I am sore, but still alive after completing my first marathon and what a crazy weekend adventure it’s been! Lots of ups and downs in this race story that starts early Saturday morning at the CIM Expo at the Sacramento Convention Center.
I figured I should get there when it opened at 9 am to pick up the race packet since it would probably be packed later with over 9,000 runners picking up theirs and ended up hanging around the expo for awhile browsing all the goodies on sale, sampling, and collecting freebies and swag. I also bought compression arm sleeves for the marathon and a CIM hoodie because why not?
Race day started early – I got up at 4:30 AM and rushed to get ready, hydrate, make a smoothie and get some coffee in before leaving the house at 5:20 AM to drive to my sister’s house where she drove me to the start line. It helped that I had my entire race outfit ready and everything ready to grab and go the night before. It was freezing, but beautiful with the sun just starting to come up at the start line in Folsom.
Since the streets were blocked off from cars and lined with hundreds of outhouses, this gas station was getting invaded by runners.
Temps were in the high 30s at the start which is chilly, but much better than it could have been for this time of year. At the start I layered with a race t-shirt, hydration pack, arm sleeves, light running gloves with hand warmers stuffed in them, and a cheap, old hoodie to stay warm which I tossed in the donation bin in the start line corral.
And check out the start line crowd with over 9,000 racers.
Even though it was crowded, I enjoyed running with the large group of passionate runners.
The first few miles were slow and easy, the streets were crowded, so I kept an easy pace with the flow while taking in the scenery and navigating the hillier stretch through Folsom and Fair Oaks. I started upping my pace at mile 10 and stuffed the gloves and arm sleeves in the hydration pack since they were no longer needed. Right after I crossed the halfway point, I actually saw Scott Jurek hanging out at an aid station and snapped this photo of him as I was running by.
He waived and said hi when he noticed me, pretty awesome! But right after I snapped this pic, my iPhone just locked up and shut off at 13.7 miles! Music stopped, RunKeeper died – everything. I spent the next 2 miles or so hard resetting it and it would shut off again right after getting to the home screen and have to be hard reset again – I was panicking and ready to have an emotional meltdown. The battery was at about 70% when it crashed, but apparently a defective battery is an issue for some iPhone 6s and I found out after the marathon mine is one of them when I ran the serial number. Ugh! It started having issues last month where I had to reset it a couple of times, but nothing like this epic failure.
I was lost, no RunKeeper timing, no music after preparing an awesome playlist for the race, and no live tracking which I had set up so family could know where I was on course. And stressing about hubby not being able to find me at the finish. Plus really upset about not having any music! The phone would not stay on until it was connected to charger after the race and hubby joked he’d understand if I threw it into the river during the marathon after it crashed – I was tempted! Instead I will be hobbling into the Apple Store today to get the battery replaced.
I knew my sisters would be somewhere between mile 20-22, so I figured if I could just get there and tell them about my phone and have them text hubby at the finish line to let him know I wasn’t reachable. But it was a loooooong, quiet stretch to get there in the flat, boring area of the course. I was using my watch to try and monitor my pace with the mile signs, but still felt lost without audio cues and interval timing and just kept pushing ahead trying to take in the scenery, read motivational signs, and watch what was happening around me. I saw some runners being escorted off the course by medical staff and others so tired they were emotional.
When I did finally reach my mom and sisters just after mile 21, I was somehow still smiling and keeping a good pace.
The course was getting prettier as we headed over the bridge into Sacramento and the Fab 40s neighborhood.
And I was feeling pretty good – tired, but no pain issues.
No music didn’t bother me so much for the last 4 miles cruising on J street through the Fab 40s neighborhood, there was a lot of spectators, cheering, bands, beautiful scenery and I actually enjoyed chatting with other runners as we got closer to the finish line. Wish I could have taken more pics from the course like a crazy guy running back and forth in just a Speedo to run along side and encourage runners.
Sweet hubby was waiting for me at the finish taking in the action and snapping pics.
And caught pics of me running while I eagerly tried to spot the finish line around the block.
I found more energy to pick up my pace and get there faster!
And enjoyed the lively scenery and excitement.
Crossing the finish line was such a surreal and awesome event, so much relief and I was excited about taking in all the fun. There was free beer for runners, but I was not feeling that after miles of GU Energy Gels and electrolyte drinks and skipped that line. I did snack on a Vega Bar, organic hot instant oatmeal, and salt and vinegar potato chips provided by Whole Foods and impressed that the post race food was very vegan friendly.
My final time was 4:37:23 which I’m happy with. It probably could have been better if I pushed a little more and my phone didn’t die, but I was being cautious on my first marathon and trying to make sure it was a fun experience as I dialed in fueling needs and dealing with the hills of the course. The finisher medal is a great addition to my collection and awesome knowing that I can finish a marathon and run my next one stronger … and with a better phone!
Ah, the tired and awkward post-race pic.
Hubby was so sweet surprising me with flowers, cards, and a sign – so supportive and amazing.
He deserves a medal for dealing with me during the training process!