It would have been really embarrassing if I had written that whole marathon training post about how my nonchalant attitude has served me well this summer, and then botched my marathon. Luckily, that didn’t happen and I had an amazing race this morning! Set the bar low… you are guaranteed to rise above it.
I probably didn’t sleep more than 2 hours last night combined. I was really anxious and sweaty and gross and starting to get nervous about my marathon in the morning. My alarm went off at 5:30 and I got dressed, ate my banana and chocolate chip Clif bar, and my dad drove my mom and I to the start of the race! We got there about 20 minutes before it started, just enough time to find the bathrooms and then head out to the starting line. My mom’s half marathon started an hour after the marathon so she waited in the warm Shaw Conference Centre. I set off at 7:00 am sharp and didn’t look back.
Short version: I didn’t get food poisoning. I felt great. The weather was great. I was proud of myself for eating ALL of my energy chews AND water. I thought today was going to be a 3:45ish day. I ran 3:37:50. 16 minute PR.
Long version: It was just another run. That’s what I told myself. I started nice and easy… possibly the first time in history that my first mile wasn’t my fastest, in fact it was slower than my overall average pace! I settled in with the 3:40 pace bunny group for a bit and then when they stopped at a water station, I just carried on and I didn’t see them again! I ran with a couple of girls for the first half. We didn’t talk, we didn’t introduce ourselves, we just ran, and it was kind of awesome. I don’t know who was pacing who but I liked having someone beside me that I didn’t have to stick with. The first ten miles of the race felt too easy. I powered up one of the only hills on the course, I felt like I had barely increased my heart rate, and my breathing was 110% under control. It was great. I powered through the half way point at about 1:46:XX (which was actually back at the start and now on the course of the half marathon) and a couple of the girls that were running with me started running faster at about 7:45 min/mile. Ummmm, no thanks. I hung back and found a new group to surround myself with. The toughest miles were between 15 and 20. I had to stop and use a portapotty during mile 17 and once you stop moving, it is really hard to get going again. I felt pretty good from mile 20 on, after all, there’s only 10K left! After mile 23 I could feel myself slowing down, not because I wanted to, mentally I was ready to sprint to the end, but at that point in a marathon your body just starts to hurt. I tried to keep a fairly steady pace and the last stretch of the marathon was filled with people cheering so it wasn’t hard. For not having a goal for this race, a 16-minute PR is not bad. I finished with a Garmin time of 3:37:50, and an official results time of 3:37:47, which makes my average pace about 8:15 min/mile. I honestly thought I would be much slower and I don’t think you will be able to wipe the smile off myself for days!
It was a fairly flat course with about 1000 ft of elevation gain total. It is impossible to run exactly 26.2 on a race course so my overall distance was 26.38 miles. It was tough, because all marathons are tough, no matter who you are or how fast you run, but I had a great race. After feeling so incredibly terrible and sick in Calgary, it was nice to know that not ALL marathons are like that. I could go back and think about the fact that if I had run three minutes faster I would have BQ’d, or if I hadn’t had to stop in the bathroom, how many seconds I could have saved, but those are the things that make the sport so addicting… the “what ifs.” I am super proud of my race. Maybe if I do more than one day of speed work during my training cycle, I WILL qualify for Boston some day!
It was not just a good day for ME, some other amazing people ran today and did AWESOME. First off, my mom, who was considering walking this event and just taking it easy today, RAN A SUB-2 HALF MARATHON! She came in just under 1:56 and said that it felt “easy.” I couldn’t be more proud of her!
My friends Shawn and Jeremy ran ridiculously fast half marathons today. I saw the half marathon leaders pass me on the out and back course and then right behind them was Shawn. Yup, he’s that fast. Jeremy is also SUPER speedy and came pretty soon after him. They both ROCKED their races.
A great day for a great race. Plus, Shawn brought me peanut butter cookies… what more could I ask for? I drank Gatorade right after the run and lots of water, then I made a peanut butter and chocolate protein shake when I got home. I know that post-workout protein is SO important within that 2 hour post-race time frame so I made sure I got something nutritious (and something not so nutritious) in me right away. After Calgary, I couldn’t eat for at least eight hours because I felt so sick… it was a nice change today 🙂
Banana + chocolate protein powder + spoonful of peanut butter + soy milk + ice = deliciousness. Oh, and it is best served with peanut butter cookies.
After such a crazy event in Calgary, I was trying to prepare myself for whatever the world would throw at me today. Would it be 35 degrees? Would I chafe? Would I feel really sick again? Would I get injured during the race? I cannot believe how many things went right today and that is how people run their greatest races. It’s not just the weeks of training that get you to the finish line… it’s a little bit of luck too. We had great weather, cloudy with a high of 18, I wore new Lulu capris that were definitely put to the test today and did amazing because I had ZERO chafing, I felt as good as anyone can when running for almost 4 hours, and I had no injuries at all. A pretty successful day! Oh, and I smiled so big when I saw my dad at the finish line – thanks for coming dad!!