I ran a 16 miler and a 17.5 miler (was running w/ some friends and they cut the run short, was supposed to be 20).
I ran 1 or 2 times during the week.
To say I did not have a structured running plan would be more of an understatement. But, you all know me, I am a glutton for punishment and when I get something in my head I go through and do it.
Heather was debating on running at all since she is running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco the next weekend but I talked her into doing the 10k :)
The day before the race was gorgeous which meant, fall cleanups and cutting all my accounts. I got home and we headed right out for the wedding we had to go to too. I ate a full dinner at 4pm of "safe" food for my stomach and did not plan on eating at the reception.
Frank was mad he couldn't go eat all the food too.
Getting ready for a night out.
We got to the wedding and sure enough, I inhaled all the food in sight, I was a bit worried about my stomach during the race but said oh well.
We got home at 9:30pm or so and got all our clothes ready for the morning.
We got up at 5:15am to get out the door at 6am. I ate my blueberry eggo waffles coated in syrup and we were off.
We drove separately since the half marathon and marathon started at different locations.
Heather's mom rode w/ me since she was going to be cheering on the course (due to the start locations my start was closest to the finish) and she had Sophie w/ her for her first big cheerleading day!!!
You will have to read about Heather's race at her blog .
I hit the port a pot 3 x's and instantly regretted the wedding food I woofed down. But, this was just for fun and just to finish another marathon and continue my 1 marathon a year streak we have been maintaining the last 3 years.
So there was no pressure, no stress. If anything I was super laid back and chill.
I chatted w/ some guy who was from St. Louis and just moved up there. He seemed super chatty and made the wait at the start line fly by. So much so that I actually didn't hear the bell go off at the start and still had my tear away pants on and my top on haha.
It was chip timing so I took my time getting my throw away clothes off and got my music cued up and was ready to run... however I was the last person to cross the start line haha.
So the first 2 miles was dodging tons of people trying to find people at my pace.
I went out pretty conservatively... well, for me. First mile was 7:25 haha and then I yelled at myself to back off. Clicked off a few 8:15's and then settled into a nice 8 min pace consistently for the first 8.5 miles.
This course is gorgeous. The course is all cinders through the Cleveland Metroparks which is part of the National Park system. I have run probably 99% of every single run in my life on these trails or in this park system. I know the course very well and I am very happy to continue to support them. The past two years I set my 13.1 PRs on this course and was finally happy to be running the full here.
The leaves have all turned and it was low 40's (PERFECT weather). I tried so hard to settle into a groove but it never happened.
We turned around at 8.5 miles or so and at this point I started dropping to low 7's. I was shocked how great I felt. My legs felt fresh and I was breathing normally... like I wasn't even doing anything.
I hit the half point at 1:43:00. I felt pretty happy w/ this. I did not walk once which was my goal. From this point on though I started doing a run-walk approach where I run 1 mile and then walk a minute. Up until this point I drank about 8 oz of water. I drank about another 8 oz for the rest of the race.
I still never settled into a groove and knew that mile 17 was where Heather, her mom and Sophie were waiting to cheer for me. However, I just kept chugging along. I varied from 8:30's and 9:00/mile pace from here on out (including the walk time).
I saw Heather at the cheer spot and she said I looked tired. I told her I was actually really freaking bored.
Best cheerleaders EVER! Heather finished her 10k
and was freezing at this point. Sophie has her cheerleader
This might be the last marathon I run in a long time. I wasn't tired at all. I never took any nutrition for the whole race. I was just super freaking bored. After 2 hours it was hell mentally for me. I felt very good and actually passed a ton of people during the second half haha. Some people would pass me when I walked and then I would fly past them when I ran and never see them again. It was actually comical that by walking for 13 minutes or so of the race that I was still passing people like crazy haha. I think I am just at a point where marathons either aren't challening me or they are just not providing the satisfaction that you get when you accomplish something.
I knew I would not get a PR but I did want to beat my second fastest marathon time of 3:45. I did this and felt great in the process. I ended up w/ a 3:37:42 (8:19/mile avg pace). Honestly marathons are funny, you see so many people suffering badly to achieve their goals and you see other people that are out there for fun and don't have any pain in their eyes at all. Fortunately I was the fun one for once.
My stomach never acted up during the race. I was well hydrated and actually had to stop and pee for once during a race!!!
When I finished I ate 3 snickers bars. I wanted chocolate milk big time and ended up driving up to the store to get a half gallon, of which I chugged it all haha.
I have mixed feelings in general. I don't know if I just don't know how to "enjoy myself" during a race and not go out full go and see what my body has to offer or not. Personally I think having a decent PR of 3:19 is my problem. It is at the cusp of having to train diligently to run a marathon faster than that... yet I can't just go out and run it either. So I don't see myself trying to get a PR anytime soon.
Regardless, for me, I had a rough mental day and did not zone out once during the run. I was constantly thinking how bored I was and that anything over a 13.1 is pure mental torture for me. Maybe it was because I really didn't do much long running and wasn't mentally prepared, but in the end I was super happy to finish w/ a decent time and feel as good as I did. I left a lot out there and was proud of myself for not racing this like I typically do.
Thanks to the Metroparks for putting on such a great event and for continually maintaining the wonderful park system we have.
Thank you all for reading!