Monday, June 28, 2010

Marathon Recap PART 2: Miles 16-26.61!

Ok so lets finish this like I finished my MARATHON! I realized there will not be near the amount of course pictures from the 2nd half since I didn't have my support crew/paparazzi following me on the Alaskan way viaduct.  But there are plenty at the end to make up for all that...probably more than you care for! Who am I kidding, we are bloggers, we love pictures!

On with the race...We went through our 2nd tunnel of the race which was right before a decent incline. For some reason running through the tunnel I felt great. I'm not sure it was because we were out of the elements or what because usually the tunnels kind of creep me out but it was playing in my favor this round. I was hoping to see Mel and Marlene before heading in, but no luck. We started the incline and then I decided to try for another bathroom break to see if I could find some kind of relief, but NOPE, NOTTA...nothing was going to make my stomach feel better. Just kept pushing up the hill until we got to the Aurora bridge. While running down at mile 18 I kept thinking about my runs on the Burke Gilman trail below this bridge and how on those runs I could hardly imagine what it would be like to be up there running my first marathon and here I was on top of the bridge doing it. The view is pretty amazing from this bridge. I saw Madison and other familiar faces that I had seen on the turn around before. It was our turn to turn around and head back. Kate looked at me and said "We are headed back to the finish line"...that was a great thought. I knew I was going to finish and with only 7 miles left it wasn't that far away. I was for sure feeling tired, but very determined. We made our way up the other side of the bridge and was excited when I saw the TNT gals, Hannah, Michele and Yvette! So easy to see in there green, shimmer skirts. Seeing your friends during the race is so nice. I have said that a few time, haven't I? I got a call from my dad right as we were coming up to the top of the bridge and they were ahead a little ways. Kept climbing the hill and I saw I guy walking up on the shoulder with a Rock'n'Roll Foil blanket, really buddy you finished and now you are walking and being all flashy with your stupid foil blanket...not what I wanted to see while I still had 6 miles to go. Keep you and foil blanket by the finish line please!!! RUDE. Maybe I was a little moody at that point.  I took a gummy bear hoping it would help a little and it just made my stomach cramp more, not so great. We were coming up to the next band and I saw my Dad and step-mom Beth which was great. I gave them both sweaty hugs and was excited that they wanted to run with me!
Here is a foggy pic! Sweaty phone camera I guess?

They ran with me for about a quarter of a mile.  So glad we got this great picture of us.  My dad and Beth were so excited.  Beth kept saying what a great pace I had for being so many miles in...Glad I could impress them, but I wasn't going fast at all, just fast for someone who doesn't run much.  That will always be a great memory being able to run with them for a few minutes during my first full marathon.  SWEET!  Onto the finish...

Got to go through the tunnel again and was sad to see the ambulance taking someone away...not a great sight, but a great reminder of how serious a marathon is and to never under estimate the distance and the toll it takes on your body.  I was excited to come through the tunnel and to know that was it for the tunnels and we only had a little ways to go, 5 miles I think?  One of the bands was already packing up, everyone supposed to BQ or what...stick around for us slower folks will ya?  No biggie, but don't make me feel any slower than I am.  We were coming up on Qwest field and I had always wondered what I would feel like since I had to pass the finish line and go out and back.  It was hard seeing the people turning the corner to finish and hearing all the cheers down below, but I was close...really close...only 4 more miles to go.  I got to see Steph with her sweet Sony camera/video which was great.  One of her pictures on her blog was not a great one of me, which is funny because I remember just smiling big time when I saw her.  She is a ton of fun.  Saw the turn around point up ahead but not before I saw Shelby coming up to mile 25 and she pointed at the 25 mile sign like "Look..I am almost there, almost done"...that was so exciting to see her just before her finish!  Then I saw Madison again...see how much fun it is seeing all these friends on the course, new friends.  Tried one more time at the bathrooms, but no use!  Kate refilled my water bottle with a little gateroade and water to see if that would help.  I just wanted to gulp the water, but knew that wasn't a great idea.  My stomach was feeling sick still and my body started to hurt a little.  I also got chafing at mile 23 in the least desirable places, lovely.  I was almost done so I tried not to think about it.  One lady came up behind me and said "Are you going to do this again?", um really you are going to ask a first time marathoner that at mile 23...don't ever do that.  That's like asking a mother giving birth while she is having an episitotomy if she is ready for another child!  Those are words that should never be asked toward the end of a marathon.  My comment was "Never say never" and I smiled.  I was not hating the marathon at all, I was hating my stomach feeling sick, but not the marathon.  I really thought that this could keep me from doing more marathons, but we will see...never say never.  Time to turn around and take one more hill at Mile 24 and then it was time to get to the FINISH line.  (tearing up)  Coming into sight of Qwest field was amazing.  I had done this short distance so many times and now I was closer than ever.  Kate and I kept looking at each other and smiling...we knew what we were thinking and didn't have to say was happening.  I got to see the Kansas City TNT gals one more time and then Steph right before I turned off the off-ramp!  I was coming down the ramp and saw my support crew/paparazzi and classic Andrea style ( she never sees me, even when I am right in front of's comical really) she didn't see me until I was right by her and then she came and gave me the biggest hug and was totally crying.  She knew what a HUGE deal this was for me, so even though I wasn't crying (like I am now writing this) she was crying for was so sweet...see below!  And Megs and Bec were taking tons of pictures.  They were AWESOME and captured some amazing moments.

I was done...almost done!  Oh my gosh!  My cousin spotted me on the viaduct as we were coming down...can you see me?
Can you see me...I am right behind the pink shirt. Kate is running next to me...
Here we are coming down...down to mile 26!
Me seeing my support crew...I love the next few pictures...they are so sweet!


Almost there...
I love this picture...just going into the chute....

As I turned this corner I couldn't believe how far the finish line was!  My friend, Diana at Done the Run was right there when we entered the chute.  (Race person was watching for shoe tags and almost pulled Kate off right before this picture, but we kept running)  Diana followed us down (outside of the chute) yelling my was so funny!  Thanks for all the cheers Diana!  Then I saw my family.  They were all lined up and cheering for me.  I saw my mom, Loren, Cole, Max, Jason, Railene, Natalie, Chase and my dad and Beth.  It was amazing being able to wave and see them as I was finishing.  It was better than I ever could have orchestrated. SWEET, SWEET picture that will always be in my mind of them lined up cheering with smiles on their faces as I crossed the FINISH line!

Seeing my family for the first time at the finish!  Priceless...My brother did a great job getting these shots!

Finishing my FIRST marathon.  A dream realized!

June 26, 2010
Miles: 26.61
Pace: 11:20
Time: 5:01
Calories: 3242

*Tomorrows post: Post race Pictures and thoughts!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marathon Recap - Miles 1-16

There is so much to say and I hope I don't miss anything.  I love what my friend, Julie at The Finish Line Diaries did...A week of Marathon Posts.  Great idea and I might need to follow suit.  Not sure I will be as organized but I also don't want you to be bored with a huge post.

So lets begin with RACE day since I know that's what most of us bloggers want to read about when someone has just ran a race!

Woke up at 4:17am, 3 minutes before the alarm was to go off.  I had slept great which was nice.  I love to sleep, if only there was a marathon for that.  I woke up feeling good and ready.  Got breakfast which consisted of a banana, 1/2 wheat bagel with PB and some coffee.   Took a warm shower, which I have to say is not normal for me to do, but I loved it.  Woke me up and got me going even more.  Tried to relax and think about the 26.2 miles ahead.  My dear friend Kate who was running the last half with me came over at 5am to give me a good luck hug.  Isn't she sweet.  She has ran 4 marathons and numerous half's and was a huge encouragement and support through this whole training process.  My sweet hubby woke up early to take me and my friends to the starting line.  First up was to pick up Jamie who is a local friend of mine and she was running her first half marathon and will be running her first FULL at this years Seattle Marathon!  Next up was Zoe (plus 1), Mel and Marlene.  Thank to Mel we had a shortcut to bypass the 28,000 people trying to get to the same place.  We got to the starting line with NO PROBLEM...Nicely done.

Good luck HUG from Kate!

Zoe, Mel, Marlene, Jamie and me

Next up was bathrooms.  Thanks to Brooks I got a VIP bathroom pass along with Mel and Marlene so we got to bypass the craziest lines I have EVER seen at a race for these great bathroom (it's all relative).  They had butlers walking around with silver trays that had gu chomps and mints.  The TP had the brooks logo...very classy.  Very much worth my BROOKS purchases (and Diana's...thanks DIANA) at the expo.  Highly recommend this if you have it available at your race.

Marlene and Mel enjoying VIP!

And me too...

After our VIP treatment we went over to meet up at Corral 6 for our bloggy meet-up.  We ran into our great blogger friends.  I was so excited to meet the Team in Training crew from Kansas.  Lucky for me they were in corral 18 with nice having friends to start with.  It was so nice to meet so many bloggers face to face.  That whole thing made this so much more fun!  Many of us were running this as our very first marathon which was also so exciting.  We were all pumped

Great group shot of some of us bloggers.  So much fun have a group of friend running the same race!

Julie, Ashley and me

Me and Steph

Lorian, Hannah and me

Made another quick bathroom stop and headed to Corral 18 to get ready to go.  It was so sweet that a few of my bloggy friends came up to me before they left for their corral and wished me luck and gave me a sweet.  Thanks you guys!  I found my TNT gals in corral 18! Luckily they saw me or I think I would have missed them.  We were all so pumped.  It was great chatting with them as we were moving to the starting line.  It was great that they were about my pace so figured I could run with them for part of the race.  Always nice to run with others.  We were yelling, hooting and hollering...we were READY!

The corrals in front of us!

Corral 18 in the HOUSE!
Hannah, Michele Madison, Stephanie and Yvette

Behind us...that is alooootttt of People!

Here we go...That is the starting line!

Mile 1-15
And we were off!  I was so excited!  It started off kind of slow and there seemed to be so many more people than last year.  Madison and I were running the same pace so we started running together.  I was going to do the run/walk like I had trained in my long runs but was really looking forward to running with a new friend too. We were going at a very decent pace and before we knew it...mile 1 had come and gone.  It was so much fun because a gal yelled and said, "Hey Jill...I read your blog".  I had a bib made by Races2Remember that had my name and blog address and it also said FIRST MARATHON!  You kind of forget about it until people yell something. I loved it.  I ended up seeing her through out the race and later found out her name is Shelby...So shout out to SHELBY at Run Towards Him - Isaiah was great seeing you on the course.  She did a great job!   It was time to meet up with my support crew...we moved to the left and got to run into fun seeing friends and family.

Andrea, Megs and Bec...Best support crew around!

High-Five's ROCK

Feeling good!
Madison and I...running our FIRST MARATHON!  Can I get a WOOT-WOOT!

The next few miles seemed to fly by.  We were on our first hill and I saw a GREAT sign that said "Enjoy your VICTORY LAP"..I loved that sign because I had heard that from my friend Kerrie and looked up and it was Kerrie holding the sign...NICE!  I wold have been so sad if I had missed her.  Kerrie has become a running buddy of mine so even though she couldn't run this was great having her as a VERY supportive spectator!  THANKS KERRIE...You ROCK!  Because your running and it's so easy to miss people...I would start CLAPPING whenever I saw someone I knew to get there probably looked really silly but it was my first instinct.  So I would clap and yell.

Mile 3.7 (I think...) Feeling good!

We had a few more hills to go up and then it was down to the most beautiful part of the course.  We got to run along side the water with a great view.  The weather could not have been better.  It was overcast and in the high 60's...perfect.  Madison was running with Team in Training, which is an AMAZING group.  I have thought about doing a race with them because of the amazing stories I hear from people who have ran for them.  The support they have is unreal and every time you see a coach from TNT they would yell...GO MADISON...and they would do that to every TNT person and then each of the TNT runners would yell "Go Team" and there are a lot of them out there.  It was exciting to run with Madison and experience what a TNT runner get to experience.  Had our first bathroom stop at mile 6 because we thought there wasn't a line...wrong, but figured we had stopped might as well use the the time.  Got back on course quickly and we were keeping a very steady pace.  Ran into Diana's husband, James.  It was so funny because I did my yell/clap/yell and said "HI JAMES" and after I said that all the gals running around us yelled "HI James" It was cute and sweet.  So fun seeing people on the course.  Last year I didn't see anyone I knew so this was a wonderful change. We got to see my brother, Jason and his family around mile 8!  Thank you Jason for wearing a BRIGHT yellow shirt.  I saw him first and was so excited to see him.

My cute niece, Natalie!

Helllloooo FAMILY!  So good seeing you!

It was onto the I-90 bridge at this point and up a short, steep hill.  This was the first place that the half and full marathoners split.  They headed into the city while we headed onto i-90 bridge.  I had taken a gu a few miles back and was feeling good.  Trying to get so many people up a very small held made it hard to keep the momentum but both Madison and I made it up the hill and at the top ran into Mel and Marlene who had just finished the bridge, It was crazy, perfect timing.  Madison had her camera with her and has a ton of pictures that will have to come at  another time.  She got a great picture of this reunion..can't wait to see it.  This is where the race would get mental because you could see 2 miles ahead of you and there was a turn-around point so you saw all these people ahead of you.  It was awesome to run on I-90 bridge, but it was so mental so I just focused on people watching so I didn't have to think about how far I had to go.  Being able to see how far is no fun.  We got to the turn around point and headed back...nice.  As we were coming up to the tunnel I told Madison I had to start my run/walk.  I usually start this at mile 3-5 so I was really off my plan.  I felt bad having to let Madison run ahead on her own but she really wanted to run the whole way so we said goodbye but I knew I would see her on the course.  It was fun running with a new friend and getting to know her.  Great memories. 

I was hoping to see Diana from Done the Run.  We were really hoping somehow the timing would workout that we would both come into the tunnel together and run the rest of the way until we had to split up.  I looked and hoped but I never saw her.  This is when my stomach started cramping which worried me a little bit because it was only mile 12 and I still had a long way to go.  I stopped at the bathroom hoping that would give me some relief, but no.  Just wasted time!  Shoot.  I was heading into the city and I knew my support crew would be there with food and I was hoping that would help.  I started getting a little down at this point and couldn't believe how early that it was happening. The hard part is that I felt GREAT, my legs where feeling strong, I had no leg or hip pain.  The only problem was my stomach.  I came off the off-ramp and ran into my friends.  Had a drink of Gatorade, switched out my water bottles, had some pretzels and oranges. Hoping that would help my stomach.  Don't you love my sweatyband?  That thing didn't move at all during my marathon.  I'm SOLD on those things...they are the BEST!

Even with a crampy stomach...the oranges tasted great!


See you all on the other side...12.5 miles to GO! 

Since you might be tired of seeing pictures of me and my orange shirt...check out the crowds at the finish line.  Majority of the runners, 24,000 of the 28,000 runners are HALF MARATHONERS.  So the finish line is very crowded at this point. a lot of peep's!

Next up was to meet my dear friend Kate who would run the last half with me.  I wouldn't say I was hitting a wall, but I was not feeling great and I still had a way to go.  The good part was that I was over halfway and I just had to suck it up and push myself.  I was so excited to see Kate.  Right after I saw her I ran into my brother and his family GREAT! 

Mile 14.5 or so...Kate and I

We were getting ready to run onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct and some race officials were checking for the shoe tags, which Kate didn't have and they were pulling people off the course but luckily we got by them...whewww...Not sure what I would have done if they had pulled Kate off.  We were headed out to another tunnel and the bridge with the biggest hill on the course.  My stomach was not doing well!

This is getting way longer than I thought.  Tomorrow I will continue...Miles 16-26.61

Rock and Roll Seattle, Anyone...Anyone!

Where do you even start this?  I can't write much but if you are like me you want something.  Am I right? 

What you can know is that I finished.  I have pictures posted on facebook and if you aren't already my FB friend...well then it's time because you want to see the pictures, right?  Right! 

The race went GREAT for the most part.  I dealt with my usual stomach issues/cramps earlier than usual, which made it a little more difficult the last half, but I DID it.  My goal was to come in under 5 hours. My final time was 5:01:44, but I did run 26.61. If you would all refer to me as an "ULTRA MARATHONER" now...I would sure appreciate it. Ok, so that probably isn't fair but it's a great feeling to say MARATHONER! 

Can't wait to tell you more about it. I have a ton of picture.  It was a wonderful day of meeting so many of you, which honestly was a MAJOR highlight.  Seeing my friends and family support me all over the course was amazing and I even got to run with my dad and step-mom...pretty cool day.  I can't believe I am done with my first marathon.  I am ready to have my life back and relax for a week.  I am already signed up for 2 races so I will be training for those.  Time to try and sleep, it's been a long day.

CONGRATS to everyone who ran in the RocknRoll was a GREAT day!  (Going to post a few pictures, but no links or names...I am sleepy, but I love pictures in my posts)

Friday, June 25, 2010

EXPO Time = Excitement & $$$

Bloggy meet-up for a few of us.  Diana, Mel, Me and Amanda

I was so ready to go to the expo!  Last year I had no experience at race expos which meant I didn't know what to expect.  This year was a totally different ball game.  I had friends to meet, souvenirs to purchase, skirts to try on and free samples of energy bars.  I was STOKED.  Thanks to Mel I found out there was a Mariners game at the exact time we were planning on going.  I called Diana and we re-arranged our EXPO visitation time.  I didn't like the idea of paying $30 for parking, I hate paying for parking.  We went a little later but it ended up working perfectly and not just because we got street parking for $5, but because Mel and Amanda got there when we did...perfect.  It's always great meeting fellow bloggers and I was thrilled to meet Amanda and her husband who are visiting Seattle for the first time.  It was exciting to pick up my YELLOW bib which shows that I am a FULL MARATHONER!  Booya!  I learned from last year to order a SMALL shirt but it was still too big...guess you can't learn everything in one year...XS next year.  And I am no where near an XS, but thank you shirt makers for making me feel XS...after all we always say running is mental!

How I missed this photo op last year...I have no idea!  Lesson learned this year!
Yah I guess you can tell I am a little excited!

Go, Diana Go!

Moved onto the Brooks area and scoped out prizes (bumper sticker), clothes which I was for sure going to buy since this is my FIRST MARATHON.  I didn't buy anything last year, but made up for that on this visit.  Got to talk to a great gal who works for Brooks, which was so great...she gave me some great advice for my marathon that I would never have thought of.  We had limited time so we had to rush through the rest of the booths.  I made it to the RunningSkirts booth and was so happy to see Cindy and Christy (totally regretted not getting a pic...shoot).  I had to exchange my skirts since they didn't agree with my hips.  I guess the skirts with the compression shorts look better on my hippy body!  Thank goodness for options.  I would love to RAVE on and on about this company and I have only owned there products for a week.  Amazing customer service, AMAZING products...I Love them!  I got the cutest PINK polka dotted skirt...LOVE IT.  Can't wait to get more of their GREAT products.  THANK YOU RUNNINGSKIRTS.COM!  You rock! 

Got some GREAT things at the expo that I have wanted for a long time and I can't wait to try them all out.  A few of them I will be using on marathon day. 

To be honest I was a little worried that the expo might make me more nervous than excited but as soon as we saw the staging for the finish line activities and people walking around with expo bags, I was way more excited and really not nervous.  Just walking through the area where the finish line is and the family meeting area...I was thinking about how the next time I will be there is when I'm a MARATHONER (here I go getting emotional)!  DID you guys get emotional like this?  Or am I a strange one? 

What gets me excited is how you can inspire people through the simple things.  The goals I make can actually inspire others to do something great too, which is so rewarding.  God is GREAT in how he works through all of us and running has been such a testimony of his GREAT love for me.  Allowing me to overcome my fear of running long distances, to set a goal and go after it, to have the support of friends and family and so many other things.  My faith has grown and my dependence on Christ, during this journey has been great because of my need for him for so many of those miles. 

Time to run on outta here...

I have so many other thoughts...but again...writers block.  Next up: water, carbs, water, protein, water, Bloggy meet-up for dinner, water, sleep, water, an early wake-up call and then it's off to the STARTING LINE of a LIFE LONG DREAM!  Can't wait...SO EXCITED!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I ventured out for my last long run, late last night.  It was a warm day here in Tacoma and I was hoping it would be a bit cooler in the evening.  I decided to run naked...ok I had my running clothes on, but no GARMIN!  Yah, that's right I left the detailed, info maniac at home.  I wanted to just run, run for the joy of it for my last training run.  It was a FABULOUS last run.  The sun was setting, my legs felt great, the view of Tacoma was breathtaking oh and I was closing up shop on 6 months of training...can I get a "Woot, Woot"!

I went 3-4 miles, ran that in about....oh it doesn't matter!  Well I think it was 30 minutes or so.  Who knows...I didn't have a watch! 

Next up...EXPO TIME!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MARATHON WEEK! Are you there?

Who is EXCITED for Seattle Rock 'n Roll Marathon?  I am, I am! 

I can't believe it's already here.  Whats interesting (and I'm thankful for it) is that as MARATHON day gets nearer, I am getting less nervous and way more excited.  Nerves can really mess with you when things are so far in the future.  Time allows you to play things out in your head, worry, let your negativity get the best of you, question your ability too many times over.  As my marathon day gets closer I know it's going to happen and the reality is really starting to settle in!  I am READY, I am confident that I will cross that finish line, so Seattle Rock 'n Roll BRING IT ON!

Some of the things I am looking forward to:
  • Blogger Meet Up Dinner
  • The Expo
  • The starting line and seeing 28,000 people in one area
  • My Victory Lap
  • To bring closure to this LIFE CHANGING journey.
  • The AMAZING views of SEATTLE
  • Running with other runners
  • Seeing my friends/support crew at the halfway point
  • My dear friend running with me for the last half
  • The energy from 28,000 runners
  • The sun that WILL be shining, but the few clouds that will give me shade (PLEASE GOD)
  • To FULFILL A lifelong DREAM!
  • To finish and see my FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
  • To sport my Foil blanket after I finish...nothing says Marathoner like a Foil Blanket
  • To be able to focus on something other than my marathon (it has kind of consumed my life or at least my mind)
  • To continue to INSPIRE others.
  • To think about my NEXT Marathon...
I got my FIRST Sweaty Band and I am sporting that cuteness in my picture.  Don't you love it?  I see more of these in my future.

Today will be my last training run.  Can you believe that?  I can't. Time to relax, sleep and eat some carbs. 

Thanks for all of your great advice and support.  The community through Bloggy World is way more than I ever expected.  I started this blog to journal this journey to my first marathon and never expected that I would find such great friendships.  Part of my excitement for this weekend is meeting some of you.  I hope to meet more of you in the future. 

Running becomes way more than you ever expect and I'm VERY grateful for that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Marathon thoughts from me and Tips from YOU!

Some thoughts about my MARATHON:
(I had way more of these the other day...I hate writers block)
  • The forecast says rain.  Not all bad because I don't want it to be HOT, but a lot can change in a week.
  • Salt tablets?  Never used them? Would they help with my stomach issues?
  • Pretzels, power bar, oranges?  Are those good choices to eat on the RUN?
  • Oh my gosh it's a week away.
  • I need to EAT right this week!
  • Should I wear my socks that say 26.2 (ankle high, higher than I usually wear) or my fave Road Runner Drymax (shoes line)?
  • Holy crap...I'm running 26.2 miles next Saturday.
  • Will I have to go to the bathroom?
  • Happy my mom is coming Wednesday so I can rest a little more.
  • I'm so glad I can keep talking about my marathon and you are all OK with it and not sick of me talking about it.  Oh thank goodness for bloggy land.
  • Can't wait to meet all of the BLOGGY Friends coming out next week.  I will be so sad if I miss ONE of you so please make sure we MEET, PLEASE!
  • Looking forward to seeing my family and friends at the finish line.

I'm ready to read all the advice you have for me!

I am excited and nervous, but HOW could I not be, right?  Ok folks...I want all the info you have.  Really lay it on me HARD...I want your best advice on what worked for you and what didn't.  What you loved and what you hated about your own 26.2 miles.  Highlights, lows...  Maybe share a tip of what you would tell any FIRST TIME MARATHONER to help them through there first 26.2 miles.   Anything and ALL info is welcome...I don't care if it's about the strange places you put your body glide, the odd cocktails that hydrate you, or just some fun things that made your first marathon unforgettable.  I love advice and want to hear it.  Maybe even some GREAT food you ate the week leading up to your marathon?  Anything about your prep leading up to race day.  Any and all...I will take it!
The Good, the Bad...the ugly!  Dish it!
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