Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Big Day !!!

Sorry I wasn't able to blog while I was in Greece, I couldn't figure out how to get the computer to type english on the blogsite ..lol !!! I arrived home on Saturday and I am really trying to get back to routine with the time difference. I think this part is harder than the marathon was ..lol

Well it was an experience for sure. The day started at 4:45am. We boarded the buses and took the one hour drive to the start line in Marathon. Our race started at 9:20 am. Over 12,000 people lined up to start the marathon, we started in blocks, so the elite runners started right 9:00, I'm sure they were finished before I even hit the 10k mark..lol After listening to people that have run this course in previous years I decided to take their advice and not go hard and fast (well as fast as I go anyway..lol) off the start, so I maintained a good even pace through the first half. In the begining people were passing me both walking and running, so by the 10th km where the hills started there were probably only about 20 people behind me. Once we hit the hills, it was a great feeling,cause I passed a lot of people, because I was doing a slower pace at the begining and I was able to maintain going up the hills while others struggled and some actually were falling out of the race. Don't get me wrong, there were some BIG hills but I didn't do to bad. I enjoyed all the spectators handing out olive branches for good luck and the little kids yelling out "bravo bravo" They loved when you stopped to give them highfive. I really did enjoy the first half of the race. At the 21st km I needed to stop and have my feet retaped cause I could feel that they might be blistering through the tape that I had put on before the race. That was a mistake because they used crappy tape and taped them too tight. Another km up the road I had to stop again and readjust the tape. So at the almost 23km a car pulled up beside me and asks "do you speak English".. I said yes .. and they said " you are out of the race". My heart sank into my stomach and I asked why. They said it was because my half mark time was over the limited time that would get me to the finish under 8 hours. I asked by how much and I was off by 10 minutes. So we had a quick discussion with them telling me I had to leave the course and I said I need to finish. I knew I wasn't that far behind the last qualifiers so after the car pulled away, I started to run thinking I could make up the time ..lol I think back and it was pretty funny. (Just wondering why all my running friends didn't tell me I had to have a certain time at the half point...lol) Anyway, I felt great and new that I could continue, so I continued on the course "at my own risk". At this point the mental game started, I was "officially" out but wanted to finish. On the course by myself, being the very last person was harder then the physical walking of it. One of the coordinators from group were following the last person from our group on the course (which happened to be from about the 15thkm) and so they stopped and asked what was going on. I told them and told them I wanted to continue and so they continued with me km by km. The water stations were all being packed up as I got to them so I was taking water off the trucks and the streets were all being opened block by block behind me. I think that running the marathon is enough of a physcological game but knowing you are out of the race and out there by yourself, I really wanted to quit time and time again. But thanks to all the kind words and support from family, friends and even strangers on the course my heart wanted to finish. I wasn't able to walk on the road of the course, I had to walk on the on even sidewalks and up and down off the curbs so it wasn't even a nice smooth finish ..lol The other bonus to being "officially" of the race is you don't have to use the porta potties (which are really gross when you follow 10,000 other runners that have had runners diarrehea..lol) instead I found gas stations that felt sorry for me and let me use theirs..lol. So 45 minutes after the last person came in I walked into the pretty much empty stadium (but my teammates were there cheering me on and that was awesome) and crossed the finish line with the supervisor of the people that made sure I was safe on the course for the last 21km. The trainers that were with our team didn't even realize that I was the last one on the course, I guess that's what you get when they send trainers that you haven't trained with the entire time, they don't know who you are, so thankfully I was depending on them. Crossing and getting my medal was an awesome feeling. Listening to other people and the awesome feeling of running into a stadium full of spectators that they felt kinda makes me sad that I missed that part. But I am just glad that I stuck to the reason why I came here and that was to finish the marathon and I did that. So it didn't turn out the way I thought it would but it was an adventure and part of an entire journey that didn't go as I expected, but I look at it this way... I at least have something to work for next time I do a marthon... finishing "officially" ;-) The support from everyone is overwhelming and awesome !!!! And thank you to those that are donating to my website for finishing .. that is sooo awesome !!! Thank you !!!

I will post pictures.