Honolulu Marathon Finish to the Double :)

Honolulu Marathon 2010 8th overall female!

My ten day adventure to Hawaii was exhilarating. I had the best time ever!  I really did have a race/vacation sandwich. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. After my 5th place finish at the XTERRA trail run World Championship, I switched gears. It was all about having a great week with my son, Canyon, and all of my friends in Hawaii and prepping for the 2010 Honolulu Marathon.

The prep was actually easy at this point as there was no more I could do to become fitter in just 7 days. It was about recovery. I ran 5 times total. Monday I practiced yoga on the beach. Tuesday was 10 miles. More than I should have, but hey, I couldn’t help myself. This was gorgeous, sunny Hawaii!  The remainder of the week I behaved myself. I ran 3-5 miles a day except easy with short efforts in each. 2 were in bare feet with the ocean lapping at my ankles on the beach!  I also had the opportunity to do a couple ocean swims while good friends watched Canyon. I am so lucky!

Canyon On Kailua Beach sunset…

Other than that, it was all about playing in the sunshine, and a couple rainy days which were perfect as I was forced to rest….a very good thing! Pipe Masters Surf comp was going on Wednesday so I took Canyon for his first  experience of big waves and the worlds best surfers live!

I was the house guest of 2 new friends, Marcy Fleming and Bo Wheeler. They let Canyon and I stay for my entire trip. They are one of the biggest reasons I was able to make the trip. I thank them both so much for opening their home to us so I could race!  This was wonderful as I had a much more “local” experience which I prefer. I got to go to fun parties, play with their 3 beautiful dogs. They were there racing with me at the XTERRA Worlds race and at the finish line, with my son for my Marathon (super funny. Marcy made a boat lei for my finish for me! She then told me she can let it double as a table center piece later. She totally cracks me up!). I am so lucky to have so many incredible people in my life.

Got to see one day of Pipe Masters Surf comp!

Onto the Marathon. I am so grateful to the Honolulu Race Marathon Director for comping my entry. He didn’t know me at all and did it based on my trail run results and my half marathon and 10k results I had from this year. I told him I thought I could finish top ten females and under 3 hours.  A bold statement considering I have exactly zero previous marathon results. But, something inside of me knew I would deliver.

On race morning, one of Marcy’s kind friends down the street took me to the race as he was racing as well. Thanks Dr. Pete!  I was excited and ready to live this thing out. When I signed up, I had no idea that 22,806 people would be running it! Wow! That’s a lot of people. I was happy as my long time friend Danny Rhee was running along with new friends I met Robert, who is the West coast rep for my fabulous shoe sponsor, Newton and  a super cool marathoner Jesse Crate I ran the first mile with. The only thing I knew to do was stay on top of my breath, run with a short quick, light step, and enjoy the morning (and of course follow through with my promise to myself and the race director that I would finish 10 ten and under 3hours).

Throughout the race, I thought about all of the people and situations that helped me get to the moment I was in. I am so lucky to have so much help from many. I was happy, and delighted that it was also my birthday. There is nothing else I would rather do to celebrate my life than to live it by running.

Post Marathon. One last trip to Lanikai Beach with Jesse Crate before I hit a redeye home

As the race went on, I felt good. I enjoyed the dark start, the fireworks, christmas lights, carless streets (!!!) and the gorgeous ocean view I had off the highway just as the sun came up! But I picked up a bit too much too soon. At mile 23, I was in 7th place female and got passed by a woman. I tried to counter, but pushed too hard and completely blew up. Yikes! I spent the next 1.5 miles putting myself  back together and ran the slowest mile ever. I lost over 6 minutes… By the time I hit the final hill at Diamond head, I was back on track and went as hard as I felt I could without overdoing it again. It was a painful finish, but I finished in 2:59:23 and as the 8th female overall and 55th of men and women. Barely under 3 hours but I’ll take it! Thank you again Honolulu Marathon for creating such a great event!

I am so excited to do this again. Next year, hip injury will be a distant memory, I’ll have the ability to put in proper mileage and I’ll have 2010 as experience to reflect upon and better myself as a runner and human. Thanks everyone for such a great year!

Love,
Rachel