Monday, March 23, 2009

My First Marathon

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
Bib: 972
Name: Shannon Franklin
Gender: F
Age: 44
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


AdventureSeeker said...

Shannon, you are so AWESOME! I KNEW you were going to finish. I was curious all day and couldn't wait to hear your results. I love that when you want something you just GO FOR IT. No stops, no considerations, just pure intention. I can't wait to be running with you again. I definitely miss it.

Your friend in adventure.

TEAM CrossFit said...

Out-Fucking-Standing..I cant wait to hear about it in person!


Mountain Goat said...


I already congratulated you, but now I want to praise you for your wisdom in how well you prepared for this marathon. So smart to entirely rest the week before; I did the same thing, no strenuous training and also ate decently.

I felt really good on the first half too. Got there 2:04 and I was happy because I wanted 2 hours or a little over so as not to burn out. We were running a similar pace, yours was a bit faster until we caught you on the Raymond hill heading up to Washington. Then at Mile 16ish..on Washington I had to slow down because of a problem I've been having with my left leg. I had to let my buddy Jim go and then waved at you as you moved ahead.

I totally agree, Mile 19 on was a suckfest! Yet,like you, even in the midst of some pain, I was so thankful to be out there doing this crazy thing.

I was hoping for a 4:20, but I won't complain too much about my 4:38..I had apprehensions because my leg had been bugging me all week. I am so grateful to have finished.

I bet we both come a lot closer to 4 hours next time, of course with good training. I have to tell you this distance running is harder than I suspected. I've not competed in anything over 8.6 miles. True..some big climbs with Wilson and Baldy, but they don't keep you on our legs all that long.

We'll talk soon.

Trail Runner Con Dios said...

This is my first time on the blog in days and I'm glad to finally get to read this post.

Shannon, I can't even begin to tell you how inspiring your results are to me. I knew you could do it, but I was blown away by your time. I didn't question your readiness, but I did wonder if you were realistic with your planned pace.

I just LOVE that you were right and trusted your training.