|Wine tasting in Napa the day after the marathon. The quote on this coaster was perfect. I love it!|
- First off, THANK YOU for your comments and virtual hugs. So nice. Nobody will ever truly see things the way we do but the running blog community is pretty darn supportive. They "get it".
- Napa was a bad race. But when I think of the fact that I ran a 3:40 when it felt like a 7 hour marathon, it doesn't feel as awful as it did at the time. In fact, according to a blog reader's comment from yesterday, I think I qualified for Boston 2014 if I wanted to go again. I'm 35 next year so I'd qualify with a 3:40. I'm just not sure if my 3:40:xx works. I think I needed a 3:40:00 or under. But that wasn't my goal. In fact, as I jogged/walked that last four miles I could see a 3:35 go to a 3:37 to a 3:39...and I honestly didn't care if I had a 3:40 or a 3:45 or a 3:50....time didn't matter anymore but being DONE mattered greatly!
- Last night I wrote a post that I deleted (for good reason...Ha!). It was really rather hilarious. I had had a glass of wine and allowed myself to just sit with the race residue a bit. The wine led to that superhero "I can share anything with the world" cape and it led to what I would consider a really funny Saturday Night Live Skit for marathon runners. Just a tad on the dramatic side. Hilariously so. Maybe it was just hearing my best friend read it aloud in her finest fake British accent and best Amanda Mockery tone that she could muster up but I was literally laughing for 3 hours straight. There was no way I was going to leave that crap up on the Internet for all to read. It did what it was meant to do and then she added comic relief to my processes and put things in quite the HILARIOUS and down to earth perspective. Gotta love best friends that can make fun of us. I really should include the video. It makes light of just how seriously we can take ourselves in this amateur marathon world. Don't get me wrong, I still think we have a right to our feelings...we train hard for these races and we need time to process it all. If anyone else would have been making fun of me in the same way, it wouldn't have been funny AT ALL. Maybe I'll be brave enough to share the video so everyone can laugh at my expense. I think Stephanie might be able to convince me...she seemed to get a kick out of it.
- About the "disappointing others" reference in my last post.... to clarify, I wasn't referring to my blog readers or friends. Not at all. When you have a coach/trainer...someone that is putting their heart and mind into this marathon training, it is a big day for them too. Even though my coach reassured me a million times over that my race performance wouldn't disappoint him no matter what, I still thought a lot about this during the race. No matter what, it is a disappointing thing for a coach to see their team or athlete crash after many weeks of great training. But he was only disappointed FOR me...not in me.
- Even from the start of the race, I couldn't find my rhythm. It is one thing to have to dig deep at the end of the marathon and finish strong while you are falling apart mentally but an entirely different experience to feel like you're digging deep at mile six. And NO, I didn't start out too fast. First mile was around 7:37. Right where I needed to start or even a little slower. And No, I wasn't undertrained for this pace. If anything, my goal felt "safe".
- I haven't shared a lot of my training on here this time around but my workouts have been really strong and I went into this race feeling calm and confident. I felt confident and calm even before the race started and knowing that I didn't have sleep. I was focused on almost all POSITIVES.
- My race pictures actually didn't turn out so awful. Imagine that! Ha! I would have imagined a look of death and crap spilling melting into the pavement pictures. But they really aren't as embarrassing as I thought they would be. Go Napa Photographers! Thank you for not capturing the drool running down my face as I slogged through every last mile.
- I looked over at one of the miles and there was Joan Benoit Samuelson cheering away for us (and looking for her daughter who was racing). This was cool.
- At the start I had a conversation with Nina Kuscsik (this link to a video of Nina is worth watching). Such a warm spirit. So thankful for all she did for women in marathoning. Thank you Beautiful Nina!
- I met Joe Henderson and had him sign a book for my coach. My pen wasn't working so he gave me his. This doesn't matter so much to me since I don't even think I knew who Joe Henderson was before the weekend (I know, some of you will find that ridiculous even though some will feel the same way). I do know that the pen will matter greatly to my coach so I'm excited to give it to him as a gift.
- Thanks for those of you that responded about the sleeping tips for the night before a race. Yes, yes, yes, it is COMMON for one to not sleep much the night before a race. I get this people. I'm not special in that. Never thought I was. In fact, I'm sure there were plenty of others out there that didn't sleep. And I know that the night before the night before is the most important night...I was on a track and cross country team for all of high school and college...we learned this too. I just know for a fact that I will need to find a way to get SOME sleep the night before such a MENTAL race. Otherwise, I'm toasty roasty. And please don't try to tell me that this isn't true "according to research". That's just really annoying to me because hello, folks, I know myself quite well at 34. The sleep thing isn't an excuse for me. Those of you that know me the best, know this about me.
- I said from the start that training for this marathon wasn't about a super ambitious goal and pushing myself as hard as I could go (even though I did want a PR and a big goal...just wasn't the be-all-end-all). I was intent on enjoying the process and finding Joy in just being able to run and have a goal. I stick to this. This race or 26.2 mile workout doesn't take away from that. Nothing can take the satisfaction and confidence that I've gained over the last 18 weeks of training. Bad races happen. Life goes on! I still have running.
- Yesterday I woke up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for life. It was so nice being home and sleeping next to my husband for the first time in over a week. He was out of town the entire week before my marathon and got home the night before I left for Napa. I still didn't get to sleep next to him (my calm) that night because he was sick. I kicked him to the couch so I did't get sick too. Anyway, it felt so good to be home, in my own bed, and to have so many exciting things coming up.
- Boston. I'll be there no matter what. Excited to see many of you! However, I'm pretty darn sure I'll be running for fun and not for a goal. I need that right now.
- I am sincerely glad the way things happened the way they did in Napa. I learned quite a bit this weekend. And I came home INSPIRED. I am more inspired than I've been in a long time. Hearing the speakers, talking to famous runners, getting books signed, and listening to the stories of some of the greats...this was food for my learning soul. So thankful.
Some highlights in pictures and captions:
|My words from Runninghood's Facebook: "I've never been so inspired running wise as I am today after hearing the stories of these amazing women who paved the way for women runners everywhere. Chills. And I think this just might be the first race bib I actually frame since it issigned by all of them: Joan Benoit Samuelson, Lorraine Moller, Nina Kuscsik, and Jacqueline Hansen. I'm so grateful for all they did for women in this wonderful sport. And glad to be here at the Napa Valley Marathon during a year of Honoring Women in Marathoning! Today is a good day!"|
|The best "swag bag" I've ever received at a race. This is a Nice backpack for travel, races...whatever. It even has a slot/area for my laptop. LOVE it! Thanks Napa Valley Marathon for a well run race.|
|Best marathon travel partner ever! This was her 22nd marathon. She has a goal for 40 before 40. Love her.|
|Heather was so full of patience and love in listening to me and helping me process after the race. What a wise and patience friend. Loved spending time getting to know her better.|
|Meeting John Keston was the highlight of my expo experience. What a story he has to tell. At 88 he is still full of so much life and strength. He instantly drew me in when I heard him talking at the expo. John didn't start running competitively until he was in his 50's and then became a world age-group record holder. What a gifted and full spirited man. I LOVED our conversation and I'm greatly enjoying his book. And I didn't realize until I was on the plane flying through the pages of his story that he is from Oregon. Must meet up with him before I move. I think I can make that happen. |
|Lorraine Moller, one of New Zealand's greatest women distance runners and four time Olympic athlete was one of the most inspirational speakers. Her words made me feel so empowered. I'm excited to read her book. |
|Beautiful Napa Valley wine tasting. Best way to spend the day after a marathon!|
|My view from the grass I ate my lunch on.|
|Dean and Deluca, I will be back for your sandwiches!|
|Ritual Coffee in the Oxbow Public Market . So so good!|
I know, quite the disorganized ramble here. Bottom line is that I had a great time in Napa! Although I felt defeated and broken during and just after the race, I can't quite explain how happy and optimistic I feel about it all now. On my flight home as I was reading John Keston's book, I was smiling inside and out. Just happy to be living. Happy to be able to travel. Happy that I'm about to move to North Carolina for an adventure. Excited for a party at our house this weekend. Glad to be uninjured and have a chance to run the Boston Marathon in 6 weeks. Pressure free. What a privilege it is to train for marathons! It's not cheap and it takes a lot of time. We are fortunate to have people that support us, a body that says "Yes, you can", the funds to even pay for the race, and a fresh start to keep setting goals and using running to make our life better!
If you want a marathon getaway with a rolling hills course, beautiful scenery, a great expo, the best swag bag, and some awesome post race wine tasting and/or sight seeing, Napa Valley is a must do. I'd do it again for sure!