Yep, marathon number 10 is now on the books. I had great hopes for this race. I hoped to finish in 3:50, which would give me a BQ – 5 mins, and I would spend my summer concentrating on shorter races, lazy leisurely summer morning runs, and go for a new PR in the Columbus half marathon in October. Well, things don’t always end up the way you’d like.
Saturday, Race Expo
I had a good morning working at the Info table with the other race Ambassadors. It’s fun to see all of the behind the scenes activities involved in making a race a success. The Glass City Marathon is a well run race!!
Sunday, Race Recap
A caught a ride to the University of Toledo, where the event is held, at 5:45am with my neighbors. Our neighborhood is full of runners, so it wasn’t too hard to find someone who was racing Glass City. The morning was downright beautiful, around 38 degrees I think. It had been a question of wearing capris or shorts for most of the days leading up to the race, but I decided on shorts since they were warmer compression style. I also wore a headband to keep my ears warm, a hat and glasses for the sunny forecast, arm warmers, so I could regulate my temperature, and throw away sweatpants and jacket.
The race had around 7,500 participants so the starting corrals were getting full. We lined up, and shortly after 7am we were off! My goal finish time was 3:50. My plan was to run for as long as I could at an 8:40 pace, with the ultimate goal of 8:45 overall. I knew I was more of a positive splits and late race fade person, so I gave myself some wiggle room for later the race.
I thought my race was over in the first mile when the 3:55 pace group cruised right past me! It was super crowded in the first 1.5 miles and my pace was already slower than wanted: 9:01, 8:42 Since I was concerned with overall pace, I went a little faster on the earlier miles to get my overall pace back up to 8:40.
Around mile 4 I reached to put my sunglasses on, and one of the lens popped out of the frame. Crap! It had done this before, and I’ve tried gluing it. Guess that was not a good fix. I threw the glasses off to the side of the road in disgust. Good thing I had a hat on because it was sunny.
My overall pace was looking good for quite some time, and by mile 15 it had dropped just a little to 8:43. My husband and my kids were spectating along the course and I was lucky enough to see them several times by this point. Here’s a picture of me still hanging in there at mile 16!
At mile 17 we started a 3 mile stretch along a busy street. I always dislike this part of the course because of the street, and it’s an uphill climb. At mile 20, we entered back into a park… and entered a new phase of my race: the sucky part. My overall pace was now 8:47. On my arm I had written three numbers: 8:45, 8:51 and 8:55. 8:45 being my goal time (3:50), 8:51 my PR (3:53) and 8:54 barely a BQ (3:54:59). I had a decision to make… I could dig deep and finish it out, or… walk. And guess what? That little voice inside my head that told me this was very hard, getting very uncomfortable, and my glutes were in immense pain… well it won. I stopped running and walked Yep, when the going got tough, I made the decision to not fight it any more.
I texted my husband and told him I was sorry, but I was fading big time. He told me to just keep going. So I did. I started a painful run and kept going for a mile or so. We entered into an incline that goes up to a house in the park. It’s full of lots of cheering people, a band, and a lot of excitement. There was no stopping now! So I painfully trudged up to the top of that “hill” and then walked when I was out of sight Phew. That was exhausting. Right at that moment the 3:55 pace group passed me! And to add injury to insult, my friend was with them and he slapped me on the back and encouragingly said “Come on Lisa!”. Ugggghhhhh. I let out the first of many tears that day.
My husband and kids were only a half a mile away again, so I started running again until I saw my daughter ringing a cowbell on the path waiting for me. I slowed again and walked over to her. At that point I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and I just tried to smile and said Hi to her. I really felt like I was disappointing them and I felt terrible. I kept walking towards my son and husband, and my daughter just stayed there ringing the cowbell for other people. I called her over to me, and when she caught up with me I could tell she had been crying too. Oh man, that really sucked. I felt terrible that I had upset her like that. I got my composure back and started my slow run to the finish because I had only 4 miles left at this point. Pace for that mile: 10:17 The next mile was my worst, 11:14.
In my head I figured the worst I was going to do was get right under 4 hours, and I knew that I had to do better than a 9:11 pace to achieve that. If I was going to make that goal, I had to get my shit together and finish this thing. I managed to pick up the pace slightly (9:44, 9:32, 9:36) and the overall pace on my watch now said 9:08, so it really seemed possible to get sub 4:00. As I made my death march to the finish line, I started doing the math… two minutes left to run .2 miles? I can do that. I’ve got time. I think.
When I crossed the finish, my official time was 4:00:48. Damn. The official pace, 9:12.
To say I was disappointed in myself for giving up is an understatement. My fueling worked great – was not hungry at the end. I took GUs at 7, 12, 17 & 22. I hydrated enough. I even dressed appropriately – finish temperatures were in the 60s. Couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise! But I just wasn’t willing to push through the pain. I need to get better not giving up when it feels uncomfortable. There’s always something to learn from each race!
All in all, a 4 hour marathon is an accomplishment and is not even my worst time. I was 18th out of 66 people in my age group. Not bad at all! I got a beautiful medal, an awesome race shirt and enjoyed being an ambassador. Best of all, I had my family there to support me, even when I was having a meltdown. For that, I am thankful. Even a bad race is a good race if you cross the finish line
Q: Ever have a meltdown during a race? What helped you get back in the game?
Q: Any suggestions – If I have continually had bad glute pain when running longer distances, who should I go see for that? My sports Dr? A physical therapist?? I need help, this problem needs to be solved!