Race Report: Whidbey Island

Sunday morning I woke up at 5AM after getting a surprising six hours of sleep. This is big for me because usually the night before a marathon I lay awake anxious about the race until 1 or 2 AM. I chose my Nike knee length spandex, Nike tank with North face tech shirt (with thumb holes and a back pouch) for my race day attire b/c the forecast showed no rain and temps in the 40s. I fueled up with yogurt, a piece of toast, a banana and green tea. After applying body glide, putting on the Garmin and doing a few stretches, I was good to go.

The man friend and I were out the door and on our way to the shuttle buses before the sun made an appearance. When he dropped me off at the big yellow buses, it was still dark and chilly outside. The 20+ min bus ride out to the start at Deception Pass was great because the sun was just starting to rise and it was the perfect way to calm any race day nerves. We unloaded and I hopped in the porta pot line (which is always slow on race day no matter how few people are in your line). Then grabbed a garbage bag from a volunteer to help keep some heat in and walked around.

The race start was pretty casual. No National Anthem like I'm used to, no big announcement. Pretty much just a 5-4-3-2-1 min warning and then "ready, set, go!" The first few miles were absolutely gorgeous going over these huge bridges (Deception Pass) that overlook the water and trees and my feet were numb the whole way. My friends, mom and man friend were waiting for me around mile 7 just before the big mile long hill. It was great to see them, but hard to know I was just about to take on the first bit of hell.

My pace was great for probably the first 13 miles, it always is. At that, I could qualify for Boston if I were able to keep the pace for the remaining 13, but not so. My mom and bf were waiting again for me at miles 9, 13, 15 and 20. At 13 I yelled "aren't you sick of seeing me yet?!" to which my mom replied "no honey, we love you." Thanks mom.

Around mile 17 the course passed through the park where the finish is, just to taunt us that the hardest part was yet to come before we could actually cross that fabulous line. By mile 20 when my mom and the man friend had their last mid race sighting of me, I was feeling wiped. By mile 21, I couldn't believe I was going to have to turn around and go back up a mile long hill I had just ran down. And by mile 23, when my friend J (whom I ran track with in high school) joined me on the course to help me finish, I couldn't have been more relieved.

Those last three miles are killer. When she hopped in my breath started getting shallow and for a minute I was hyperventilating. But I pushed on and she helped by chattering at me as I said "uh huh. no. yes. fine." The last 1/2 mile was easy because I could see the finish and I love sprinting in. As I pulled together my last bit of strength, a girl I'd been switching places with all race said, "don't slow down! you've been pushing me the entire race." And this pic shows the determination in my eyes. It was one of the best comments (if not the best) I've received during a race. I finished in 3:55 and was just happy I finished under the 4 hr mark.

As for post race, a medal was slipped over my head and we were allowed to just roam the park. A bit different to the large marathons where marathoners are coralled into the finish so that spectators don't grab bagels and get too close. The post race fuel left much to be desired. Usually, I get a haul of good food to munch on. But this time, I took one look at plain bagels, apples, bananas and the sports drink and passed. I grabbed a water and walked around a bit and chatted with my posse. Here we are (minus mom and the man friend who were taking photos), both 1/2 marathoners, myself and two spectator friends.


JulyBug said…
That's an awesome time! Congrats!
Sassy Molassy said…
Hey, another Sassy Molassy! You can totally have the running thing, though.
Anonymous said…
That is probably one of the best comments you can get at the end of a marathon, go You!!! :)

Congrats, again!! Considering your ups and downs during the training, you did Amazing - I think thats an Awesome time!!
Sassy Molassy said…
Ok, didn't realize I was putting up such huge pics. Sorry about that!
Amber said…
Good job!! The pictures do make the race course look SO nice and I think that's an AWESOME time :-)

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