Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Columbus Marathon Race Report

As with the 2010 Columbus Marathon, my goal going into this year's marathon was to break 3:30. I felt pretty confident with my training, doing my longest training run ever with a 21 miler and doing two of my long runs on the actual marathon course. I hit 40+ miles during my training cycle 3 times which is a lot for me considering I teach spinning & TRX 3 days/week on top of running. The only time during my training that my running suffered a bit was for the couple weeks around our wedding & honeymoon at the end of August but I wouldn't have traded enjoying that time for anything in the world.

I woke up on race day feeling great. My right knee had been giving me some trouble last week but luckily I didn't run much since I was tapering. I iced and stretched a lot since I thought it was my IT band acting up. The weather was perfect, a little chilly but little wind and sun. The race was expecting a record number 17,000 participants....11,000 in the half and 6,000 in the full. Todd & I have planned out where he will be meeting me on his bike with water & shot bloks and I know my parents will also be riding around on the course. I had a gut feeling this was going to be my race; unfortunately, I finished in 3:35, just a little over a minute off my PR.

Em & I on race day....she was running the 1/2 and would meet me at mile 25 to run the last mile in with me

Nervous & excited at the start

The Stats

Mile 1: 8:05 (Right where I wanted to start off at)

Mile 2: 7:49 (I see Todd & my parents and hand them my arm sleeves & gloves, it's a lot warmer than I expected!)

Mile 3: 7:53

Mile 4: 8:09

Mile 5: 7:48

Mile 6: 7:55 (I see Todd again and get a shot blok & water from him)

10K: 49:24 (Again, right where I want to be)

Mile 7: 8:02

Mile 8: 7:58 (The miles are clicking off and the crowd support is fantastic this year)

Mile 9: 7:50

Mile 10: 7:54 (I see one of my firefighters I train and it puts a smile on my face)

Mile 11: 7:58

Mile 12: 7:59 (I get another shot blok from Todd; I can't believe how good I'm feeling)

Mile 13: 7:40 (Fastest split of the race; probably because this is where the half & full marathoners split off and I subconsciously pick up the pace as the half marathoners also pick it up to the finish)

13.1 mi: 1:44:19 (On pace for a 3:28 marathon & feeling great!)

Mile 14: 8:15

Mile 15: 8:07 (I see my parents as we head through campus & grab another shot blok)

Mile 16: 8:13 (I think back to last year's marathon and by this point, I wanted to quit the race; I know for a fact I will finish in a better time than last year)

Mile 17: 8:03 (I'm suppose to be seeing Todd here & I don't...something isn't right)

Mile 18: 8:15

Mile 19: 8:42 (This mile has a steady incline and is my least favorite mile on the whole course)

Mile 20: 8:37 (Legs are starting to get tired & I'm hitting a wall; I could really use a shot blok from Todd)

20 mi: 2:41:28 (Pace fell off slightly but should still PR if I can hold on)

Mile 21: 8:46 (I see my parents around 21.5 mi and they tell me Todd got a flat tire and will be at mile 23)

Mile 22: 8:41

Mile 23: 8:14 (A little downhill and I'm excited to see Todd; I also get a nice surprise when Lynn & Nathan are there)

Mile 24: 9:01 (Yikes! The wheels are starting to fall off and I stop and walk a few times; I really need to push through here especially since the 3:35 pace group just passed me)

Mile 25: 8:53 (I meet Emily at mile 25 and she pushes me home)

Mile 26: 8:58

Mile 26.2: 1:59 (Garmin read 26.26 so my last 0.26 miles was 1:59 which is 7:38 pace; flying into the finish with a huge smile on my face)

Overall Time for 26.2 mi: 3:35:44
Average Pace: 8:14 min/mile

Overall: 876/4741
Female: 165/1886
Females 25-29: 42/387

Seeing Todd around mile 9

At mile 23, I finally see Todd again and also Lynn & Nathan!

Todd running with me for a few seconds

This is why I run marathons....huge smile on my face with the crowd cheering the runners on

Em & I

Todd & I

My parents, Todd, and me

Oh yes, the inevitable blisters I always get during a race...notice my bloody shoe on the floor

Eating at Easy Street Cafe....although I didn't eat since my stomach was mad at me

Lessons Learned from Marathon #6:
  • I have amazing friends & family; I truly wouldn't have made it through my training without Todd by my side (literally, as he rode his bike next to me on most long runs) and during race day as him, my parents, and my friends helped support me during the race even though they think I'm crazy

  • Always carry extra shot bloks because you never know when the person you're counting to have these will get a flat tire and leave you without anything from mile 12 to 23

  • Do more weekday mid-distance runs (8-12 miles); I did a lot of 5-6 mile runs in the AM and then would do another 4 in the PM just to increase my mileage but I think I need to do more "longerish" runs

  • Do more lactate threshold runs....I always seem to hit the wall, luckily this year it wasn't until about mile 21-22 and I think this would help

  • Despite hitting the wall, I can usually run a pretty even pace; in fact, my overall pace at the 10K and the 20 mile mark was only off by 5 seconds....unfortunately I averaged 8:46 pace for the last 10K (mile 20 to the finish) which is where the race counts the most

  • Don't give up! A lot of times during a marathon when I start to get tired, I give up mentally and start talking myself out of pushing harder. For example, once I realized around mile 20 I wasn't going to break 3:30, I started telling myself it didn't matter and to just try to PR (break 3:34) when I should be telling myself to keep pushing to try to break 3:30! I bust my butt to train for this race for 14 weeks and I shouldn't give up that easily

  • My marathon PR is from 2008 and I was beginning to worry I would never get close to that again but this race helped ignite my passion for running & proved to me that my fastest days are still ahead

  • With another marathon under my belt, I'm looking forward to recovering (quads are a little sore and my right knee started hurting as soon as I crossed the finish line) and taking a few weeks off from running. I know where my weaknesses lie and I hope to improve upon them for next year's race...yes, I said next year's race!

    And seriously, if there is anyone in Columbus that needs a runner partner and runs similar times to me, please let me know!


    Lindsey said...

    congrats jenny! you are such an inspiration to me! the crowds were UNBELIEVABLE at this race, and I can't wait to train for the full next fall :) and trust me - i will be reaching out to you for advice on how to pick up my time.. my goal for the cap city is under 2 hours... thats only shaving 16 minutes off my PR... thats obtainable? right?!

    Sara said...

    CONGRATULATIONS! You look fantastic in your pictures! Awesome finish and times! I would run with you, but yeah...not that fast! ;) You, though, are amazing!

    You finished about 5 minutes after me so we were probably in the same area at the same time! I kept an eye out, but I didn't see you. I had stomach troubles the whole time, though, so I was ready to go home right after the race.

    I truly hope we can meet up at a race someday or for breakfast or something!

    Congrats again on a job well done! Enjoy your recovery! :)

    Thomas Bussiere said...

    Great race report, and the takeaway at the end was spot on for most runners. You have to be honest with yourself, even if hurtful, to expect improvement! Congrats on the PR. A lot of hard training paid off. Although you didn't hit your first goal, you did your 2nd goal, which is very respectable. I often set 3 goals for a race based on a perfect, expected, and bad day. Something we don't always have control over. Never stop improving.

    lindsay said...

    congrats on a strong race! i'm glad it also re-supported some of your confidence, i have had a bit of a slump myself and am afraid my 2008-2009 pr's were my "peak" (at the age of 24-25!). yikes on those blisters though.

    thanks for entering the giveaway! and i thought i should also let you know that i am addicted to pinterest and therefore am following you now :)