Well, going into the weekend, I was still unsure if I was going to run this marathon or not. I didn't know if I would be needed as a coach or not. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
Saturday morning the spring teams of Team in Training were meeting together for the "honored hero mile". This is where all teams meet and do a silent mile in honor of all the hereos we are training for. My daughter had a meeting at 9:00, so she had to go with me. Since she has been sick I wanted her to stay in the car and this meant I would not be riding. And I have to admit I was kind of glad. The weather was in the low 40s and there was a heavy mist in the air. It was nasty. The cycle team was suppose to do a cornering clinic, but that got cancelled real quick. They did the silent mile and when they came back, they were all frozen. And then the coach took them out for some smaller loops. They ended up riding over an hour.
After my daughter's meeting, I took her back home, ate a quick lunch and then headed to the expo to pick up my packet. I hung around there for a bit checking out the merchandise. It's funny that when I travel to a destination marathon, I have no problem spending money on race merchandise, but for a hometown race, I just can't fork out the dough. The only thing I bought was a headband with the 20th anniversary TNT logo on it. Cost = $7.
At 3:00 I headed over to the coaches meeting to find out if I would be racing or coaching. It turned out that they were fine on the coaching. I would be running.
We left the coaches meeting and started decorating for the pasta party. We had the north Texas and south Texas teams who would be joining us for the evening. As always, the food was good, but the speaker was fantastic. She was just diagnosed last year with lymphoma and self named herself "chemo queen". She even wore a tiara.
After the pasta party, I went home to lay everything out and get in bed. My only dilema was to decide what I would be wearing. After Saturday's wet and cold day, I was still chilled to the bone and the thought of wearing shorts gave me chills. However, the weather forecast said the morning temps would be in the 40s and they would rise all day as the sun came out. If it was accurate, temps would be in the low 60s by the time I would finish.
Sunday morning I woke up at 4am. I got dressed in my shorts, but did put on my long sleeve under armour under my singlet. I then put some sweats on to keep me warm until right before the race when I checked my bag. I ate my oatmeal breakfast, grabbed my stuff and headed for downtown. I got parked easily and headed for the hotel lobby where the team would meet. I hit the bathroom here and loaded my race ready shorts with my gels and chapstick. I took of the sweats and put them in my bag. Off we went to check them in.
The next thing I knew, it was 5 minutes until race start. Then the cannon went off and the fireworks exploded. It was time to race.
Last year I got a PR at this race, but I went out way too fast and paid for it in the end. This year I wanted to start out slower and see if I could maintain the pace all the way through. I had lined up between the 4:45 and 5:00 pacers since my PR is 4:44. I figured that was the right spot. I stayed just behind the 4:45 pacers until about mile 3 or 4. I then passed them and thought if I stayed in front of them I would be doing good. And that's just what I did for most of the race. My splits showed that I slowed down a little on some of the hillier parts of the course. I was feeling great. At one point, one of the coaches saw me and he commented that I looked like I was just out for a Sunday afternoon run.
I ran straight through for 19 miles. And then I had to go to the bathroom. If I had not had to stop, I might have kept the pace going, but once I got back out and took off, my legs revolted. I had one more decent mile in me and then the legs wanted to stop. I took some walk breaks and tried to run as much as I could. At that point I knew there would be no PR for me as I was passed by the 4:45 pacers. And at mile 25 when I was passed by the 5:00 pacers, I figured why push. I was almost done and it wouldn't be my worst marathon, so I just enjoyed the remaining mile. All of the coaches and one of the mentors tagged team me in through the last mile until I turned onto Congress for the final stretch. I was able to "run" in that last stretch and cross the finish line with a smile.
Final Official Results:
Chip Time: 5:02:22
Mile 5 time: 58:24 10:26 pace
Mile 10 time: 1:44:59 10:18 pace
Mile 15 time: 2:39:07 10:28 pace
Mile 20 time: 3:40:13 10:54 pace
Final: 5:02:22 11:27 overall pace
Splits according to my Garmin:
Mile 1: 10:41
Mile 2: 10:33
Mile 3: 10:22
Mile 4: 9:58
Mile 5: 10:13
Mile 6: 10:31
Mile 7: 10:25
Mile 8: 10:52
Mile 9: 10:41
Mile 10: 10:40
Mile 11: 10:42
Mile 12: 11:03
Mile 13: 10:46
Mile 14: 10:39
Mile 15: 10:53
Mile 16: 11:22
Mile 17: 11:20
Mile 18: 11:42
Mile 19: 12:10
Mile 20: 14:32 (potty break)
Mile 21: 11:50
Mile 22: 13:03
Mile 23: 13:03
Mile 24: 13:45
Mile 25: 13:58
Mile 26 and .2: 16:30
Considering that I don't remember when my last real long run was and considering I didn't really know if I was going to run or not until the day before, I think I did pretty good. Based on my recent half marathon time, though, I do think I have it in me to run a 4:30 marathon if not better. I just need to focus more and get in more long runs if I'm going to go for that. But for now, I'm switching gears. I'll still run some as I'd like to run over 1,000 miles this year and I need to keep up my running for the triathlons I will do this summer. But for now, my main focus will be on cycling.
I took today off and will do yoga tomorrow to stretch out the muscles really well. If I feel good on Wednesday, I'll either ride an easy ride outside or I'll get on the trainer for a bit and see how the legs feel. My left hip flexor was really sore after the marathon, but today is fine. It's just those quads that scream at me when I go downstairs. Ahhhh, the joys of marathoning.
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