One of my biggest fears when I first started blogging was to “share” my running. I knew whether I was “fast” one minute or “slow” the next, someone would be bound to judge me. Fortunately, due to my busy marathon training plan, I didn’t have any specific race plans (that I would feel obligated to report) when I first started my blog. I figured this could be my “out” from sharing possible “slow” or disappointing running times.
Fast forward to this past weekend…my third marathon! The Wineglass Marathon. I felt prepared, despite having dealt with a few nagging injuries throughout my training. I knew the course (I ran it last year), the weather was perfect, clothes were ready, bags were packed, and I even had all of the good pops happen…you know, those hip or ankle pops that are the best feeling ever (or is that just me?) The only issue I was having…I couldn’t get myself to eat more than a banana.
My first mile was 8:28. As most people know I obsess over numbers…and 8/28 is my wedding date, so I took this as a good sign, although I honestly wasn’t feeling that great. I stayed around this pace for 7 more miles.
When I hit mile 9, I slid into the 9:00 range. I think this makes me officially not like the number 9 anymore. The ball of my foot had been burning the entire first 8 miles (I have high arches and this problem has occurred before, but not in a while). I’m assuming I let the burning foot get to me a little. I stayed in the 9:00-9:30 range until mile 21. Gross, I was not having the marathon I had trained for at all! I wasn’t going to qualify for Boston…but it was nice to see supportive co-workers and friends reminding that they believed in me.
I had to fight off the negative thoughts and ignore my watch. I wasn’t going to let myself quit! How could I give up on myself if I had so many supporters there cheering me on? One in particular even rode her bike the entire marathon course to keep me going! (No, she wasn’t pacing me, just offering water and support).
Last year when I ran Wineglass I was able to hold around an 8:15-8:25 pace the first 20 miles…what was happening this year? My quads were heavy and I just couldn’t go. I hit the dreaded 10:00 pace for the next 5 miles. Then I remembered! I only ate a banana for breakfast and during the beginning of the race a few shot blocks is all my stomach could handle. Despite the fading energy, I couldn’t get myself to take another shot block or try some gels. My stomach was not having it.
I was hurting the last couple of miles, but refused to walk or stop. That would just make finishing that much more difficult-AND I WAS finishing! I passed a lot of people that last mile…excited to be completing another marathon.
I finished in 4:08 with no stopping or walking at all. That is 4 hours and 8 minutes of non-stop running. Again, if you know my number thing, I always finish my runs with either :08 or :28. Since I missed the 3:08 finishing time (HAH), it was only natural that I finish in 4:08.
My speedy husband took 3rd overall with a time of 2:36. He’s promised to share some of his speed with me next year.
One of our awesome neighbors captured this picture of Brendan finishing:
Two of our other neighbors brought us cookies hoping that even though we were athletes, we would still eat them. Little did they know that those cookies wouldn’t last long. How lucky are we to have such great neighbors and friends?
Our good friend, DA, spent hours looking through pictures to make this poster! She wrote in everyone’s finishing times next to their picture. How thoughtful! She also saved me when my stomach took a turn for the worse later that day.
Before, during, and right after this marathon, I had thought to myself that this would probably be my last marathon. It’s such a huge training commitment and hard on the body.
As it tends to go for marathoners, a day later I changed my mind. I can’t walk away letting the marathon win. I still haven’t run the type of marathon I want to run. I know I’m capable of a much faster time. I need to learn from my mistakes, adjust my training, and try it again. This time I’m going to wait until next Fall and take the Spring off from marathons (or so I say now).
First race recap complete! It wasn’t as awful as I first imagined. Yes, I’m putting myself out there, and no, I’m not the fastest (or slowest) runner out there. My plan is to continue to share exactly the type of runner I am, flaws and all. We are all human and are not going to be perfect, especially when everyone is watching (or in this case, reading). We are real runners with good days and bad. That’s what brings us together…celebrating successes or fighting back after a failure.
Until the next race…keep on running strong!