Saturday, June 11, 2011

Losing my Marathon Virginity (or San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon Recap Part 2)

My Mentor and teammates surprised me with door decorations! (I look tired but feel great!)
Coleen and I decorating our singlets.

There were 3 of us sleeping in the hotel room the night before the race so at 3:25, 3:30 and 3:35 am we had alarms buzzing pretty much non-stop.  I had slept like a rock (I love squishy hotel beds with fluffy pillows and comforters) and didn't feel tired at all upon waking.  We all got up and quickly got dressed.  I had a banana and Honey Stinger Energy Bar before heading to the lobby to meet up with the rest of the team.  Unfortunately, this is not my traditional pre-run meal, but having traveled to San Diego via RV and then packing again to stay in the hotel did not offer me the luxury of packing the Vitamix blender, dates, frozen bananas, cocoa powder, agave and everything else necessary for my normal meals.  I need to plan better for sure.

The Solano Team
On the Shuttle.
We had about 200 Team in Training teammates waiting in line for the shuttle at 4:30am.  The race had an official start time of 6:15am so it was important to get there early before all of the roads shut down.  Plus that gave us time to check gear bags, use the port-o-potties (twice) and get warmed up.  The first thing I need to keep in mind for my next marathon is that it's not the best idea to be on your feet from 3:30am to 6:45am when our corral finally got to the start line.  It can make for some tired a$$ legs before you even take one step running!!

Solano Team waiting for the start!

My running partner, Coleen, and I had made a plan pre-race to run 9:1 intervals and to try to maintain a pace of 10:00-11:15 minute miles.  We also had a plan to finish together unless, God-forbid, one of us had to officially drop out of the race.  It's important to think of these things before you are faced with a decision out on the course and leave someone butt-hurt on accident.

By the time we started running we felt so good we didn't want to stick to our intervals, but as John "The Penguin Bingham warned us the night before, one in three of us would do something really stupid on race stick with the plan and don't change anything!!  At mile 2 I had to pee so bad and visit the medical station due to a female emergency (thanks for that Mother Nature), I swear we lost 15 minutes just waiting for a port-o-potty.

Still, by the time we hit our 10K split and even the Half-Marathon mark we held a pretty decent pace.

But then things took a turn for the worse.  My poor friend was having some intestinal issues which was leaving her pretty dehydrated.  And at some point she suffered a hip-flexor strain.  We stopped at the medical station where she attempted to tape up her groin.  And we had another trip to the least 25 minutes slipped away.  We watched as the 4:30 pace runner disappeared...then the 4:45 runner.  Yet we continued on...finishing was the only important thing now.

My running partner, Coleen.
The course was beautiful and it amazed me that they could close so many roads and freeways in San Diego to let us run our marathon.  Bands were playing at mile intervals and the water stations were laid out well, usually with water and Cytomax on both sides of the road.  There was even Vaseline and sunscreen available along the way!!

I can't add pictures from the race due to copyright rules but I can include a link that will hopefully work until I can get my own copies to share: Action Sports International -

At about mile 17 things were not going well for Coleen and her guts.  One of the TNT coaches (there were tons of them all along the course cheering us on and helping runners) walked with us and tried to help Coleen work through some cramping.  We had another long break at the next water/bathroom station and then headed back out.  Somewhere around mile 21 I was waiting for Coleen, doing some stretching (my hamstrings were like cannon balls) when I saw 2 guys on the course handing out Dixie cups of beer and Bloody Marys...HELLO!!!  I mean, we weren't going to be setting any PR's on this race so why the hell not?!?!?  Excitedly, Coleen and I grabbed a Bloody Mary each and then she proceeded to down 3 {small} beers to top it off.  These were life savers for her!!!

Although the pain from the hip-flexor strain was making it almost impossible for her to run, we persevered.  She was so sweet, telling me to just go ahead and finish without her but I couldn't imagine crossing that finish line without her.  I came into this marathon with no expectations and a lot of self-doubt.  There were times during my long runs (16+ miles) that I didn't know if would actually be able to finish a marathon so I had tried not to place too much emphasis on time.  Sure, everyone wants to run fast and finish in some arbitrary time that makes them feel good...but we made a pact and I was not about to ditch her...some times time just stops being important.

About 1/4 mile from the finish, surrounded by Team in Training coaches, runners and mentors we started running.  We could hear the crowd and the band and people were lined up on both sides of the road.  I practically broke down crying.

Crossing together!!
Seeing my boyfriend and friend, Ashley.
We crossed that finish line together.  It took us 5 hours 55 minutes and 5 seconds.  I don't regret a thing...we are both marathoners now and closer friends for having been through every mile of it together.

Teammates and the end. This is what Coleen wrote on my Facebook wall: 
"So there is this women, Lynn Weber who had this rock star training all season. I was paired with her in February for a run and we just kind of stayed together all season. Week after week we PR'd. She took great care of herself and was heading toward an awesome first marathon time. We stared off steady and strong the morning of our event. Then I began the worst run of my life. An hour worth of bathroom breaks later I am unable to run and have to walk the last 3 miles. I told her over and over to go for it. But she stayed with me even when I couldnt run. She said crossing the finish line with me means more to her than crossing by herself with shorter time. In the end I finished an hour and a half after my projected time and Lynn an hour and 45mins after hers. Thank you Lynn, i wouldnt have completed this if you hadnt been there for me. You sacrificed your time to cross with me. Thank you for making that possible for me."

I just need to say that Coleen kept me going all through training.  There were plenty of times I was ready to quit, telling myself it was ridiculous to think I could complete a marathon.  The high mileage was a killer and really got inside my head.  But she was there for me, encouraging me on, telling me she had no doubts that I could finish, slowing down her pace when I was struggling, reminding to drink and fuel up...SHE is the reason I crossed that finish line.  And she is the epitome of a true friend and mentor.  
Happy to NOT be running!
The BF and me.


  1. Congratulations on your first marathon and finishing with your training partner! Hope the smile and feeling of pride lasts a very long time!

  2. Congratulations Lynn!!!! You look terrific!

  3. I love looking at race day recap photos. Yours included! Now I think I need to finally be putting my own self in some race photos. Eeek!

  4. I love you. I needed to read this again. Needed to remember what it felt like to be motivated and so full of determination, passion, life, etc.


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