Glass City Marathon!! Here’s the good news: I got a new PR by at least 3 mins, 3:56:02 and I got 2nd place in my age group (out of 22). I was shocked, and excited by that!!
I look back at this race with mixed emotions. Even though I kicked some butt and got some great accomplishments, it somehow feels bittersweet when an “A” goal is missed. I am speaking of my elusive goal to qualify for Boston. It’s just out of my reach, again. And once again I felt it slip through my fingers. But I digress… let’s get into this race recap!
Saturday night was spent looking for a restaurant for pasta at the last minute. The kids spent the night at Grandma & Grandpa’s house, so we had a night to ourselves. Woohoo! After calling several restaurants, we ended up going to LaScola. Dinner was good, but service was slow. Perhaps they weren’t expecting a ton of runners to be carb loading for the race?? I got my outfit picked out and bib pinned on. I took a chance by wearing my new Athleta skirt. I really love that skirt, and I am happy to report, it was a total winner! I think I even got to bed before 11pm and I had no problems sleeping.
We were up at 4:50am, and out the door almost on time at 5:45ish. The parking was easy – over by the law buildings at UT. It was quite chilly (38) and I’m glad I had my hat, gloves and throw away shirt. Still, my legs were freezing. We chatted with our friends before the race and wished everyone well. Alan wished he had worn some warmer clothes for the pre-race wait!
Soon it was time to line up, and we waited in our corral. I thought the corrals worked out very well and we did not get trampled on (or us trampling anyone else). The starting gun went off, I fumbled with my watch (which had tape on it so I couldn’t see what my time was), and we were running a marathon!! With my pacer at my side, the sun shining down, and the temps nice and cool, this race had the hopes of all things great in the world.
My trusty pacer Alan kept me in line with the plan and even told me to slow down a little at least 5 times in the first half. He was doing a great job especially considering he had just finished the Boston Marathon 6 days ago! At each mile marker I counted down.. 25 more miles to go. 23 miles. And soon enough, we were down to 13 miles to go!
Alan decided he would not carry water for us, but he would get my water for me. That worked out well and I was able to take my GU’s right around 5, 10, 15 and 20 miles. I sucked them down right before the water tables many times and that worked just fine. Those salted caramel GU’s are the best!!
My goal pace per mile was 8:50. Early on I described my pace as “comfortably difficult”. I was not in pain, not breathing heavy, and not listening to my music, just having good conversations with random folks and enjoying the race. I would say it was around mile 18 when it started being “no fun”. Honestly if I could have just stopped running and finished, my first thoughts were around 18. I turned on my headphones and let the music give me some energy. It was exciting to see all of the relay runners on the course and at their hand off points because it gave me an opportunity to see some of our neighbors and get some cheering. I was happy to see that even though I was starting to struggle, I kept on going and we made our way into Wildwood park.
Wildwood was a crucial point in the race for me. I knew I would see a 21 mile banner at that point. When I saw it the first time around I smiled to think of how excited I would be so be seeing it again! Unfortunately we had to run up a hill to get to it. And there were tons of people standing there, so there was no way I was walking up that hill! However, when I got to the top I had to walk. And so it began. The struggle to make my legs move and not give in to that little voice in my head that says “go ahead, walk a little, it will make you feel better!”. Ugggh. That stupid voice. Each time I stopped, I got so mad, but I really felt there was nothing better I could do.
We had a small pack of runners with us around mile 16 who were also using Alan as their pacer. By 21 only one remained. One got ahead of us and the other one dropped back. As we entered on the UT park trail, our other runner dropped back too. I guess that was a good thing that I was stronger than those other guys.
The University was in sight now, and we could even hear the finish line crowds. That was also when a headwind slowed me down (or maybe just aggravated me) and a few more times I walked. I kept telling myself – “only 3 more miles to go. That’s the shortest distance I ever run. I can do this”. I saw the official 3:55 pacer group passed me up, and I just couldn’t get moving that fast again.
On the home stretch Alan urged me to “sprint”, and I tried my darndest! We crossed the finish line at 3:56:02, just shy of our goal. Waaaaaaaa!
Here’s my splits:
I started my watch a little bit after the start line, and then forgot to turn my watch off when I crossed, but you get the idea. Going down after mile 20….
In my post race accessment I have decided a few things:
1) I will try again (even though I said I would never run a marathon again at the finish line!)
2) 26.2 miles is reaaaaaaaaly long. I know, this is a shock.
3) I did some great things in my training – I got a new PR!
4) Maybe my exercises and weight lifting has helped – I did not have sore glutes.
5) I will run more races during my training, so get in the “zone”. I didn’t get a change to run any races during the winter and I think it could help me.
6) Despite my lack of love for the marathon, I do still love running.
My next marathon will be in September, in Erie PA
I think. It has been suggested to me by several people as a flat, good qualifying race. I’ve got to give it another try, I think I have it in me!