Big Sur – the aftermath – part ii

Saturday, April 25, 2009

1:47pm : Picked up my race packet and bib number: 2804. Carboloading with mum and dad on the pier. Dad ordered a bourbon on the rocks. I am jealous.
I forced down shrimp raviolis at lunch. Then more pasta and steak at dinner. I have no idea what my parents ordered for meals – all I know is that my mom had a beer at lunch and wine at dinner; my dad had bourbon at both. I resolved to show restraint until the beer tent at the finish.

3:55pm : Driving the course. Found the giant suck. Mile 8.
Hurricane Point is a famous stretch of Highway 1 that tests runners at about mile 9 of the marathon. It lasts about two miles and perhaps the only thing worse than the way up is the route down. By mile 12 your quads hate you – and you still have 14 more to go.

4:07pm: I say this the night before … The course doesn’t look so bad. Thank you SF hills. Ask me how I feel about it tomorrow.
Emily and her brother Andrew – my running partner – joined us for dinner in Carmel. Afterwards they drove the course to check out Hurricane Point. Despite my assurances that I thought we could handle the hill, Andy texted me before bed: “Hurricane Point is going to SUCK!!!” I think he was close to wetting himself at that point.

7:59pm : Last tweet for the nite. Trying on undies, choosing the lucky pair for tmw. Good luck all! See you at the beer tent.
I wore the cute pair. (Every advantage counts.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

11:45am: It looked easier from the car.
Getting up at 3:15 was by far the worst part of the day. I forced down two bowls of Cheerios despite feeling ill from a massive dinner just six hours earlier, boarded a bus for the start and sat in silence as we wound down the coast to the start. The ride was unnerving because it made the entire run seem really really long.

At the starting line Andy and I bounced from one foot to the other, shivering and wondering why we ever thought this was a good idea. Maybe it was the cold, maybe it was just the ungodly hour of the start, but my legs never seemed to warm up. They were tight from nearly start to mile 20. And I am pretty sure I jinxed myself after cresting Hurricane Point. I turned to Andy and said, “We’re done the hard part. It’s beer time!” Not so much. Mile 17-18 broke my spirit and my calf tightened at mile 19.

Every two miles or so there was a fire truck pulled off to the side, serving as a reminder of why I signed up for the race two years ago. Each truck made me think of how far I’ve come in two years.  Each hill I climbed put more distance between the person I am becoming and the person who didn’t make it here last year. While I have no idea what lies ahead for me – I am certain better things will come.

4:44pm: Consolation beers at the Crown and Anchor
Long distance runners share a common bond: we are a community of sufferers. My final time was 3:28. I was satisfied, but not happy with my performance.  An old friend from college was not satisfied with his time either so we commiserated over beers, toasted to our accomplishments and hatched a plan to train harder and run faster in the next marathon.

8:43pm: 26.2 miles, 3 beers, and one great night recapping the pain in the pub. Cap it with a sweep of the Yankees, and I’m done. Goodnight.
I passed out earlier but was awakened to learn that Jacoby Ellsbury stole home to thoroughly embarrass the Yankees culminating in a 3:0 Red Sox sweep. A fine weekend indeed.

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