You can see the photos of the weekend leading up to the race here.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!
Heads up, this could get long...hope you are comfortable.
Heads up, this could get long...hope you are comfortable.
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.
Gear: 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.|
|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.
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.
quite the account in addition to effort and accomplishment. rock on!ReplyDelete
Great run Laura! Congrats on the PR and for coming so close to 3:15...you have that (and more) in you for sure.ReplyDelete
The one thing I learned from this post if nothing else was that I need to work on my sad puppy face so people will bring me pizza and cookies after my race :)
Thanks Mike!! 3:15 will come in time for me! Pizza and cookies post race are a must- hope you got some yesterday after your awesome Chicago race!Delete
GREAT job!! Your times were amazing, you pushed through, and you really ran a solid race from start to finish. I know it wasn't your 3:15, but you have a lot to be proud of. I'm glad that you made two goals and that you can celebrate achieving one of them (in a BIG way)!! I hope you are relaxing now and vegging until you start training for the next one!ReplyDelete
Thanks Amy!! Definitely proud, a little bummed but I mean come on-- gotta be proud of 4 minute PR so I'd say that takes precedence over being bummed a little!! You must be getting so excited for Niagara falls, at least it means a weekend away for you! How have you been feeling?Delete
Congratulations on the PR!! Solid race! That narrow part would frustrate me too. Can't believe a guy just stepped on your foot too, what a loser! That medal is pretty darn awesome too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Steena, definitely one of my favorite medals since it's so unique (and huge!)Delete
Congratulations on the PR and coming super close to your goal! That's so awesome that you had pizza and cookies after your race too, I wish I could have eaten that, I bet I would've loved it! The pics of you running are really great too, it looks like a beautiful course and I'm glad you managed to run so much after during the second half- you are super strong!ReplyDelete
Thanks Amy, the course really is beautiful. If you ever get a chance to do an upstate NY race in the fall I highly recommend it- the foliage is amazingDelete
Wow Laura! What a recap! I had tears in my eyes as I read it! Congrats on your finish! A 4 minute PR is amazing!!!!ReplyDelete
Awesome job and congrats on the PR!!! Reading your recap brought tears to my eyes I cant even imagine a 7 minute mile or a 3 plus hour marathon... Your one heck of a runner!!!!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Shelley, writing the recap brought some emotions, just as much as running it did! :)Delete
Congrats on the PR Laura!! You are a rockstar.ReplyDelete
Thanks Natalie, you must be getting so freaking pumped for MCM!Delete
Ah Laura! I got chills and almost cried for you reading this... I'm a nerd. HUGE congrats are in order for you. So proud. You have lit the fire under my ass that I needed to start running again and make a fall marathon happen next year. I need the motivation and dedication...and a better experience with the full marathon than I had in April of 2012.ReplyDelete
I am so proud of you for this race and in that weather. I know you will beat that goal when the time is right. I absolutely love that photo of you and Guinness. You ran a smart race and that is what matters. You are injury free and gearing up for a great 2014!ReplyDelete
Best part about 2014...you'll be closer so we can do more races together ;)Delete
You are a rock star beautiful!!!! Great job on your run, I knew you would do amazing and those friends of yours are incredible! Congrats sweets!ReplyDelete
Love, love, love. You are amazing! Such a smart first half and really solid second half. Way to go!!! Like you said, a 4 minute pr is HUGE and I have no doubt you'll continue to get faster with each marathon. Congrats again!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Laura, it was hard holding back at first but definitely paid off! You have been training so awesome, Philly is going to be a great race for you!Delete
CONGRATS...great read, you inspire me! Love the first picture, can just make out Go Browns!ReplyDelete
I'm a woman of my word... I actually got quite a few questions about the "go browns!"Delete
Whoop Whoop! We were tracking you all day- you were great! Give me some of those negative split skills. Nice job!!! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Lindsey!! I'm still working on the negative split thing, slowly but surely!Delete
Way to keep focus! Great job. Sorry - my bad about that walking the half - whoops! ;) Actually I hate that, too, I'm always conscious of people being able to pass me, even on the bike and swim, too. Anywho - what's wrong with Mario? I'm guessing your guy is too tall. Cute.ReplyDelete
Ummmmm age group award!! YAY!!
LMAO on the shaker bottle - you should have thrown it. When you throw it, even maybe just visualize throwing it in your mind, you will definitely get your 3:15. ;) You must honor your crazy running brain.
Oh yeah, and firefighters....yeah they just HATED having a cute little sweaty girl drinking beer in their fire truck ;) Milk it!!
LOL! John wasn't mario because his friend is...or was..they did a costume race a few years ago as M&L so he still had the Luigi costume! :) I visualized throwing the shaker bottle, MANY times!Delete
Way to go! Seriously phenomenal job. I don't know if I'm more in awe of your perseverance or that you cracked open a Guinness as soon as you were done. :)ReplyDelete
haha thanks Angela! The guinness was key to my recovery ;)Delete
Awesome! Congrats! Sounds like you ran a very smart race, and you negative split the shit out of it.ReplyDelete
So funny your BF rode in that costume, LOL!
Thanks Kristy! He's a goofball but thats why I love him :)Delete
Congratulations!!! You ran a GREAT and SMART race. A 4-minute PR is HUGE at your speed! I have no doubt that you'll get your 3:15 soon. 72 degrees at the finish is hot for a marathon! I'm sure that was a factor. And the man with the noisy water bottle--oh I've been there! Two worst occasions: running the same pace as someone who had a radio on their waist w/no headphones. I'm sorry, you may want to listen to your music, but I don't! And running near someone who was run/walking 30 seconds on/30 seconds off. That part was fine. Their watch beeping every 30 seconds was not! I'm not a cranky person, but when I'm racing and focused, it's funny that the smallest things will annoy me--especially noises. Great job on the race. You trained so hard and it clearly paid off! hope you're enjoying some well-earned recovery!ReplyDelete
Thanks Karla! OH I have had the run 30/walk 30 people near me... I get it, that's what works for them but STAY TO THE SIDE. I feel like the people who do that tend to stop in middle and create issues for other runners.Delete
Awesome awesome awesome race and so much self control on that course. I loved the braids and thought they looked super cute!ReplyDelete
I ran this race a couple years ago and I'm not sure if they changed it but I remember so hills early in the race that I didn't expect.
I was so happy to see your splits on twitter and to hear you PR'd!
Thanks Jessica! I loved the race/course.. there are a few hills in the first half I wasn't expecting but I guess at least it wasn't in 2nd half where I'd really not want them. If you come do the race again let me know, I'm sure I'll at least do the half each year!Delete
Great job! That weather was a real killer for many - my pacer ended up with a DNF! I managed a 6 minute PR myself, it was ugly ... but I'll take it!ReplyDelete
OMG, I heard about that! I can't imagine all of the sudden losing pacer, I mean I know they can't control things sometimes but... still. Congrats on a PR- 6 minutes is incredible! Just think how much more you will take off in better conditions (that humidity was downright stupid!)Delete
Goose.Bumps. Your recap is awesome. I love breakdown per mile, and I'm amazed you can think anything besides "ouch" "marthafocker" and "when the heck is this done?!".ReplyDelete
Also, I commend you for not taking out jellybeanbottleman.
HUZZAH on your awesome PR!!
I didn't say those things didn't go through my head LOLDelete
I was pretty proud of my self control with the bottle dude...I saw him finish later on and he still had it in his hand- so glad we ended up being different paces!
Congrats on your PR!! You did an amazing job :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Jen!!! Congrats on your half!!!Delete
Wow! I can't believe the times you were nailing at the end. You raced SO smart! I hope I can pull off what you just did. Loved that you had the beer and got to be in the firetruck :) Great work Laura :)ReplyDelete