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, June 14, 2009

Milestone Marathon #40 - Estes Park

Not knowing how I would feel during today's run with absolutely NO taper and an 82 mile ride just 6 days prior, I was hoping for the best and most certainly fearing the worst. I swam 3600m yesterday and spent about 1/2 of that using the pull buoy to save up any ounce of energy my little legs would need.

Mike and I left about 5:30am for Estes Park. It's the first time I made the drive to this race with someone else. The roads were empty, the temperature was cool and I was so excited. Today was the big 4-0. I can't say that I would believe that eleven years ago, when I ran my first marathon in L.A. that I would have loved it so much it would become an obsession, relatively speaking of course.

Fashion report: Let's get to the important stuff first! Debuted the Pink Crush Sexy Back dress and it lived up to every one of my expectations (see photo on the right.) I was single-handedly the best dressed out there and received a ridiculous amount of compliments, which I could not turn away (for once!)

Race report: Took off with some heavy lungs for the first couple miles. This race is the "highest paved marathon in the world" with the top elevation being 8,800 feet. I have no idea how people from sea level come in and do this race. It's a lung burner. Took me about 5 miles or so to adjust to the altitude and I settled in for the first of many ascents. I spent a lot of time thinking about my cadence and just getting my feet to turn over quickly. Once we hit 8,800 feet, we have about 2 miles of crazy fast descent. I overdid it and my quads would pay severely later.

At about mile 9, I happened to fall upon a lost dog - some little white 10lb pooch that I absolutely could not abandon. We were in the middle of nowhere and this poor little thing was so scared so I scooped him up and ran with him until I saw some race volunteers, about 1/4 mile or so further ahead. He was so sweet and had I been closer to the end of the race, he may have just crossed the finish line with me and straight into my car.

Felt solid for about 4 more miles but then it went downhill after the half-way point. Figuratively and literally. I could not bear to run down hills anymore, the pain was so intense. I much preferred the hills that we had to climb and actually ran up them much faster than usual. When I got to the tops, my stomach would flip because of the impending pain to come on the way down.

At about mile 19, I had said enough and stopped. I waited for Mike. I knew he wasn't far behind and I could not do this alone anymore. I wanted my best friend, my husband, to help me and support me and get me to finish this damned thing in one piece. We had a shot at breaking 4 1/2 hours, which was my goal. He told me he would help me as he owed me one. I assure you ladies, chivalry is not dead! He ran ahead of me a step or so to block the wind that was really starting to pick up.

We pressed on and just put one foot in front of another until we got to a little past mile 25 and not knowing what our actual race time was, I asked him - how close are we. He said, we're at 4:19. We got this. Whuh?? This doesn't happen. Usually, it's we missed it but let's set our sights on the next 5 minute increment and so on. I don't get to say I want to run a time goal and do it. Something always goes wrong, I always fall apart. I will always finish, don't get me wrong, just not as speedily or swiftly as I always hope.

Knowing the finish line was "just around the corner" I asked him again, how much time ... 4 minutes. Holy s&%t, I gotta go. and so I did. I sprinted and just held it together for a little longer, while the pain melted away, ever so briefly and I entered the HS gym track and started the infamous finish line kick... 4:28:35... 4th in my age group, 7th female and 39th overall. I PR'd this course by 9 minutes. Incredible!! No taper, no rest and I held onto 10:15s at 8800 feet. This doesn't happen. Unless you have the heart of a warrior aka Ironman and a sexy pink dress to go with it!! (Thank you Nicole!) and thank you babe for returning the favor. I love you!


Go.2.Belle said...

congrats sis! i'm very proud of you. Love, Michelle

Jackie said...


RunnerChick said...

OMG I totally have goosebumps! Loved your report. Only you would stop to help a dog mid-marathon!!!