Sunday, February 15, 2015

Okinawa Marathon

Well first off.. Don't you like how the Japanese advertise their races? Pretty neat I say. Anyways, first marathon race of the year. It has been a long wait and I have been preparing myself for this race. Rumor has it that this was going to be a hilly route. So what do I do? Hit up hills and lots of it. 

As you know me already, there is no race without pre-race photos. Especially with the greatest group ever and familiar faces. Nothing like to start a run on a positive note that everyone will endure this journey and knowing that you are not a lot. That there is a lot of ways to dig deep and pull out some motivation from one another. 

Well the race was set to start at 0900 I believe and being in our corral for a while kind of hyped me up a bit but then the sun came out. Yes the sun came out before the gun went off. Anyways, as they announced that the race was to begin. So I started try to zone out and get pumped with my music. Bang! Before I reached the first mile, I was already sweating like I was in a sauna. It was crazy hot and the only breeze I was able to feel most of the time was from cars passing by from the opposite lanes. 

The sun stayed out and never went away. Yes, I understand it was a beautiful day, according to those that didn't run this race. haha! But seriously though, that sun sucked all the energy from me way too soon. Used up my water from my handheld but I was so in the zone for the first 10 miles. Running at a high 8 minute pace. 

I could be the pace that drained me but it was definitely the sun that drained everything from me. Anyways, lets talk about these hills. When someone posts the the hill elevation and it does not seem like as much as we have been training on. Well remember that the photo seems a little scrunched together. So it didn't show the gradual hills, now that was a straight up screwed up my mental side. haha!

I mean I had no problem running or not stopping during the first few hills but what also sucks is that. Every hill we approached, I knew how it was going to be because I've driven it. Yup surly the hills kept coming and I slowly ended up slowing down. Then to a walk/run method. 

Starting somewhere on mile 18, my right leg decided to toy with me with muscle cramps/spasms. So every time my leg was about to cramp/spasm. I would stop and walk it out. I did this throughout the whole way. Some I would try to run further but some were short. While I was doing this, I was trying to compensate by putting most of my weight on my left leg. Doing so, my left foot ended up hurting real bad. Even after I decided to stop with the compensation, my left arch was killing me. So yet again, I was enduring more pain. This time it really slowed me down, there was more walk/run. 

Anyways, I did walk at the last 1k of the race. Crazy right? Haha! If you knew how much pain I was going through. Well once I reached the track, which was the last stretch of the race. I decided to sprint it out but about 10 paces from the finish line. BOTH OF MY FREAKING LEGS DECIDED TO CRAMP UP! Haha! So I ended up hobbling to finish. 

Crazy thing was that before the race, I was deciding if I should bring my handheld water bottle, music and compression sleeves. Glad I decide to take them with me. I would rather over carry things than carry less because I can always strip it off me. OH! and my damn Nike GPS watch froze on me on mile 18! MOTHERFATHER! haha! Looks like Im going to invest in a Garmin. 

I did reach my goal of running a Sub 5 run. Im counting my chip time because thats when I crossed those pads. So I finished at 4:59:48. Hell yes! Thank you Tabatha for showing me and brightening my day. haha! 

Okinawa Pavement Pounders!

Special Thanks to Desiree and the Stroller Warriors who were posted up at the best spot where I needed it. They were my oasis in a desert. Thank you for your support. As well as Kevin Spain for stick with me through the painful parts of the race. Same with Shirley as she cursed her feet, which we will never speak of again. haha! 

Overall though, if it wasn't for this wonderful group. I think I would of ended up just running on my own and not racking up my medals and milestones. So thank you all for the great motivation, inspiration and as always great friends. 

Music that made this race