Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adapt And Overcome Part 2

Continued from HERE.

So Jim the pace group leader leaves us at Mile 14. Boo. He said that he was in training for another race and didn't plan on running the whole time.

Lana (sp?) jumps in to replace Jim. She is a petite girl with a Russian (I think?) accent. Very sweet. Every couple of minutes, she would quietly say encouraging things to us as we continued along. At this point, we were still attached to her hip.

As we got back onto Hwy 101 around 16 or so (can't remember), I felt like I was hitting transition. Hahaha! (cracking up when she says in the video, "There's a lot of yelling... groaning...") Alright, so it wasn't that bad, but yeah... Mile 17 with a slight headwind... I was hurting. At this point, the chit chat was all but gone. In this picture (found and then purchased on totally random web search of Carlsbad Marathon!), looks like I actually started doing my own thing. Not feeling too social anymore. I don't think any of us are.

Check out the rinky dink pacer sign. Seriously? 

Also, are there any steroids available at the next aid station? I forgot to shoot up this morning. 
(What's up with my Miss Olympia-looking leg? That leg looks like it needs to be running 5:20 miles, not 8:20s.). I know what's going on with my mouth. Pretty sure I was licking off chocolate GU (for the entire race...)

Then came the U-Turn to head back, I saw a porta-potty at 18.5 and had a Pavlov's dog moment. I actually started peeing in my pants a little when I saw the potty, so I knew I had to stop and go. I couldn't take the discomfort anymore. Plus, I was wearing blue shorts. I couldn't pull off a pants pissing this time without being completely obvious.

Meanwhile, back in Yuma, my husband was tracking me and saw my pace drop into the high 9:00s. He said he was really bummed because he thought I had hit the wall. Nope. Just taking a whiz is all.

I got out of the porta-potty and saw the 3:40 group waaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of me now. Crap! I hauled ass to catch up. I looked at my Garmin and saw 7:34. Ouch. Going up another roller too.

And here's where the magic happens... I catch up with the group. We get to Mile 20.

Mile 20-8:05... My 2nd fastest mile of the marathon

There's no wall.


Marathon #1-Hit wall at 18
Marathon #2-Hit wall at 20

Marathon #3-There's no wall!!!!!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not feeling fresh by any stretch of the imagination. Things are starting to hurt all over. My hammies are all twinge-y (and have been the entire race, actually). I can feel my calves. My Achilles are burning... I'm tired. Not to mention that now we're merging with the half marathon crowd, and I'm annoyed having to weave in and out of the crowd.

But I had it in me to pick up the pace. I could feel it. You can tell when you got it, and you can tell when it's gone.

I actually flipped off the Mile 20 sign.
Unladylike? Yes.
Tacky? Yep.
But it felt so good!

And here's where my impromptu mantra started:

"There is no wall. There is no wall. There is no wall. There is no wall."

I was like a crazy person. Think Jack from The Shining.

I probably said it 150 times until I really BELIEVED it.

And then I took off on my own.

Sort of. 

There was another guy from the pace group who came along too. We kept pulling each other the last 6 miles. He came alongside and said cheerily, "Hey, you pulled ahead of the group. You have a little bit of a cushion now." Of course what he said in his mind was:

"Oh hell no... I'm not getting chicked by this."

Mile 21-8:15

Mile 22-8:15

Mile 23-8:16

Mile 24-8:19

Mile 25-8:11

Mile 26-8:00.... Almost done! I think I may go into cardiac arrest if this doesn't wrap up soon!

Last .2 (actually .49 on my Garmin-GAH!).... 8:00 (Felt more like 5:30!)

The guy passed me right at the end, naturally. 

Total emotional breakdown at the finish. Kind of still processing it. I'm not a crier or a terribly effusive person by nature, but yeah... Sort of sensory overload at that point. On the one hand it was a baby/toddler moment in that I was so physically tired that all of my coping skilled failed me. If you have kids, you know what I mean. We've all seen it when they are so tired that they literally MELT DOWN. After all, I had not slept in almost 28 hours.  On the other hand, I was so stinkin' proud of myself and couldn't believe that I pulled it off. I was overwhelmed with pride. If someone would have told me 2 years ago that I would shave off nearly 40 minutes off a marathon time that I ran when I was 24 YEARS OLD, I would have responded with, "PFFFFFFFT!! You're high!!"

But I did it. Almost 12 years and 3 kids later... I DID IT.


  1. I am cracking up, but have tears in my eyes. I am so darned proud of you missy!!!!!! I wish I could hug you right now. Great job - you are such an inspiration. :)

    PS - Let's trade legs, yes?

  2. Failed coping skills at a marathon finish line are absolutely acceptable. So excited for you!

  3. oh yea!!!!! you are such a rockstar. totally inspiring me and i am just so freaking happy to read this! you are one strong mama!!!!!! and your legs are incredible :o)
    hope you're still basking in the joy of all of this!! yayyyy!!!

  4. This is the best recap ever! I love that there was no wall! And those last splits? Crazy strong.

  5. You.Are.Awesome. Nothing more to even say. Proud to know you.

  6. Absolutely AWESOME!!! You did great! There is NO wall. I didn't realized you had hit one before. Way to overcome.
    I was listening to a sports psychology talk by Adrienne (another blogger on my blog roll) and she said it's super hard to convince someone who's hit the wall before, that it won't happen again. You WON.
    Enjoy the recovery :)

  7. Just found your blog and let me say- congrats!!! Not hitting the wall and your last 10k times- awesome! Sounds like you have a great coach to me! : )

  8. You are hilarious! I love that you compared part of the marathon to transition. :) And I'm so amazed that you never hit the wall, what an awesome feeling! Definitely worthy of finish line emotion. Congrats again!!

  9. holy heck, allison!! you rocked it!!! Congrats, again. Loved every second of your recap. Of course, you 'melted down' at the gave it everything you had and then some!!! my first marathon I started crying at the finish line and I told the guy who put the medal around my neck, "I'm sorry, I'm just tired." Duh, Julie! ;)
    You were more than just killed a finish line of a marathon with a 3:38 on zero sleep. YOU DID IT!! (ps. Love your gesture at mile 20) ;)