marathon training · races · running

marathon #6: carmel marathon

2010 was the year of the marathon for me.  I had 2 great races (Grand Rapids and Columbia City) where I set a new best time for myself at 4:22.  I had 2 not-so-great-puking races (South Bend and Presque Isle).  2011 was the year of pregnancy and the half marathon.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect for this marathon, since I hadn’t run one in awhile.  And I knew my training hadn’t been enough.  I hadn’t logged enough miles, I hadn’t hit some crucial long runs, and I overall had been feeling pretty tired and clumsy.  All the same, I lined up on Saturday feeling a mixture of dread and optimism.  I knew the marathon could be long and brutal.  I’d had those races.  I also knew it could be enjoyable and challenging (in a good way).  I’d had those races, too.

The Carmel marathon was probably a bit more toward the long, brutal races, but not completely.  The first 10K felt pretty good.  I was running conservatively but felt like I had locked into a decent pace.  Around the 8 mile mark my stomach felt a little unsettled, but not enough that I was throwing up.  By mile 12 I was pretty tired.  I knew I would probably see Dave and Melody (my sister-in-law) around mile 18 or 19, so I basically just counted down the miles until then.  I talked with a few other runners.  I ate GU chomps.  I drank water and powerade.  I took a few short walk breaks.  I knew I would need to walk part of the race since I wasn’t prepared, so walking wasn’t defeating for me or something I beat myself up about.  I took a short break and then jumped back into running.  I told myself to “run what I could.”  And I’m pleased to say that I really did.  Sometimes I can be prone to just give up and walk once I’ve started, but I really did a good job of running what I could and walking what I needed.

Just before mile 19 I saw Dave and Melody.  I immediately started crying because I was tired and really really didn’t want to take the energy to gut out the last 7 miles.  They gave me some extra tissues, encouraged me, and I set off again.  The next few miles were pretty uneventful.  I ran with the 5:00 mile pace group for a mile or so, but then they passed me by.  I knew I probably wouldn’t catch them again, which was a little sad.  By mile 23 all I could think about was laying down on the grass and taking a nap.  It was cold and windy, but an outside nap sounded so wonderful.  My head felt fuzzy – when I thanked policemen standing at intersections I felt disconnected from my words – like I wasn’t sure what was coming out of my mouth.  I started two-fisting powerades after that, suspecting I was maybe a little dehydrated and needing some extra oomph.  I walked a lot of the last 3 miles.  I ran what I could, but I walked a lot.  I had no energy, no juice.  I tried to walk as fast as I could to get there.  And then finally I found the finish!  5:07:02, 11:44 pace.

It’s not my best time, but I’m happy with it.  I tried to enjoy the race as best I could, I didn’t get too in-my-head and psyche myself out, and I ran all that I could (I didn’t give myself the easy-out)!  And hopefully I’ll have some pictures soon, once the race photographers put them up!  (I imagine I’ll look very tired.)

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11 thoughts on “marathon #6: carmel marathon

  1. Congrats on #6!!! Everyone needs a hard race to keep everything in perspective. 🙂 Way to stick with it and not gie it up! That mental toughness will just prepare you for the next one. Nice job!

  2. I was thinking of you all weekend, wondering how your race went. Congratulations! Way to completely push through and accomplish your goal. You are truly an insipiration – to me, your family, and to Leo. Rest up and feel proud of yourself this week.

  3. You ran such a smart race! And finished in a really respectable time! I think it’s so cool that you didn’ tlet yourself get all pscyhed out for this race. That is so hard to do, even when you have trained for the whole thing! You really are a strong runner. I can’t wait to see the pics! And I hope you got to chill Sunday. Congrats on a great race!

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