Now that I have run (ran?) two marathons, I am going to change my blog to beerandchocolatecake.
Sounds about right, eh?
Oh goodness. Where to start.
This race was an oxymoron. Hideous…just hideous…I mean it is a marathon after all. But, it was also slap you in your face fantastic.
Maybe you should get comfortable or flag this for later. I tend to get lengthy when it comes to races. Because…future Kari likes a lot of detail.
Crystal and I stayed at my cousin’s house the night before. It was really nice to chat with him, his wife and my other cousin for a while. Race stories and life stories. All good. And I think we are all going to run an adventure race next June??? Possibly. ;)
The guest bed that I slept in was king size. Ridiculously comfortable. And made me really miss having a king sized bed! lol But, good comfort for the night before a race :)
I had my alarm set for 5:45.
I woke up before my alarm. I was too scared to look at the clock, but I did anyway. 5:06. After that, I went back to sleep of course. And after my alarm clock went off (and I heard/made sure Crystal got up), I snoozed until a little after 6:00.
I got dressed and ate an apple and a Clif bar. Made sure I was packed up and had what I needed and we were out the door and on the road by 6:45.
There may have been a couple mishaps on the drive over. I put in the address in my GPS and chose the one without NW on the end. Because on the website.it did not include a NW in the address. Well, it took us to the wrong place. Just five miles down the road, so not really a big deal. It just made our drive 30 minutes instead of 20.
And since the wrong address took us down some back roads….I may have blown through a stop sign. It was in an odd place. It was dark. And I just didn’t see it until we were going through the intersection. LUCKILY, there were no other cars around. Yikes.
We parked in the ramp with no issues and then walked over to the YMCA to find some restrooms. Zack had picked up our packets the day before, so we didn’t have to worry about that.
The lines for the bathrooms were a little long. But, we opted to wait for them instead of going to find a porta potty. It was about 30 degrees outside. So, the warmth of the building was well worth it for the extra 20 minutes.
We made our way to the start line and got there right as the race was starting. I had found Scott on the way there. We were texting and figured out he was right behind us. Scott and I planned on hanging back at the start, so Crystal took off to find her pace group.
We almost forgot the pre race selfie! For shame ;)
Scott and I started running together and figured out that we were comfortable at the same pace, so we thought we would just stick together as long as we could.
I have never run with someone during a race. It was so nice to be able to chat. And the miles were just ticking off pretty quickly.
At mile 6 or so, I was feeling hungry. So, I got a Clif bar out of my bag and chomped on that. I wasn’t sure how “actual” eating would go during the run. But, it was fine.
Since we were keeping each other distracted, before we knew it, we were in double digits. Ten miles done!!
Scott had to stop off for a bathroom break and I went on ahead. I wasn’t sure if he would catch up or not.
Selfie at about mile 12-13. I am so impressed, lol:
At around mile 13, I took off my long sleeve shirt and put my music in and put my phone away. So, no more course pictures! lol
It was still pretty chilly at this point. I had taken my gloves off earlier. But, when I took off my long sleeve and went down to my tank top, I put the gloves back on. That turned out to a perfect combo. And I don’t think I took the gloves off until the last mile of the race.
And side note: Bringing tissues was invaluable.
So, I was half way through the course and feeling pretty good. I was drinking water sporadically from my pack. It was nice not to have to rely on the water stops.
There was supposed to be pickle juice at miles 14.9 and 21.4. Which is the beginning/end of the out and back part of the course. I could SMELL the pickle juice both times, but never saw anyone handing any out. I guess they ran out?? I was a bit miffed. Especially since I really think I needed the salt…and had passed on pretzels at mile 10. In hindsight…I should have planned for some salt on my own :(
The out and back. I love this part of the race. Agreed, it seems a little long. (6+ miles) But, it is a small two lane paved road in the middle of the woods. And I got to see EVERYone during this part. So, being able to focus on finding your people…it is a very nice distraction.
First, I saw Brett and was able to give him a high five. A couple minutes later I saw Zack. And then Crystal came trucking along. And shortly after I rounded the turn to come back, I saw Scott. And then around mile 20/21 (i think?) I saw Leslie. I actually passed her without knowing and then heard, “Kari?!”. So, we got to get in a quick hello. :)
At mile 17 and 18, they had oranges. OH MY GOODNESS THOSE TASTED DELICIOUS!! I had been looking forward to those the whole course. They did not disappoint. And at mile 20…bananas. Yum.
I was hoping the fruit would help. I had also eaten some Twizzlers around mile 16 or so.
I am trying to remember exactly when I started cramping. It was somewhere in the 19-20 mile range. And it wasn’t just one muscle. Both my thighs and both my calves were cramping up something fierce. It definitely could have been worse…I mean, I could still keep moving at least. I did try and stop once and do some stretching. Which helped a little. But, the aching continued with some random seizing up.
I started run/walking around mile 20. Which…not sure if it helped or not. It definitely hurt either way…not sure which was worse. But, for some reason in my mind, it made sense to switch up my movement from walking to running here and there.
And by mile 22, I was losing my will. I wanted no part in finishing that race. I was D-O-N, done! (inside joke there). I just didn’t care about any of it. I kept trying to retrain my brain. Trick myself in to thinking that I was just starting an easy 5 mile training run. It didn’t really work. And at times I thought I would just walk the entire rest of the race. And then I would get frustrated and start running again.
And honestly, my endurance was doing pretty good. I wasn’t overworked in that way. The majority of my grief was all from my legs. The cramping and pain was just….ugh, I wanted to cry. From pain or from frustration…not sure which.
During mile 25, I was doing my walking stretch and feeling rather pissed off and frustrated. My face was not happy. I saw a guy with a camera, but thought he was just a spectator. My music changed to Stronger by Kanye West and I put my head down, geared up, and started running. And as I started and looked up, I don’t doubt my face was something odd, and I saw the camera pointed right at me. So yeah…curious to see what that shot looks like! lol Camera guys at mile 25…kind of cruel, lol.
The last couple miles of the race….a blur. I mean, I remember EVERY step…but it’s a blur. I just so badly wanted to be done. Your brain goes to some strange places. I mean, I remember feeling the urge to push the girl on the bike in to the ditch. At the beginning of the race, I was all girl on a bike to support the runners yea! Yeah…your mind switches, lol. And the girl with her music on…without headphones. Grr. Or the guy that stopped in the road to stretch and as I was passing him on the right, he randomly took a step to the right..which pushed me in to the grass and I about twisted an ankle. I know…I may get dramatic lol
The last mile. I had it in my head that I could at least run the entire last mile. Nope.
And eventually…I was rounding the last corner and I could see the finish line. I just had to push and get there. And I did. I crossed the finish line. I shook hands with Don. I got my medal and my space blanket. And then I saw Crystal waiting for me. I gave her a big ole hug and just wanted to melt in to her arms. I almost started crying. Not sure why the tears didn’t flow, but I held back for some reason. I guess there just wasn’t that much there. Which isn’t a bad thing.
And then we walked through and I got my snacks. And ate my Culver’s ice cream! Even though it was like 40 degrees and the wind was blowing, I ate that ice cream gone. I also ate half a bag of chips because I was still craving that salt!!
We sat on a curb for a bit…
We walked to the Jeep and got some warm clothes and then headed back to the beer tent. I had the New Holland White Hatter and it was delicious! So hoppy. So happy. :P
And then we all (Crystal, Brett, Cheri, Caden, Zack, Jenny, Ethan and Noah) all went over to the Downtown Market. Which is just a ridiculously fabulous place. I have no doubt I will be back there. It is basically a building comprised of every type of vendor you can imagine. Meats, breads, spices, coffee, pastries, seafood, sushi, tacos…oh I don’t know what else. There was a lot. And as soon as you walk in, you are hit with the best smells.
I got sushi (of course) and we sat around and ate and chatted for a bit.
By that time, it was already 3 o’clock and I had to head back to get to youth group in time. Amazing how the time flies!
Crystal and I made the drive home. I dropped her off, got to my house, had about ten minutes for a shower, and then headed right up to the church.
So, with all that said. I will say this. I was not hurting nearly as bad as last time. Well, my muscles…maybe a little more? I can’t recall. But, this time I had NO stomach issues at all. Which is pretty incredible to say the least. And I remember my head being much more foggy last time…like unable to think at all. But, this time…maybe just a little.
So, I think that if I had trained my body a bit more, I could have had a nice balance of preparedness. Physical and mental.
Oh, and there is this fun little tidbit. Ya know how your body just goes in to “race prep” mode all on its own? At least for me it does. A little more potty time. I crave better foods. And I think I even sleep a little more (as if that was possible, lol). It is hard to explain…there is probably more. And this time? I started my period 3-4 days early. Which meant that my period ended on Friday before the marathon. If it had started at the usual time, I would have been on my period for the marathon. Now, I could just have crappy record keeping and gotten my dates wrong…but I think that is what happened. Which is just nuts. And great. :)
Who gets a marathon hickey? Apparently this girl!
"I swear, mom! I wasn’t doing anything lol"
I don’t think it was from my sport’s bra. I think it was from my water pack after I took off my long sleeved shirt.
I also managed to get a blister the size of a marble in between my toes. Which ended up being 1 blister of 3 all in the same spot. You are welcome for not showing you the picture ;)
And a little inner thigh chafing and some in the middle of my chest where my sport’s bra rubbed.
Oh, and the middle of my back is sore right on the spine. I also think that was from my pack.
Not really too bad all in all.
And even though the pack caused some soreness in the end, I didn’t notice any of it during the race. I would definitely run with it again.
Today? I am sore. ALL over. Legs, hips, back, arms, neck. There are more body parts…I don’t know. But, in a way it is a good sore. I am not completely wrecked. I just feel like I worked out REALLY hard.
I am stronger than last time. And that is fantastic. Not sure how I would have done if I had gotten more than 13 miles in before race day! But, it doesn’t matter. It was what it was. And that is my story.
Edit: There was pickle juice. Because Scott got some. So, I must be REALLY blind. :(
I thought of you on my course yesterday. Congrats on your time!!
I thought of you as well!! Congrats to you too :)
I have to say, reading your recap….I think your experience mirrored mine in many ways.
I need to recap the marathon before thoughts leave my head. But, I am a bit deep with work right now. But, I did download my pictures…so I’m getting there! ;)
I will admit, because I can be indulgent, after I took the kids to school, I crawled back in bed for a bit. Ugh. So comfy.
BUT, I DID manage to get out of bed after that. So, that is good? I woke up a lot during the night because every time I moved, it hurt.
So, I am probably dragging in more ways than one today.
And all of you that texted to check on me today. You know who you are :) And you are adorable and amazing ;) *hugs and kisses*
I enjoyed some cheesy eggs and banana pancakes. Leftover from the weekend. (But of course I am eating them now pretending like it is the weekend :P lol)
And marathon socks. BECAUSE OF COURSE!!!
And this is when…..
OH SHIT! I AM RUNNING A MARATHON TOMORROW!!!!!
Pasta and chicken has been eaten.
A couple Bell’s Amber Ale have been drank.
Time with cousins….check!
Flat Kari is ready to go.
Playlist has been made and synced.
This may be my new favorite race shirt.
Shower has been had.
Teeth flossed and brushed.
Weather has been checked.
Alarm is set.
Phone is plugged in.
Address is saved for GPS.
Marathon socks ready to be put in post race. ;)
There really isn’t anything left to do. Tomorrow is the day. And while I am nervous and anxious. I am also incredibly curious as to how I will do tomorrow. The curiosity is probably what will keep me awake a bit tonight.
Will it hurt more or less than last time? Will I PR? Will I hit the wall at the same time? Will I have the same stomach issues?
So many variables. So many questions.
I am just ready to get this thing moving and find all the answers!
Last PR = 4:34:34
Oprah’s marathon time = 4:29:15
Last time, I really wanted to beat Oprah. I figure this time, that is about as good of a goal as any.
And my super secret goal (not so secret….ha!) is to stay under 10:00 min miles the entire time. Which would mean a 4:22:00 finish time.
Oh, and if you are interested, that tracking…is here. Bib #1633
And if you like tracking random people:
Brett (my brother) #1460. His PR is 3:33:24. I am not sure what he is shooting for. This is his 4 or 5th marathon.
Crystal #848 PR is 4:14:42 and she is hoping for under 4. This is her second marathon.
Zack (my cousin) #845 PR is 4:21:14 and he is hoping for under 4. This is his second marathon.
Hello Kitty driving the Hello Kitty car.
No trip to Toys R Us is complete without time spent in the car isle.
Football in the rain.
Warmed up with pizza after.
Spite and Malice.
And sometimes you just need to pass out mid stride on the couch….lol
Next time come to me for tyres ;-)
That sounds like a fantastic idea! ;)
I cleaned my house for an hour this morning while I talked to my little sister on the phone. She called right as I walked in the door after dropping the kids off at school. It worked out nicely.
I dealt with a doctor. And a dude from India that has been a pain in my side. And ran some testing. I took a shower.
I headed out to go to the courthouse, but then got a crazy idea to stop in to the tire shop in town to see if they had a 245/65 tire. And then I got an even crazier (obviously there is some sarcasm here) to check my spare. Yep, 245/65. So, I went to the tire guy and had him switch out my 70 for the 65 (and switched rims) and now all my tires match and NO JEEP TROUBLE. I could work my way up to speed without any faltering. It was magical. I was giddy as a little school girl. I may have given her a good pet and apologized for being so neglectful.
And for that specific issue, the Jeep had been to my usual mechanic, the dealership, and a friend. No one noticed the tire until I took it in to Tapper and they diagnosed that little issue one minute in to the conversation. Hindsight……
And then I filed my proof of service paperwork with the court.
And then I tried out a new sandwich shop before heading home.
Homemade sunflower bread. Roast beef. Horsey sauce. Need I say more? I am sure I will be back to that place to see what else they have ;)
I called Charly’s school to get a message to her that she has girl scouts after school. And I called the other school to inform them that my parents will be picking up the kids.
Now I am catching up with some leg work. Finally got some email responses to a few things. And hopefully it is a quiet afternoon for work. Let’s ease right in to the weekend, shall we?
It was just me and the girls tonight. We did some laundry at the laundry mat. Ate some McDonalds. Came home, got ready for bed, and watched Super Size Me. Appropriate, eh? lol
I should sleep soon. But, I felt like posting. Can my head stop spinning? This week was crazy and tomorrow and the weekend will be no different. I am not complaining, I promise. A busy work week means job security. And lots on the schedule means that I have people to love. All good.
Tomorrow I need to skip over to the courthouse to file one more paper.
Keep up with work. Try and clean the house? Maybe at least put the clean laundry away! And um…take out the trash :P
My dad, step mom, and brother are coming over around 1 or so. I haven’t sen my brother (younger one) in a long time. He has been living down in Tennessee for a while and he just moved back home last week. I look forward to some catch up time!
I will still need to keep up with work til 5, but we will manage. And Oma and Opa will get the kids from school…which they and the kids will certainly enjoy.
And then by 5/5:15 Mark and Aydan have to be at the blue church to meet the scouts for the parade. And the girls have to be at the middle school to meet the cheerleaders and/or the girl scouts for the parade (I have to figure out who Charly is walking with).
And after the parade is the football game. Homecoming night. The girls will cheer with the high schoolers during the game. And I know a couple of the girls that are on homecoming court.
My parents and Josh will stay the night Friday.
Saturday morning I need to head out with Aydan and pick up a birthday gift for a party he has on Sunday.
And I need to make sure I am ready to go for Sunday. Pack, etc. I did buy my Clif bars and Twizzlers already at least!
Saturday around 5, I will drop the kids off to Mark. And I will pick Crystal up. I will either make some grub at home or we will grab something on the way to Grand Haven. And we will crash at my cousin’s house for the night.
Sunday morning we will scoot over to Grand Rapids and um…run a bunch of miles.
After the race, I am hoping to meet up with as many people as possible for lunch. Somewhere. Out of Brett, Zack, Crystal and me, I am the slowest. So, they will just have to wait a bit and save me a beer ;)
And then head back home at some point, hopefully in time for youth group at 5. And I will pick up the kids after that. Go home, get ready for bed…and then Monday??? I really should have planned better and taken the day off!! lol
And if you made it through that drivel, I commend you.
Really though, it felt good to get that out. I may not feel quite so overwhelmed about tomorrow and the weekend now. Because honestly, sometimes figuring out who needs to be where and how and when…it gets exhausting :P That was actually the polished version, lol.
Arrow is in my hulu queue. I am going to go watch that, finish my Red Hook and doze off to sleep. Have I mentioned that I currently have the perfect balance of blankets on my bed? Three blankets. And they create the perfect amount of weight. It is almost like my own cozy little cave. Lover it. :P
I am bib #1633 :)
I am getting excited! Not in the usual sort of way. I am not looking forward to running for 4-5 hours. But, I am. I am looking forward to pushing myself. I am looking forward to those 4-5 hours where I will only have me to rely on/blame. Solitude in a sea of awesome people. How comforting, right?
I can’t wait to see all the inspiring runners. And you know you all are….all the time. No doubt, I will cry. Embrace it :P
I love this race. I loved it when I ran it. And I loved it when I spectated last year. It is hands down my best experience when it comes to races…so well organized and such a great vibe from all the people.
Here is a clip from the email this morning:
SEE YOU AT THE FINISH LINE!
Breakfast…at lunch time.
It’s been a busy morning :P
Throwback Thursday. Grand Rapids Marathon 2012.
And I still remember how much like crap I felt after those 26.2. And I am going to do it all over again to myself on Sunday. I am so smart :)
Today was one of those whirlwind days. I was basically moving/doing something since the moment I woke up. I am still spinning a bit.
And I was SO happy to get home tonight, get the kids in bed, and then shed the clothes and open the beer. Hulu is next :)
Mark couldn’t get the kids from school today, so I picked them up. It also meant that I had them at the house during the last couple hours of work. Other than a crying fit (not me) and breaking up a fight, they did ok ;) Charly got her homework done. Aydan got in his potty time. And I was able to get a little work done.
I hadn’t planned dinner, since I normally don’t pick them up til 5:30 and then we have Euchre at 6. So, I just pulled out a little of everything from the fridge. Hey, they scarfed it down. (who knew pepperoni tacos were so funny?) And it even has a bit of all the food groups. Well, I was the only one to eat salad ;) And Aydan ended up also having two bowls of cereal :P
Charly helped me bake some cookies for Euchre.There was a lot of being silly and singing songs. Instead of the “mom, stop!”, she joined in: “Bake the cookies. Bake, bake, the cookies” lol
Anyway, then we all went to Euchre. We had three tables minus one person, so I asked Charly if she wanted to learn. I had started teaching her about a month ago, so she had a vague concept of the bowers and trump.
She did great! We had to help her a bit, but she was calling trump with confidence and sluffing the right cards. She played two games with us and held her own ;) And then a couple more people showed up, so she went to play games with Aydan.
Oh, and that red hand? Yeah, my partner picked up a black bower. We got 2 points, but I didn’t get to play that hand they way I would have wanted to :)
It was nice chatting with everyone tonight. Just a very good vibe in the air. It is nice to think that we have been playing cards together every other week for more than a year. I will have to remember when we actually started. Summer of 2013 maybe?
And it is a group of people that I just wouldn’t normally have gotten to know. It is a good thing.
As Ice Cube would say, today was a good day.