Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Columbus Marathon Race Report

Going into the marathon, I was excited but very nervous. I knew my past 4-5 weeks of training hadn't been up to where it should have been. The 10 days I was gone on the cruise were when I really should have been pushing my mileage and speed and unfortunately that didn't happen. In fact, after looking back in my running log, I only maxed out at 34 miles/week, which was the week I had a 20 mi run. So yeah, I think you could say I was slightly under trained. I really do wonder how fast I could run a marathon if I could increase my mileage without getting injured. I think my breaking point is right around 35-40 miles/week on a consistent basis. My new motto is I'd rather be under trained than get injured and not make it to the starting line. I knew to break 3:30 or even PR (break 3:34), I'd really have to push myself physically and mentally during the race. The past few weeks had been an emotional roller coaster and at points, my stress levels were at an all-time high. Clearly, this was not the mental state I wanted to be in a week or two before a big race.

I'd run the Columbus Marathon in 2007 & 2008 and last year I registered to run the half but got a stress fracture about a week before (see a common theme here?) I actually really love running this race. It's local so I don't have to worry about traveling, my family can cheer me on at several spots, and I know the course like the back of my hand. It also doesn't hurt that it's extremely flat with just a few short inclines here and there....I wouldn't even really call them hills. They cap the race at 15,000 people with 5,000 running the full and 10,000 running the half. Both the half and full run about the first 13 mi together before the half splits off for the final sprint to the finish. I'm not gonna lie, seeing people start to pick up the pace around mile 11 or 12 because they're almost done with their race and be able to finish knowing you have to run another 13.1 mi is mentally challenging.

Dana & I the morning of the race...she was running the half while I ran the full

The stats:

Mile 1: 8:15
Mile 2: 7:52
Mile 3: 7:43 (I see my Mom & Todd for the first time!)
Mile 4: 8:02
Mile 5: 7:53
Mile 6: 7:51 (I'm feeling great, nice and relaxed.....time to take a shot block)
10K Split: 49:05
Mile 7: 8:01
Mile 8: 7:59
Mile 9: 7:46 (Huge crowd support at the turn onto 3rd street)
Mile 10: 7:56
Mile 11: 8:03
Mile 12: 8:09 (Slight uphill the past mile or so, I see Todd & he gives me some more shot blocks, chapstick, and a piece of gum)
Mile 13: 8:04
Half Split: 1:44:28 (Hmm, I really wish I was finishing right now with the half marathoners, I'm not too excited about running another 13.1 mi)
Mile 14: 8:07
Mile 15: 8:41 (I see my Mom! I dodge over to the side to get some sport beans from her and tell her I want to quit....she doesn't let me)
Mile 16: 8:21
Mile 17: 8:37 (Just keep pushing)
Mile 18: 9:03 (Crap, the 3:30 pace group just passed me)
Mile 19: 9:53 (Ok, get it together Jenny, you can walk through the water stations but that's it, no other walking! You've done this before and can gut it out)
Mile 20: 8:44
2o Split: 2:45:03 (Still on pace to run around 3:35, I think I can hang on)
Mile 21: 8:45
Mile 22: 8:37 (I see Todd again! Only 4 miles left, I can do this!)
Mile 23: 8:39
Mile 24: 8:41 (Seriously, I thought Columbus was flat, I don't remember this half mile long incline)
Mile 25: 9:05 (Legs getting tight & heavy, thank God Emily is waiting for me so she can run the last mile with me)
Mile 26: 8:44 (Do not let the 3:40 pace group pass you)
Mile .2: 2:00 (Sprint to the finish downhill....and I'M DONE!)

Overall Time for 26.2 mi: 3:39:35

Average Pace: 8:23
Overall: 1010/4106
Female: 190/1569
Females 25-29: 41/297

All in all, I really can't complain about running a 3:39 and qualifying for Boston for my 3rd time. I've run 5 marathons, 2 faster and 2 slower. I felt great until about 15 mi and I think mentally knowing I still had 11 more miles to go physically drained me....well, and the fact that I hadn't trained that hard and probably started out too fast. As I ran by my Mom around mile 15, she handed me my sport beans and I literally stopped running. I told her I was done, I hated this, and I wanted to quit. Thank god she was there to talk me out of that because she knew I would have really regretted that decision. It took me from mile 15 to 20 to mentally get back into the race and fight to finish under 3:40. I passed Todd around mile 18 and he knew I was struggling but when I saw him again around mile 22, he couldn't believe how much better I looked. My legs started to get really heavy the last mile, but luckily I had Emily waiting for me (she had run the half) to run the last mile with me. I will admit too that I walked through the last 6 or so water stations. In fact, I actually feel slightly guilty about doing this and still running 3:39. I also think some people may think it's absurd I, on average, ran 28-30 miles/week and still qualified for Boston.

Around mile 18, holding my arm sleeves to give to Todd

Half mile to go!
Emily helping me push through the last little can see the pain on my face

My parents & I
Todd & I
Battle wounds....apparently a blister popped during the race & was bleeding on my sock & shoe
Much deserved veggie burger, sweet potato fries and giant cookie at Northstar Cafe


marathonmaiden said...

again: you look fab in all those pictures! i totally feel you on the halfway point thinking. i'm always like i have to run this AGAIN?! hahaha. major congrats and SEE YOU IN BOSTON :)

Julie @ "Hotlegs Runner" said...

well at least the blister didn't slow you down! Congratulations girl! great finish time and pace! I have yet to experience a downhill finish line. Lucky you!

lifeisfullofperks said...

Ha! I LOVE the mile by mile commentary...a MUST for all your future marathons! favorite comment is mile 24. hehe.