|What a great reasons to get up early! And I was SO Excited!! Such a great feeling!|
Race: Sauvie Island Foot Traffic Marathon
Where: 15 minutes north of Portland, Oregon
Place: 4th woman overall/ 3rd in AG
Goal: As a second marathon in a month, this marathon was meant to be fun and as an opportunity to experience a progressive race. I didn't make this race about a PR or pushing myself to my limits. I did however kind of want to break 3:30 without really making that my focus.
Loved this race! Well run, great volunteers, awesome energy! And the weather was perfect...sunshine, blue skies, not too hot. Just right.
Timeline leading up to this race from Newport Marathon last month
--June 4th Newport Marathon. Peak Race after 24 weeks of training. Goal: 3:15 Time: 3:30:17.
--5 minutes after the race I swore: "I will never race a marathon again!"
--Later that night I looked up Oregon Marathons so that I could find another one to run without having to start all over again with my training.
--Mulled it over, chewed on it, changed feelings about it, and didn't decide to register for this marathon until a week ago. Had to make sure it was all for the right reasons and not just me chasing down a 3:15 goal that I didn't get.
--Husband read Born To Run, got super excited and then a couple weeks ago he dropped his 5k training plans and decided he was going to run his first marathon and help me pace a progressive/smart marathon. As I said before, he had not officially trained for a marathon although he was running consistently. His longest run in the past year was 13 miles.
Last Four Weeks
My training in between marathons was NOT consistent nor did I stick to any plan. I had originally planned to follow the 4 week multiple marathon plan in my Advanced Marathoning book but after a kidney infection that put me out for almost a week and the flu that took me down for a few days, all plans were out the window. I took a full week off of running (did a pool workout once and ended the week with a 20 mile bike ride). I did one speed workout consisting of 5 800's, several fartlek runs, a few medium slow runs and 2 ten mile runs. Most of my runs were run at a natural pace of 8:20ish and I found myself running many of my miles at sub 8 pace because it felt comfortable.
* 2 days before the race I ran 2 miles and then went and had a beer with a friend. I took the day before the race off completely. My husband took off both days before.
The afternoon before the race, we went downtown to pick up our race bibs. Then we hit up Rock Bottom Brewery and had a pint of yummy beer! I also drank some water. We let our kids play on the city sidewalk behind us. We are such good parents.
To continue our "carbo loading", we also shared a plate of pasta and a hamburger and fries.
We ended the evening with a little gardening, loading ipods, getting kids to bed and feeling like super stars! We were both so excited! No nerves for me but he was a little nervous. I felt nothing but excitement. No pressure. No specific goal other than to have fun and run strong and see what happens. This is the sweet spot for me! His goal was to hang on and do the same.
Both of us decided to wear our Nathan Hydration Belts. My husband had suggested that I do that in the last marathon and I laughed at him. But now I won't be going back to no belt unless it is Boston where they have water every mile. I LOVED having my own water whenever I want! When we ran out, my husband grabbed extra cups a the water stops and helped refill them while we kept running (this did slow us down but we were not concerned with that this time). He's awesome. I'll probably say this again before I'm done here. At the end when we picked up the pace, there was not time to think about refilling water and I really could have used my water on miles 23 and 25 in between stops. SO thirsty!
At the water stops they were handing out Nuun and Hammer Gels. LOVED both of these things. We took Nuun and Water every time. I think this really helped us stay hydrated and because Nuun is a no carb drink, we were able to replenish our electrolytes without thinking about mixing our carbs/fuel.
In my first two marathons I only had one GU packet the entire time. I just kind of "nursed" it throughout the race. My last marathon I tried to take a full gel packet every 6 miles or so. This didn't feel right either. So my plan this time was to take my gels gradually and hold the packet in my hand to take a bit here and there and then wash down with the water I was carrying. This plan worked well for me! No mess, no bother! I never took more than half of a gel the entire time and during the race I had mix of GU, Hammer, and GU Roctane gel. I took a total of 3 and a little change. My husband and I also shared at the end.
This was my first time to ever race with music and I'm SOLD! I didn't use my ipod for the first 6 miles or so but then once I did, it was wonderful. It took me to a whole new happy place. My husband and I both have very different tastes in music so he was on my left (he stayed on my left the entire time) listening to his heavy stuff and I was running along listening to some lighter stuff that makes me happy. We both had one ear bud in and kept one out so that we could still hear each other say splits, give reminders, ask questions, etc. During the end of the race when it got serious we both put our ear buds in and got in our own zones but were still there to pull the other one along. He could still hear me when I yelled for water or asked a question.
I know I mentioned this before but Waylon is the perfect running partner for me. I am so thankful that I had him during this race and we both are amazed by how well we worked together. We were in perfect sync. There was never a time that one of us wanted to go faster and the other couldn't keep up or that we got annoyed with each other. It was just flawless. We spent time joking, thinking the same things and sharing a laugh without having to talk, singing parts of our songs on our ipods to each other when we were loving what we heard, drafting off of people together, drafting off of each other, sharing GU, refilling water, etc. He was wearing a watch and I was wearing my Garmin so we shared our splits with each other...they were always different. He had it in his mind that a good goal was sub 3:30 so we did the math in our heads and kept each other updated as to how many minutes ahead of goal we were. We counted the women at the turn around and kept track of place and we laughed when we mistook the men for a women (several times). There was one time at mile 20ish that he was cracking a joke with another runner and my Roctane hadn't kicked in and I got pissed that he was so perky. Truthfully, we were both pretty perky for most of the race. We were in a very comfortable place and it felt great! What felt the best was when we decided to pick up the pace after our last Gel kicked in. It was an amazing feeling to start picking people off and feel so STRONG! I am SO Excited to race with him again. To Boston Qualify for his age group he has to run a 3:10. I'm confident he can do this with proper training. Who knows, maybe we will do this together! He is just the person who would help me get there. What a great experience to share with him...I think we both feel closer to each other after this. And he wrote me a note this morning before leaving for a trip and part of it expressed how much he enjoyed our race and how were were such good teammates together and then he wrote: "Now that I've run 26.2 in your shoes I am even more impressed with how rad you are!"
|Thanks for racing with me hon!|
Yes, we had a pretty good wind coming at us the first 10ish miles. So we put our Mad drafting skillz to work and found a few people to use and abuse. At one point we both saw a woman ahead of us and with a few words we agreed to use her a little before passing her. He got right behind her and I was right behind him and it was a drafting train! Must have looked funny to the runners coming back after the turn around. But it worked! I noticed a difference.
A Happy Place
For the most part, this was just a happy comfortable race. I was feeling in the perfect groove. It was beautiful and I noticed my surroundings. I smiled at people, had a couple of brief conversations even though I'm not fond of race chat, and enjoyed having a partner. It was especially AWESOME feeling so strong at the end!
A Somewhat Spiritual Moment
At the very end of the race...maybe mile 25, I was able to just go to a different place and let my body keep working. I started to think of my dad and how he would be so proud. At the same time I was filled with chills and just an overwhelming emotional feeling. It was that same feeling that I got when I was running that night in Iowa when I felt like he was running with me. I think he was again...just long enough to let me know.
Avg. Pace : 7:49 I can see now why this felt so comfortable since for my original marathon, I was training to run a 7:30 or under pace. That's why this race was fun instead of painful and hard.
1 8:03 Goal was to start 8:15 and keep it in the 8's or close to that for first 6.
4 7:56 We kept reminding each other to slow down, hold back and be smart. (we're talking about the race here people!)
5 7:43 Opened my first GU at the end of mile 5 and took a little over the next 3 or 4 miles.
9 8:04 I think this was where I stopped for water or to grab a gel or something. Not sure why. Just taking it easy. Ha!
11 7:46 Opened a Hammer Gel here and took small "sips" of it with my water over the next 4 miles
17 7:57 Had part of a Gu Roctane and saved the other half for my husband
19 8:00 Had part of my husband's Hammer Gel Not sure why our splits were slow here...??
20 7:53 In the middle of this mile my husband's cue was "balls out" or something like that. We turned it on a little and finished strong.
24 7:47 I think we each had a little "sip" of Hammer gel here but not much.
25 7:58 This is where I was SO thirsty and had to really kind of go outside of myself so I didn't think about it. This was also around the time I felt like my dad was with me in spirit.
Last kick was 6:49 pace and I was smiling. Here's the shot Nicole got right at this time:
Today my legs feel like crap as expected after a marathon. Waylon's legs feel worse...which is also expected after a marathon that he wasn't trained for. I'm feeling strong and healthy in every other way though. Half Marathon training (Hood to Coast will be part of that) will start soon but for now I'm just taking a break and excited for that! After this experience, I'm all about making this fun and taking the pressure OFF! I'm still thinking about that sprint triathlon at the end of July but I might wait since we have spent so much money on races and running gear lately. I have to get a grip here!
Coming up soon:
* A Zensah racerback tank review. That's the tank I'm wearing for my marathon in the picture above. Love it!
* Run Like a Mother Book (signed by the authors) and Sweaty Band giveaway.