St. George Marathon 2:56:51, my second fastest time!
I was extreemely pleased with my race after the terrible year I had. I never felt good after my ablation at the end of April. The medications or the procecure or something made me feel tight all over and I struggled with it all summer. I felt like my body just wouldn't allow me to really push myself in a workout and I couldn't figure out what it was.
It was discouraging to feel so bad going so slow all the time.
It was only in the last 2 weeks or so that I had a significant improvement in how I felt. Josse helped me a lot with that. She's an excellent massage therapist. I thought if I could warm-up a bit and stretch really good before the race that I had a good chance of feeling ok and doing well.
I printed a band on an old bib number with mile splits for a 2:58:30 and planned to follow that. I figured if my watch was off by a little on the distance this would give me a min or so to make that up. My husband gave me a look like I was crazy when he saw this spreadsheet pulled up on the computer and I told him my plan.
I followed the mile splits pretty well the first part of the race. A few of my downhill miles were a little faster, but my uphill miles were slower. Somewhere in the first 5 miles I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. I knew it was mostly gas. I felt gassy after I ate at the expo. I'm never eating there again. It made me feel the same way last year. I figured stopping to poop a little might just get things moving more and decided not to stop. The feeling went away for several miles, but returned again, went away again etc. I didn't get my water bottles in on time so I was at the mercy of the cups. I drank at every stop.
Mile 11 is always the worst for me. I looked down at my watch about 1/2 way through it and my pace was 20 seconds slower than it was supposed to be. I sped up some to get it over with but still finished it slower than I should have been. As I approached the 13th mile marker I felt like I needed to poop again and this time it was really bad. I looked over at the line of port-o-potties longingly and just kept running. About a quarter mile later I felt ok again.
When I crossed the clock at the 1/2 way point I saw 1:30:50 and worried I wasn't going to reach my goal of breaking 3 hours. I remembered crossing the 1/2 in just over 1:30 the year I ran 2:58 and I was slower and less confident in my training this year.
Miles 15 and 16 are my favorite miles, so pretty and fast. My husband, Brent, met me on his bike at about mile 16. He rode out to give me a water bottle then went back on the running trail. He dropped my water bottles for the last two Elite stops which was nice. He went ahead to video me several times so I saw him off and on. I felt pretty good on miles 15 to 20 with the occasional feeling like I needed to poop. I tried to follow the splits on my band I printed, but they were almost all faster through this section. In mile 19 my legs started to feel tired, going up the hill, and I worried I might fall to pieces. But when I hit the downhill again I felt good again. My splits were right on again for a few miles.
When I hit mile 23 I took my last of 6 GU and drank then decided to not drink any more. I was so sick of feeling like I had to go to the bathroom and the feeling seemed to return whenever I ate my GU or drank. A min or so later I felt good again.
At mile 24 Brent told me to catch the two girls ahead of me. I looked up and couldn't see any women. Then a 1/2 mile later he told me the two girls looked like they might be master division women. I said, "Don't do that to me!" I hate feeling like I'm racing against other people on a marathon. I just like to race the clock and see what I can do. I really don't like to be near other women at the finish. It stresses me out, so I was glad I couldn't see them. I did pass one of the women, but not the other.
I was so pleased that I actually felt good all the way to the end. When I saw the clock at mile 25.2 turning 2:50 I realized I might finish with a 2:56 if I was able to keep up the pace I was doing. I felt good and I only had one mile.
As I turned the corner to the finish line I thought about how I felt turning that corner last year, miserable and cramping, stopping to walk with the finish line in sight. I felt extremely grateful to be feeling good. Something I haven't felt much for an entire year. What a blessing it was to feel good on the day of a race. I said so many prayers of thanks during this race.
When I crossed the finish line I cried, tears of gratitude and joy. I had an experience earlier in the year where I felt like I would be "ok." That I wouldn't "win," but I would have "some success this year." All summer long I thought about that experience and just couldn't see how it was going to happen, but it happened. I was so happy to just feel good.
I gave Brent a big hug. He was so supportive of me all year, even when he thought I was crazy for planning to break 3 hours. He kept that to himself and didn't tell me until after the race.
I felt really happy and good about my race until I saw the results. The other woman my husband told me to pass that I didn't catch was the masters division winner and she finished only 45 seconds ahead of me. Huge prize for the masters winner. Trying not to feel ungrateful I couldn't help but groan "45 seconds" three or four times in the few hours after the race to which Brent finally said, "Stop with the 45 seconds!"
Mile splits 6:58, 7:02, 6:35, 6:36, 6:34, 6:26, 6:31, 7:43 (veyo), 7:12, 7:06, 7:28(mile 11), 7:01, 6:40 (1/2 way), 6:39, 6:20, 6:10, 6:28, 6:30, 6:59, 6:44, 6:24, 6:42, 6:34, 6:35, 6:41, 6:37, 6:29 (last .2). Average 6:45 pace. Official first half 1:30:47 (6:56 pace), second half 1:26:04 (6:34 pace).