Marathon Trainers

Race Reports (Read 688 times)

    AWESOME report!!! Looking good Erika!! You are SOOOOOOOOO gonna rock Victoria!!


    What a great prediction, Pam!

    Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews |

    On the road again...

      It took forever, but I finally got a race report written for Richmond.  Thanks, Lou, for prodding me to do it during lunch at Nationals.

      I have a love/hate relationship with running. I do it, but sometimes I love to hate it.




        Quick Background:     Qualified with a 3:50 in February of 2009 at the Myrtle Beach Marathon.  Flat course, cool weather really helped.  This race was good for Boston 2010.   Ran the Marine Corps Marathon in October of 2009 in hopes of bettering my time.   Ran a miserable race- total crash and burn with stomach cramps the whole way.

        Training for Boston 2010:  Let's just say it could have been better.   No excuses, but we did have 3 feet of snow over the winter, which greatly inhibits long runs, in my book.   So many times I said to my husband, "I'm not going to Boston.  I do not want to run it on poor training.  That's just not fun."  But, he encouraged me.      And in late February and March, I was able to get 2- 20 milers in.   So, the plans were made.  Sometimes I have to remind myself, "I am not a professional runner.   No one really cares about your finishing time but you.  "  Smile

        Race weekend:   I was super excited!!   Total goofball and newbie.  Smile  In the airport, I started chatting with other runners that were headed there.  One guy recognized me from my running group.  I said , "You're going to Boston?" Yes, I can be ditzy at times.  We were all going to Boston.  Just the word, Boston got me really excited.  Greg was laughing at me.  The airline employee:   We're about ready to board the flight to Boston.    Me;  They said Boston!  We're going to Boston!!   "  Smile   Glad to know that at age 40, I can still act like a goofball kid.  Smile 

         We stayed at the Hyatt Harborside, which was beautiful, but a little too far away from the action in downtown Boston.  Saturday night, I didn't sleep well.  I guess there was a wedding party on our floor?  I was more than a little mad Sunday morning and prepared to switch rooms, but we didn't.  

        Sunday, instead of resting all day, we went to the New England Aquarium.   That was great.  A little crowded and plenty of time on my feet, but again, "I am not a professional athlete. "  Smile    And then we headed over to the EXPO.     At the EXPO, I got my jacket!!!   I have seen members of my running group wearing this jacket and I knew I had to have one.  It's like I'm in the jacket club.  I saw so many people wearing them.   Another goofball thing for me to get really excited about.     

        After the EXPO, we went back to the hotel and then out again to see the Blue Man group.   Unbelievable show.  If you've not seen them, I highly recommend it.  So much for resting.  After the show, we headed to a grocery store to buy my breakfast food, then back to the hotel for room service dinner at 8:00 pm, which is way too late, but everything was taking longer than I expected.    

        Happily, I was able to be asleep by 10:00-  no crazy partiers in the hallway on Sunday night.

        Race morning:  Woke up around 5:00 a.m.-  just so I wouldn't have to rush.  Didn't want to wake up the family, so I moved around the room, using my cell phone as a mini flashlight.  Got myself together and headed to the lobby for a cab ride over to Boston Common.  It takes a lot of work to get 25,000 runners to the Athlete's Village out in Hopkinton.   Friends who had run previous Bostons, told me to find the shorter lines for the busses and I did.  Hopped on a bus in about 10 minutes.  So cool, because I saw the around the block lines as we drove off.   Hung out in Athlete's Village for about an hour and a half.  Saw lots of people laying down on the ground waiting for the start.  I tried, but I was too antsy and excited.   Two times in line for the porta-potty.     Met up with Holly and Susan, who had similar goals as me, and then it was time to head to the start.   You'd think that with all that time to hang out, I would be completely ready to go, but I felt like I was scrambling.   It was chilly, windy, so I had outer layers on.  I checked my bag and started the trek to the start. Then, I realized I didn't have my IPOD shuffle.  I had thought music might be needed as a backup in case I lost them or I was struggling.  Oh well.  I figured they better not lose me.  Smile

        I had decided to not wear my fuel belt this time, which meant I was going to have to slow down at the water stops.  I was OK with that.  The biggest goal today was to have fun.  That meant, not going out too fast and if I'm lucky, run a 3:59.

        Fashion report:  Decided to go with an orange/peach shirt (easier for the family to spot)  and black race ready shorts.  White 26.2 visor.  It was a little cool at the start, but it was supposed to be sunny and warm as the race went on.  I also wore tube socks on my arms as warmers.  They look kinda funny, but are super convenient.  

        The race!!  :  After hustling to the start corralls (1/2 mile walk), Susan and Holly and I were ready to go!  4 minutes after, we were crossing the start line.  From the very beginning, the crowd was amazing.   I had on a pace band that allowed for a slow start.  But, I could tell almost immediately, that I just wanted to run by feel and have fun... whatever pace that may be.  So, we just chatted like it was any other long run, but with some crazy people on the sides that were cheering.   Susan had her name on her shirt and people were cheering for her like mad.  I have done this before, but this time, I didn't get it done.  At the village, I asked a volunteer to write my name on my arm.  funny thing is, I had her do this while wearing my sweat shirt still, so we didn't quite get the letters in the right place.  So, the "K" was covered up by my sleeve and all you could see was "IM"  Smile   That made me laugh.    

        The race starts in the little town of Hopkinton.  The first 5 miles of the race go through Hopkinton and Ashland.    It's mostly downhill and I had heard that the biggest mistake people make is to go out too fast.  So, any time, it felt like we were running too fast, we dialed it back.  I kept saying" Easy, easy".

        The crowds through here were great.   People were having parties in their yard and you could smell the hamburgers on the grill.   People drinking beer and smoking, tough bikers that looked like ZZ top, just really interesting types of people to look at while you're running by.   Holly, Susan and I continued to chat and we even laughed at one point, because we couldn't hear each other because of the crowds. "Hey people, can you keep it down?  We're trying to talk here."  Smile    Still, the goal was to have fun..... fun, fun, fun.  Smile

        Mile 1- 8:54 - pretty controlled when we wanted to fly   Mile 2- 8:52   Mile 3- 8:53  5K- 27:41- 8:55 pace per mile

        Mile 4- 8:50  Mile 5- 8:57

        At times, we thought that still might be too fast, but we knew we had to save the energy for the hills.  I thought the effort felt easy and we were OK.  No crashing and burning, please!    This was the first time I had carried my cell phone with me in a race.  Right around here, I started to think I needed to call Greg and ask him to bring me some Advil.  They were going to be at mile 16. (which would have been too late for Advil, anyway)   I felt my calf just a little and I started to worry that it was going to get worse.   Holly said that she had some, which saved me, even if it was only in my mind.  I decided I wouldn't take it until halfway, which would make me stay with her.  Smile    The plan was gels every 4 miles and alternate water and gatorade at the aid stations.  I probably lost some time at the stations, but I don't know how to drink and run.  So, I walked for 15-20 seconds every station and Holly and Susan were nice enough to slow down and wait for me.

        Miles 6-12 take you  through the towns of Framingham and Natick.  Never boring, and super quaint.    We lost Susan somewhere around mile 10 or so.  I still kept repeating, "Easy, easy"   Holly was wearing a Marathon Maniac shirt and got lots of cheers.  Poor me, no one cheered for  IM.  Smile  Occasionally, I'd pull up my sleeve and see if I could get some cheers for KIM.

        Mile 6- 8:49   10K- 55:35-  8:57 pace per mile

        Mile 7- 8:55   Mile 8- 9:07  Mile 9- 9:02   15K- 1:23:48- 9:00 pace per mile

        Mile 10- 9:07  Mile 11- 9:22  Mile 12- 9:19    20K- 1:52:55- 9:06 pace per mile

        Took out my phone around mile 10 a couple of times to check what Greg had texted about where they would be. Having the phone probably slowed me down some, but overall, it was really nice to know exactly where they would be, especially with 500,000 spectators and 25,000 runners.  I liked knowing that at mile 16.8, they would be under the tangerine Power gel flag.  He even sent me a picture.    I also took Holly's Advil around here.   Still feeling really good, just a precaution.

        Right around the halfway point, is the famous Wellsley Scream Tunnel.  I thought this section was just OK.   I wasn't too impressed.  Those girls totally ignored us!!   I realize the thing is getting the attention from the guys, but they could have at least CHEERED for us girls.  Still, a very fun section. 


        Miles 14-16-  I don't remember much... only thinking about seeing my family soon.  Holly needed to stop for the porta potty.  So did I, but I didn't want a line, so I pressed on and hoped that she caught up with me soon.

        Mile 13-9:14    1st half- 1:59:08-  9:06 pace per mile-  one of my slower 1st halves in a marathon (that's good)  

        Mile 14- 9:12  Mile 15- 9:18  25K- 2:21:43- 9:08 pace per mile

        Mile 16- 9:06  (1st big hill)

        Greg had said that they would be at 16.8.    The crowds were loud here!!  I started scanning like crazy... saw them and almost bowled Darby over in a huge hug.  Then, stopped for a little bit for hugs and kisses all around.  Greg gave me a squirt bottle of Gatorade.  It had really gotten warm by now.  Greg said, "You still have your socks on."   He meant my arm socks, I kept thinking he meant my feet.  Smile   I thanked them and asked if they thought they would be at mile 25.  Greg said he'd try.  That's the longest I've ever stopped in a marathon, but it was probably only 2 minutes at the most.  I figured since the goal was to have fun, then why not stop?   Plus, I was hoping Holly would catch up to me.

        After I left my family, I dashed into a porta potty with no line.... very quick in and out.  Toss my socks here.

        Miles 17-21-   this is where the rest of the Newton hills are, including the famous Heartbreak hill.    Again, I can' get over the crowds.  I'm not missing my IPOD at all, and I think it would have been a shame to miss the crazy cheering.  I am able to pass a lot of people in this section.   Decided to toss my gatorade bottle here, almost took off a girl's head on the side of the road.  I yell" Sorry!!"   as I run past.  Oops!

        Mile 17- 9:28   Mile 18- 9:13  30K- 2:51:41- 9:13 pace per mile

        Mile 19- 8:54  Mile 20- 9:10   Mile 21- 9:47  (heartbreak hill)  35K- 3:20:25- 9:13 pace per mile

        It was really getting warm at this point... sun was intense    One of the coolest things I saw was some kids on the side of the road jumping on trampolines.   I also LOVED the Boston College kids.   They were intense.  I actually kept looking around to see if I was running next to someone famous.  I couldn't  believe the volume. 

        I am pleased that I didn't slow down too much in this section.   Right around mile 20, I think, there was the Masters group... I had to yell , LOU!!!"   for him to see me.  I think he got some pictures of the back of my head.  Smile

        Right after this, I recognized Fortunate One for the Masters group.  Yay!!   He REALLY helped me up Heartbreak.  .  I probably would have slowed down more if it wasn't for him.   But, overall, I felt pretty strong.   I kept attempting to see the splits on my pace band.  Too much sweat... the clear tape wasn't helping much... but again, the goal was to HAVE FUN.   But it sure would be fun to run a sub 4:00....   He said, "Now we need to make up the time on the downhills."   At this point, I ran ahead... thinking i could surge.  Smile  I should have stayed with him.

        Miles 22-24-  Now we're in Brookline area... going mostly downhill and feeling like I am flying.  Beautiful homes.

        I pulled out my phone and Greg has sent me msg that says they will be at mile 24 on the right side near the First Aid station.  There are huge crowds here too.  I slow down at mile 24, right at the First Aid station and I don't see them.  Sad   I was so bothered by this.  I thought I had missed them.  I pulled out my phone, left a sad message " I guess I missed you."     I was so sad and distracted but I kept running.

        Mile 22- 8:39 -  downhill!!   Mile 23-8:49   Mile 24- 9:02-   Where are they?? I definitely lost some time here looking for them.     40K- 3:49:07- 9:14 pace per mile

        Mile 25-  I am looking at my watch and trying to figure out if a 3:59 is possible, when I hear "KIM!!!"    There is Greg and the girls, next to an aid station, but a mile further down than I thought.  (Turns out, a cop had told Greg they were at mile 24)    I went nuts!!  I screamed and yelled at them, waving like crazy.   SO HAPPY TO SEE THEM!!   Greg got some funny pictures.   But I didn't stop... partially because they caught me off guard and also I was felt like I was on a mission, now.  Smile   I thought I could pull off a 3:59.       I saw the famous CITGO sign.   

        Mile 25- 9:32 - getting tired

        Mile 26-   Where's the finish??   I feel like I am flying through here (which is all relative, I suppose) , passing people, hoping to still make it... not sure if my watch is correct.  I see Fortunate One again here.   Yay!!  

        I look at my watch 3:58... I see the finish.... maybe, maybe, push, push.... sprint, sprint.... pump your arms.   3:59,   push, push-  fly through the finish, look down at the watch, just turned over to 4:00.   AH!!   Did I do it?

        Last mile split-  8:51-  with the last 1/2 mile at an 8:25 pace.   I ran 26.44 miles that day, not so great at running the tangents.   I hold out a glimmer of hope that I started my watch late or something.  Maybe, just maybe I eeked in under 4 hours,   but I really didn't care. The goal was to have fun.     

        I turned to a woman after we crossed the finish and said, "Now that was fun!"   Smile   We just chatted and bonded as we got our bags.   

        Greg called and they were waiting for me at the Arlington Street church.  I find out from my Mom, who was tracking me, that I ran a 4:01:20.   AH!!! , So close!    My watch said 4:00:16...    I finally figure out that my watch stopped when I stopped at the bathroom and to see my family at mile 16 (it has an auto pause that I forgot to turn off)   Totally worth it to see my family, and it's very likely that I wouldn't have run a 3:59 without those stops, anyway.   I had a blast and completely enjoyed and appreciated running with Susan, Holly and Fortunate One.  Susan finished right in front of me, (I think a minute)  and Holly finished about 3 minutes after me.

        Post Race:    We went to Lou's place to celebrate and hang out with more RA people.   I got to hear how Holly's race ended and how Erika smashed her PR.  Tuesday, more than just a little sore.  Probably a combination of less than ideal training and the hills in Boston.  I had thought that I would hold off on marathons for awhile.  Now, I'm not so sure.  This was a blast.

        FInal stats:   1st half- 1:59:08   2nd half- 2:02:12    positive split, but not by much.    

        I feel humbled, blessed and honored to have been a part of the whole experience.



          Ok, my race report is going to rival Kimmie's in length, but I don't have so many smilies in mine.  (ok, there's one)

          I posted it in the Master's Forum, and you can find it here:


            Alright, I will try to make this short and without so many smilies!!  Smile   Oops!  There goes another one.




            Well, as you might remember, I didn't run very much this Fall.   And by that I mean, I averaged 15-20 miles a week and "long runs" consisted of a 10 miler, 13 miler, 12 miler and 15 miler.    The month of December, I didn't run longer than 6 miles in a single run, still keeping weekly mileage low.    I was struggling a bit with tendonitis, so I just backed off the training big time and hoped for the best at Disney.


            Fast forward to race morning....


            Disney has a super early start time, so I was up by 3:00 and in a cab by 3:40.   We were only 5 miles from the start, but it took us over an hour to get there.   Oh well, it all worked out OK, especially since our cab driver drove on the grass to get us there.


            My plan was to run (dare I say, pace?) a friend of mine, Maureen, who was running her 3rd marathon.   Her first two marathons didn't go so well, so she was hoping to stay strong and beat her PR of 4:50.   In my mind, all I could see was me pacing her the first half and then death marching it in.   I did want to enjoy Disney and have fun with it.


            The start is awesome.  There are opening words from Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy and then fireworks go off right above your head.   Very cool!


            Mile 1- 10:52,   The plan was to keep it easy, but I couldn't see my watch because it was 5:30 IN THE MORNING!!    Mile 2- 10:17   Mile 3- 10:17

            Mile 4- 9:52  Mile 5-10:13-    We're looping around Epcot here, which was really cool.  It was great to run with Maureen and we chatted like it was any long run.     Mile 6- 10:04   Mile 7- 10:17  Mile 8- 9:39-   I had to stop to pee and ran faster to catch up to her.  Disney has tons of water stops.   They also have either characters or some form of entertainment almost every mile.   I still felt like running faster but I told myself no and reigned it in.  Maureen started to struggle here with some stomach cramps and hamstring issues.   We walked a couple of times and I tried to distract her.   She assured me that my constant talking was helpful.  Smile


            Mile 9- 9:54  Mile 10- 10:02  Mile 11- 11:08  Mile 12- 10:27-   We ran through the Magic Kingdom here.  The slow 11th mile was because we did stop to take a picture with the evil stepmother from Cinderella.  That was fun.  There were really long lines at all of the characters and I didn't want to stop THAT long, so this one worked with fewer people.


            Mile 13- 10:37  Mile 14- 10:09  Mile 15- 9:52  -  this is a somewhat boring section of access road to the Animal Kingdom.  I'm still feeling really good and super surprised.  I feel bad for Maureen, who is struggling still.    I decide to go ahead and tell her that she will be right behind me.


            Mile 16- 9:38  Mile 17- 9:22  Mile 18- 9:35  Mile 19- 9:11 -  This is a fun section through Animal Kingdom.   Since I started so slow and am now passing people, it was a little challenging on some of the more narrow parts.  I'm hoping that I won't regret the speed up.


            Mile 20- 9:45  Mile 21- 8:50  Mile 22- 8:58  Mile 23- 10:42-  stopped to slather Bio Freeze over my tight ITBs.   No pain, just tight.    This section is Hollywood Studios and on the access road going back to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.   Kinda boring but not really with tons of bands, and even a green Army guy who yelled at us to get us up the hill.  (which didn't feel like much of a hill)


            Mile 24- 8:53  Mile 25- 9:13-  Around the resorts here... felt like I was flying, which is relative, I know.   But happy that I was almost done.

            Mile 26-9:31  .44-  4:03    Final Time:   4:30:04.... no death march, no injuries.     I'm a lucky girl.


            I crossed the finish and then walked around and waited for Maureen.  She ended up with bad cramping the last 10 miles and finished in 4:50.  


            I really loved Disney-  everything except the early start, which didn't even really bother me, since I didn't feel tired once I started running.  Next year, I will train and may even run the Goofy.


            Quick highlights of entertainment:   Elvis impersonator, two ladies that were comedians and very funny- talking about being chased, etc...

            the green Army guy, African dancers on stilts, an acrobatic trampoline group- characters galore....

              I wore a underarmor tights and a new pair of underarmor pants I had never worn before but frankly I look HOT in them