Sunday, June 5, 2011

Newport Marathon!..."You can do anything if you drink enough Water!"

My cousin Jennifer (from Arizona) once told me, "Julie, you can do anything if you drink enough water."
I don't do well in the heat!

Newport was my second marathon and very different in many ways than Portland!  With Portland I trained alone and the weather was stormy the day of the race.  I was not properly prepared because of an injury I had to work though during training.  I ended up with a terrible headache that tore me up! Even though so many things went wrong during Portland, it was good and made me stronger.  I wouldn't do it again like I did, but I am very glad I did it and wouldn't trade the experience. 

After Portland I met Tonya.  In the last seven months Tonya and I have become the bestest of friends.  She did Newport last year and loved it.  Told me what a flat and beautiful course it was.  Before I knew it, I was training for another marathon, but this time with a partner.  In the mean time I talked to my cousin in Az, my Mom and my friend Katie about running it too.  Mom decided to walk and Jennifer (my cousin) made arrangements to take vacation at that time and come.  Katie decides to train as well!  We were going to have a great time.  Tonya found a great marathon schedule and off we went.

Training went well for the most part.  I did pull a muscle and had to take it easy for several weeks, but just tried to stay consistent. Consistency isn't always easy, but it does pay off!  

Marathon day came and I felt so ready!  I knew what to expect (or so I thought) and my nerves were doing fairly good.  We arrived on Friday and went to the Embarcadero to get registered.  Some friends from Dallas told me they were coming to cheer me on.  Wow!  It made me feel really good to have the support!  They meet us at registration to take a quick picture and say hello before the big day!
Jennifer, Mom (Donita), me and Raelee

The weather was nice, so nice we left the balcony door open all night.  If you don't know the Oregon coast, this is very odd!  I slept, but not well.  This is totally normal the night before a marathon.  I got up at 4:15 Saturday morning. Jennifer, Mom and I headed to the bus to see my Mom off at 6:00am.  The walkers started an hour early!  The weather was perfect at this time.  I didn't even need a sweatshirt! There was no wind, the bay water was so calm and relaxing.
Mom getting ready to walk the marathon!
There weren't too many people at the start at this time, so I took full advantage of the rest room, yes I did!  You runners out there will fully understand!  Soon Tonya showed up. Tonya, Jennifer, and I found us a spot in the starting line and waited.  I felt so good and ready.  I got all my gadgets set.... garmin, runkeeper!  My husband wasn't able to make this one, so I set up runkeeper so he could track me.  This was a lot of fun.  I had a goal time, so my garmin was going to help me watch my pace.  The weather was still nice, peaceful and the energy from all the runners was so much fun!  I love starting with a large group of people!  
The start...Jennifer and me!

The way my training went, my goal time was a sure win.  I knew I would at the very least PR (personal record).  For Portland I came in at 5:25:25.  Portland was a very hard race for me and so many things went wrong, I was so happy just to finish.  My Newport goal time was 4:30.  I was sure Jennifer and Tonya would come in at about 4:15.  

My supporters
The first 6 miles or so were so fun.  We winded though neighborhoods and headed around to the bay.  There were lots of people cheering us all on.  I saw a heads-up shinny penny and didn't stop to pick it up!  I usually stop for coins when I run, it's fun and gives me something to think about.  I should of stopped for that shinny marathon penny!!!   The view of the Newport bridge with the clear blue sky and sunshine was a sight to see!  It was so pretty.  As we went down the hill to the down town area, it started to smell really bad.  It was a fish place...I was glad to quickly pass on.   Soon we saw my friends who had come just to cheer us on.  The Harper's and the Sillemn's from Dallas. We were at about mile 5 and I felt great.  I could run forever!  They were such great supporters to not only me, but to so many on the course! They had some signs out and we waved and quickly ran by.  I told them something like, "we will look this good at the finish"....hummmmmm, ya!......

On we we went, heading towards Toledo. There were some small hills...I wasn't expecting that Tonya, but I had done some hill training and it sure paid off!  I was fine going up almost every one.  My dear friend Tonya had gotten a chest cold the week before the marathon and was having a hard time.  This was not at all the plan.  We had a plan, and staying together for at least the first 15 mile was it. ...then I figured she would pace off in front of me.  Mile 15 is my wall almost every long run and this is when she kicks in.  Instead, I was ready to pace off and she needed to take it easy....this was very hard for me to do.  I grabbed her cold hand and she said, your hand is warm, I said, your hand is cold.  She said she was ok and Jennifer and I took off.  I started crying.  Like I said, this wasn't how it was suppose to go.  Leaving my best friend was extremely hard, but things don't always go as planned.  I knew how strong Tonya was, and Jennifer and I even talked about how she would probably pass us at the end.  I still was feeling pace was where it needed to be to make my goal.  She did catch back up to me later...she was staying steady and I was getting hotter and hotter from the heat.

After a bit, Jennifer paced ahead.  I was starting to heat up and I needed to slow down a little.   I wasn't expecting it to get up to 80 degrees so fast.  None of my training has been done in the heat.  Who would of thought it would be 80 degrees today on the Oregon coast anyway?  I blame it on Jennifer, who thought it was ideal weather for running since she is used to running in the Arizona sun!!!!  She wanted the sun and she got it!
Around mile 12 my garmin started beeping.  I checked it out and the laps were full.  It was telling me to delete the old laps. Great!  I played with it a second and couldn't figure it out and didn't care to figure it out in the middle of my marathon.  I turned it off and decided to just run!  I no longer wanted this gamin on my wrist.  It was useless to me at this point and I was really sweaty and hot.  Having to carry something that is useless to me was really annoying.  I soon saw my dear friends holding up their signs and cheering me on.  I took the garmin off and handed it to Diane as Carol got my picture. I was so happy to see them.
Now, here I am...about half way though the marathon.  Still feeling ok, but it's heating up.  Just make it to the turn-around, then all you have to do is go back ten miles...ya, whatever!!!!  I soon caught up with my Mom who had started an hour before me.  I walked with her for a minute and was glad she was doing ok.

Mile the turn-around
Finally I came to the turn-around about mile 20.  Around this time, there was Katie...she had started before me and I kept looking for her.  Finally, there she was!  I was so glad to see she was ok.  As I got to the cone to turn around, there was Tonya's parents.  Teresa looked very worried that Tonya and I weren't together.  I tried to reassure her that Tonya wasn't too far back.  As I turned around I saw Tonya coming!  I wanted to talk to her so bad so I waited for her to do the turn around and off we went together.  Just ten short mile to go!  Problem is, this is the hardest ten miles of the race!  Not only is the last ten miles the hardest for me, but it just kept getting hotter and hotter.  I was rather annoyed.  I was happy to be back with Tonya. We did some little games to help keep us going.  You do what you have to do out there people!!!  

I had packed with me, goo, heed, endurolytes, excedrin and my music...all I needed and used!  My problem is, there was no way to pack enough water/heed with the way I was drinking to stay hydrated.  The aid stations were every two miles or so, but it wasn't enough.  I would drink and just start to run out, then there would be a aid station for me to fill up at.  Once as I was running out, feeling very over heated I suddenly saw, Michael, Michelle, and Angela going by in Michael s' car on the lookout for Katie.  I begged them for water.  Thankfully Angela had some tasty ice water she passed off to me while a car behind them had to wait...I didn't care!  The car would just have to wait....I needed water!

When Tonya and I got to mile 23 I had to do yet another very hard thing.  I had started to feel better.  I felt I had something left in me and I wanted to try and run the last 3.2 miles out as fast as I could.  Her chest was hurting from her cold and she had to be careful.  I left her again.  I felt like a terrible friend.

 I took off feeling much better than I had for several miles.  It was like Tonya had calmed me down and the heat wasn't going to get the best of me!  As I went along I started to see several ambulances go by.  I passed a man on the ground with people around him pouring water on him trying to get his temperature down.  I passed a lady on the ground with a IV in her.  The ambulances kept coming and all I could think about is, Tonya, Katie, and Mom are back there...what if the ambulances is for one of them?  UGH!  I had to keep moving forward.  It was very difficult.  I would start running and my body would want to stop so badly.  I talked to a few people as we passed each other.  Us runners must of been looking rather bad at this point because the volunteers were saying very nice things.  One lady said, "less than a mile left!"  That was such good news to me.  I told the man next to me.."less than a mile left."  He seemed annoyed and said, "yes, I heard her."  Well, it made me happy!  It was what seemed like the longest mile ever!  Finally I saw Raelee up ahead.  I told the same man, "I think that's my daughter!"  He went on ahead and Raelee joined me for a second. As we got to the tip of the hill I suddenly felt really good.  I told Raelee I was gonna go.  I passed the annoyed man and another person and crossed that finish line with a strong ending.  I saw my friend Valerie and so many others from Dallas.  It was so nice to be done!
I crossed that finish line and they stopped me to mark my number and put a awesome finisher's medal over my head.  I felt so good.  I was then directed to my left to the recovery area.  I got a goody bag and then saw Jennifer.  All I wanted to do was take my shoes and socks off.  I saw Jennifer over by some chairs. She was all excited about getting a massage.  I took my shoes and socks off and went over to the food table.  I ate a little and then felt sick.  I needed to sit back down.  I got my finishers shirt, and got pictures with Tonya and cried with Tonya...I'm such a baby!  Soon Katie came in...there was also Blanca from Dallas.  I saw others from Dallas who had come in before me.  It was really a great time seeing so many I know.  We got some great pictures.  I was very upset because every time I would stand up, my stomach hurt something terrible.  I think I was dehydrated.  Some time went by and we started to worry about my Mom.  I had planned to walk out to her and walk with her into the finish line. I just couldn't do it.  Jennifer, and some others took off to find her.  Soon I got a text, they found her. There she was, she finished her first marathon!  I just knew you could do it, your a Riley after all!

I was so glad it was done!  Tonya's Mom offered to drive me home, I must of looked like a mess.  I was very thankful for the offer.  I came home took a shower and rested up!  I felt good enough to go to my son Randy's baseball game that evening!  What do you know, the weather was perfect for his game!

Thank you to everyone who was a support to me.  You have now idea what it meant to me.  Running a marathon is very hard, so the support is priceless. I came in around five hours.  The official time results aren't up yet.  Since my garmin filled up, I don't have my time.  I could of looked at the time when I crossed the finish line, but I was too busy trying to pass someone at the end and forgot to look up!  

No, I didn't meet my goal this time.  No, things didn't go as expected.  No, the weather was not what I thought it would be.  No, no, no.  Yes, I did finish. Yes, it was in the 80's so it felt like at least 100 degrees to the runners.  Yes, I did PR from only last October, just a few months ago. Yes, I had the best support team I could ever ask for. Yes, I made the bested friend I ever could ask for during training.  Yes, I saw friends and family accomplish what they thought was impossible for them.  Yes, the yeses far outweigh the no's!
Katie and me!

Tonya and me!

Raelee, me, Jennifer and Mom!

Dallas, OR

Me and my cousin Jennifer!