Marathon Mania!

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m the worst at keeping my blog updated. I mean, it’s been over a week since my last update, and before that it was two weeks before my last post. It’s not so much that I’m lazy (which I am.. often), but there’s just never enough time in the day to work and train and blog and make time for Minh and etc etc etc. So.. the past week was slow, but the weekend… was… BIG! Ok.. not that big, but it was fun.

We (me, Minh, Michele and Hung) were supposed to go skydiving in the morning for Michele’s 26th BIRTHDAY! Unfortunately, we’ve had torrential downpours on and off for a while, and Saturday was an “ON” day for the rain. So.. we had to postpone the highly anticipated jump to later this month. Instead, I spent the day hanging out with Michele and Hung, picking out home decor and speculating about vacation homes.Michele and I also “no-baked” her birthday cake. She loves Rice Krispies Treats, and has been telling (not hinting) at Hung (her husband) to make her one for her birthday. He didn’t, so we bought the stuff and made one ourselves. It was my first time making Rice Krispies Treats, and I was amazed at how easy it is. I was also amazed at how good it turned out. The ones that are prepackaged from the store are always crazy sticky and super sweet. The one we made turned out great, not too sweet and not too sticky. We added rainbow sprinkles for color and decorated it with chocolate. Hung did help decorating it, and it turned out pretty nice.  Michele wrapped it up to take with us to her birthday dinner later at Kimera.

Sunday was the BIG RACE! Minh and I got up early for the 6:30AM race start. I was a little tired, but really excited about running my first marathon. It was a little bit windy in the morning, but the wind had died down by the time the race started and the sun was starting to come up, which made it a bit warmer. This was a different course than the half marathon we did last year. This year, the course went through Huntington Beach Central Park. I haven’t completely decided whether or not I liked this part of the race, but I’m leaning more towards not. It was like running through a maze and made the course seem really longer (longer than straight-aways). And the course was very narrow through the park because we had to stay on the running path and sometimes there was two-way traffic. It was nice when I finally turned out of there onto the straight-aways.

Overall, I did really well considering the amount of training I put into it. I had capped off “training” for the marathon at 11 miles, far less than the usual 20 miles 2 weeks before race day. I figured I would be ok because I can always walk the race once I lose my stride (and this is totally true). Come race day, my goal was to stay under 5 hours, since I knew that Minh and I were struggling at the end of the last half marathon we ran (San Francisco in July) and made it just around 2:30. The first half of the race was great. I decided to start with the 4:20 pace group. The goal was to stay ahead of them, or to always catch up with them if they passed. I really hit my stride the first half of the race, and actually ran my fastest half marathon (would have been nice if I could have left it at that). I was staying ahead of the 4:20 pace group for a while, up until about Mile 15. It was then that I started dropping back and losing speed. Eventually I totally lost them at Mile 16. At that point, the goal was to just finish the race. My lack of training was starting to show (and hurt) and I began to make small goals to get me through the race (things like: “Make it to the next mile marker and then you can walk a while”). I was also looking around for people I knew, especially Minh. It was nice to have him biking along the race course because every time I saw him, I got a little boost of energy. The last few miles were incredibly painful. I had to stop every so often to stretch and bend my knees, but I had to be careful and make sure that I could still get up. However, a lot of people looked like they were in worst shape than me, so I knew that I would be able to finish. As I rounded the last corner and realized that there was only half a mile left, I decided to gather all the energy I had left and just “sprint” to the end. Well.. it was totally a sprint, but I upped the pace a bit to have a strong finish. I was really happy when I got my medal, and even happier when I got some real food (something more substantial than the 6 GUs I consumed on the course). The rest of the day was spent laying around and watching TV. I realized the next day that I should have put a little more stretching time in there. My legs were killing me on Monday.. and Tuesday. I was limping around work, walking very slowly and avoiding stairs or descents. The pain was concentrated in my quads and knees, but the rest of the legs weren’t that much better off. It let up a bit on Wednesday, and I was able to get a short run in on Thursday. I’m sure it’ll be all better for my first trail running race TOMORROW!!

Something that I noticed after the marathon… I sweat a lot. Ok.. that’s not really news. I already knew that I sweat a lot when I work out, and I knew that in the process I lost salt. What I didn’t realize (and still don’t really know) is how much salt I was actually losing. Let me tell you.. it’s substantial. I was literally caked in salt by the end of the race. It was gross. I don’t have a picture, but you probably don’t want to see one anyway.Wish me luck for my first trail running race tomorrow. It’s a “C” race.. but a race is a race.

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3 thoughts on “Marathon Mania!

  1. Pingback: Half an Iron(wo)man « Think Tran

  2. Pingback: 2010: The Year in Review « Think Tran

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