Sunday, October 23, 2016

Steamtown Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Well, I guess since it's been two weeks and I now have a second race that I need to recap, it's time to get into the nitty gritty of the Steamtown Marathon.

I have been avoiding this recap because I'm still a little grumpy/bitter about the race.

Pre-race at Steamtown is always nice - well-organized, plenty of porta-potties, and you can stay warm inside Forest City High School until race time.

Plus the race starts with a cannon, which is pretty cool. It made my mom jump, even though they warn you several times that it is, in fact, a real cannon.

This was the first year that Steamtown had pace groups, which actually threw me off a bit. I was behind a pace group at the beginning and couldn't quite read the sign and thought it was the 4:15 group. I panicked and sped up a bit to pass them. Once I was ahead of them I realized it was the 4:00 group. I decided to see how long I could keep them behind me.

The first half of the race went really well, I hit the half marathon mark at 1:58 and was feeling strong. Around mile 17 things started to go south. My right IT band started tightening up (which I have never had a problem with before), and soon the entire outside of my right leg was in pain. I kept hoping it would work itself out, but unfortunately it had other plans.

Tom brought his bike and popped up on the course from time to time to cheer me on. In the later miles I wasn't really in the mood to chat and he asked if I wanted him to just head to the finish line. I managed a not so nice, "yes please" so I could trudge out my pain-fest in quiet solitude.

The last few miles got progressively slower, and there was definitely some walking involved. I managed to run in the final stretch, and completely forgot about the photographer at the finish line.

This is me grabbing my leg in pain just as the volunteers at the finish line looked concerned and asked if I was ok. Sorry photographers, but I don't need a nice copy of this one.

Between the pain in my leg and my frustration with the race, there may have been some tears at the finish. It was (and still is) hard to accept that after training all summer, the race went so poorly. Tom and my mom were there to console me, and helped me hobble my way back to the car.

I had hoped to break 4 hours this year, or at the very least beat last year's time, but I ended up finishing 10 minutes slower than last year. 4:21:09.

On the bright side, I finished. I did have a few moments where I wondered how long it would take one of the bicycle medics to find me if I just sat down on the side of the road, but I kept going.

Steamtown really is a great race, regardless of how things went this year. The course is beautiful and the crowd support is amazing for the size of the race (they cap it at 3,000 runners). In addition to the actual aid stations, there are unofficial aid stations that offer everything from water and gatorade to orange slices and beer. Plus, there is a huge group of people on the final hill to cheer you on, and even a few people who run up and down the hill countless times to help suffering runners keep going.

It wasn't the best day, but I did it. And let's be honest, I'll probably do it again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Well, I Finished Anyway...

I'm a few days after the fact, but I ran my second marathon on Sunday! I have things to say about it (not all good), but my mom is visiting and I don't feel like blogging right now. I'll have a delayed race recap for you at some point...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Marathon Training Week 17

I've pretty much gone off my training plan at this point. I switched things around, missed runs, and threw in a 5k race for good measure. I guess we'll see next week if that was a good idea or not!

Monday - Cross Training


Tuesday - 4 miles

I have no notes about this run. I'm so not in a focused blogging mindset lately. I did have a decent last mile though, 8:26!

4.01 miles @ 9:38 pace

Wednesday - 6 miles

Nothing ended up happening running-wise on Wednesday because it was Tom's birthday and I was busy doing things like bake a key lime pie.


Thursday - 4 miles

This run felt great while it was happening, but was a little disappointed by my pace when I got home. Last mile was an 8:20 though, which I was happy with.

4.01 miles @ 9:21 pace

Friday - Rest Day


Saturday - 4 miles

I decided last week to sign up for a 5k that was being held pretty close to the house (20 minutes away, everything is 20 minutes away). It didn't start until 10:30 which felt really weird - I'm used to super early starts for races!

The race was small (about 60 finishers) and pretty flat. It was a cool, misty morning and I was feeling pretty good. It is weird to run such a short race, and I had strange splits (my second mile was my slowest), but it was a fun race.

I ended up getting first in my age group, which never happens, and getting a new 5k PR! 24:45!

This is the first trophy I have ever gotten for running. I have to say, I'm a fan!

Now I have to figure out where to put it...

3.1 miles @ 7:59 pace

Sunday - 8 miles

I was tired from the race so I took it easy and just got it done. Not my best run, but my last "long" run before Steamtown next weekend.

8.02 miles @ 10:41 pace

Weekly Mileage - 19.14

I just have a couple of short runs on the plan this week, and then on Sunday it's time to run and run and run.

We'll see how it goes.
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