I ran my Sweet #16 on April 16th, ’16. You guys, I JUST NOW realized that it was my 16th on the 16th in ’16. Don’t pretend you don’t dork out on number coincidences too, come on.
April 16, 2016
Anyway, I hadn’t been in the marathon saddle since November and I was 100% unsure how the dice was gonna roll on this one.
Since January, my training focus has been on my Ironman (which is on August 21st but I mean, who’s even tracking that that’s LESS THAN 3 MONTHS AWAY OMG HOLD ME) so I’ve been dividing my time between running, swimming and biking.
Between injury recovery + not being familiar with this sort of cross-training noise, my expectations were pretty low. I just wanted to finish in one piece and come in under 5 hours. Fairly arbitrary in the goal department, but I feel like I have *somewhat* of a handle now on the marathon drill to know that I could *probably* pull that off.
The race was held in the super-cute town of Wenatchee. It’s really charming and I haven’t spent much time there so I was looking forward to getting to know it better over the course of 26.2 miles.
It’s also home to my husband’s aunt and uncle so we had the added bonus of spending some time with them plus getting a hot shower after the race (thanks again, Uncle John and Aunt Karen).
This is a well-organized but SUPER small race. The “expo” was literally just two tables set up in downtown Wenatchee: one for your race bib and the other for your t-shirt.
That process took about 2.3 minutes but I still had to grab a couple of pics:Normally I try not to drag my family out in the early morning for the start of races since I’m kinda doing a lot of them now and why should they have to suffer at the crack-of-dawn with me? But they were nice enough to cart me to the race start so I got a quick family photo while I waited for the gun to go off:
And an obligatory selfie, natch.Like I said, the race was tiny. Virtually no spectators which I’ve gotten used to with all of the small races I’ve been doing. I listen to music a lot when I run, so that helps pass the time in the absence of cowbells.
The scenery was really gorgeous but I sort of felt like we were just running the same loop several times. I don’t mind the monotony of that usually, but since it’d been awhile since I’d done a race, I was really starting to ache around mile 17 and was kinda ready to just be done with the whole deal.
Luckily I was looping through a park that my family was at because I really needed some help. The hub had some Advil in the car so he was able to make a dash for that and catch me for the hand-off before I “ran” out of the park area (kinda using the term “running” loosely at this point because it was looking more like an ouchy shuffle, if we’re keeping it real).
The Advil helped a lot and I pushed on. It was getting pretty hot but there was aid every couple of miles so at every station I would pour a cup of water down my back and sip a cup of Gatorade to stay hydrated.
I can’t say that I’ll ever be what you might call a fast runner but one thing that’s kinda cool now that I’ve done a few of these suckers is that I know how to pace myself. I know how to avoid going out too fast and using up all my gas before sh*t starts to get real around mile 20 or so. This is something that has taken me many years to learn, and it feels good to be able to settle into a pace by around mile 18-20 so that I rarely get passed.
Let’s be clear: I have been passed by hundreds and hundreds of runners over the course (pun) of my marathon journey. But to me, not being passed in those later miles is a decent way for me to gauge that within MY abilities and my own personal pace, I am able to quasi pretend that I know what I’m doing. That feels kinda cool.
So that’s about it for this one. Fairly uneventful, I finished under 5:00, and have lived to tell about it.
Onward + upward.
Run on, friends!