Lots of lessons learned from this race. I'm surprised I finished. It was truly amazing considering all the crap that led up to this one. So let's recap...
So marathon weekend began Friday night. I had to work late and we didn't get supper until almost 8:30. Ugh. Packing/laundry all the fun stuff took place and I thought I was ready.
Saturday, I headed in to work to clean up a few things and MS finished packing up the car. He met me at work and we left my car there. The drive up was uneventful, other than we were cutting it close on time so we didn't eat lunch (and breakfast was a granola bar). This is where my horrid need to follow the plan I set up came into play and proved detrimental.
I had my per-race massage scheduled at 1230 with Keith. I snagged the bathroom while he was finishing setting up so I wasn't there when he and MS met. MS mentioned his lower-back issue that he has had constantly (and the chiropractor isn't helping - shocker!) so Keith asked if he could borrow MS for 10 minutes. I said sure. Then he came out and needed 30 minutes (MS is a mess). So that shortened my massage - which was okay, I didn't need that much.
So then we busted down to the hotel to check in (opposite side of the city) and traffic was horrendous. So a quick check in and back up to Keith's for kinesio taping - which took an hour longer than we had planned and we still didn't do what were supposed to (which hindered me Sunday). And we still hadn't eaten. At one point I was standing up arm stretched out to my side and my head turned the other way and I became nauseated and had to lie down...twice. Luckily Keith had some yogurt, which helped. It brought my sugar levels back up so I was clear headed again.
Then it was off to pick up my packet. It was 6pm and the expo closed at 7pm. Ugh. Not how I had this planned, but in hindsight the packet pickup was EMPTY so I was able to get in and out super quick, and the handouts were numerous because people were trying to get rid of their stuff. We got 3 cups from the Fargo Marathon (an option for next year) and handfuls of mini Larabars. Mmmmmm.
Then back to the hotel to drop off the stuff and time for food. It was after 7 before we got to TGIFriday's (which seemed a better option than Chevy's or IHOP), but they were sooooo sllllooooowwwww. We finally got our food at almost 8, snarfed what we could and then I took half of mine back to the room for Sunday AM (but forgot a fork so I didn't eat it anyway).
We were so tired. We both showered and then crashed around 9:30 and crash we did. I was exhausted, nutrition starved, and very nervous for Sunday.
Sunday AM - I woke at 4am, wide awake. At 4:22 I got up to go to the bathroom, then went back to bed to cuddle. I need cuddling because I felt like I could throw up. A little before 5 I got up and got ready. Of course I ended up realizing that I had forgotten a few important things - my pace tat, my accelerade, my endurox, to name a few. But I figured I could do without them. MS walked me to the train station (I asked for that so he could know where to go and so I would have a little last encouragement before I had to head to the start.
The marathon changed some of the procedures at the Dome, which threw me off a bit. They had specific areas open, which I got in, but not before they did a bag check. Then they changed some of the times for races (at least it seemed) so that threw me off too. But I did what I could to keep things normal for me.
Anyway, I got to the corral and, trying to be optimistic, I started at approximately 5:15. They didn't have a 5:15 pace team this year so I just started between 5 and 5:30. 5:30 was the only pace team with balloons, which was weird too, but I figured if I could stay in front of them for most of the race, I'd be okay.
I missed the national anthem - some young guy singing way too low so I heard the last few measures. The wheelers took off and they gave them a 10 minute head start (which I think was different). So the elite didn't start until 8:05, and we were just standing there trying to stay loose. Another weird thing - you know how people always take off running as soon as they can and then have to stop and walk then run, then walk before they hit the official start line? Yeah...that didn't happen. Everyone.Walked. And maybe 10 feet before the line we started running. Weird!
I felt pretty good the first few miles, in fact, I only walked through the water stop between 2&3, otherwise I ran for the first 6, albeit slow. I saw MS at 4 and dropped my throw-away shirt and ear guard there and kept going. Then MS met me at 6 I think and from there on he stayed with me the entire race - riding ahead and taking pictures or getting gel shots and Gatorade ready for me. My legs were tight so I took those meeting moments to stretch.
The downfall - I was passed by 5:30 between 10 and 11. This was my breakdown point - I started crying and just tried to keep running. I tried to stay with the pace team but I couldn't even do that. MS kept encouraging me, "This is your race, honey. Run YOUR race." He was right but it took awhile for me to get there. I kept imagining Year 1 when the sweep bus came up behind me a few miles later and how I didn't want that to happen again. I may not have trained well, but I didn't want to fail either. And the sweep bus would be a total fail.
It took me 3 miles to get there. MS would ride ahead and see where 5:30 was and then time how long I was behind them. That helped. And thank God for math because I was able to do the math to figure out if I could still finish under 6 or not. That helped. So after that it was just a matter of keeping moving forward. MS was worried about the 2pm deadline, but I was on my clock so I was just looking for under 6 hours. With his help, I made both.
Mile 1: 10:57
Mile 2&3: 23:06
Mile 4: 11:35
Mile 5: 11:22
Mile 6: 12:41
Mile 7: 13:57
Mile 8: 12:29
Mile 9: 13:35
Mile 10: 12:30
Mile 11: 13:00
Mile 12: 13:16
Mile 13: 13:51
Mile 14: 13:44
Mile 15: 12:42
Mile 16: 14:55
Mile 17: 13:28
Mile 18: 14:57
Mile 19: 13:37
Mile 20: 14:28
Mile 21: 15:07
Mile 22: 14:29
Mile 23: 16:22
Mile 24: 15:08
Mile 25: 14:09
Mile 26: 13:39
Last .2: 2:36
I guess the good thing is the last 4 miles were negative splits. But there's not a whole lot of consistency here. And I did finish: 5:51.46 (official chip time)
I felt like a running virgin for this race - I wore brand new race clothes (I had washed them at least) but they actually didn't cause problems. But I forgot so many of the obvious things - eating, for one; my during race process - I guessed the whole way; my recovery plan - I didn't have one; and so many other things. Just the lack of training was awful. I have to be more diligent for the next one.
I kept thanking MS for his support and he said at one point, "This is something you're passionate about, I'm glad to be here to support you." Which made me feel about this / / big since it is something I'm passionate about but I didn't make it a priority this year.
So if I'm going to run Austin, or Fargo, or Akron, or something other than TC next year (though it would be fun to run TC next year since it's the 30th year), I need to come up with a game plan. I have a week to recovery and make my plan. Crossing fingers I can come up with a decent one that will be doable and workable and successful. I need to do better the next time. I have to!