OK, FINALLY race report time.
splits: 6:32, 6:40, 6:41, 6:37,
6:55, 7:10 (this was my downfall), 7:14, 7:07, 7:25, 6:59, 7:00, 7:08,
7:14 (half -1:31:XX), 6:58, 6:44, 6:56, 7:02, 6:55, 6:58, 7:04, 7:12,
7:01, 7:05, and 23:18 for the last 3.2 - i stopped getting splits - too
much effort :)
split assessment: as you can see, i fell off pace (6:40) after mile 5,
never to recover. for some reason i got trapped in a 7:00-7:15 gear. at
first i was OK with it. i purposefully slowed down a bit after coming
out of the park because i was worried i had gone out too hard. i backed
off for a few miles and then when i tried to get back into 6:40 gear, i
could not. i averaged 7:01 for the race. the pace and my final time are
my biggest frustrations right now. i was going for a 2:55, but seeing
as i crossed the half at 1:31, i really didn't give myself a chance for
that. i was worried about my shin, and just burning out in
general...but if i would have stayed at 6:40 pace i think i could have
held on enough at the end to pull off a faster time. learning!
so now for the actual race:
to start off, i am very lucky. shin pain was pretty bad yesterday morning morning. in
fact, i was seriously questioning if i should take the risk and try and
run through the pain. but honestly, nothing was going to keep me out of
that race, so i decided to go for it and see what would happen.
starting line: every part of me felt ready to run, minus the shin. i
dull pain with each left footfall for the first half mile or so, then i
got distracted trying to figure out my placing in the race, and it went
away altogether, never to return for the rest of the race. like i said,
i am very lucky. either i found a way to numb myself to the pain, or my
shin just decided to cooperate for me. i was half planning to cross the
finish line with a fractured tibia, so i am very happy that everything
there was a problem with figuring out my position in the race
- the full and half marathoners are running along the same route. i see
many, many females ahead of me. FULL OR HALF? i don't know, i can't see
their bibs. so i will just have to wait until the split to asses. the
first split comes when the marathoners take a little detour through
sugar house park. i see the half marathoners coming the opposite
direction. mary ann is in first and is looking strong. (aside: another
SOLID performance by mary ann. congrats to her!) ok, so we go
through sugar house park and i count four women in front of me. but some
could have already left the park so there is no guarantee that i am
actually in fifth. a good estimate though, so i feel better. we merge
back onto the course with the half...confusion again. the final split
takes the half to the right and the full to the left. almost took a
wrong turn here. the sign was huge. with giant arrows.but somehow i
found myself confused. ?!?
i reach the half in 1:31:08. dang. if there is any chance for my 2:55, it is going to
have to be a huge negative split. i do speed up after the halfway
point, however, and i hold that speed for the rest of the race (well,
mile 25.5). now i am going 6:58 - 7:05s. the stretch along van winkle
seemed extra long this year, but it was when i was feeling my strongest
so it wasn't too harsh. at one point along van winkle i passed a guy
wearing white cutoff jean shorts and no shirt. that is quite the
marathon outfit. he was moving at a good
speed though, so i guess it works for him.
i was still feeling
strong through mile 20, hitting the mile marker at 2:19:28. so all i have
to do is close with a 40:30 10K and i can still break three hours (2:55
is lost at this point). i was feeling strong, and thought maybe i could
do it. but why would i think that? i can't even run a 40:00 10K in a
10K, so why in a marathon? i don't know i was just hoping for the best
at this point.
at one point between miles 21 and 22, i pass
blonde lady, who seems to be cramping up. so now i think...ok, i am in
4th? i don't know, because people along the course have told me 6th,
5th and 4th. who is right?!?! guess i will find out at the finish line.
i head into liberty park,
still feeling OK (not great, but my pace
hasn't faltered). at this point there are marathoners, half marathoners
and 5K runners (cooling down) all over the park. more confusion. mile
23 comes at the
exit of the park. 5K to go. i think i have enough left, and still no
trouble with my shin, although i am feeling my quads start to tighten
up. the stretch along state street was brutal. i kept my pace, but i
was sure digging deep. it seemed to go on forever and ever.
a bit of a mental break. i think it was
somewhere close to mile 24 that i saw one of the funniest things i have
ever seen in a race. all along the course there were different bands
playing their tunes for the runners. it was fun to hear all the
different styles of music throughout the race...jazz, bluegrass,
classic rock, drums,
etc. but mile 24 was just funny. it was one lady, dressed in black,
playing a flute. flute!!?!? she was a talented musician and her
flute-playing was very nice, but honestly, this is one of the most
grueling miles of the race and our motivational music was one little
flute. OK, it's really not that funny, but i was laughing so hard
inside. maybe it was
just my way of taking my mind of the race and my tightening legs.
mile 25 - quads are getting tighter, my head is getting fuzzy,
and my pace is going sour. i think i slowed to about 8:00 for maybe
600 to 800M, then i caught up to
this crazy shirtless beanie boy who had passed me at mile 21. at the
time he was moving at about 6:40 pace, high-fiving spectators, thanking
all the policeman, shouting to other runners. he was quite
enthusiastic. but when i caught up to him he was not doing well at all.
he said he was completely drained; had nothing left. i told him i felt
the same, and we decided to push each other or neither of us would have
a strong finish. he sped up and i drafted. then we ran even for a bit,
then he drafted. we caught a guy who was all cramped up and had slowed
to a walk. beanie boy hollered at him to get moving, and told him to
run with us. so the three of us ran together toward the union pacific
building...we are so close! cramped man keeps grunting, sighing,
growling, etc. he is really hurting. beanie boy keeps shouting crazy
things like "i'm going to boston baby" and "keep moving, don't give up"
he was quite loud, and i think the shouting was mostly for him, but it
helped keep all three of us moving.
we hit the turn and that is when i
see james. he runs with me for a bit. i ask him how his race went. he
tells me to concentrate. i tell him i want to take my mind of
everything that is going on, and that he should talk to me...about anything at this point, i don't care! so he does. then
he tells me to take the corner and its only 200M. then he splits to the
sidewalk so i could run through the finishing chute.
i crossed the line in 3:04:04.
disappointed at the time, but very happy with my overall race. i felt
strong all the way to 25.5, my shin and my leg were in one piece and
not hurting at all, and i wasn't feeling extremely sore or queasy. i
also thought i had taken 4th. my family said i was 5th or 6th. !!! they
are funny. they were trying to count all the females, but since there
was an over-abundance of half marathoners, i think they lost track
so, i can look at this race in two ways:
1 (the bad): i
didn't get my 2:55, and it wasn't a PR performance. i took 4th when i
was going for 3rd. i finished at a 7:01 average pace when i was
planning on 6:40. pathetic.
2 (the good): i feel good about my overall performance, my shin
fine, i closed the race stronger than i had expected, and i felt
like i ran a solid race; i just shouldn't have slowed to a 7:00 pace
because it made it almost impossible for me to break that pace. if i
just would have stuck with 6:40s i think i could have kept that pace
much easier than slowing down and then trying to speed up again. obviously,
i can't expect every race to be a PR, but it is a little disappointing
to set a goal and not reach it. ogden is in 4 weeks. hopefully i can
recover quickly and be ready.