Finale line view
It’s been exactly a week since I crossed the Lake Tahoe Marathon. Aside from catching a cold after the race, I’ve been trying to come to terms with the finale. If you’ve been following the story, you know that the marathon has been a journey.
One to say “I did it. I planned it all on my own, I trained and I completed it”. This is a big step for me. I usually stop projects mid-way for the next big thing. But I did it. It’s even more than that to me. I did something solo. I proved to myself – that I am capable, that I can man the ship on my dreams.
(During this journey, I planned & ventured on a Mammoth camping/hiking trip, ran a 1/2 marathon Xterra race, completed a 13-mile solo-run on the Tahoe Rim Trail, did a trail run & kayaking trip with my girlfriend and completed this marathon.) I’m so sticking proud of myself!
Something as ‘small’ as a destination marathon might seems trivial to one, but to me, the whole journey was life awakening.
Two… because I had to something Epic for my birthday (how do I top this next year?)
Three… and this is the one I am coming to terms with, as its coming to a close. That he is not coming back. I stopped by his place on my road trip up. Left a note in reference to meeting me at the finish line. That I saw a “girl get kissed at the finish line”… that “this whole divorce is bunk”.
But I knew in my heart, it wasn’t going to happen… Doesn’t mean I stopped praying for my request.
I do not blame anyone in this story. There is no judging. I have all the love in my heart for him and our journey. But I simply knew that if my prayers didn’t get answered, its because God has other plans for me. And that I need to accept that.
I believe I had to experience this journey, the humility, as to further grow into my true self. To begin, once again, to dream.
Enough of the Melodrama – What about the Marathon?!
Carb loaded on artisan tomato-basil pasta dinner complete with a gorgeous salad my tween made. I had to share. Gorgeous!
Hit the hay at 9:30pm. After sleeping 5 hours per night, the last few nights… I was ready to hit the pillow.
The start line was literally next door to our temporary casa (great view right?!). No pics of the start line. I was too nervous. Or I was too tired. LOL. But we were started with a shot from the starting line pistol and sent off with Sean, the Tahoe Bagpiper sent us off our way.
Mile 1-13: Not bad for views, right? It was very meditative to run with this scenery and the quiet of the morning. I didn’t wear my headphones. Just me and the pavement. I intermittently ran with a few ladies and we chatted it up. That is quite a nice experience to hear people’s marathon stories.
I started the race by walking 2 miles. Then ran off and on for the next 10. Just listening to my body’s cues. I didn’t wear a garmin or HR monitor either.
The first 13 miles with this scenery, went by with no problem. The air was perfect, crisp. I was actually surprised that I had hit mark already. There were aid stations every 3-4 miles. I carried my handheld water bottle. So I filled up on electrolytes and snacks from the stations.
Every hour, I ate 3 clif shot bloks. Thank you @SkinnyRunner for the tip of cutting the package in two to make it easier to consume during the marathon! It totally helped.
But its around the beginning of the double digit mileage, when my IT band will let me know its pissed at me. I totally stretched it them out each day I was up there. Foam rolled it. Hoping to prevent this issue.
Mile 14-20: Well the leg that NEVER bothers me, Flared. And flared with a vengeance! I had to walk this portion – six miles. And I was mad. Mentally, I had this marathon. I knew if from the beginning that I was going to finish. Even if my highest training mileage was 14 miles. I was mad because I wanted to run it.
But I wasn’t going to be stupid. So, I listened to my body and power-walked (w/ a few 30 second running spurts in between).
The Hill from Hell (a 500′ elevation climb to Heaven), no problem. Training on hills worked in my favor. Going up hill didn’t hurt. It was down hill that killed my leg. And that is when I wanted to gain the my speed. Make up for time. My body was going to have none of it!
What do you do? You listen and just enjoy the scenery. And hobble down the descent. At one point, I was afraid I was going to need to give up.
But this is where being
stubborn determined comes in handy. I knew from my marathon training and doing yoga, that I just had to listen to my body and move with it, as it commanded. Slowing down when needed, picking up speed when I could. There was a natural rhythm I just had to follow.
The Epic Viewpoint of the Lake Tahoe marathon
But even with my body’s natural rhythm, I was afraid it was also going mean that I needed to stop. It was after passing this gorgeous view above, that my leg was gonna make me give up…
Down the descent from Emerald Bay, my left knee kept kicking out from under me. So, it didn’t matter if I wanted to finish (would be pitiful to have to stop this far in the marathon!), my body was not about to let me. But let me tell you a funny, but awesome thing that happened.
Mile 21-26: Mentally – I was good! I have no concept of what “hit the wall” means. Physically, I was hurt. I had to stop. Tried stretching the leg out. I have a high threshold for pain. Going downhill almost brought me to tears.
Sara (I call her my race angel for that day), stopped and asked if I was okay. She told me she was from a group called the Mind Body Fit Club. Took the pink bracelet off her wrist (you’ll see it in the finish line photo) that says, “Desire. Courage. Action. ‘Today, I am Strong!” and gave it to me to wear. Took my hands, asked me my name and told me I was strong and beautiful. Encourage me. Gave me courage. Validated me.
I don’t know what happened, but I am not going to question it, my leg stopped hurting. Seriously people. I don’t know if it was adrenaline, stretching, praying, meeting Sara… by the Grace of God and Michael I ran in the next 5 miles.
Thank you to the child for the finish line photos!
Time: 6 hours, 17 min, 44 seconds
I don’t mind much the time. My goal was just to finish the marathon. My second goal was under 6 hours. I’ll take this.
Someone commented that I picked a tough course for a 1st marathon – agreed – but it was a beautiful experience!
And one photo bomb.
The man may not have met me at the finish line, but my awesome cousin and my child were there. Along with my mama and auntie nearby. That was a freakin’ best in itself.
Post Race activities
First ice bath. I swear there is ice in there! How to you do this? BRrrrrr….
I didn’t even think about doing an ice bath. But walking back up to the casa, another marathoner was carrying bags of ice and graciously gave me one (I think he felt sorry for me because I was hobbling and in pain).
BTW, mountain water is pretty much ice in itself. I was shaking crazy, until I remembered to breath and was able to relax a little.
Starving. Downed an after race hot dog. Then headed up to the Tahoe Mountain Brewery for a big jalapeno burger, pretzel bites, onion rings and beer. Never tasted anything so good!
Why do vacation days whiz by so fast?!
Definitely needed a mocha with an extra shot. Yummm! slurp. slurp. Down from Lake Tahoe, parting from my cousin and auntie.
If you take road trips, you’ll often note that there are places where people leave a memento to signify that they were there. In some its a wall of tshirts or a chain link fence filled with shoes. Sometimes its a message spelled by pepples. At the Mono Lake Vista its stickers on a rail. We stopped, took some pictures and the child & I left our sticker as a memento that we were there. So, if you see the Tahoe Mountain Brewery Co. sticker (round with a tree in the middle)… you’ll know…
Christine, aka Oatmeal in my Bowl, just completed her 1st Marathon at Lake Tahoe!
Thank you to…
Lorna Jane for making me look good. I am wearing the pink shirt under my tech shirt. It was chilly. Couldn’t show it off. The marathon shorts worked out great!
Les Wright, ring master of the Lake Tahoe Marathon – well planned marathon that made my first experience superb!
To Tahoe Marina Lodge for their nice condos and views. Make my vacation wonderful. I totally recommend them if you need a place to stay in Lake Tahoe.
To the aid stations for their wonderful costumes, supporting words, fun vibes and stocked aid stations (there were vampires, super heros, pirates and more)! And never letting me find out what “hit the wall” means in marathon terms.
To the man who stopped to share his organic, homegrown tomatoes with us.
To Sean for the bagpipe melodies.
To my family and friends for ever supporting me. I promise I’ll try to keep this destination marathoning down to once a year (Les has a Maui Marathon happening in Jan. anyone?)
To Sara for being my race angel. You act of kindness and validation will forever be memorable.
To my child for the awesome salad and pictures! Thank you for taking over my camera.
To Tahoe Mountain Brewery Co. for the delicious Pale Ale.
To all of you, who have interacted with me socially… your words of encouragement, comments and interaction are a great inspiration to me!
That was another thing that kept me from writing this post. What now?
Free to dream.
I met a woman, during the marathon, who was on her 111th marathon – Marathon Maniac. In vibrams. Traveled extensively around the world to do marathons (Iceland, Australia, lots of Asia, Athens, all across the US… She still needs South America and Antarctica to complete the 7 continents).
I dunno. I think I might just become a destination marathoner. Just sayin’.
It’s been a wild, crazy, painful, growing year. It’s here, I lay down my pain and replace with peace. Blessed be to all that life has brought me this year. And thankful for bringing me back to my spirit through meditation, running, journaling, reading, conversing, praying… for coming back to God. MYL, “miss you lots”. xoxo
Question: Name something that makes you feel alive and in the moment!
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