Training for a marathon is never easy, but this year, it was tougher than usual. Trying to fit the mileage in around school and family was tricky. 4 a.m. runs became the norm instead of the exception.
As the St. George marathon got closer, I started wondering, "Did I do enough? Is my body going to break down? Is my brain going to break down?"
Luckily, Nyah drove down with me to St. George so I was forced to keep my nervous energy in check. We had a fabulous time talking and laughing the whole way there. Nyah ate 3 tacos from Taco Bell and 2 orders of nachos. I ate a bag of Kettle Cooked potato chips. (great pre-race food)
The next morning, I woke up at 3 a.m. Shockingly, that is a "normal" time with my new schedule. I was nervous. I went to the bathroom 4 times. I gagged two pieces of peanut butter toast down in the car. I felt sick. Why is race day filled with such anxiety?
We stood by the porta potties for 1 1/2 hours. It was cold. I ate a banana. I felt sick. The lines for the bathroom got extremely long, so I decided to brave the outdoors. I really would have been a great pioneer. :)
When the starting gun went off, I had trouble hitting pace. I couldn't get around people. I was worried about tripping on blankets and clothes that fellow runners were dropping everywhere. At about Mile 2 I was able to hit pace. I drank every 2 miles and ate GU every 4 miles.
I didn't listen to music at all during the race. I found myself talking out loud to myself: "Vanessa, you can do this. This hill looks just like Center St. After you get up the hill, there is bound to be some downhill. Nyah is going to be at the finish line. Just keep going."
In any other situation, I think I would probably be put into a mental facility. Talking to oneself is not normal. Is it?
The last 3 miles were extremely difficult. I pretended I was out for a regular run around my neighborhood and talked myself through different landmarks that I see on a normal day. It really seemed to help.
The last .2 miles was glorious. Seeing all the people standing along the sides of the road gave me just the boost I needed to finish.
It was a great race. I got a PR: 3:06:36. The best news though: I ended the race without any gloves, but it was because my hands got hot. No potty stops during the run!