Here we go friends. Let’s recap the Big Sur International Marathon, shall we?
Since I had a 3:00 am alarm set and was told to make sure I was quiet when getting ready in the morning I had all my stuff laid out in my teeny tiny walkway by the bed.
Handful Bra (the new ones are even better than ever by the way)
Auria all weather music belt
Wave Sayonara 2 shoes
I had the same pre race meal I had in Boston since it worked well only I prepped it the night before and put it in the fridge. You know, so I wouldn’t make noise in the morning. Ha.
I slept pretty well actually and the 3:00 am wake up wasn’t that bad since I usually get up at 4:30 am. I got ready quickly and made it to my shuttle in time to get one of the last few seats on the back of the bus.
By the way, I’m not a fan of people saving seats on race shuttles. I asked a lady if I could sit by her and she said she was waiting for her friend. The bus was like almost full. I think you should just welcome anyone who needs a spot to sit, right?
The ride was dark and long to the start.
I was really prepared for cold weather, but it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.
I headed to the hot coffee right away. I mean, when there’s free coffee at a race and it’s 4:45 am, that’s just what you do.
And yes, you also double fist.
Oh and just in case you want to see me lovely oats.
My banana didn’t make the picture.
It was very low key at the start. There was lots of time to just sit around and wait. The port a potty line wasn’t too long, but it wasn’t too short either.
When it was time to check our gear and head up the hill to the start I bumped into my man Bart.
He always has a smile and a thumbs up. Love that guy.
You walk up and around to get to the start.
Supposedly there are waves, but everyone is just kind of standing around since the race isn’t that big.
Pam, Emily and I stood together and man was the National Anthem awesome. WE missed it at the Boston Marathon since there were so many people and so many different wave starts, so it gave me chills here.
It was go time. I didn’t really have a plan or think about things much. I don’t really know why. I was just hoping my hip would hold up and that the wind wouldn’t be too bad.
Sweet Emily (who got a PR in Boston) said she was going to run with me. We started together and you never know if someone is just saying they’ll run with you to be nice or if they really want to or heck if they’re going to take off right after mile 1 or something.
Emily and I have only met in person twice. I’m sure she wanted to go much faster, but she stayed with me at the beginning and we chatted about all kinds of stuff since we didn’t really know each other at all.
I was tired already by mile 6. Just physically tired. My body was telling me that I hadn’t had significant training time for my legs to be ready for a marathon, not to mention two marathons in 6 days. I knew it was going to be a long morning. That may have been when Emily first said, “Hey, just enjoy it.”
I’m 99% sure we were running into headwind the majority of the race. We had little breaks when the mountains would block the wind, but for the most part that darn wind was right in our face. You’d think it could be at our back or something useful.
I’m not a fan of wind. Really not a fan, but when you’re out there there’s really nothing you can do except grunt and take it. We did a lot of that.
We did so much chatting that I really didn’t have to have those mental battles marathons usually bring. I told Emily to leave me countless times, but her response was always the same. “No way. Just enjoy it.”
This marathon is one of the most breath taking marathons ever. There are so many moments when I just thought about how freaking lucky and blessed I am to be not only running, but running there. It’s beautiful.
I really wanted to get my phone out and take pictures, but with the wind and everything I just didn’t do it. Lame, I know, but I have the memory and the feeling and an excuse to just keep coming back until I do actually take pictures.
I didn’t look at my Polar GPS once. I’m glad I didn’t because I just would’ve gotten frustrated. My miles were slow, but still felt hard. But they were miles in the most beautiful place ever and they were virtually pain free, so I’m grateful.
The last few miles went rather quickly. We took our time at the aid stations and kept chatting. Finally we got our strawberries at mile 23 after a not so friendly runner told us that they weren’t doing them this year. We got our yummy strawberries.
And then we got to that finish line. Poor Emily for telling me she’d run with me and then probably feeling like she was stuck. Bless her though for her selflessness and for staying by my side the entire time.
It really makes me want to cry thinking about it. She barely knew me, but out of the kindness of her heart just kept running with me and keeping me entertained. I mean, who does that?
Gosh darn it there are some freaking amazing people out there. It totally makes me want to give more to others and be a better person and friend. Our 4 hours together (yes, 4, it was a long, slow race) were incredible.
I saw the boys right away and they spotted their favorite Runner’s World guru Bart.
Judah’s first question to me was “Mommy, did you go really slow? We thought we missed you.”
My reply was “Yes. Yes I did.”
We needed another picture once I actually got my medal.
Bart is the best. He said he loves the boys. He’s just so genuine and loves everyone. he will remember your name and your face even if he only meets you for like 30 seconds. He is one heck of an incredible guy.
And the Big Sur Marathon is once heck of an incredible race.
I am so blessed. Truly blessed.
I don’t know how the heck I made it there for the second year in a row and having the boys there to experience it this year was just awesome.
We made our way to the B2B Challenge tent for my other special medal and to see the amazing Shirley.
Then I picked up my special finisher’s jacket.
Heck yes it’s humbling to get slower and slower every race and I get down on myself, but then I’m reminded about just how lucky I am. There are so many people out there who WANT to run, but CAN’T. If my body is going to keep letting me do what I do, I’ll keep using what I’ve got.
There are so many people out there who are too scared to get out of their comfort zone to see what amazing things are out there waiting or just too fearful to fail or try something and not be good at it. That’s why running doesn’t matter. Running or walking, fast or slow……you just do what YOU can do.
I’ve failed a bazillion times and am really good at knocking my own self down to the curb, but that’s life. Getting back up however you can is all part of the process.
I have no idea what the future will bring, which is unsettling and scary, but I’m in it for the long haul.
I’m just enjoying life’s journey one race, one huge mountain, one new obstacle, one adventure and one amazing moment at a time.
I have a feeling I’m just not finished yet.
I want to be welcomed back to this particular finish for years to come.
Yes, yes I do.
Last year’s race recap is here. Just in case I thought I’d share.
I can’t thank my family, my friends and all of you enough for dealing with my crazies and being there for me along the way.
Now go get after your next adventure, okay?