Slow and Steady

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Turn Around: Race Report-Marathon PR

 ~Mark Twain

Before I start I should tell you what the plan was:
  • Pre-Injury to finish shooting for a PR close to 5:30 running most of the run
  • Post-Injury to finish before the 6:30 cut off so that I could still get my necklace
  • Walk all aid stations
  • Wall all hills
What actually happened:
  • I found that my knee didn't bother me so I raised my expecations
  • I walked all the water/fuel stations as planned
  • I walked a lot of the hills, but ran a good portion of each hill because it felt good
  • I pressured myself mentally to stay between the 5:15 pacer and 5:30 pacer
  • I finished with a 49:32 difference in PR--Freaking Fantastic Right!

So the packet pick up wrapped around Union Square. It was a neat, but not the best Expo ever. I know Niketown was across the street for shopping, but I needed more money spending options inside.
They had this great map at the Expo, looks so manageable, right?!
Niketown is right off of Union Square and was the scene of the start line on Sunday. They pasted a huge sticker with names of all the registered participants on it. Supercool!
Went inside Niketown and got to see a wall-o-shorts. I am so glad it is fall and I was not too tempted. The huge lines were also a deterrent.
The Scene at the start line. Crazy amounts of estrogen. I couldn't look at anyone without getting teary. All kinds of people running for reasons that seemed so much deeper than mine (at the time).
My Buddy V was awesome enough to sign up late and help get me out there. She logged a DNF, but toughed out a good 16 miles.
The first little climb. Not so bad, great view of the Golden Gate in the distance.
The view from Crissy Field, even better view of the GG.
I wish I had more pictures from the Golden Gate climbs to mile 13. This was pre-real rain. Forecast said there was 30% chance of light showers so sprinkles from mile 4-14 were no big deal. At the top of mile 7ish there were rest rooms before a decent downhill. I had a no wait potty break, had a Powergel and enjoyed the easy downhill. There were orange slices around miles 8-9 and you could smell the citrus from all the oranges and peels on the street. I packed enough fuel not to bank on the orange slice aid station, but was super glad they hadn't run out. I texted my husband and was looking forward to seeing him at mile 11, I even saved my walk break for when I saw him. Suddenly it's mile 12 and I still hadn't seen my hubby. This was a really bad thing. I let myself get my hopes up and all that meant was crashing. I tried to smile through it and decided a half way point photo to stick in my race report was just the way to start feeling better. *Time is not adjusted for the roughly 24 minute relaxed start delay. I did get to see my husband at mile 14.5 where he so nicely stretched my quads, said I looked good and after the race told me that the group of girls behind me at that point said the following, "I want calves like hers." Yup, they were talking about me!
At mile 16 I took another line free potty break. It is amazing how much the field thins at the half marathon turn off. Kinda lonely, but not. At mile 16 all I could think about was how easy of a time I was having and that I could totally do it again and the next 10 miles were going to be cake. LOL yeah, you go a little crazy when you run 26.2 because it is never easy. Here I am at mile 19 with the zoo to my left and the beautiful ocean to my right. You can't tell, but it is raining. Actually it rained pretty much non-stop from mile 16 to 26.2 and was really pouring down 16-19 and 25-26.2. Knowing that it was going to be cold I went to a store, that shall not be named, and bought a Fruit of the Loom white sweat shirt for under $6.00, knit gloves for $1.50 and a leopard print ear warmer for $4.00. I intended to ditch the ear warmers and sweat shirt at mile 2 a designated charitable clothing donation station. Yeah, um, WAY to cold for that! So I ended up running is a soaking wet cotton sweat shirt because there came a point where if I took off the soaking wet sweat shirt I would just get colder. This is particularly ironic given I just posted about my snooty clothing selections HERE.

I called my husband at mile 23 because I needed some motivation. I was running near a couple groups of people who then started talking to each other about the people in their lives suffering or who have recently died of cancer. I got choked up, then couldn't catch my breath. There were other challenging times during the race. The start was at mile 17 when I started to cramp. I wanted to walk, but kept going. I had to be so uber cliche, not really my thing, but I though about my 17 year old cousin battling a rare form of cancer. She went from high school athlete to being unable to walk inside of 6 months. Then I thought how ironic that I was having this challenge at mile 17 since she is 17. Mile 17 was cousin J's mile. I really had lost of calf cramps from mile 19 to 20 and again from 23 basically to the end. My husband met me at mile 25.5, took the wet sweat shirt and fanny pack so I could get a good finish line photo and ran a 1/4 mile with me. At the end of that 1/4 mile I got a good slap in the ass for good measure. Thanks honey.

Check out my race photos HERE, the video is not of me which is lame, but the photos are good. I also love the NIKE graph options. See how I faired, GRAPH style.

I think I am ready for another run, too soon to be thinking? I feel somewhat accomplished, but not like a found the answer to world peace. I feel confident, so confident in fact I am already thinking about what is next, should I relish in this longer? I feel like the outside world doesn't understand the length of time runner's should be allowed to brag about accomplishments. They always respond with how crazy of an idea it is, not, "Holy smokes, you are amazing!"

Thankful Three
  1. For a husband who is sick and still spends 5+ hours in the rain for his running wife
  2. For cell phones
  3. For Christi at Pedestrian Runner she chose me for the Tuesday Hero award, I am so honored.


P said...

Holy smokes, you ARE amazing!! This is exactly why I started a blog, because people here are totally okay with you talking about your accomplishments for much longer than out in the real world.
Love all the pics, what a wonderful day you had! Congratulations!!!

Christi said...

Congratulations on a great day! Again, I am so proud of your accomplishments. I hope that one day I can get out there again and do a marathon. You have provided me with the motivation to get there!


jessie said...

Wow! Congratulations! you make me want to do a 26.2 :) and you do have great calves!

Kerrie T. said...

Congratulations! The best is that you went to a store mid-race. You rule. :)

Beckey said...

Wow! That is an amazing PR improvement! Your report is so inspiring, especially about mile 17.

Alma said...

Right on! You really went into the race with the perfect attitude, being mindful of your body. Nice job listening to your body and so glad you were feeling good and went for it! Woohoo!

Molly said...

Congrats! Holy cow, what a PR!! And I don't think it's to early to be thinking of the next one! Great job...

Tortuga_Runner said...

LOL Hey Kerrie, while that would've been an interesting shopping trip, the wall-o-shorts was the day before after I hit the expo.