One of the main reasons I write a blog is to journalize things that I want to remember. This week's marathon, my first one, was definitely a significant event in my life so indulge me while I break up this recap of the experience into multiple posts to record every detail that I can remember.
The Day Before the Race
A few weeks ago, while I was working out at the gym, my friend Yvette came up to me and asked me who was going to be with me on marathon day. Having run several marathons herself, she knew that it would be impossible for me to be alone, especially after the race. I didn't have any plans so she asked if she could come with me. Of course I said, YES! The plan was for her to run the 10K, then meet up with me for the last couple of miles of the full.
We were instructed to pick up our race packets on Saturday at the race site, which is about an hour north of us.
I picked up Yvette and we made the drive through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge and up to McNear's Beach Park in San Rafael. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky! It was also warm which told me that race day would be hot.
The "expo" was a tiny area on the grass near the water. There was a handful of vendor tents set up including my friends from Greenlight Apparel.
We knew we'd catch traffic in the City on the way home so we didn't stay long. We drove back, had some sushi for lunch, then I dropped Yvette off and went home to rest and pack all the items I'd need for race day. I packed my bag of extra clothes to change into as well as a cooler of drinks, bagels and fruit. I knew I'd finish towards the end of the race and I wanted to be prepared in case they'd run out of these things (like they did at the race I ran in Arizona).
Later that evening I picked up my usual pre-long run meal from the Crepevine - a salmon / spinach crepe.
It came with diced potatoes, but I was advised to have some quinoa which is what I ate instead of the potatoes. I picked up a second order of the same dish so I'd have something to eat at home after the race. I knew I wouldn't be in any shape to cook so I tried to stock up on what I thought I'd need beforehand (bananas, bagels, Gatorade, stuff for chocolate milk smoothies, etc).
Yvette was picking me up at 5:30 am so I set my alarm for 4 am. This meant that I had to turn in no later than 9 pm.
As I laid in bed, I really tried to calm my mind. All week I'd been a nervous basket case. I'd left work on Friday thinking, "the next time I'm back in the office, it will all be over." I'd been thinking this way all weekend in anticipation of race day, and finally it was here. It was almost as if my stomach couldn't take it; I was really on edge.
Earlier that evening someone mentioned to me that 26.2 miles is like the distance between San Mateo and Oakland. I tried not to think of it like that. I couldn't think of it like that. If I did, I'd think it was impossible. Instead, I thought of ways of how I could break it down to seem more attainable - four 10K's + 2.2 miles. Two half's. Any combination that didn't sound like 26.2 miles. I also tried to visualize the race, mile-by-mile. I thought about all the training runs that I'd done and made mental notes to myself as to how I wanted to approach the race.
I don't know how I managed it, but I eventually fell asleep about an hour later. The last thought I remember having was, "Its going to be a tough day, but by this time tomorrow, you'll be a marathoner."
I just didn't anticipate other extenuating conditions that came into play. Tomorrow I'll recap race day.