Friday, October 13, 2017

Newport Marathon Race Recap

Oh Heyyyy! Sorry for being MIA forever. Only I'm not that sorry and I'm not promising that I'll post again anytime soon, but I wrote this post up for my training forum and thought I would share it here too.

I ran the Newport Marathon in Rhode Island on Sunday. It was my 3rd marathon.

The weather was not ideal on race day. It was 68-70 during the race, with ridiculously high humidity. When we left the hotel in the morning, my weather app said the humidity was at 100%!

I had been training for my marathon pace to be 8:45 based on the workouts in my training plan, but with the weather I knew that probably wasn’t in the cards. My main goal for the day was to keep my pace in check for the first half and hopefully break 4 hours. My first mile was my slowest at 9:25, and my fastest was 8:34 (in my defense, it was a downhill mile and I work those downhills for all they’re worth), so I was a little all over the place depending on the hills and the headwinds.

The course is beautiful; a lot of it is right on the coast, which also leaves you open to some intense winds. There were several areas with serious headwinds, and one out and back section where the gusts were so strong it was knocking my legs into each other as I was running. It was also a fairly hilly course, especially the second half.

I felt really good during the first half, other than being much too warm. The water stations all filled their cups super full, so I was drinking some and dumping the rest on my head – which definitely saved me. I also started drinking Gatorade much earlier in the race than I usually do because of the weather.

There was a half marathon that started at the same time as the full, and it was really hard to not speed up with everyone as we neared the halfway point. I had to remind myself that I was only halfway, but the finish line energy was pretty infectious. There were three times as many people running the half, so it really thinned out when we headed into the second half.

The first half of the course has pretty decent crowd support (all the people cheering for the half marathoners), but the second half gets pretty quiet. I think there ended up being less than 800 marathon finishers, though I know over 1000 were registered.

The second half of the course is hillier, lonelier, and miles 18-21 felt like they might never end. My right calf was just on the edge of cramping starting around mile 18 (through the finish), but I stubbornly refused to acknowledge it and just kept going. It was sore for several days afterwards.

Smiling at mile 25

I definitely used Coach Jay’s 3, 2, 1.2 chunking for the final 10k (you focus on miles 21-23, then tell yourself to speed up a notch for miles 24 and 25, and then you just grind out the last 1.2 miles), which really helped give me something to focus on. I also knew from studying the course map that it was downhill from mile 25 to the finish, so I had that to look forward to. I passed a lot of people in the last few miles, and while I was obviously tired, I still felt strong (thanks to the strength and mobility work in the Simple Marathon Training plan). There was a clock at mile 25 and at that point I knew I was going to break 4 hours. I sped up and I’m pretty sure I smiled the entire rest of the race (mile 26 was 8:41 pace). I was even able to do the marathon runner version of a sprint at the finish and passed a guy right at the end!

My previous PR was 4:11:23, and on Sunday I ran a chip time of 3:56:54! I am so excited with my time, especially since I know in better weather I could have run even faster! I ran a very slight positive split (1:57:59 for the first half, 1:58:55 for the second half), but that’s still a huge improvement on my previous marathons. It also started raining right after I finished – like a complete downpour – it was an interesting weather day!

1 comment:

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