyone is watching you as they wait their turn.
it was a typical race day morning...up at 2am, hydrating with nuun + breakfast. we made it down to the starting line with enough time to use the bathroom (twice) and meet up with other friends for a before photo.
the weather was expected to be very windy. add to that the unexpected rain, and it was a cold and wet experience. not complaining, though; i'll take wet clothes and sloshy shoes over the hot sun any day.
photo: honolulu marathon FB page
with 22,000+ runners it was crazy crowded, but exciting. there was a nice fireworks show followed by the starting gun. we shuffled like cattle through the staging areas until we reached the start line and then it opened up enough for a slow jog.
muscle cramps are always my main concern, so the game plan was to take enough walk breaks early on and throughout the course.
mile nine and running with the masses.
the first 12 miles went smoothly. you are running with the masses the entire time, so it was easy to keep a slower pace if you wanted to.
by the time i hit the 10-mile stretch of flat highway, the rain was much heavier, and my shoes and socks were soaked. my feet were starting to feel uncomfortable, and all i could think about was the potential blisters i would have afterwards. luckily, my sister and her family came out to see me and brought a pair of socks. sitting for just 30 seconds was a nice reprieve. i felt refreshed with a dry pair of socks and took off for the last 10 miles.
swapping socks at mile 17.
around mile 19, my legs and left knee were starting to feel the effects of all the flat road running. it was painful to run, and just as painful to walk. my body reminded me that this was the longest distance i had run in my training, and by mile 22, i hit the wall. i wasn't physically exhausted. i still had gas in the tank. but my legs were done. i did the most walking here, and it was mind over body (and a lot of praying!) at this point convincing myself that i was only a few miles away from the finish....that in less than 45 minutes, the marathon and all the training i put myself through would be done.
the final three miles over the big diamond head hill were a welcomed change for my muscles. i did shorter run/walk intervals the next couple of miles and put all my energy into running the final mile to the end.
hearing my name announced as i came in and the last beep as i passed over the final timing mat was such a huge relief.
i did it. my first marathon in the books.
official time: 06:11:36
overall, i was happy with my time. i estimated 6-1/2-7 hrs, so 6:11 was awesome. i ended up making one bathroom stop around mile 20 and swapped out my socks at mile 17, which probably cost me 5-8 minutes.
race gear: adidas top; roxy siren top ; fabletics running shorts; new balance 890 v4 shoes, nike dri-fit hat
race fuel: honey stinger gold energy gel (brought 6, used 5)
the good: excellent water stations and volunteers, the cool weather, the hills, no muscle cramps, the amazing spectators along the way who passed out treats to the runners.
the bad: the rain (wet shoes and socks), sore knee, my music playlist was on the worst loop (300+ songs and i swear it kept playing the same 10 fricken songs over and over), many miles of flat running.
in the days following: i took an ice bath and threw on my compression socks for the rest of the day. i was already sore and knew the next day would be worse. the next morning, every inch of my body was in pain, and i could barely walk on my left knee. but by the third day i was feeling great and almost considered jumping on the treadmill. haha, i didn't.
what's next? a little break for the holidays!