Well yeah, it seemed like a GREAT idea in February, when I signed up for the San Francisco Marathon. After all, I've done half marathons before. What's another 13.1 miles to make it a full marathon? Hmmm.
My woefully insufficient training consisted of sporadic fast runs which lasted maybe an hour, eating way too much just before the actual day to supposedly carb-load, and talking a lot about it, as if I'd already done it. I'd signed up with a marathon training group, but shamefully dropped out because I couldn't wake up on Saturdays to do their long runs, and the two times I did I felt like I was on acid after 2 miles.
The marathon had wave starts from 5.20am in the morning up till 6.30, and I started at around 6.15am. I had woken up at around 4am to eat and drink water, and so had only 5 hours of sleep or so. Anyway I got myself to the start line, and the run started well enough. It was the perfect temperature with a very slight drizzle. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge was fun though we could hardly see that we were on it with the fog. After 13 miles, I was convinced that I was superwoman: I didn't feel tired, I'd done everything right, I was taking walk breaks like I was supposed to at the drink stops etc. Nothing could stop me! I felt vaguely contemptuous of all the people who had signed up for only the half-marathon, because, HAH, I was OBVIOUSLY SUPERIOR to them.
So all these thoughts started to disappear at around mile 15 or 16, and at mile 20, when my quadriceps and legs started cramping up big time, I started coaxing them with words like "oh my baby quads, you are so hot, you will totally not cramp up." That really didn't work, and I had to start slowing down significantly. Note to self: Quads prefer stretching to dirty talk.
By mile 22, at about 3.5 hours, as I ran past 16th and Florida and realized I was 4 blocks from home, the only thing that kept me going was the realization that this pain was my own stupid fault, i.e: Wei-En you are really an idiot and need to be punished even more, like with shooting pains down your shins, and more cramps. And toe blisters. I was almost walking at this point. OK I'm lying I did walk quite a bit at this point.
Miles 24 and 25 was an out of body experience, because I really wasn't running anymore. I had passed out, but somehow the body didn't realize it. The body even posed for pictures and tried to look as if she hadn't been walking for the past 2 miles.
I finally reached the finish line and had enough of a kick to sprint past a couple of people, again for the cameras, this is a very important moment when you get to look good. People should remember this if they do a marathon: Always walk the mile before the finish and then you can speed past the other morons who didn't at the end and look good at the finish line. I managed to make it under 5 hours, about an hour slower than what I'd hoped. Yeah I was lucky to be able to finish.
So that was it! Three days after, I still hurt, though the quads are doing much better with the dirty talk.
I'm signing up again next year, is anyone interested in running it with me?