I have been sitting here trying to formulate a great story about my first marathon but there really isn't a great story...just a simple one....I trained, I respected the distance and I passed the test and I made some great friends along the way!!!
The weekend started when I picked Janey and Mary up for the expo on Saturday morning!!! We were meeting everyone else at the expo or at dinner later in the evening. Denise had texted that she was there early to see Steve Mackel of the Sole Runners team speak on ChiRunning...that is Mary's running group so seeing their familiar logo along the course was really helpful (but I'm getting ahead of myself) www.solerunners.net/
!!! We met up, had lunch and then ventured over to the expo where we found Suzanne and her kids!!! After getting my bib # 666 (yes 666), my T-shirt (in medium, they were out of small and extra small by that time) and my goodie bag, I was ready to hit the expo and pick up my last minute supplies (26.2 temporary tattoo, 5 Clif gels and a Pure Fit bar) and see what kind of free stuff I could snag!!! There was very little free stuff this year compared to last year but I did manage to get a free hat from Pure Fit for being a loyal customer!!! www.purefit.com
They are my favorite bar for long runs!!! After walking the expo, we meet Jasmine and her husband Rick and chatted for a bit!!! They are an awesome couple!!! It was almost 3:30 by then and Denise and I went to check into our hotel...we would drive over and then walk back to gauge how long it would take us in the morning to get back to the starting line...it only took 15 minutes at a leisurely pace so we figured 25-30 minutes would be sufficient in the morning with the crowd!!! The room was great....with a full kitchen and free internet access!!!
By the time we got back to the expo it was almost time for dinner so we walked the few blocks to George's Greek Cafe for our carbo-load dinner...some might think this is a strange choice but I wanted to stick to food that I was familiar with and since I don't eat white pasta, I figured Greek would be a good healthy choice!!! www.georgesgreekcafe.com
I had the falafel sandwich with lentil soup!!! It was amazing and sooo filling but not heavy!!! I now regret not getting baklava but nuts and butter pre-race might not have been a good Idea!!!
Missing from the pictures are the great boyfriends and spouses that were taking pictures (thanks to Mario, Bob, Bill, Kerry and Geoff)
After dinner we said our goodbye and well wishes and made plans to look for each other in the morning!!! Most of us were starting in Wave 4-5 so finding each other might not be so bad!!! We walked back to the hotel and started to prep our stuff for the morning!!! I still wasn't sure what I would be wearing, that would be decided in the morning depending on the weather....I had many options so I wasn't worried I just wanted to be prepared!!! I was also running with a lot more stuff than I was used to....fueling was a big source of stress for me during training...I didn't want to make any mistakes with my fueling and hydration so I planned on carrying lots of stuff!!! I had 5 packets of Clif gel + 4 Hammer gels in my flask (which I didn't use), 1 Pure Fit bar (cut in 6 pieces), a baggies with a mixture of HEED, whey protein, glutamine and salt, and my 4 bottles filled with NUUN...I also carried a 32 oz water bottle in my hand which I had filled at various water stations along the way!!! I also had some hard candy, Extra sugar fee gum and some extra salt packets!!!
I was in bed by 10 and asleep very soon after... I wanted to be up by 5 and out of the room by 6:15!!! Everything seemed to be going as planned!!! We got up on time, went down to the hotel lobby where they had a free breakfast lied out for us....fruit, cereal, bagels, muffins, coffee and juice...we grabbed some coffee, fruit and bagel/english muffin and heading back to get ready...you could feel the energy in the air!!! It was electric!!! I really wasn't nervous, just excited and ready to get started!!! We finished getting ready, after some last minute clothing changes...turns out no need for long sleeves, gloves or even a jacket!!! It was going to be a glorious day to run!!! We were out of the room and on the road by 6:15!!! By that time the bike tour had already started and we had to dodge cyclist to get to the starting line!!! We found baggage check, stowed our stuff and headed to our corral!!! We found Janey, Suzanne, and Tammy!!!
and then Mary and Patty found us!!! We hugged and wished each other luck!!! We all had different race strategies so it was likely we would not see each other until after the race!!! Since Suzanne and I ran San Francisco and Disneyland so well together we had planned on starting the race together and staying together as long as we could but knowing we were each running our own race and may separate into the race!!! We were together for most of the first 16 miles!!!
Wow...this is getting long and I need to get to work....will continue later.....