Missed my recap of the half marathon? Check it out here. Without further ado, here is my mom’s post on running the marathon!
As Nora already mentioned, it was pretty cold at the start but we tried to convince ourselves that that was better than it being too hot.
It was sunny and breezy and I didn’t shed my throw away hoodie until about a mile and a half in, then settled in for a 10 min/mile pace. I felt good and tried to remember that my “Big Blue Book” had said that in the beginning “it should feel so easy that it’s crazy…” And weirdly, it did feel like that, so I resisted the urge to pick up the pace. Because I had eaten a protein bar sitting in the Tsongas arena, I didn’t fuel until mile six, when I did a GU and walked long enough to sip some water at the nearby water stop. I had decided not to carry water and to coordinate my fueling breaks with the water stops on the course. (It’s hard to get those gels down without a bit of water!) And I decided to see if I could skip my usual 1-minute walking break as I fueled. This seemed to work pretty well. I got to 13.1 in 2:14, still feeling good and decided to stick with that pace for a bit longer. I was also thinking about Nora; I knew she had finished by now and was wondering if she had gotten her PR. I was anxious to get her call!
The wind had definitely picked up by this point and soon I was feeling something like the early stages of cramps in my legs. I tried to think back to how well I had fueled and how good I felt on my long runs, and eventually realized that what I was feeling wasn’t cramps, but just cold! Somewhere around mile 17, I realized I was passing a good number of runners. Still, I thought it was too early to start cranking so I kept my pace steady and kept running even when I fueled.
At 11:30, Nora called. I was super excited to hear her voice. I had passed mile 20, and realized I could well be within my goal of breaking 4:30! She was super excited for me, and just hearing her voice and words of encouragement gave me such a boost!! (And oh, yeah…she got her PR!)
Suddenly, the voice in my head said, “I am not going to screw this up! I am NOT walking ….just keep running… RUN! RUN!”
Still, around mile 24 I was pretty ready for this race to be over. Luckily, by that point we were nearing the part of the course that Nora and I had run during the Lowell Good Times Series this summer. This was a great psychological booster for me: I reminded myself that I was fast and powerful on this course, that I had won my age group on this course!
Between Nora’s call and the familiar terrain, I made it to the end, and finished in 4:26:22 and I wasn’t even crawling or crying!
Mile 20: 10:01/mile
22 : 10:14/mile (last fueling stop, stuffing pretzels and carb tablets in my face)
Needless to say, I was thrilled and excited and pleasantly surprised that, even though I had run faster, I felt much better than I did after our first marathon in Rochester. After a few minutes, I found Nora and after swigging that really delicious can of Pepsi, we found our way to a bench near the river where I devoured some soup and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The food was great and the tents had been set up along this really lovely spot near the river, but the sun had disappeared and the wind was still blowing, (as you can see by the Mylar blanket flapping crazily around my shoulders) so I was cooling down quickly and Nora had been out in the cold for two hours waiting for me. So we agreed it was time to head home… As Nora mentioned, we were treated to pumpkin waffles and coffee, which warmed us up nicely.
Later that evening, we toasted our success with a nice fall cocktail, of our invention, and agreed that despite the cold, things could not have gone better. (I was super grateful that we hadn’t had the snow showers originally forecast, that there were so many wonderful volunteers, and that I have the greatest running buddy.)
But now, with such a big achievement behind me, I am feeling a little adrift and asking myself, “What’s next?” If Nora has her way it will be a Spartan Fenway sprint! …Yikes! It might be easier to just run another marathon… 🙂
Hope you’re having a great week! Have you ever experienced a little post-marathon letdown?