Saturday-5.5 mi with Melissa
Monday-10 x 400m with Mel again! + ab video
Here is Part 1 of my review. I left off at the start line and I did this because the race weekend was quite the story. Here we go!
Robert and I had our watches ready to go, and we made it through the start line only 4-5 minutes after the official time. The start area wasn’t congested and it went off perfectly. Robert took off at his pace, and I tried to maintain 9:40 second miles for the first 4-5 miles.
My pace plan for the day was to start off with 9:40 minute/miles, and then hold a 9:30 for the bulk of the miles, and push at the end to stay the same pace or speed up.
It was difficult to keep such a close eye on my watch and I think I probably would run how my body is trained if I would just let it. I’m a freak about the numbers though and didn’t want to start out too fast.
The water stations were somewhat congested and there were many that I had to stop and walk to get close enough to grab a cup. I tried to make up for lost time right after the station and probably expended some extra energy doing this. After the half marathoners split off around mile 12.5 the stations got much better. The heat and sun really kicked in at this point too, so I was wishing the water stations were closer together than every 2 miles.
I stayed true to my pace plan until miles 20-26. The heat and sun really got to me and I had to alter my plans. Running experts advise to change your pace and goal time during the heat, and I probably should have slowed my pace down from the beginning in order to maintain a steady pace throughout. I really do believe that you can have a marathon experience that doesn’t make you want to die or quit running if you are smart about even pacing. This, however, was not that day for me.
I considered quitting. I started panicking about not being able to finish. My breathing would get really quick and shallow, but then I used some positive thinking and deep breathing to bring my self out of this funk. I stretched for about 20 seconds around mile 20, and stopped for a quick potty break around the same time. I also began to walk through the water stations. Every water station involved multiple cups of water because I was so hot/thirsty/dehydrated. Another mistake I made- for that kind of heat I should have carried water on me to refill at the stations. I was pretty miserable. Every person with a hose drenched me, but I just couldn’t cool down. My last chocolate GU made me soooo sick to my stomach I thought I was going to be sick. Oh boy, what a lovely way to spend an afternoon right?
Another awful thought in my head was of hate toward the spectators just lounging with their friends drinking an iced coffee. I wanted to be in their shoes so badly, and seriously reconsidered my love of marathons.
Somehow, the miles kept ticking by and I tried to remember that this miserable feeling wouldn’t last forever. At one point I saw an official time clock and realized that I was still on pace for a PR under 4:31. These are the moments that help me realize how strong and capable I am, because I somehow survived and crossed the finish line at 4:22.
The finish line was great with quick handouts of our medals, bananas, water, chocolate milk, and popsicles. The popsicle was amazing! I wasn’t too hungry and my hunger never really kicked in that day or the next. I think the heat was the biggest factor because usually I’m incredibly hungry after a marathon.
It was a great race, and I think the half-marathon course was really awesome. The full course had some really boring looooong streets right in the sun. Everything was well organized, and despite the heat I do want to run another marathon soon.
Tell me about your favorite/worst race experience?