The Day Of: October 20th
On October 20, I woke up with an intense feeling of "OH MY GOD I AM LATE WHAT IS HAPPENING!".. what a way to wake up, y'all. If you haven't experienced that jolt of adrenaline in the dead of night then you don't know what you're missing!
My problem was that my phone is "old", in tech standards - it's an iPhone 4S, and it's more than 2 years old. It's been doing this thing where if it has less than 30% battery life, and I try to open an app, it dies. Once I connect it to a power source, or even wait and try to turn it back on again, it successfully turns on and says I have 30% - so it shouldn't be crashing!! Anyways. The only outlet in the room we were sleeping on was blocked, so I had to plug it in in the adjoining room. I had no way to check what time it was, and knowing how early I was getting up (4:30am), I knew it would be just as dark at midnight as it would be at 4:30, so for all I knew, I was running late.
I got out of bed and checked my phone - nope. Midnight. I got back in bed and tried to sleep more. It worked - for two hours. I woke up in a jolt at 2am, got out of bed, and fished around for JW's phone by his side of the bed. He had set an alarm for me in case I didn't hear my phone in the other room. I turned it on - 2am. Two and a half more hours of sleep.
I got back in bed and set the phone by my head. I jolted awake two hours later- 4am. Just a little bit longer! At 4:25, I couldn't stand it. I shut off the alarm, shut off my phone's alarm, and decided it was time. Eep!
I got out of bed and ate a banana with a cinnamon-raisin bagel. I was nervous - so, so nervous. I felt like I might be sick I was so nervous. I immediately regretted the banana, and wished I had something to go along with the bagel - I ate it dry. I drank a cup of water but was worried about drinking too much (I was like a fish the day before so I wasn't worried about being dehydrated) so after one glass, I was done.
I was worried about it being so cold - it was about 48 degrees that morning and I was wearing my short sleeve Nike tee and capris. No gloves, no hat... gah. I was hoping that sheer adrenaline and other people's bodies would keep me warm.
|My gear that morning|
I got picked up around 5:30. The driver was nice enough, we just made stupid small talk for the 10 minutes I was in the car, and I was grateful for not having to deal with credit cards or tip. The whole trip only cost me $5 because I got a $10 discount for using the code Nike gave me! Awesome.
It was so cold. SO. COLD. I was dropped off at Bush and Mason, so I just had to walk down on Mason to Sutter street and walk back to Taylor street to get into my proper corral. For some reason I thought I had chosen the 9:00-9:59 corral, but in hindsight I was glad I didn't.
|Pace Corral Bracelet|
It was around this point that I knew I needed to fill up my water bottle and use the rest room, and it was early enough that there wasn't a line for either. I walked up to a Nuun station and was about to pour a few cups of water manually into my bottle, but one of the volunteers offered to fill my bottle up for me. Yes, please! It was super nice of them.
|Marathon bib and fully loaded water bottle: check!|
|I thought it was funny that we were by the Theater District...|
|Not sure if I'm ready???|
|Attempting a smile??|
|The start line: so far away! (the finish line: even farther..)|
|Looking behind me|
|Excited? Nervous? Not sure....|
The above was taken at 5:58am. I'm really bad at stretching things out. I crammed tons of pictures in a 12 minute time span, when I had almost 45 minutes to kill. However, I did have a method to my madness... I was worried about my phone dying. Remember my rant about my phone? Well, thinking about it running the Nike Running app for 4+ hours plus running music plus people texting me during...
I tried to put my phone on Airplane mode but then when I opened Nike Running, it told me to turn on Wifi to get access to data. I was too worried that it wouldn't work at all, so I just didn't bother with airplane mode.
You see my sunglasses? I used them ONCE. ONE time. Stupid fog.
The Start Line was pretty intense- lots of music, a dude that kept reminding us that we were "30,000 women and a Few Good Men" (how fast do you think we got sick of that joke?), and that we would get a Tiffany necklace handed to us by a fireman in a tuxedo at the end (neat), and a constant countdown of how long it would be until the gun went off.
In a twist of fate, (fortunately? unfortunately?) the speaker that I was standing next to was cutting out, so someone came up to it and disconnected it, so it was bliss that we didn't have to listen to the recycled jokes, but I then had nothing to take my mind off of the upcoming race.
My mental game was wishy-washy. I was all over the place. I kept getting weirdly emotional - especially when they had someone from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society talk about meeting her donor - but I attributed that to the cold (whenever I wrinkled my nose, the emotions would subside). I kept wondering what it would feel like to finish. I kept trying to visualize my goal time and come up with some other minor goals.
I've heard that you should make 3 goals: 1 thing that's gonna happen no matter what (for me: finish the race), 1 thing that would be awesome if it happened (for me: my goal time), and 1 thing that if the sun and the moon aligned and everything went perfectly might happen (for me: my goal time minus 30 minutes). I felt less and less confident about my B goal, and was afraid that I'd think the whole race was a waste if I didn't hit it. I tried not to think about it.
The gun finally went off for the elites. We watched the fireworks and waited anxiously to start moving forward- nothing happened. We heard the gun go off again, and wondered if it was for us. Nope, the 08:00-08:59 group. Then we heard it go off again for the 09:00-09:59 group, and we were finally allowed forward.
Some girls were running to the start (....) while I was taking the time to warm up my hands so they'd have enough heat to register on my iPhone to start my Nike Running app. It seemed to take forever for our gun to go off, but eventually it did. It felt like another 2 or 3 minutes before my feet crossed the Start line and my race began. (Looking back at my times, I crossed the start line at 00:24:36, meaning it was 6:54am!)
This was it!
|Arial view of the start line. Source: Run Nike Women Series FB Page|
Check it out: THE RACE. (I know, I know.. but I'm known for my novel-sized recaps, so bare with me.)