Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oops, I ran a marathon

I ran Hartford yesterday, the whole thing. My big game plan was to drop out at mile 20 and use the race as a training run. Didn't quite happen that way...

It was cold when I woke up (which was a half hour later than I do for training runs). I ate my usual breakfast - peanut butter and banana sandwich with water. J dropped me off at Bushnell. It was still cold and I was a little worried about freezing my ass off. I kept my long sleeve on.

I found my group at the carousel and went to find Allison and Jodi at the corner. We all met as planned and hung around a bit. It was nice arriving only a half hour or so before the race. The lines for the bathroom were ridiculous, so we decided to just wait until a few miles in the race.

Nothing left to do but run at this point. There was no organization to the line up, which didn't really seem to matter. There was definitely a good vibe amongst the runners and everyone was all fired up. It was nice for me not to be stressed about time goals and have zero pressure. Well, aside from making my full 20 miles.

Jodi was worried about finishing and I promised her I would stick with her for the entire 20 miles that I'd be running.

Mile 1 - After some speeches, we were off! It took a couple minutes to cross the mats and we were running. The crowd was thick and slowmoving and I was bumped into a few times. As we rounded the corner out of the park, the speed picked up (maybe too much) and we linked up with Jen and Julie and Kim (who had lost the rest of her group). It was getting hot already and I thought about taking my shirt. Allison took off ahead of us in this first mile.

Mile 2 - Still crowded. Over the bridge and around some highway ramps. I took my long sleeve off and stabbed my finger, drawing blood, in the process of re-pinning my number.

Mile 3-4 - More running, legs still getting warmed up. feeling tired. Like always in those first couple miles.

Miles 5 - Somewhere between miles 4-5 we split from the halfsies. I said "last chance to change your mind" which elicited a laugh from my group and some surroundings. Crowds completely disappeared.

Miles 6-7 - Found my pace and feeling good! Settling into the more rural section. There was a cool rasta guy playing the drums and who had a big bottle of liquor on his table.

Miles 7-10 - Feeling good! Onto the main part of the race. The long out and back. We got to see the leaders pass by at this point. The leaves weren't peak colors, but the street was still pretty and with some patches of fans. My favorite part was hearing Sunshine of Your Love from one of the bands and finding out that the band was a group of 8 year olds in baseball uniforms. I love a kid who can rock out.

Mile 11 - The turnaround. Me, Jodi and Steve fell back a bit at this point. Jodi wasn't feeling it, so we hung back.

Miles 12-16 - Finishing up South Windsor. I was feeling really good. Stopped once to work out a cramp in my foot. We kept pushing, but our pushing became more of a walk/run combo. Sometime in the later miles, I started getting really hungry. Like, I could use a sandwich hungry. A hunger gu or shot bloks just couldn't satisfy. Oh well, I just ignored it.

because we were walking so much, I thought it would be okay to run the full. I told Jodi I would run with her if I could find a cell phone to call J and let him know. I saw a runner with a huge belt bag and figured she would have a cell - she did! I called J and he told me it was a bad idea (as I had instructed him to), but I said I was gonna walk those last miles. Thanks, runner, for letting me use your cell! Runners are the nicest people - at least to other runners.

Miles 17-19 - We kept running in front of these two guys then stopping, they would pass us, we'd pass them and the cycle would continue. We had a good time joking with them about this. I was feeling even better at this point. Strong, ready to run.

Miles 19-20 - Goes through a pretty area around the river where the bridge just taunts you. We'd get close to it, then far away. We also had to run up the equivalent of a highway ramp. Ug-ly!

I decided I should start walking. Jodi and I split on the bridge. Walking when you want to run is so hard! And boring. And almost embarrassing!

Mile 21 - 23 Back in Hartford. Junk food station was pretty much the best thing ever. I had some gummy bears and some jelly beans. I turned down some flat coke (ick!), tootsie rolls, skittles, etc. I kept walking, which was awful. People kept saying things like, "good for you for sticking with it!" which I know was nice of them, but just frustrated me. I wanted to say "I'm not running on purpose - this is a training run!" or "I'm not supposed to run anymore!" but that would be obnoxious. I would run in spurts when i couldn't help myself, but for the most part I was good. I connected with two ladies for a mile or so and we walked and talked, which helped me keep walking. I picked up an orange gu at the mile 23 water stop and took off on my own.

Mile 24. I kept walking for awhile, but at a faster clip. At about Mile 23.5, I ran a little bit by the river. I noticed that my time wasn't that bad and I could easily beat my NYC time if I ran a little. (Kind of sad, huh?) I tried to be good and walked a good portion, but ran when I was really bored. I kept a good eye on my watch so my PR didn't completely escape me. The water stops were a good .2 of a mile from the mile marker, which was kind of annoying. this part of the race follows along the river, so it's a pretty run. One I wouldn't mind running on my own sometime.

Mile 25 - 26.2 - Finally, I can run again! I picked up my pace at mile 25, right around the Blue Onion. Runners are pretty thin at this point. I go by the Wadsworth Atheneum and know I'm getting closer and push even harder. By Vito's and I know I'm on the home stretch. Push Push Push. I see the turn and focus on it. Wait, that's not the turn? Oh, the next one. Grr. Keep going, keep going. I make the final turn, curse the minuscule hill, see J waving to me. Push harder and cross the finish!

I beat my NYC time by almost 6 minutes and I walked a good portion of the race!

This race really boosted me for NYC in three weeks. I find I run conservatively in races, but found out I have so much more in me. In NYC, I'm gonna try to keep to 10:18 - 10:30 miles and just walk through the water stops. And my new goal is 4:30. I'd rather run hard and crawl over that finish line than worry I still have more in the tank.

As for injuries, I'm feeling okay today. Sore, but nothing like after a marathon. I took an icebath yesterday and have been babying myself, which I'm sure helps.

Some things to remember:
-I drank water at almost all the stops - usually two cups. I barely drank any gatorade, probably just a bottle, bottle and a half.
-Walking at water stops completes reinvigorates you.
-Bring more gels / gu. I ran out.
-Sports Beans are almost like food when you're hungry.
-Start slow, but not too slow.
- Relax!

And now - it's taper time!

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home