Sunday, July 29, 2012
...and now I set my sights for Boston
After only sleeping an hour, waking up, reading, trying to get to sleep while a sickly dog we're watching limped around, fell out of bed a number of times, weaved and banged into walls I just gave up and went down stairs to roll out on a roller, stretch and to begin focusing on today's Marathon. I had some Greek yogurt, cereal and berry's with Chia.
By the time I headed out the door at 5:00am, I was actually feeling pretty good. As I got close to the Embarcadero I began to see runners funneling towards the start line.
I wore my Bicycle riding jacket and carried a "throw away" jacket to wear for the beginning of the race. I was glad I did! It was freezing. I dropped my good jacket with one of the UPS truck equipment/clothing drop off.
I was signed up for wave 5 and it was a very slow march to the entrance but, when I got there I moved up as far to the front as possible.
I was very nervous, apprehensive and my heart rate was already creeping north and I hadn't even started to run. At the gun, it was a bit of a slow start for the first 100 yards but, it cleared up pretty quick and I didn't really have to do that much dodging around people. I new I was starting out a little fast and thought to slow down a bit. I soon just threw the game plan out the window and just went with how I was feeling.
One of the things I planned to do was dedicate this run to my immediate family. I knew I had a long way to go and needed to focus on the ones who have inspired me and brought me to this moment in my life.
Dad: I love my Dad and knew that he would be proud. I get a lot of my athletic inspiration from him. He taught me how to be patient, loving and funny. His strength and personality made me feel safe, and inspired me to try and be like him.
Mom: As I get older I understand we had so many of the same flaws and weaknesses (fear). Through her I came to understand a lot of myself. She had a good heart and was always protective of us all. We were very close, and at times I would be angry with her for letting things get to her and fill her with bitterness. If only I could have inspired her and made her life a little easier. I caused her so much pain.
Linda: I didn't spend a lot of my time with her and kind of put her in more of an axillary parent status. I think I was afraid of her, she didn't pull her punches and put me in my place many times. I missed the few times we had together just being strait up and I know she suffered so much in her short life with her health problems. She had a beautiful family and meant so much to so many. I wish she was here and I could show her that I've tried very hard in the last few years to excel and aspire to push myself to a higher level.
Paul: My life coach. Hugh and I were so competitive with each other for his kudos. I feel he was the catalyst for the Hugh and I to push ourselves out of the box. He's been so supportive to me and I can only hope to make him proud of me.
We had funny names for him... The Pope, the Governor, the Senator! I don't think he really new the power he had over us...
Hugh: My friend...A bond so deep that when he passed recently a part of me died also. No words can describe how good he was to me and I to him.
Still to painful to think about...
This is why I run...
I definitely wanted to go for a sub 4 hour finish. The pace was brisk and the excitement was carrying me rapidly through the Marina and I made the bridge in great time. At this point I knew this was the beginning of the hardest part of the run. I hit the bridge and running became a bit dicey. the running lane was very narrow and if you stepped to far too the left you would be in to running traffic heading back in the opposite direction!
My fear of running over the bridge (fear of heights) was not an issue in the least. I actually enjoyed it and I felt like I was beginning to really settle in to a nice efficient race pace.
back across the bridge and climbing up into the Presidio was starting to kick my ass but when I started the downside to Baker Beach I felt better and made some good time. At this point I threw away my jacket and finally felt free and unencumbered.
Crossing through the Richmond, fatigue soon began to set in. I downed another Power Bar gel and hoped for the best. The water stops slowed me down considerably. I made sure to thoroughly hydrate myself even though I had to stop maybe 6 or 7 times to pee. Better than being dehydrated. I kicked ass down through the park but when I hit the turnaround and the half way point it was all seriously catching up to me. I tried to keep my pace up during the climb up to Stow lake by trying to stick with faster runners. This totally beat me up and by Stow Lake I was getting that funny back of the throat nausea. For the stretch towards the Haight I was trashed and stopped for a few seconds to inhale a banana and more electrolyte which probably saved me.
Through the Haight was grueling and everything from this point on was slower. I had trouble just keeping my feet moving but, managed to force the pain out my ears and finally my legs began to detach from my brain and started running by themselves! Between So. Van Ness to Florida street there was a small hill and I just had to stop and walk two blocks. I had nothing left. At this point only the music in my ear buds was keeping me moving...thank you Lady Gaga and Incubus...couldn't have done it with out you.
Down through to Mission Bay I knew I could make it but really wanted to walk but, forced myself through it. I passed the Ballpark and saw the Bridge where the finish line was. I new I would not make the under 4 hour goal I had. I put my head down and just kept going. I hated the fact that when I raised my head the bridge didn't seem to be getting any closer! It confounded me and I was getting that bonky grouchiness!...almost there!
As I came up to the finish line I heard my name announce over the loudspeaker and the cheering so, I put on my hard core "Dave Scott" face as the flashing cameras assured me I had done it!
I heard Cathy yell "Pete"! Yes I did it and I was proud of myself but, more in a scientific way... I had approached this event intelligently well planned and I felt that more than a self aggrandizing moment, it was a graduation, an education. I learned so much about my athletic potential and a whole new side of who I am.
I feel great!!!!
...and now I set my sights for Boston