10.01.2014

Maui Marathon: Race Recap

It has been over a week, I have pictures, I have thoughts, and it really is time to tell my story before it grows too fuzzy and old.

First, in case you haven't been following along, I had a lot of doubts in this training cycle. I had a heaviness on me based from last year's race experience. I was determined to turn my nemesis of the Maui Marathon into a golden, shining light. Okay, maybe not that brilliant but I wanted to overcome the jinx this race holds for me. The jinx that as much as all is going great, it falls apart leaving me feeling hopeless.

My big goal was to break a 4 hour marathon. If that was slipping way, set a new PR (break 4:10:18). If that wasn't in the books, PR on this course (break 4:36:16).

Come Friday I was finally getting into the mindset and was so excited to share the expo with my running buddy Toby. Come race day, I was ready to run for him. I had faith.

Once we got to the start and parked, I stepped out of the car and realized I forgot my sunglasses. Oh well. Go with the flow. Do not let it get you off your game. I did the porta potty thing, listened to the entertainment, and stood in the corrals waiting to make the walk to the start. We finally started walking as a group and it was announced this year there was an electric pace car. It was a cute little white car and I didn't give it much thought. I got myself into my own frame of mind. Dear hubby was nearby but honestly, I needed to stay in my mind.

We stopped at the start and the race director was saying some final announcements, the drummers were drumming, and I was silently praying...focusing my mind and thoughts on my path to come. Then things changed. I felt the energy changed. The drums stopped. I looked to the left and couldn't comprehend why a car was coming towards people and that there was a person on the front. Was it the pace car? It all happened so quick. The engined revved. The car backed up some and went forward more. Police were trying to come through with their car but had to wait for runners to move out of the way. I tried not to get annoyed at those trying to film what was happened. I just prayed all was well. I found out later that evening, or perhaps the next day, it was a drunk driver who came out of the parking lot against police directions, drove over cones, and hit someone. The person had minor injuries, thank God, and didn't even have to go to the hospital. The driver was arrested. We saw him being taken to the police car before we started officially running. It took a few minutes for me to shake all of that from my mind. I had 26.2 miles to run. I had to forgot the car and my worry for the person it hit. I was still in denial. Maybe it wasn't a person. Although it was that worry that compelled me to look up the story to find out what happened.

I checked in on my pace after two miles and oops, I started out too fast. I eased up some and ran along. I felt good. My legs were loosening up, my breathing perfect, I felt wonderful. The miles seemed to be moving by nicely. I knew a gentleman I was near. I knew he was faster than me but close to my big goal. When I found myself in front of him I eased up. I kept him in sight for a long time..or until things started pulling away.

The pali (or hills) were approaching and I eased worry out of my mind. I knew after those hills came the part of the course that hits me negatively every time. I tried not to let worry take hold. I told myself the past is the past and to run in the present. Not to push the hills too hard and not to worry too much about pace. I was still ahead of my goal by a few minutes so losing some time on the hills to have strong legs later was fine. It was smart. Just run smart.

I got to the tunnel and knew this was the magic point for me. The hills are behind me, I am about halfway there, stay focused. My Nike sensor had been off all along but knowing the time helped. I could do math but then it said, "Run Complete." Ummm, nope. I am not done. I have over halfway to go! I toyed with the thought of trying to start another run or just put music on while I ran along. I went with option two. Get some music going and run by feel. Forget time. Perhaps it was a sign. Forget time. Just run with faith.

I don't know if that was the best decision or not but there is no going back. I ran by feel and kept going but then, things started getting tougher. I was hot and sweating like crazy. I took a salt tab as I recognized the need for one. I kept running and stuck to my fueling strategy as I knew that was key.

At some point as I ran along convincing myself no walking until mile 20 it crossed my mind, at other races there are warnings or the race is called at temperatures like these. Who knows why this came into my mind. I didn't know the temperature. I knew I was hot but seriously, I didn't have a thermometer or a news broadcast on me. I started walking around mile 18.5. I told myself just a bit but that bit grew as my heart and mind opened to an entirely different journey.

I looked out at the ocean I despised so much along this stretch and saw its beauty. I thought of my goal and need to get moving but honestly, I didn't care anymore. The thought came into my head that no time clock anywhere really mattered in the grand scheme of life. My marriage is on a bumpy road. That matters. My husband matters. My daughter matters. Toby matters. That time --- it didn't matter. I was so blessed to be on this course doing this...even walking. I was blessed. Part of me thought if this is the last marathon I ever do, I want to have fun and feel blessed. I do not want to feel tortured. It even crossed my mind to skip the Honolulu Marathon. To send dear hubby by himself. Hey, it would save airfare for me and my daughter. Money is tight. Yes, that is what I would do.

I ran some, I walked some, I ran some more. I thanked volunteers. I smiled at runners. I enjoyed God's beauty and knew I was walking with him. I tried to text my friend to say she didn't have to rush to the finish but my sweaty fingers couldn't work my sweat drenched phone. I moved along with the thought, I will get to the end when I get there. Period. The end. No worries. Just move.

I chatted with another runner. He was from Honolulu and nope, he hasn't done that marathon. He opted to do the Maui Marathon at the $26 deal. He was falling off his goal. We talked about the heat, I told him to do Honolulu because it is better. My race times are ALWAYS better there. It is fun! Do it! We turned the corner and the police pointed out the downhill to us. Neither of us were ready to run yet. I saw a small patch of shade and wanted to stay in it longer. I grabbed a piece of watermelon and a slice of orange from the family that is always on that corner. I thanked them for always being there for us. Their kid sprayed me with water. I ate my fruit and started running. Front Street, here I come. You may be abandoned and hot but I am coming.


And you know what? This is the first time ever I ran down Front Street with a smile. It was hot. I stopped at aid stations to get cold water. The drink in my CamelBak was hot. I sipped it for electrolytes but also wanted sips of cold water. I loved every step down this street. As I neared the end where the misting tunnel always is a lady offered my half of an Otter pop -- a frozen treat I normally shun for the whole family I eagerly took with a smile from ear to ear. I thanked her profusely and savored that lime Otter pop like it was gold.


And I ran on. Yes, I walked some more. Yes, I thought I could possibly still get a course PR if I only knew the time. Looking at the teeny numbers on my phone in the sun is not possible. This is why I say perhaps I should have restarted another run with Nike. I would have known better. I would have known I was minutes way. I would have run further, faster, harder. I would have pushed. But then perhaps I would have missed out on some happiness and savoring the moment. I wouldn't have detoured from a direct run to the finish to go to my family and friends to give my daughter a high five. I wouldn't have paused and given high fives to the other spectators who reached out to give me a high five. I would have run straight by them focused on a number.

I finished the Maui Marathon in 4:38:12. Not a course PR but better than last year. When I crossed that finish line I also knew I was going to Honolulu to make my dreams come true. I am not done running marathons. My dreams are still strong but on this race day I ran a race and had a journey that is completely wonderful and amazing. I wouldn't change a thing.

You see, I was strong. I forgot my sunglasses and ran on. The sun got bright and I ran on. The car at the start shook me, I prayed for the one hit, and ran on. My Nike sensor was acting up and I ran on. My Nike sensor quit on me and I ran on. The cap fell of my CamelBak, my water was leaking, I tapped it with my finger, grabbed the cap, put is back on, smiled at the spectator watching with concern, said "all is good!", and ran on. I was hot and tired and ready to give up running marathons. I ran on. I didn't give up and stop. I lost count of ambulances going back and forth with sirens. I prayed and ran on. I found my priorities in life that day and ran the race God gave me. I learned so much about myself during those 4 hours 38 minutes and 12 seconds.

I placed 14th in my division. That is cool. I also found out later that marathon week was a record breaking week in terms of temperatures. In fact, on race day temperatures got up into the 90's breaking the temperature record set in 1977. It was a hot one.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a safe run.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong!
I wish this photo was clearer.

6 comments:

  1. Wow what an amazing race and experience especially in Hawaii - nice job!

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  2. Great job especially with such heat! You look so happy in all the pictures.

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  3. Happy Running & Gr8 Job!! Thanx For All The Photos & Thanking The Volunteers!! Stay Strong

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  4. Congrats on a remarkable and strong marathon. I wondered if the temps were normal as I was not expecting to feel quite so hot before it even got light :) I ran a personal worst half time, BUT so many positives and overall a race I will look back at with happiness. Thank you for sharing your beautiful island, this is one of the friendliest races I've ever been part of.

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    1. Yes, it was warm and ironically, it didn't sink in to me. I live upcountry and even when I went outside around 3:00 am to check on the bunny I wasn't chilled and I was in my running outfit...nothing else.

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  5. Thanks so much for all of the support!

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