What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Colorado Marathon

Woke up this morning at 3am to begin the pre-race ritual of "getting ready." We had a nice, big pasta dinner last night and I didn't feel like it had fully digested so the thought of eating a big bagel with peanut butter and honey was nauseating. BUT. It had to be done. We needed to catch our shuttle bus at 4am in order to make it up to the start line for the 6:15am start time. Somehow 55 minutes passed and I shouted out to Dee, it's 3:55 - we need to get moving~ things started flying everywhere ~ it looked as if a tornado had struck room 228.

Caught the bus on time *phew* and it was toasty warm, depsite the mid-30s temperature outside. It's early yet and a beautiful forecast was in store. I felt really good about today. Plus it was Dee's birthday so I knew it was going to be F.U.N.

We got up to the start line as the sun was beginning to rise and it was just so breathtaking. I love this marathon - it's my favorite as far as scenery is concerned. So pretty and serene. This was my 5th year running it but first without music. It would be interesting. We can't wear ipods at Ironman so I needed to start practicing dealing with mental and physical challenges in silence.

Dee and I warmed up with a 2 1/2 minute run, to get the blood flowing. It was still chilly but thankfully not windy. The start was very anti-climatic and we were off. The plan was to settle in during mile 1 and miles 2-10 warm up to a z3 range. Knowing that would be tough because this was a downhill course, I was able to get right about high z2 - low z3. I felt really comfortable here and just held it. Miles 10-20 were more of the same. Suprisingly, everything felt great. My legs, my arms, my feet, even my psoas. Things were going according to plan.

We shedded some outer layers as it warmed up and we were feeling really good. We saw Mike at Mile 17, which was awesome, as it's always so great to see family and friends on the course. It got me really pumped up, Dee too...and we were ready to kick some butt.

We got to Mile 20 and it was at this point, I had the option to 'turn it up a notch' but knowing that qualifying for Boston was out of the picture at this point, I opted to stay right where I was. I felt so solid and strong and I knew I had a big training week this week so I didn't want to risk injury. Deanna was on the same page and so we just kept trucking along, step after step. We began picking off the runners that had passed us early on in the race. I have SO much fun doing that. Of course, there have been plenty of times when that has happened to me, when I go out too fast and too cockily, but not today.

We saw Team St. George and Mike at the aid station at Mile 23 and I felt another surge of energy despite wanting to walk soooooooo bad. If Dee wasn't there, I probably would have. She pushes me beyond my mental and physical limits and makes sure that I tap into every last bit of fight that I have left within me. I love running with her, it makes me stronger. She once told me, "when it hurts...run harder." I do that as often as I can.

We finished in an all out sprint, neck in neck, crossing the line together at 4:01 and some change. I felt so solid and strong and am incredibly pleased with my efforts today. Ironman is going to be a much bigger challenge, I know. My marathon goal at Ironman is a little more aggressive than what I ran today and I am convinced that I can do it...I have 125 days to make that happen.

3 comments:

Michaelson Family said...

Seriously! You are the cutest marathoner I have ever seen. Congrats on another successful race!

Cristen aka Payne D. Spencer said...

Great job, Kristina!

Deanna said...

You are so HOT! I love running with you K. I can't think of a better way to have celebrated my birthday...running a marathon with my bff! Send me copies of the pics please. :) Can't wait to see you next month at IMCdA!!!