That's right ladies and gentlemen, Tina and I finished all 26.2 miles of the 2006 Nike Women's Marathon. It wasn't fast or pretty or easy, but we did it. And we have the bling to prove it. :-)
It was quite a bit warmer than last year, which isn't really a good thing where running is concerned. The run itself is draining enough without adding sun and heat on top of it.
We started our run at about 7:08. Yes, it took us about 8 minutes to reach the start line once the 'official' time started. The guys saw us into the corral and then took off for some breakfast. Lucky lucky.
The first few miles were pretty crowded, lots of weaving around people, slowing down, speeding up, etc. By the time we hit the big hill at mile 6, it had thinned out a little. We ran right up that hill. Hill, what hill? We were slightly ahead of pace for the first half where we spotted some porta-potties that weren't busy and made a pit stop. Still doing pretty well. Then we hit the 2 miles worth of gradual uphill that winds through Golden Gate Park. That sapped our energy a bit.
We saw the guys again at mile 15 and I grabbed some M&Ms. Little known fact: M&Ms may not melt in your hand, but they will melt in a sweaty pocket. The candy coating was soon trickling down my leg. Ewwwww.
Somehow the guys made it out to mile 19.5, just as we were starting around the lake. We begged for rides home to no avail. Our pleas fell on deaf ears. I felt pretty good for the next couple of miles, but then I lost it. I wanted to cry and just stop running. I think they call it ....... THE WALL. I tried some Gu, I tried Sport Beans, I tried anything I could think of. In the end I had to keep telling myself to just get it over with. Soon it would be over, soon it would be over. We spotted the guys again just after the lake and they could tell we weren't doing so great, but tried to encourage us.
In the end, we just did the damn thing, as Coach Al would say.
How did my hip hold up you ask? Well, a bad sign was that it started aching around mile 2. Yes, mile 2. It was tolerable if I kept moving, but stopping to grab the water at the aid stations it really ached. Oh, and the downhills were torture. Just bad. Did I mention that I have a sinus infection too? Yeah, not the best run, but WE DID IT!
26.2 miles in 5:40. 2 minutes faster than last year, even with the health issues. :-)