You can see the photos of the weekend leading up to the race here
Heads up, this could get long...hope you are comfortable.
After a 4 AM wake up, long shower and a love affair with cold coffee and chocolate chip muffin- I made myself get ready. We got to the finish line around 6:15, chatted and said our goodbye's and then met up with Lora so we could be the cool kids and ride the bus together. I was worried that the shuttle would stress me out, but I was actually really calm and relaxed. The bus left (and it wasn't jam packed thank goodness) and Lora
and I were able to chat and enjoy the 30 minute ride to the start line. I can't say enough good things about this girl, we were talking about running and Boston and wedding stuff... I'm pretty sure if I lived closer, we would hang out a lot!
Once we got to the start we made our way through portopotty lines, and then went inside the barn they had set up for runners. Chatted some more, and got ready to make our way to the line. Also got to meet up with Heather
before the race, gave her a huge ass hug and was really happy to see her. I'm a really crappy person because I forgot to get a picture of Lora, Heather and I before the race. These girls made the morning really awesome, that's a fact.
Once I got to the start line I saw a bunch of people I knew, chatted with 2 in particular who had similar goals. All the sudden I heard my name, I left the crowd and ran to the side to hug my friend Debbie quick (Saw her multiple times on course too which was a huge boost). Shortly after that I saw that John made it to the start on his bike, gave him one last hug and kiss and he grabbed me arm and said "3:15" I smiled and put my headphones in and got ready to go.
Saucony Curve Crusader Sports Bra, MC Shorts, Saucony Arm warmers, Spibelt, Garmin 405, I-pod, Saucony Kinvara Socks, Saucony A5 Racing Flats, Off brand Sunglasses, Clif Shot Blocks (strawberry), Clif Shot Gel (Strawberry+ Caffiene)
7:48, 7:43, 7:45, 7:41, 7:41, 7:45
[1 shot block and water at mile 4 and 6]
I clotheslined myself from the start, holding myself back from taking off like a bat out of hell. It was hard (especially with downhill start), but I knew that it was my best bet for getting the time I wanted. Around mile 3 I saw a big group of friends of mine, the sound of their screaming was pretty impressive, and definitely put a smile on my face(right photo). I finally passed my arm warmers off to John (and stole a kiss) around mile 5, and then went on my merry way knowing I could slowly start speeding up.
10k split (48:16, 7:46 average)
- I crossed the mat and smiled, knowing this would be the first split to appear for those who were tracking me. I also knew that I was where I wanted to be
, and that I could slowly start picking off those people who flew past me at the start.
7:36, 7:38, 7:42, 7:28, 7:39, 7:36
[1 shot block and water at mile 8, 10, 12]
I gave myself a little leeway here and picked up the pace. I was going back and forth with a few other runners which turned into a little game. This was also where I found the man who decided to run with a water bottle with beads or something in it....basically he sounded like he was playing maracas, I kind of imagined grabbing it and throwing it but decided to play nice. But really I wanted to throw it.
Lets file that under self control success.
7:24, 7:09, 7:36, 7:36, 7:21
[`1 shot block and water at 14, 15, & 16]
This section was just odd for me, my paces were all over the place and I couldn't seem to find a comfortable groove. I crossed the half split at 1:40:45 (7:41 average) and smiled again knowing that it would show negative splits from 10k split. I was doing what I planned to do but also wondered if I was going to pick it up as much as I needed it. Here enters self doubt.
This is also the section where a Rochester man (he was wearing a local running club singlet) decided to bob and weave excessively across the road and cut me off and stepped on my foot at a water station. No apology or even acknowledgment - My friend Mark who was running saw it happen, and told me to use it as fuel, I dropped a very loud F-bomb and pushed on. I think the mile 14 fast split was because there was a "viewing" area for spectators, so there was lots of cheering going on. I remember looking at my watch and seeing 7:09 and knowing I had to pull it back a bit. It was too soon to let loose, there was still plenty of race to go.
7:23, 7:26, 7:37, 7:19, 7:21, 7:13
[water and half gel at 20 and 22]
I got a huge smile on my face at this point, looked over to side of road to see Joe
standing waiting for me (I wasn't expecting him till mile 20). He hopped right in, asked how I was feeling and we set a good pace. He chatted keeping my mind distracted as the miles rolled on, he also played a good wall for me when the wind picked up in a few spots. He kept me on pace, encouraged me, grabbed water cups for me and motivated me to push. It was a big comfort having a good friend there when things start getting tough.
Right before he left me at 23, he told me to go for it...and I didn't want to let him down so I picked up the pace and pushed forward.
We were on a narrow path from 21-24(ish) which proved to be a little frustrating for me. It was nice being off the road and away from cars and such, but at this point I started catching a lot of people. Not only was I catching marathoners, I was catching those who walked the half marathon. Let me paint a picture for you, 4 foot wide path and half of it was covered with people walking(side by side)(and not moving over) and the other part was water stops. It got congested in a few places which frustrated me because I had to focus on bobbing and weaving and not running anyone over (Or getting stepped on) instead of focusing on moving forward and picking up the pace. I'm sure I only lost a few seconds because of it, but like I said it made it hard to focus.
[sip of water, rest on my head]
I started really pushing myself here.
The hot spot on the bottom of my foot (which I started feeling around 19) was really starting to bug me, but there wasn't anything I could do. I told myself I could do this (over and over) and just kept trucking along. I was still annoyed with the narrow path and weaving around half- marathon walkers but eventually we got back out on a road so it was a little easier to avoid them. I told myself I had a little over 21 minutes and also told myself I have done this 5 times before, 21 more minutes is nothing.
[dumped 2 cups on my head]
Just around mile 24 I saw my friends Katie and Ben running at me, I figured they would cheer me on, maybe run for a minute or so and then stop.....Nope. They ran the last 2 miles one on each side of me. I pulled out one of my headphones so I could hear them, they literally encouraged me every step. "Almost there"
, "this is what you trained for", "just a little bit further"
...every word went right to my heart. I have incredible friends.
|The pain on my face screams mile 25+|
|Finally on Market street, Katie behind me yelling and Ben pulling ahead trying to push me. You can also see the temperature in the background, 70+ by finish time.|
Finally I made the turn onto Market Street for the home stretch. It felt like it took forever, kind of like the long home stretch at RNR VB
. I could see the finish but it wasn't getting closer. They were telling me to push and I didn't think I had anything left. I took out my other ear bud and just soaked in the cheers of the crowds, and gave it what I had left.
|Ben and I tackling the beginning of Market Street, the finish is wayyy down there. P.S. I love the back of my Saucony Curve Crusader Sports bra, in case you were wondering.|
After crossing the finish line (with a time of 3:17:29)I promptly sat down for a few minutes, Mylar blanket wrapped around me just trying to wrap my head around everything. I was tired, I kind of wanted to throw up, and I kind of wanted to cry. I was overwhelmed
, a few volunteers asked me if I was okay and I just kind of looked at them with what I assumed to have been a sad puppy face because next thing I know they brought me over chocolate milk and cookies and a plate of pizza.
After a bit I made my way out of finish area and down the street to the group of women I knew, sat down and cracked open a Guinness. I also looked up quickly at this point and saw Lora
cruising into the finish, running a great race and finding out she set a new PR- I cheered as loud as I could, girl rocked it.
I grabbed my phone from my drop bag and instantly saw that John had texted me, which is what I needed. No he was not at the finish- even though I knew he wouldn't be there to see me finish it was still hard. He was being bike support for our 2 friends who were doing their first marathon. But he had tracked me with the texts and knew when I finished to be able to send me a message. Yes it was emotional finishing without him right there, but knowing he was supporting our friends during their first marathon was incredibly touching and important.
I took my shoes off and found my hot spot that had been bothering me. By hot spot I mean gigantic-disgusting-painful-blister (I'll spare the photo for you). It hurt to put any weight on my foot and I knew I needed to get it bandaged in case it busted. I hobbled towards med tent knowing they might not let me in since I already left finish area (security reasons), but some firefighters blocking a side street saw me hobbling and asked if they could help. I got to sit in the fire truck while they put gauze and tape on my foot and commented on my good taste in beer
(which was still in my hand).
I spent the rest of the time back by the finish chute cheering runners on, and chatting away with people I knew. Finally about 90 minutes after finishing, I got to see John. He was dressed as Luigi to make our friends laugh on the course (the ones he was playing bike support for), so in case you were wondering...no I am not marrying a nintendo character. I got my big hug and then a few minutes later we were able to cheer Amy and Donna in as they finished their first marathon- I'm pretty sure I cried.
It was also during this time that I realized that my 4 minute PR, also earned me a second place age group award. It's a cool tile, only like 80 more Wineglass races and I can redo my bathroom shower.
|I must say, the braids looked much cuter before the rain, heat and humidity turned them into birds nests.|
I had scheduled a post for Sunday, letting you know that my goal was 3:15
. But my B goal was a PR (under 3:21) so I at least made that goal. I give myself an A- for the race, as my time was closer to A goal than B. I am incredibly happy with my time, 3:17 is something I never even thought possible a year or 2 ago, but I also know that I can do more. A 4 minute PR in a marathon is big, and I know that, I am proud of the work that I put in to this race.
I ran very smart, with a 4 minute faster second half than the first- being able to say my last 2 miles were 2 of my fastest reminds me that all this work, all this training- it matters
. So what does that tell me, the work is far from done. This may be a new personal best, and a damn good one at that....but I will not let this current time, limit me from going for even better times. I've got more work in me, more speed and determination in me- my marathon journey is far from over.
Marathon #6 is in the books, one I will certainly never forget.