It’s come & gone. My 2nd marathon. And I can’t wait until the next one! Now the moment you’ve ALL been waiting for: my race day recap:
My alarm was set to go off at 4. Guess who woke up at 2am and never fell back asleep? Yup, you guessed it. I didn’t stress too much about the 5 hours of sleep because I woke up at 2am for my first marathon and felt fine. Plus, I seem to have better runs when I sleep poorly the night before.
I ran to Walgreens for a last minute purchase: liquid Immodium. I realized that was the only thing not “laid out & ready to go” before the race. I have found the perfect preventative treatment plan for an upset tummy during race day – and it worked like a charm!
Breakfast consisted of oatmeal w/1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 dark chocolate Ensure (it’s not JUST for old people, friends!), and a few sips of coffee and water (for nerves). This was the beginning of a perfect nutrition plan.
We lined up in our corrals and all huddled together for warmth. The morning started a tad chilly for a tank top & shorts (47 degrees) but I knew I would regret the extra layers by Mile 2 so I toughed it out and laughed at everyone else bundled up with layers to throw off later.
I got a bit teary as I was lining up thinking about my Dad…nerves could have also played into the emotions. I knew how much he’d love to be there cheering me on. Although he couldn’t physically be there, he was with me in spirit the whole time. In fact, I’m almost positive he was keeping my mental spirits sky high to push me forward.
Don’t mind the sunburn 🙂
The race course was TOUGH. Lots of hills. St. Louis is actually a pretty hilly city. I was extra proud of myself that I never walked once (water stations don’t count), not even up the hills when everyone around me was dropping like flies. I knew if I’d stop I’d never get started again!
I took advantage of EVERY water/aid station. At first I mocked the amount of water stations (1 nearly every 1.5 miles) but in hindsight I’m SO glad they were there. Hitting up the aid stations probably added a few minutes to my finish time, but I’d rather have difficulty in a race due to an injury than lack of nutrition & hydration. Because it was a much warmer day than most of us were used to (high of 75), I was extra grateful for the salt packets and Gatorade PRO w/extra salt to keep my electrolytes in check. I never felt a nutritional deficit. I MIGHT have started feeling a tad nauseous around mile 23 from all the gels & Gatorade…
I’m truly not sure how I completed the race. My knees hurt, my quad injury resurfaced, and my feet hurt by mile 6. I’d only been able to complete a 16-mile run for my longest run in training so Miles 17-26.2 were harder than they had to be. The hills killed my knees and the downhills started hurting more than the inclines. My calves were screaming, my shins hurt from the down-hill slamming, and the bones in my feet felt injured around Mile 22 (they are fine now!). My lower back hurt from all the compression & slamming, my toenails felt like they were about to fall off. But it was the fastest 4:49:50 ever. It’s so cool for me to say I finished in “the 4s!” WOO!
I only averaged an 11 min. mile (slowed down after Mile 19). I set my Garmin to scream when I was going fast than a 9 min. mile so I wouldn’t fall into my habit of going too fast and running out of juice. I averaged a 10 min. mile for a good portion of the race. I was just so happy to have made that much of an improvement from my last marathon of a 12-13 min mile average. Just goes to show you how persistence and hard work pay off. I shaved 50 minutes off my last marathon. How’s that for improvement?!
Not to worry, I’ll include the emotional & philosophical component recap in my next post.