It didn't matter that I was just using this as a catered long run, I still didn't sleep well Friday night. I had nightmares about not getting to the race on time, torrential downpours and hurricane force winds, and forgetting my sneakers. Every time I woke up, I would be disappointed it wasn't 5 a.m. already.
This is probably because I seriously doubted my ability to not race a marathon. I had many points that I kept repeating in my head:
- Elite runners use races as training runs and run them 40 minutes over their PR all the time. This is ok.
- Last time I was on my feet for 4 hours running was in 2007, so this will be good practice for my 50k trail race in June.
- When I signed up, I knew I would do this as a training run. I'm not giving up on anything.
- This was capping off a week of over 9 hours of training, 38 miles of running, and nearly 100 miles of biking, running, and swimming combined. I shouldn't PR. And, I still plan on a full week of training. So, its pretty important that I'm able to run again by Wednesday.
My Garmin wouldn't catch the satellites and I started tracking the run 4 minutes in. However, it still says I ran 26.3 miles, and I heard other marathoners complain that their Gamins said they ran over 27 minutes. So, I'll just use my unofficial Garmin time for splits... if you don't mind! :)
The weather was perfect for a half-marathon. It got a little too hot for the full, but the first 12 miles I ran with my friend Natalie. This was her first half-marathon and long distance race. She really rocked it out, we ran 8:30-9:00 pace. We rocked the downhills, took the uphills pretty strong, and she listened to her iPod while I chatted her ear off half the time. When I left her at mile 12, she was feeling pretty worn out, but still finished strong and picked people off in the last mile or so.
I stopped at home, and went all Tarahumara, downing some iskiate I'd made to test how I handled it mid run. I went to the bathroom, washed my face, took a few sips of water, grabbled my iPod and jumped right back in.
Once I had my music, my pace definitely jumped a little bit. This race had a LOT of water stations. I took one powerade at each, and once it started getting warm, two. I felt like the last 6 miles had one every mile, but its interesting to see that I walking for about 10-15 seconds never really affects my split times.
During mile 14, U & Ur Hand, by Pink came onto my iPod. This is my favorite fartlek song, but you don't do speed play in a marathon. Except, I told myself, this was a training run. And so, that's right. I fartleked during a marathon.
My right achilles has been bugging me during long runs lately, so I think I had to stop and stretch maybe three times. The first, during mile 16.
At 19 they had an aid station with bowls of pretzels, orange wedges, etc., which was AWESOME. And there were a whole bunch of runners standing around a table shoveling food in our mouths. I stuck around to re fuel and get ready for my 10k. I was running with the 9:00 pace group and all of a sudden, hit mile 20 and pulled this:
24- 7:52 (Holy crap, rolling hills! I didn't expect these. My calf was irritated by the uphills so I had to take them a little slow, but I kept pushing on and targeting men to pick off)
26- 6:49 (Where did this come from?!)
.33 in 2:19, a 7:05 pace.
I would look for men who were shirtless, wearing bright colors, or wearing red and just had fun earning this shirt that I got at the expo:
Only one got me, we were racing at one point and I didn't lose him until I was at a 6:00 pace, then in the last mile he pulled ahead and I just couldn't keep up. I was disappointed, but it happens, he looked very fit so... (grumble grumble)
After racing MCM, I was shaking uncontrollably for a good time after and was hardly coherent, I was so dead. But yesterday, I felt like I had just completed a long run, so mission accomplished. I was energetic, and full of energy. I went out to the park when I got home to enjoy the sun and went to a movie. Today, I'm only slightly sore, and my legs feel very fresh.
I was worried after MCM that my ultra dreams were unrealistic. I was wiped out after 26.2 miles. But yesterday was really encouraging, because by taking it easy most of the race, I still had more to give. I learned the difference between racing and running, and now I feel even more proud of my MCM time. I definitely raced that and gave it my all. I 'm feeling much more confident about my 50k in June.
I always underestimate what my body can do, I didn't even think I would be marathon-ready by mid-April, and here I did a great 26.3 training run and I feel fantastic. I still have no clue what my Boston goal should be, but I've got nearly a month to build on what I've done this weekend.