“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
4:50am! Waiting for the hotel shuttle to the Start Line.
On May 1st, I accomplished one of my biggest goals for the year when I completed the OC Marathon in under four hours, which I think has made it nearly impossible to recap… I was doubtful that I would really accomplish it until the moment I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin. And then I cried and held onto my knees and cried some more. It’s been nearly two weeks and I still find myself repeatedly thinking and saying out loud: I did it!
And in true maniac fashion, I’m already dreaming up new, crazy, maniacal goals (um, hi, I’m running another marathon tomorrow), but before we get to that, here’s my OC story:
Getting updates from mom, who was spectating dad’s race at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
Almost go time!
We dropped off our warm-ups at bag check, lined up with Corral #2 and shortly after the gun went off, we were making our way across the start line. We split up very early on and I took advantage of the downhill stretches to pick up my pace.
Mile 1: 9:16
Mile 2: 8:22
Mile 3: 8:20
Mile 4: 8:27
Mile 5: 8:39
Mile 6: 8:44
Mile 7: 8:36
Mile 8: 8:40
Mile 9: 8:40
Mile 10: 9:07
Mile 11: 8:44
Mile 12: 8:51
Somewhere around Mile 12…
At Mile 12, the half and full marathoners split, so I had a vivid this is it moment as I ran on with the much smaller pack of marathoners. I didn’t mind that the crowd thinned out, nor the fact that there were very few spectators, but I realized I was going to have to make a pit stop. Without any porta-potties in sight, I started looking for bushes, but thankfully, after a couple miles of debating my options, I spotted a porta-potty just past the Mile 14 water station. Godsend!
Mile 13: 8:50
Mile 14: 9:02
Mile 15: 10:25 + porta-potty detour
I felt better, but also tired. I knew I couldn’t maintain the sub-9:00 minute/mile pace that I’d somewhat miraculously managed in the first half, but I focused on maintaining the 9:09 minute/mile pace that it’d take to finish in under four hours.
Mile 16 is always a target for me, because from there it’s only single digits to go: 9 miles to go, 8 miles to go, 7 miles to go, and so on…
Mile 16: 9:14
Mile 17: 9:04
Mile 18: 9:20
Mile 19: 9:19
Mile 20: 9:29
Mile 21: 9:01
The last 4-5 miles were, by far, the hardest. Um, duh. No really, this course had us running across main roads that weren’t shut down for the race, so at one point a cop actually stopped me so he could clear traffic before letting me continue running. Man, it is so rough to stop and re-start running that late in the game.
The course continued along a stretch of dusty/sandy dirt trail that was brutal on my tired ankles and the wind was picking up, so I kept getting dirt and sand in my eyes and mouth. Again, brutal.
I was beyond exhausted. The wind was ruthless, but I was giving it all I had because I knew the sub-four was still within reach. I just had to hang on.
Mile 22: 9:36
Mile 23: 9:06
And then there were hills. As much as I wanted to hang on, I was totally whooped and discouraged. I started walking, as I gave myself ultimatums: Run to the next water stop, then you can walk for a bit. Finish under four and you can have creme brulee as an appetizer at Maggiano’s.
With all the walking that I did during those last hilly, windy, brutal miles, I have no idea how I managed the 10:00 minute/miles that I did, and as my Garmin chirped at Mile 26, I realized, I was cutting that sub-four EXTREMELY close.
Mile 24: 10:01
Mile 25: 9:52
Mile 26: 10:17
Last 0.33 miles: 2:38 (8:14/mile)
I gave it everything I had, sprinting toward the finish line, as I heard Jared screaming my name: “MEGAN LURIE! MEGAN LURIE!” The finish line clock read 4:01, but by then, I didn’t care. I had run the best marathon–perhaps, the best race of my life, so far, and I floated across the finish line with a smile that took over my whole face. I stopped my Garmin and immediately, broke into tears.
Garmin Time: 26.33 miles, 3:59:53 (9:06/mile)
Official Time: 26.2 miles, 3:59:51 (9:09/mile)
Stopping my Garmin & realizing I broke 4 hours!
Hubby was right there at the Finish. I couldn’t believe I did it!
Cried a little…
Then I was all smiles…
Jared (a.k.a. hubby of the year) helped me get my shoes off and my flip-flops on, while I continued my incoherent blubbering, crying, squealy nonsense.
We boarded the shuttle back to our hotel and sat in the back, where I proceeded to get bus sick (post-marathon euphoria made me forget I get bus sick when I sit in the back…). I was sweating, nauseous and green by the time we made it back to the Hyatt. We headed straight to our room, where I rolled around on the bed in misery, then managed a shower before crashing back in bed, where I slept for an hour.
Mistake #1: Not bringing any post-race fuel for myself (everything offered was glutenous).
Mistake #2: Riding in the back of that darn bus…
Mistake #3: Napping before getting some food in my belly!
I was feeling even worse as we packed up to leave and was afraid I wouldn’t make it out of the hotel without getting sick. I practically held my breath the entire walk from our room, through the lobby and out the door, where I immediately barfed in a trash can. I felt a lot better after that and we headed for Maggiano’s to finally get some food.
Post-race lunch at Maggiano’s
Yep, I had creme brulee as an appetizer. And don’t be confused by the 2 spoons. I ate every bite myself…
And then our dinners arrived, but we were too busy shoveling food into our mouths to bother with pictures. My tummy was still a little “off,” but it was still one of the best meals of my life!
Sub-four, fully belly, and ready for a nap!
OC Marathon, 5/1/2011 – 1st sub-4:00!