Sunday, June 19, 2005

Oh. My. Gawd.

Oh my gawd. Quick Story: I did it. I more than passed my goal. I ran a 3:59:51. A sub four hour marathon. My dream. My goal. Yes, Jenna, it rocked my world!! You are so right. Thanks for your comments, I do appreciate them, so very much! I need your email address so I can talk back and forth more frequently!

I've never set high enough goals for myself, you know, I'm afraid of failing.

Grandmas Marathon holds so many, many wonderful memories for me,as I wrote earlier. It was the first, I ran one with my Dad, and now, I can add my PR, my first sub 4 hour marathon.

For many, a 4 hour isn't a big deal. They run it as their first marathon. That isn't the case with me. A 4 hour marathon was the big chimichanga. A sub 4 would prove me as a 'real' runner.

At the Expo on Friday evening I walked up to the "Cliff Pacing Team" booth. It is a booth where there is a designated person to run a designated marathon finish time. There is a 3:10 guy, a 3:20 guy, a 3:30 gal, up to 5 hours. They give out pacing charts that fit around your wrist, depicting the time you should be at each mile, to finish at your desired time. I asked a man for a 4:00 pacing band. He looked at me and said "JULIE"! I couldn't believe it. He was Danny Ripka, ultra runner extrodiannare. He wins FANS all of the time and just set the WORLD record last month for a 6 day race where he ran 490 miles. Yeah. He's very nice, but intimidating, hello...he's a professional! But a kind professional.

I told Danny I was looking to finish in 4 hours. We chatted, I told him what I'd been running, told him about McNaughton and FANS, etc. He told me no problem. I could run 4. Easily. Heh.

This was the first time I "voiced" my goal, that I wanted to run 4 hours. My friend Marie, who was with me was excited and told me yes, do it. OK, I'll do it. I'll try. That's all I can do . That's the commitment I can make.

At the Expo I ate 2 platefuls of spaghetti and meat sauce, 2 slices of bread and 4 cookies. Carbo load city. We went to the hotel well fed.

445 AM and time to eat again. 1 big bowl of raisin bran, 2 hard boiled egg whites and an english muffin. I'm full and ready to roll.

730 AM. I've found the 400 pacing time and am ready to go. iPod is on and loaded to rock. At this point I'm shy to introduce myself to the other members of the 4:00 group, I might not make it you know, (damn me and my low self esteem), and don't want to put myself out there to be anyone would. Sheesh. So I run in back of the 4:00 pack, by 50 feet or so. I can see Danny up ahead with a stick that says 4:00 pacing team and attached to the stick is a bunch of pink balloons. I followed those balloons the whole race.

I had to make three pee breaks and one poop break. Each time I veered off I was afraid I'd never see the group again. Once I ran up ahead of them before I had to veer off so I wouldn't have to run so hard to catch up.

I was totally amazed. I felt strong. I felt good. I am woman hear me roar! It was a perfect day, a perfect race for me.

At the start there was a tail wind off of Lake Superior, it was 45 degrees and sunny. The high near the lake was 65 at the finish. Perfect. I'm so sick of running in the rain that the sun didn't bother me. It did get to a lot of people though.

OK, so about 23 miles into it and I have to poop. I know that there is a porta pottie at the top of Lemon Drop Hill, but you have to cross the road to the other side and it's a pain. But I really have to go. But the team will get away from me. The team has dwindled down from about 15 at the start to like 3 people and Danny. I go to the porta pottie. Then I run like hell. I can't catch them. I see the balloons but I can't catch them. At mile 24 I look at my pacing bracelet and I'm right on to the second! Go Julie Go! Run On baby.

I do. I run as hard and as fast as I can. People on the sidelines say "RUN PINK RUN" You look strong, pink, (I'm wearing a pink hat and top). It was awesome. Mile 25. I'm 4 seconds under the chart. Go Baby Go.

I come in at 3:59:51. OH. MY. GAWD.

I spoke with Danny at the finish line. Guess what? He's leading the 3:50 pacing group at TWIN CITIES MARATHON. Yup, I need a 3:50 to finish. And I'm broadcasting that goal.


So learn from me. Set high goals and you can reach them. You may suprise yourself!!


Jen said...

Julie, You made me cry. I can hear to huge sense of accomplishment that you feel. I have no doubt that you will run a 3:50 and be on your way to Boston. I know you can do it, especially once you get the porta potty breaks figured out. (very funny by the way) You are one of the true runners I know and that was before your sub-4. When is TCM? Were you spent at the end of the race? I can't imagine catching up after a potty break. Awesome job and I am glad you have officially declared a 3:50 goal. I hope you bask in your glow for a while because I feel its warmth here.

Miss Tenacity said...

Nice job, congratulations! From how you described how well the race went, you may very well have been OK to be in that 3:50 or 3:40 group already!

After all, what's a race without at least a *little* suffering to make it interesting? :-)


Julie B said...

Hi Andrea, I just read back and see that Maggie referred you here. I am always looking for ultra runner blogs as well but am not having much success in finding them.

I think you are right. I could have gone harder and faster. I know I could have. I was afraid it would come back to haunt me at the end of the race. I need to get over that fear!

I'll check out your blog-


Miss Tenacity said...

Julie, I don't actively blog much about ultras, but follow the link on the left to my "main/old" page and you'll find links to ultra photos and reports and such. :-)

I did post a foodie slanted description of the food at one of my ultras, though:

Take care!