Well, I finished the marathon. I didn’t hit either my A (3:30) or even B(3:35) goals, but I did get a PR and a BQ (3:37.19). It was a challenging race.
Let’s start at the beginning, which for me, is a week before the race…A good way to sum up my taper was STRESS. High stress, low sleep, poor nutrition. We had MANY family emergencies this week, number one being my Dad was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer on Monday. I went down to help out my mom Tuesday and stay over night with him in the hospital while she had cataract surgery Wednesday. I stayed with my parents Wednesday, and then left on Thursday for Indy after taking the kids to school. It was (is) a stressful week. Throw in things like having to keep your house immaculate for showings (it is on the market), a looming contingency deadline, a traveling husband etc, etc…CRAZY. But I got to Indy, and made the most of it. (On Monday, I had completely bagged my marathon plans, but by Wednesday my parents convinced me to go). I kind of felt like all the wind was let out of my sails.
Here are some pictures:
My plan was to stick like glue to the 8:00 pacer. That worked until mile 15. It was a struggle, and I am still trying to decide if that was a mistake or not. (If the challenge of trying to stick with him was too ambitious, or a product of stress/lack of sleep). I do know that I expended a lot of extra energy at the water stops (every 2 miles), “catching back up” to the pacer. The 8 minute pacer was a popular group. I would take a few steps to get in some water, and have to fight back through the crowd to get with the group…I wonder if I should have stopped at every other water station and taken more in, to use less energy.
The course was very well marked, very flat (seriously flat) and quite scenic. We ran past the Colts stadium (ah-hem, not a fan), and through some beautiful neighborhoods. I think my favorite was a short section through the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Fine Art.
This race felt like it just wasn’t my day. I felt my legs were “flat” from about mile 14. My mental game was less than stellar. By mile 18 I had convinced myself I never wanted to set ANY goals for myself in ANY race EVER again. By mile 20, I convinced myself that I didn’t EVER want to race AGAIN. By mile 22, I convinced myself that I NEVER wanted to run EVER AGAIN. Well, despite what my brain was telling me, I did finish the race (with a really long water break at mile 22). I was SO glad it was over.
I met my brother and his family and my sister in law at the finish and started to walk to the car which was maybe a mile away. Well, maybe 5 minutes into our very slow walk, I became REALLY cold, like body shaking all over cold (I did have one of those plastic cape/blanket things), and my legs seized up. My brother in law ran to the car to get my sweats, and we proceeded with a slower than slow walk to the car as my hip flexors had completely cramped up. Once I warmed up in the car, I was good. My sister in law killed it with a time of 3:24.20! My brother ran his first half in 2 hours!!
I finished the day with pizza, and walking with my sister and my niece and nephew to the park. I had a run at Newark airport the next day trying to make a connecting flight (I did, phew!), and was home the next day.
I will write tomorrow about lessons learned (there are many!), my running plans (yes, I have decided to run again, even race again–with goals too!).
Have you ever run a marathon in a pace group? I have for both my marathons. The first time, it was great (of course it was a SUPER small race, and there were only 4 of us in the pace group!). This time I feel like I might have been better off doing my own thing. Of course, different days, different races. Who knows!!
Would you ever be a pacer? I WOULD NOT. Holy cow, I would be so claustrophobic! The crowd around that guy (and he ran the entire race with his 8:oo pacer sign on a 3′ dowel which he held…)! I also would not have the confidence or the speed!