Monday, June 20, 2011

Grandmas Marathon Recap from Jen

I had a great personal race on Saturday.  Although I did run a new PR I also overcame some personal struggles that typically I would give into. Here is my time and breakdown.

Official Time: 3:51:41
Average Pace: 8:51

Splits according to my chip:
10k - 53:44
13.1 - 1:54:08
20 Miles - 2:55:02
25 Miles - 3:40:50

My Garmin info.
Total Time: 3:51:36
Average Pace: 8:46
1 8:50      14 8:41
2 8:37      15 8:43
3 8:37      16 8:47
4 8:32      17 8:55
5 8:33      18 8:50
6 8:38      19 8:38
7 8:42      20 9:04
8 8:55      21 9:03
9 8:42      22 9:41
10 8:21    23 9:14
11 8:47    24 8:50
12 8:39    25 8:30
13 8:35    26 8:47 (the last mile had a major headwind.... my effort felt faster this this split is indicating)  
                .4 3:16 (8:04 minute/mile pace. Also, I tried to run the tangents as much as possible but of course ran more. But ran less the my last marathon.  Long beach I clocked in at 26.58 miles....!)

GU Stops: Miles 3,7,11,15. Sprees Candy at Mile 22
Water Stops: I walked through parts of every water station and drank some. Not a lot, but just a drink or so. They were every other mile starting at Mile marker 3 and then every mile from 20-25.  They weren't necessarily at the mile markers either. They were just kind of in that mile somewhere.

The rest is just blah blah about my marathon, so please keep reading but consider yourself warned =)

I technically was shooting for a 3:50 marathon or faster. I knew it was going to be tough with the cold weather, rain and wind but oh well, a race is a race right. Doesn't matter what the weather or whatever it is the best you can do that day on that race. So, my plan was to follow the 3:50 group for as long as possible and then hopefully have enough energy to move forward around mile 23 and go in ahead.

It didn't totally go that way. I couldn't find the 3:50 pace group before the race started. Because of the lots of people and my 2 trips to the bathrooms prior to the start I was wandering my way through the crowds too late and ended up starting just somewhere in the middle of tons of people.... Anywhoo, I saw some balloons up a head and just assumed that was probably the right group and thought I'd just keep my eye on them.  Sure enough after the race started I moved a little quicker then I had anticipated.  I ended up catching that group (it was the 3:50 pace group) around mile 7. Once I was with them I stayed right on there heels until about mile 17.  Also, as for how miles 1-17 felt, they were mostly good.  I'd have a few miles where I'd start to wonder if I felt ok, but then I'd start to feel better for a few miles. I'd think about all the AMAZING people who have helped me realize I can push myself and I am not gonna die =) My Husband, my running club, my parents, brothers, sisters, etc. etc.  There are lots of you out there and I did think of them all.  I get inspired by these people and really do feel a difference in my running because of them.

At mile 17 the pace group started to pull away and I noticed my legs starting to burn slightly...... I let the group keep going knowing I was already ahead of my goal time as is and figured I had time to spare.  But while keeping the idea of staying near the pace group in my mind I was feeling like I really needed to use the restroom....but I ignored it for a while.  I think because I drank so much water during the days leading to this race I ran into this issue. I don't think it had anything to do with my drinking during the water stops.  I had the feeling of wanting to go to the bathroom around mile 4 as well but was like, um hell no I just went! Next time I will be more aware of how much I drink to be sure I drink enough but not an entire lake =)!

Around mile 20 I was really starting to feel my heavy legs. I started to take this race 1 mile at a time. I wouldn't let myself stop until I got to the following mile marker.  Then I'd walk through and drink and I told myself I'd re-evaluate the situation.  But this worked for only 1 more mile and then the urge to find a tree(bathroom) was too overwhelming and a random bush is exactly what I found.... I could have cared less who saw me.  I saw people left and right the entire race doing the exact same thing so really I just convinced myself I was doing my part.... So that mile was a little discouraging.... 9:41. I knew by this point I had lost a lot of time and was realizing the goal of finishing in under a 3:55 was soon going to be gone if I didn't get my butt in gear.

This is where I had some new mental toughness that I didn't know existed.  Typically in my previous races if something like this were to happen I'd give in a just let myself slow down knowing that I had given a good try and just finish. I literally told myself, "well if I finish the last 3 miles at a 10 minute mile I'll still finish under 4 hours and I can live with that...  But then something else happened that made this race different.  During mile 23 I felt myself just start running and speeding up. I kept thinking, this doesn't hurt and I can go faster. I all of a sudden just started running and didn't pay attention to my watch one more time.  I was passing people left and right and my adrenaline just started pumping.  I remember just looking at the sidelines and asking what mile I was at and how much longer I had.  I knew I had passed 23 but that was it. I could feel my watch buzz but I just didn't care, I kept thinking to myself, "I am just going to RUN and just see what the hell happens.  Then, I came around a corner and saw the finish and just thought well it is all or nothin and I am not looking at my time until I am finished! When I saw 3:51 on my watch I was SOOO happy.  I had overcome some issues and although I was 1 minute off I could have cared less. I did it! I was in cold, wetish, semi-windy weather, I felt on and off the entire time but managed to get through it and come out closer to ON pace then off =) Sheesh! The things that can go through your mind during 3 hrs and 51 minutes of running can really make or break you and Saturday I used some self discipline and did it!

but anywhoo, onto the next one =) Time to try how to get faster and push myself further!

These pics below were taken by my Brother -in-law Bryan who ended up finishing his race with a 3:24! Not to shabby for a first marathon..... jerk. j/k Bry, you rocked it. Anywhoo, he was nice enough to come back and found me with about 1/2 mile left in my race.  I look kind of crazy but thats just me I suppose =)

I went on by and just kept passing all these suckers!!  I was soo happy to finally be the one passing all these peeps and not the one getting passed =)  WAHOO for passing people, it feels great. Not gonna lie.

Happy Running - Jen


  1. Fantastic job!! Congratulations!!

  2. CONGRATS on your PR!

  3. NIce work!!!! I am impressed by your split times.

  4. Oh I loved reading your re-cap! Congrats on a PR!!! You looks adorable and I am loving the orange shorts. So awesome that you pushed yourself at the finish and was passing people.

    I am so incredibly proud of you!

  5. WOW! That's a great time! I run that fast in my dreams! :)

  6. WOW! I cannot believe you stopped for water, had a bathroom/bush break, and STILL finished with that time!!! You rocked that race! I love all of the bright colours you're wearing!

  7. Awesome job! Sounds like except for the bathroom break mile at 22 the race went perfect! Amazing mental job at speeding up near the end of the race, that is the hardest thing to do!

  8. Awesome race! Love that you were passing people at the end---the best way to finish a race!

  9. Great job Jen!!! You ran an awesome race. It's awesome that you really pushed through those last miles- 8:30 at mile 25? WOW!!! Very inspiring!


  10. Way to go Jen!!!!!! A very awesome PR!!!

  11. WHOA! You ran an INCREDIBLE race. What a time!!

  12. Woohoo! Nice job! Love the picture next to the NEVERENDING BOAT. My God, that thing was like 4 miles long! Great report! Great Race! Fun to meet you guys:)

  13. congrats on a great race! Love your mental toughness.....You can do hard things!

  14. ok first of all--love the socks!!! I gotta get me some of those!
    Second--SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!! Amazing.

  15. LOVE IT! Jen you did amazing. So proud of you for peeing in a bush on the side of the course. Loved that you sped up at mile 23. What a great way to finish!

  16. Good job girl! That's an amazing time!


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