Right now, as I write this, I am exhausted. But it's a good exhausted. It's the kind of exhausted you get after going a distance longer than you ever thought possible. It is an invigorating kind of exhausted.
Twenty-one Miles and Still Smiling!
I'm sure there are people out there who would label me as crazy for thinking getting up at 4 in the morning and run-walking 21 miles is great fun. I know you don't think that, RBFs. You are all crazy, too!
And it really was fun! I ended up with three other girls who were going at the same pace I was going. Better yet, they were run-walking like me. We decided on 3 minute walk:3 minute run as our walk:run interval. One of the girls had a Garmin so it was even easier to keep track of our pace.
I ended up going on ahead of the group at about half-way through because I felt their walking pace was a tad slow for me. I felt like we were out on a leisurely stroll every three minutes. I didn't mind too much, though, because my plan was to take it easy for the first half and step it up a notch for the second half.
Bring the Hills!
I was determined to run when my running interval was on, regardless of the hills. Well, regardless of the up hills... because of my knee, I did not run down any hills. And run up hills, I did. And I loved it! Yep, I just get crazier and crazier.
OK, not pretty pretty... but not ugly. I was able to run without looking like a wounded animal. I didn't even feel like I was running like a wounded animal. Things felt pretty good in the knee/leg department. It wasn't until around mile 14 that I started to feel little twinges of pain in my injured leg. The twinges were slight, though.
Mile seventeen was our final aid station. I could not believe it when the volunteers reminded us that there were only four miles left. I found myself saying, "That's all?!" I stretched a little, grabbed some pretzels, filled my water bottle, and kept going.
This is when I started to feel tired. Sore and tired. My left heel was hurting, my muscles were complaining, and my darn leg was getting more twingie. But, still... all was bearable.
Miles 19, 20, 21
Ouch, ouch, ouch. But still going, going... done!
The Tide is High, but I'm Movin' On
By "moving on", I mean "going in"... but that doesn't work since Blondie did not sing it that way. Since the end of the run ended up right at the beach, many of us decided to go in to help our muscles recover faster. The ocean water was cold. Very cold. It also felt like paradise for my tired, aching legs and feet. The tide was very high this morning so we did not have to wade far in order to get a nice lower body ice soak, courtesy of the Pacific Ocean.
The Final Analysis
Since I ditched Garmin Girl, I don't know my exact pace or time (I forget to set my chronometer... again!). I figured out that it probably took about five and a half hours to get through the 21 miles. I did stop a few times to stretch. I also stopped at a couple of the aid stations to chat and spread cheer.
So do I think I can do the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, based on today's run? You bet! I expect to be cutting it close time-wise, especially if it's hot the day of the race. But assuming my leg continues to cooperate, I will do this!!
I will do this!