Saturday, May 31, 2008 - Expo
The day did not start out as planned. We had originally planned to hit the expo early as possible, around 10 AM, but we did not get to sleep early enough the night before because our neighbor across the street felt the need to party (loudly) until wee hours of the morning. We made it to the expo around 12:30 PM. We quickly found our friend Sam then retrieved our race numbers, t-shirts, and Michael's timing chip. We walked around the expo for a while. I purchased a pair of Ininji socks, found a shirt for my grandson that says "My grandma is faster than you," chatted with the Runningskirt.com twins and purchased another running skirt with the compression shorts, then hooked up with Dori (She Do Run Run.) Our time was limited but it was as if we'd known each other for years, even though we had only met one other time. I also checked out the San Diego Track Club booth and chatted with a few members who wanted the details about my injury. Once we were finished with the expo, we went with Sam for a quick lunch, then home for a little rest before heading out to the track club pasta dinner.
Upon arriving at the pasta dinner, we were quickly greeted by one of our track club running buddies, and she invited us to sit with her and family at her table. It was kind of funny to see everyone in normal clothes, since we normally see everyone in sweaty running garb, with hats and sunglasses on. (We didn't think to get dressed up.) As a group, the track club actually cleans up well! More people arrived and I had to explain my entire story again when they saw the walker. It was fun to catch up with many of the people I had run with, and how excited they were about the marathon the next day. During dinner we had some words of inspiration from our coaches and a local news anchor who runs. After dinner it was more of the same, catching up with our new friends and telling our coaches thanks for a great training season. Once we were home, it was lights out for me. I have no idea what time Michael went to sleep, but I know it wasn't early.
Sunday, June 1, 2008 - Marathon Day
The alarm was set for 4:00 AM but we didn't get out of bed until 4:15. There really wasn't much to prepare for, just get dressed, eat, and go. Our son, Erik, was the driver, so he was also summoned to be up early. Because of prior marathon morning traffic experience, we've learned to take a back route to the start area. It took only 10 minutes for us to make our way there. I figured it would take Erik and I 10 minutes to get to the volunteer parking. I was wrong. It took about a half hour because we got stuck in marathon traffic and a road closure that I completely forgot about. Once we got out of traffic, it was a smooth drive to the volunteer parking area, and somewhat of a short walk to the 23.5 water station. After signing in and receiving our volunteer t-shirts, Erik quickly went to work helping to pour water into the cups, and I set out cups. After that, it was a matter of waiting. Several people there knew about my ordeal, but a few didn't, and I had to explain all over again what happened. Other long time runners talked about their injuries, some no longer run, but are still active in the running community. They volunteer. It's a good group of people to belong to.
Erik helping out.
A couple of hours go by and the first chair participant goes by, soon to be followed by a couple more chair participants. Not too long after the lead male runner goes by, and everyone begins to cheer. I'm sure the guy is working it, but he makes his run look effortless. A few more male runners go by before the female leader goes by about 20 minutes later. Since I normally run in the marathon, I never see the elite runners. I'm probably somewhere near the halfway point when they're finished, and probably already back in their hotel rooms when I do finish. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see such athletes go right by me, as I attempted to get their pictures.
A few of guys from the track club had wondered what it would be like to run with the elites, so they decided to follow one for a few feet. I'm not sure how often that happens, and I'm not sure what the etiquette is on that, but it was kind of funny, and I'm sure it's something these guys will definitely remember for a long time.
It wasn't much longer, but the masses began to stream in. I saw several of my track club friends and gave them hugs as they stopped by. I spotted the 4:30 pace person and group go by, and felt slightly melancholy that I wasn't a part of the group, but happy for them that they were just less than 3 miles from the finish, and still all together.
Cindy cheering on the runners!
Michael ahead of schedule!
Dori still smiling!
Around the 7 hour point, Erik and I called it a day. There were several walkers still on the course. We gathered up our things and trekked back to the car, and then to MCRD to meet up with Michael and Sam at the track club tent, where they were enjoying their post marathon beer.
Once we were home and rested, Michael decided he was feeling well enough to attend this year's post marathon concert featuring Pat Benatar. (How can someone so tiny have such strong vocal pipes???) She sang most of her hits, and we did enjoy ourselves. The concert wasn't that long, though, and we were home before 10:00 PM.
Post Marathon Day - June 2, 2008
It's back to work for Michael, and he brings his medal to the office as proof that he did yet another marathon. As for me... I'm not sure what happened, but I could not even hold down water for most of the day. I can't pin-point what I ate to make me feel so crummy, but I am glad it only lasted a day. Michael is still feeling fantastic about getting under that 6 hour time hump. I think this is the first time I have seen him really excited for himself about running and excelling. He's usually mentioning something about the pain at this point, but this time it's not so much.
20494 Michael M San Diego CA 50 M chip 5:49:23 clock 5:57:16 pace 13:20 10K 1:08:32 half 2:28:51
Slow Motion - Third Eye Blind