Wow. What can I say? This was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Although I did not train specifically for this race, I instinctively knew "I was ready."
I took the entire week off beforehand and rested. I did NOTHING to exercise, at all. I ate very healthy and I visualized myself doing well.
I had several people question my readiness, but like I said, I just sort of knew it would all be okay, so I listened to my inner voice and didn't give in.
I ran with a bladder filled with a 4:1 carb to protein beverage, which I learned about in the Paleo Diet. I kid you not, for the first 19 to 20 miles, it was as if I had wings. It was actually EASY. I actually hit the 13 mile mark right around the 2 hour mark, which was my goal. I forced myself not to run too quickly in the beginning, and I focused on attempting a 9:15pace, pose technique, lifting my knees and keeping steady.
Life was good. I was high on life and at several points during the race was overcome with emotion--resulting in out loud cheers of "Whooooooo! We're alive!" At one point, I even broke out in a mini-cry (lasting all of maybe 2 seconds), as I was just so overcome with joy at doing something I had always wanted to do.
I thought of my Dad (who passed away about 5 years ago) and how proud he'd be of me. I thought of my Mom, whom I love so much, and how proud she is of me and I of her. I thought of my boyfriend Dan, whom I love so very much. I thought of my roommate Lisa, whose courage to go after most anything propelled me to this very place, so I ran for her too.
It was beautiful.
About mile 19-ish though, the pain set in. First, I got stomach cramps, and had to stop for diarrhea. After that, the stomach seemed okay, but then it seemed like every muscle in my body, actually every bone in my body, was just aching.
My knees (of which there isn't much cartilage to play with anyway) were screaming with pain, my hips hurt, my calves were tight, and I just ached.
I tried to keep my spirits up, but it became increasingly harder. My pace slowed to about 10:30, then 11:15, and at times to 12:30. I tried like hell to speed up, but the old body just didn't want to play anymore.
So I kept going anyway. It was slow, but sure. And at no time, ever during the race, did I walk. I refused.
When I crossed the finish line, Dan was there taking pictures and cheering me on as always. I finished in 4:21:24. Not quite what I hoped for, but not bad considering my lack of training.
I went home, took a hot bath, had some breakfast and slept.
Today I'm stiff, but good, and I am damned happy to be alive.
I can't wait to do it again!
Runner Details Race Results Split Times
Name: Shannon Franklin
Hometown: Tujunga, CA
Overall: 503 out of 1486
Women: 100 out of 501
F 40-44: 18 out of 88
Age/Grade: 56.79% Place: 302
Finish: 4:21:24 Pace: 9:59
Tag Time: 4:21:24
Gun Time: 4:25:17
10 Km: 59:34 Pace: 9:36
10.75: 1:43:56 Pace: 9:41
16.15: 2:33:04 Pace: 9:29
21.6: 3:29:50 Pace: 9:43