Sunday, November 11, 2007

And they're off!

Yesterday I ran the Richmond Marathon, my second. Last year I ran with several trigirl friends, and we all did well to hang together until about mile 13. At which point, I bonked. Granted it was 80 degrees out, and I wasn't keeping up with my nutrition or hydration. When my husband met me at mile 20, I was so ready to quit. He talked me through the next two miles, walking most of the way and then I got serious. "Just 4 more miles till I see my kids...just 3 more miles till I see my kids..." The mantra worked, and I finished in 5:16. My friends, most with at least one other marathon under their belts, had finished before me.
This year, the weather was blessedly colder--the high was 48 degrees--and somewhat breezy, but overall good for running. This year was spent training for two 1/2 iron distance races, and going into my taper for the marathon, I felt much stronger. I missed my long taper run last weekend, having been up on Saturday from 4am till 1am watching my friends finish their first Ironman in Florida, and Sunday travelling home. Then this past week, I got sick. Head cold/sinus infection. Yuck.
Friday I talked to my coach, Grandison, about if I should bag the marathon, switch to the 8k race, or just show up and take it mile by mile. I didn't want to miss my last big race of the year, and hell, I had put in all the training. She advised me to show up and take it mile by mile. Which I did. I started out running the first 5-6 miles with Maria, a running buddy of one of my friends from grad school, keeping a steady 10:15 pace. She took off down the hill at mile 7, and I hung back, in an attempt to conserve my legs. After a quick potty stop at mile 9.5, it was back on the road. At mile 13 my friend Mindy and her mom were waiting to cheer me on, and give me hugs. Mile 15 takes runners across the Lee Bridge, and the wind had picked up considerably. I found a big guy to draft behind--he thought I was nuts running literally on his heels, but it helped keep me warm and broke the wind. At mile 17, some TriGirls were waiting--it was so good to see them. TriGirl 40 gave me some love, and that saw me through to mile 22, where my husband was waiting to run me in. What a welcome sight--thank you honey!
I had made it much farther without walking than last year, and I was on track to finish close to my goal of 4:45. I passed two more TriGirl cheerleaders, and hit mile 23. At that point, I cranked up my ipod, found some good tunes, and dug in for the last 5k. I passed Maria at mile 25 and kicked it in for the last mile. Thank god for Avril Lavigne ("hey, you, I don't like your girlfriend..."); the song set a great pace and I sprinted in that last mile finishing in 4:51--25 minutes better than last year.
My splits:
13.1 miles--2:25
20 miles--3:44
26.2 miles--4:51:12

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