Wednesday, November 27, 2013

RT 66 Marathon Recap

I survived! It was so stinkin cold. The temp at start time was 24F, and never got above 27F. This is what I looked like prior to the start:

I had absolutely zero plans of freezing to death prior to the marathon. One of my friends went with me to cheer me on (and drive me home). Luckily we found an open lobby of an apartment building and took refuge until it was time to go to the corrals.

This is what I actually wore to run in, plus the gloves and facewarmer in the previous pic:
For future reference, the top is: UA tank, Nike thermafit longsleeved shirt (w/thumbsleeves), and a bcg jacket for the outer layer. I wore UA thermals on the bottom, smartwool PhD socks, UA hat, and Nike gloves. I also wore a cheap $1 knitted headband thingy from walmart over my nose and mouth to keep my lungs from burning.

I warmed up around 2 miles into the race. I had handwarmers in my gloves, and they were essential to my survival. The outside of my right foot hurt for the first 6 miles. I think that might be an injury, but I'm choosing to ice it and ignore it for now. Everything else was going great until my knees started hurting around mile 11. I can blame my IT bands for that. Thankfully, I'd kept up with my foam rolling, so my hips didn't hurt, and the knee pain wasn't awful. Around mile 22, my body was tired and the mental aspect of the marathon came into play (see pic below lol). I originally planned to stay with the 5hr pacer and then speed up to the 4:45 pacer if I could; thankfully this plan did not work out. I never saw the 5:00 pacer; at the beginning of the race I saw the 2:25 Half pacer and decided to stay in her vicinity. Around mile 25 or so, the 4:45 pacer caught me. I saw her, and told her that I needed to stay ahead of her in order to meet my goals. She told me that she was on pace, maybe 40 seconds ahead. I stayed ahead of her for the rest of the race. For the last .1 mile, I passed this random dude. He sped up. Then I sped up. And then we proceeded to race each other to the finish line. It was exactly the push I needed, and the guy thanked me afterwards-turns out it was just what he needed too.

I don't normally post proofs, but this pic is just priceless. The only way I could deal with the mental aspect of the run after mile 22 or so was to get angry. This is probably why I have frown furrows permanently etched between my eyebrows.

 But I did manage to take a nice pic too.

I finished!

It took us forever to get back to our hotels via the shuttles, but eventually we made it. I felt like I'd never be warm again!

And now, for the important part: I achieved a 53 minute PR! My time in the OKC marathon was 5:36:49; my time in the RT 66 marathon was 4:43:02! I beat both of my goals: sub-5hr and 4:45. I'm pretty excited! I know that I'm still slow compared to a lot of other runners, but I am making progress and that's what matters. :D

Always one to have a plan and a schedule, I start training for the 2014 OKC Memorial Marathon on Dec 23. I'm going to try to take a running break for at least a week. I tried to do a short shakeout run on Monday, and only made it 0.25 miles before quitting. My right knee just froze up, and that was that. I've been foam rolling regularly. I've had to ice my foot too. I hope that whatever is going on with my foot just goes away. ::fingerscrossed::

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Let the taper begin!

I ran the big 20 miler today! I am officially in the taper now. Last time, I was a little bit crazy in the taper. This cycle, I am very excited to taper. None of my long runs have been fabulous, until today. I struggled a little bit in the last 2 miles, but I started fingerspelling country and state names in order to mentally distract myself from the pain. Yay for studying while running! My knees were hurting a bit.

Only one mile was over 11 mins, and it was just barely there (11:01). Runner's World tells me that this time will lead to a 4:30 marathon time, but I don't think I can maintain my pace through the last 6.2 miles. Sub-5 hours is definitely possible (and that's my goal), but I think my time could possibly be 4:45. It depends on the hills. My long run route is relatively flat, and the marathon is quite hilly. I've been working on hills though, so we'll see how it goes. Adrenaline should have some affect as well.

I have decided that I will not do sprints during the taper. My IT bands have been pretty tight lately, and I think that sprinting is contributing to that. I'll still do hills though. After today's run, I'm excited to see what I can do after a taper. The RT 66 marathon is going to be fantastic! :D