At the race expo on Saturday evening I found myself wishing I was running the full marathon. I was afraid to run fast and was more confident in my ability to run a medium pace for a longer amount of time. I was a little jealous of Thomas who would be competing in the full marathon. I was still excited and held onto hope that I would get out there on race day and surprise myself. There's always that chance. I felt more confident in my ability to run 7:05-7:10 pace on my bum glute than sub-7:00 pace. I was thinking 1:33 was a reasonable goal and thought it would be fun to finally run a 1:33. I've run every time from 1:31-1:38 at least once except for 1:33, so it's about time! My plan for the race was to go out relaxed and hope my glute would hold together enough to negative split the race. I was most afraid of going out too hard and really bombing at the end and being in pain. The forecast showed 40-50 degrees during the race with a chance of rain starting at 7:00am and continuing through the entire race. People we saw at our hotel were fretting about the weather and I just flat out said, "It's going to rain." I was fine with that and mentally prepared for less than ideal conditions. It was easy not to worry about the rain when I had bigger issues with my tight muscles to worry about!
We left the hotel a little before 7:20 for the 7:30 race start, nothing better than being within walking distance of the start line. I went into the corral with Jeremy, Thomas, and Jack (Thomas' friend who he planned to run the race with, it was both of their first marathons). Then I decided to go ahead and ditch my warm ups rather than wearing them into the corral and then trying to find mom and dad to pass them over the fence. When I walked back up beside Jack wearing a tank top and shorts he thought I was crazy, but really it was perfect. I had my race team tank on, shorts, a headband, and gloves. My shorts, headband, and gloves were all blue which I thought might make it easier for mom and dad to spot me. Thomas and Jack saw a 3 hour pace group and stopped to start behind it. Jeremy and I walked further up and saw a 5 hour pace group. We debated going back to tell Thomas and Jack but were already pushing it on getting up in the corral where we needed to be. We positioned ourselves a ways back from the 1:30 pace group. It wasn't until after the race when I was talking to Thomas that we realized the 3 hour pace group had been for the half-marathon, not the full marathon. He said they had to walk for a while and then when they started running had to run around 10:00 pace.
We took off at the start and it started to rain almost immediately. I didn't mind the rain and was mentally prepared for it so I didn't really notice it too much. I saw mom and dad to the right of the course and started waving at them. They didn't see me and I just kept waving at them. I was laughing when I yelled out at them because I was so close to them I felt like I was going to whack mom in the face while I waved. I found out later that she was taking a video and that's why she missed me. The middle section of the roads where there were left turn lanes were completely painted to look really pretty but those patches of paint on the road were super slippery so I found myself having to weave around people to avoid slipping on the paint. Jeremy was running with me for the first mile or so. I could feel that my glute and hamstring were really tight but the pace felt pretty relaxed. I went through the first mile in 7:07 and was pleased with that. I definitely wanted to start slower and work my way down, if possible. The first few miles I was passing people the whole way. During the 2nd mile my glute and hamstring had loosened up. I could still feel that they were sore but they didn't feel super tight like they had during the first mile. I didn't feel like I'd sped up at all and was pleased to find I'd gone through the 2nd mile in 7:00 flat. During the 3rd mile we ran out on a road and then turned around and ran back. It was nice to see who was out in front of me and I counted that I was the 6th woman. Jeremy was close enough behind me that I didn't see him when I turned around and was going back the other way. I was watching for Thomas and Jack but missed them. I did see my friend who works at the running store and cheered for her. I enjoyed hearing cheers from the runners still going out on the road, telling me I was a top woman. Mile 3 was 6:58 and I was feeling good! My mantra for the early miles was, run patient. I felt really in my element.
I went through mile 6 in 7:02 and told myself a PR wasn't out yet. I knew I'd run a couple slower miles in the middle of the Aquarium Run and told myself if I could pick it up in the second half of the race I'd have a chance. I went through the 10k mark of the race around 44:20. I ate my Gu a little bit after the 10k mark. Mile 7 was 7:07 and at that point I knew a PR wasn't going to happen. I started thinking I was actually glad my body wasn't in a place to go for a PR because it would be disappointing to be running a PR caliber race but have the conditions keep me from doing it. At least I didn't have the heavy rain to thank for not hitting a PR, I could thank my irritated glute and hamstring for that! The rain weighing my shoes down definitely irritated things even further because it was more work for my glute and hamstring to lift my legs with the heavier shoes. During mile 8 was the blue mile. They had photos of veterans who lost their lives during service. I looked down at the faces as I ran by and felt myself getting choked up. They all looked so young, just babies! Then once we passed the photos the street was lined with people dressed in blue ponchos, holding flags. Their energy was amazing and perked me back up after the emotion. My split for mile 8 was 7:12 and I told myself to just try to get back under 7:10 pace if I could. During the second half of the race my mantra became, only ___ miles to go, one mile at a time! I tried to focus on the mile I was in and doing what I could in that mile rather than focusing on how many I had left. But the miles were ticking by so quickly. The race really was going by fast and I was enjoying it. After the 8 mile mark the rain finally slowed down and was just a regular rain rather than a downpour to where I couldn't really see.
|You can see how soaked my shorts were from all the rain!|
|You can also see how off my form was, thanks to my tight glute and hamstring.|
I finished the race in 1:32:55 which was 7:03 pace according to my Garmin. That put me 27th out of 1,032 overall, 6th out of 600 women, and 2nd out of 111 in my age group. Jeremy finished in 1:36:02 which put him 39th overall and 8th out of 64 in his age group. Thomas finished the marathon in 3:53:40, 86th out of 329 overall and 8th out of 21 in his age group. The marathon was a lot smaller than I realized and was super spread out. I was surprised that Thomas and Jack weren't running in huge groups of people at the pace they were running but then realized I was comparing to Route 66 which has over a thousand more finishers! It was such a good thing Thomas and Jack had each other since the race was so much smaller and way more spread out than any marathon I've ever run. We had such a wonderful weekend and I was so glad I got to be there to watch Thomas run his first and possibly last marathon! Now on to races nearly every weekend from now until marathon day!