What’s big and purple and lies next to Ireland? Grape Britain!
I thought I’d start this post with a joke because I figure you’re all expecting me to start with “I PR’d!!!” – which I did (as you can see by the new marathon PR listed on the right!), but the PR was just part of an amazing and very fun weekend in Virginia Beach with my family and triathlon team.
The joke, by the way, was one of several that were posted on signs along a quiet, spectator-free section of the Shamrock Marathon course. They were what kept me going from miles 16 – 19 and I remember several of them. This stretch was so quiet that when someone behind us burped everyone started roaring with laughter. It kinda broke the silence and I started chatting to the guy next to me, with whom I’d been in step for a while. I needed to talk, because I was starting to hurt. We chit-chatted for a while and then another guy came up to us and said, “do you know when this hill ends?” (“What hill?” I thought. Aside from a bridge that you run over and back, Shamrock marathon is pancake-flat.) “Uh, soon, I think,” the guy next to me said. Then, when “hill” guy was out of earshot, he turned to me and said, “what hill?” “Exactly.” I said.
So, how did my “training run” go? Well, basically I tried to slow myself down for 20 miles and then speed up for the last 6. I was literally “swallowed” by the 3:40 pace group, which descended on me at mile 8 like a pack of wild dogs, and which I rejoined – and passed! – at mile 21. Sweeeet.
Recapping an entire marathon is hard and probably very boring, so here are the answers to questions I am presumptuous enough to assume you might have:
- Yes, I went out too fast, even though I swore I would not. My splits were 8:29, 7:59, 8:00, 8:07, 8:20, 8:11, 8:18, 8:10, 8:06, 8:08, 8:11, 8:16, 8:14, 8:17, 8:14, 8:13, 8:12, 8:19, 8:06, 8:19, 8:10, 8:24, 8:14, 8:09, 8:20, 8:07, 7:13. Altogether, my pace was fairly even so I don’t think I messed up. I went through the half in 1:49 so I did run a negative split – by a hair!
- Yes, I peed while running. And I laughed out loud at people wasting time standing in the porta-potty lines on the course.
- I ate 5 (five!) GUs and a pack of Honey Stingers. This is way more than I’ve ever eaten during a marathon and I think this really helped me in the latter stages.
- Even though I used a significant amount of body glide I still chafed. Lesson learned: you can never use too much body glide.
- The day before the race I ate oatmeal for breakfast, blueberry pancakes for lunch, and pasta with meat sauce for dinner.
- There is a point during the marathon when everything hurts. You will always want to stop or at least slow down at this point. Run through it. Deal with it.
- I had a weird pain on the outside of my knee between miles 3 and 4. I had the exact same pain at about the same point in the Philly Half Marathon. The pain intensified, became excrutiating, and then went away during that race, so I hoped it would act the same way this time. It did. It went away after about a mile and didn’t come back. I don’t know what caused it. I’ve had the same pain running on the treadmill, which is why I no longer run on the treadmill. Odd.
OK, so if you have a burning question about my race that I didn’t answer, please write it in the comment section and I will be sure to respond!
So, what else made it such a great weekend? My husband ran his first 8K in an awesome time and made it look easy! Next time he says he’s going to run it faster!
My kids, who “hate the beach” and “can’t stand sand” spent several hours digging holes, fishing stuff out of the ocean, playing frisbee, and making sand volcanoes.
Finally, to cap it all, the day before the marathon, I got an e-mail from Cathy Pugsley at Potomac River Running inviting me to join their Age Group Racing Team! Of course I was interested but I didn’t think I was =PR= material, so I sent them my PRs just to be sure they really wanted me and they replied YES, they would like me to race for them!
Ok, one more: What do you get when you cross a shamrock with poison ivy? A rash of good luck!