Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Part Two – Twin Cities Marathon, October 5, 2008

I registered for this marathon in April, I had decided it was the race last fall, maybe…so this has been a long, long time in coming! (flowers from my dad and mom to celebrate)

I was at the expo on Friday to allow rest on Saturday, skipped Salazar even though I really wanted to see him…but rest was more important. Bought a necklace that says 26.2 on it and am kicking myself for not getting back and getting the shirt from One More Mile that said “Some Girls Chase Boys, I Pass Them” on it. Saturday took my mom around the course to find spots for me to watch for them (my dad, mom, sister and brother) and then went to dinner at my favorite restaurant with a lot of friends (17 of us total I think).
Got home, got my stuff together after dinner and I actually slept fairly well on Saturday night (in fact I didn’t want to get out of bed Sunday morning). I had slept well on Friday too. My stuff was mostly together, I got out of bed, had a breakfast of a scrambled egg, 2 slices of toast and a banana. Took some Gatorade and headed to my sister’s where I was meeting my parents. Got there and realized I had forgotten my recovery drink and champagne but oh well. Forecast had chance for showers (and it had in fact already rained) but it was 51 degrees. I was in shorts, a short sleeved top and tube socks for sleeves, and a long sleeved top to throw away. Met my parents and we drove and parked downtown, got on the train and took it to the Dome. I was there about 7:20, a bit later than planned but oh well. Got there and found my training group and another friend that I had talked to. Went to the bathroom and then it was time to head out to the start. I was in Corral I, got into the start area just as the wheelers took off then 10 more minutes and off we went…I saw mom and dad right after the start but they didn’t see me and then I got focused on running slower to start (that didn’t happen unfortunately and I probably partly paid for that in the end, there was one 7:40 mile in there, yikes) and running the tangents and telling myself all kinds of good pep talk advice. At the first water stop, about 2.5 miles, I saw my academic advisor (heard her actually) yelling for me. Considering I’ve met her twice I was shocked she spotted me. I saw Alan Page (former Viking and current MN Supreme court justice) playing his tuba just past the water stop and then just on and focused. A light rain started then, but it was fine, nothing too bad and the crowds were out anyway and cheering great.

Mile 7.5 or so, just coming around Lake Harriet and heading up to the parkway and a few miles before I was set to see my parents and a good friend, it opened up and poured…climbing the hills you had water streaming over your shoes and no way to keep the feet dry. My gloves were soaked but I’m glad I had kept them and kept them on. I kept moving and by maybe 11.5 it was slowing down. I unfortunately didn’t see my friend or parents (later found out my parents had been delayed and hadn’t made it to that spot, but my friend did see me I just didn’t see or hear her).
By around mile 11-12 my legs were feeling “off”. I wasn’t sure what was wrong so took more sport beans and sharkies thinking I might be low on fuel. Running around Lake Nokomis was cold, even with the rain now died down, but there was some wind factor. Hit the half and then another few miles and noticed that my left quad was feeling very tight. I tried some more beans etc as I went on but just was focused on moving. Mile 17 it was definitely a problem, but what do you do? I just kept moving…made it over the bridge to St Paul and looked for my parents at the next spot between 20 and 21 but didn’t see them there either. This is where it was getting mentally tough. I started looking, thinking I could do 10 minute miles and still make it, thought about why I was doing this, and talking myself out of it...I reminded myself though, my dad was there, I told him I was going to get it for him, and I didn't want to HAVE to train that hard again unless I wanted I Climbed the hill to St Thomas and that hurt…by the time I got to the top I wasn’t sure what I had left and I knew there was a gradual climb up Summit. It hadn’t hurt before, but it did then…Luckily I got a boost as my friend called out my name and I heard her this time and waved and went on…I had run this entire time but decided in the interest of getting more in me, I should walk through the next water stops, so mile 22, 23, and 24 I walked through, along with just a little walk up part of one other hill…mile 24 I also took a gel and I don’t know if it was that or the fact that there was somewhat of a downhill, but my legs came back somewhat and I was able to pick my pace back up from the 9 minute miles I was at to the sub 8:30 I had been at. I saw a girl from my training group and caught her just before mile 26, on the downhill, and I said “hey Jennie, we’re going to Boston” and she couldn’t believe it (she hadn’t worn a watch). I heard one of our coaches yell out “Boston” and smiled at him and the coast downhill was great. Just before the bleachers I heard massive screaming of “You can do it Dani, you’re almost there, you have it” and I recognized my sister’s voice, turned my head and looked then looked back at the finish and it clicked on which one in the crowd she was…I crossed the finish and for some reason the official clock wasn’t going but I knew it hadn’t taken me more than a few seconds to cross the start and my watch said 3:37 and some odd seconds so I knew it was good. I got my medal, told the woman I had qualified for Boston and she said that deserved a hug and gave me one. Wandered down and got a banana, space blanket, finishers shirt, water powerade and chip removed…all with Jennie, Pete and Kevin who were all in our training group and finished right around the same time as us. I got a quick finisher’s picture and then headed out of the secure area. I was waiting for the tears to fall, but I think I was too dehydrated to cry. I walked toward the family meet area and my brother and sister were there and both gave me hugs (even though I was wet and gross) and my parents walked up just after that and gave me a hug, dad apologizing that they hadn’t seen me finish, they had had trouble getting parked and just hadn’t gotten there…had they followed my brother and sister it might have worked out (they were in separate cars to, which hadn’t been part of the original plan but I found out later there was some hassle with getting around, should’ve made mom drive so she knew better!!). Talked to MNFirefly and FullMetalLunchBox and got my official finish time of 3:37:52 from them and then headed to the post party tent. Talked to the friend that had been cheering me on and gave her my official finish time….sent texts to a few people and checked on a few others and we were off.
My brother had done some landscaping in the area so we went and looked at that then I called my grandma’s and we headed back to the truck…a long, long walk, back up the hill, but oh well. Dad and I just walked really slowly behind my mom and sister. It was a challenge to cross the marathon course, but did it and off to home…where I had mom stop along the way at my place so I could get a bottle of champagne, well, Fragalino, a great Italian sweet, sparkling wine that tastes like strawberries…I’d been saving it for a special occasion and thought this was special. Took a warm shower and then sat in my sister’s hot tub for a bit before going and grabbing food. I wanted to meet up with some of the friends in town, but by the time I could’ve gotten there it was just getting late, so I headed home, stopped by the party my training group was having, had cake, talked to others and found that all 4 girls I had been running with all summer had qualified for Boston so that was very cool.

Now it’s recovery time. I took the day off work yesterday and didn’t run. I’m going to attempt 3-4 tonight (even though it’s raining!) and clean and study tonight…I’ll recover this week, maybe do a half in a couple of weeks but then I’m working on getting my Boston plans together. I’m just so excited at the fact that I can go to Boston’s website and actually register…and they will let me because I have a time that they can verify lets me in…I’m just floored on this one still!!
Thanks to all for the support through the training too. I had some low times, I had some tough times and I had good things happen…you’ve all been there and it’s awesome to have the support all over. Thank you!!


L said...

Congrats, again! I loved reading about it!

Anonymous said...

So awesome! I can't believe how much your times have improved from your first marathons. Maybe there's hope for me to get faster than I thought I could be. :)

I am so proud of you. You worked your butt off and deserve that BQ. Boston, here you come! :)

Runner Leana said...

I am so happy for you! After all of your frustrations with your heel, this is fantastic. I really liked your previous post about how if you work towards it, you can get to Boston. I think I'm still a long ways away from qualifying, but it is true that you can improve your pace with time, you just have to be willing to put the work towars it.

Anyhow, what a terrific race in the rain. Great job on achieving your goal!!!!

Runner Leana said...

Oh, by the way, I tagged you! If you want to play along check out my blog for the details.

Dori said...

What a great race report, Danielle. I'm so familiar with that course that it was easy to follow along. Twin Cities is a tough course and I'm so impressed that you BQd on it. I used to look for Judge Paige when I ran TCM--all he knows how to play is "Whistle While You Work." My old neighborhood is between miles 2 and 3.

Enjoy your recovery--you really deserve it! :-)

Firefly's Running said...

Congrads, Danielle!

mg said...

Congratulations on a well run race! I hadn't realized that the weather was so cruddy, so that just adds to the impressiveness. You've worked so hard these last couple of years and I couldn't be more happy that you got your BQ. Good luck with the Boston training!