It was 2 pm and I sat on the balcony to enjoy the B&B garden view while having my lunch: pasta with a touch of milk, a mound of parmigiano reggiano cheese, and a couple of fruits (I take the meals with me if I travel the day before the race so I don't have to deal with restaurants.)
I just wanted to be on that relaxing stage where nothing but my rest matters. At 7 I had my second load of pasta not because I am carboloading, but because this is my menu almost 365 days a year; nothing more simpler than that. Boring, could be, but simple! After this I went to sleep. Took me a while, but I know the sleep the night before the race is not the key. The key is the cummulative rest that I’ve had the week prior to the marathon.
During the 2nd mile I still had trouble breathing. I thought that probably I had a beginning of a cold therefore my chest was tight. 2nd mile was 8:58. During mile 3 though my legs still felt heavy, my breathing improved; I felt much better, and then is when I realized that altitude hit me. Definitely that was; my chest lighten up, I felt more secure and continued my run trying to convince my legs that they would be fine. However, they were still heavy and I told to myself “I will never taper that much again.” I felt like if I had not run in 6 months, and I was only in mile 3 with no challenges yet.
As the miles went, my goals started to be thrown out of the window. I threw away the 3:5ish, and held tight to the 4:00 and lastly to 4:10, my BQ. When I crossed the 30K at 2:48 I had some hopes but then mile 20 was at 3 hours even. I had 60 minutes to pull a 10K if I still want a sub-four. Gosh, my 10K is 48 minutes fresh and I was doubting I could run it now in one-hour. I pushed the pace and ran an 8:11, but when you are going downhill, the slight flat, or uphill becomes a mountain. I clocked a 10:10 in mile 22. Orders given, back to the 8ish. At mile 23 I was in 3:27. I had 33 min to pull a 5K plus 0.1 mile. Could sound easy, but we seasoned marathoners know that nothing is a given. I pushed as I could and ran mile 24, a blessed downhill in 8:42. A fan by the road screamed: “Lizzie you are just 2 miles away, and this is the last downhill. The rest is flat.”. I didn’t want to hear that, I needed gravity to help me. Flats sections were mountains since I started because my legs didn’t play ball at all with me during the whole race. For the last 2 miles I knew I had Boston in my pocket; in my first try. I knew as well I had the sub-four. I would have to collapse for not getting it and I was not in so bad shape. I think my mind was blurry during this stretch. Then I hit mile 26 and I was in 3:54:55. I have 0.2 miles to go. I did it, I did it. I saw the finish line. I crossed it, it’s 3:56:39. I stood underneath the mist showers. I stayed there. I kissed Utah’s ground. The guy that put my medal on hugged me tight because I was crying heavily with one picture in my head: Myself crossing Seattle’s Marathon finish line 5 years ago, in 2007 in 5:54. My kids were in my mind; the words my beautiful daughter Alejandra told me before the race were resonating,"Mom, with faith you can move mountains. With doubt you only create them." She had so much faith in me; my adorable Hubby Randy who endures my "disappearances" every weekend to go to races. Michelle who was fundamental in my training, and Petra, because her Berlin experience helped me to keep moving. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. Everything is possible.
2) PR (Under 4:35:13) - Checked
3) Get a BQ (4:10:00) - Checked
4) Get time to spare for Boston registration 2nd week (4:00) - Checked
5) Sub-four - Checked
6) Position me on the top 10 for 2012 in Washington State - Checked
7) Get time to spare for Boston registration 1st week (10 min or more time to spare) – Checked. As 2013 was not sold out I could get a spot in 2013.
10) Position me on the top 3 for 2012 in Washington State (under 3:33:10) – Nope