Monday, October 5, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon - 2009

I really don't even know where to begin. This whole experience has been nothing like anything I've experienced before and not really much of what I thought it would be. It's just a strange feeling.

Usually, I remember everything. Details, feelings, times, distances. But Sunday is just all a blur to me. I got down to the dome in plenty of time to sit with my MDRA peeps and go to the bathroom. The weather was GREAT - 42 degrees. Never rained on my head once the whole way. Since I was in wave two, I sorta of heard a horn go off for wave one, but then next thing I knew is we were walking and then THAT'S IT. We were starting. For real.

I was with 3 other girls from my training group when we crossed the starting line but they quickly pulled away from me and I was sad. I really wanted to run with them, but I had to do my own thing and I kept remembering the coaches saying to take it easy and run your own race and my race called for 12 minute miles. So I had to let them go.

Here's what I remember from miles 0-11. Woah. This is easy. So slow. I got a smile for every fan. Heck even high fives and fist pumps. Man I got a long way to go. This is getting kind of monotonous. Fun, exciting, but monotonous.

Saw my parents and husband at mile 11 and I told them I was feeling great and practically fresh as a daisy. By the time I ran into them again at 13.5 I was starting to feel like I'd been running for 13.5 miles. Knees hurting. A little bored/tired. Not so fresh anymore. Not really thinking about anything.

Miles 14-20 got worse. I kept thinking this is where the rubber hits the road. This stretch is where my mind takes over for my legs and I trust in my training. I had to believe I would get to 22 and I focused on 15. Then on 18. Then on 21 because I knew I would see my family. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I wanted to know if my legs starting to hurt already was normal. Were other runners feeling this way too? But looking back, I was actually doing great. I wanted to run 5 miles per hour average, and I hit 20 at 3:59. Plus I was really passing people while I was running. I was achy and tired, but still had some juice in me.

I blew right by the wall at 20 excited to see my family at 21 and friends with M&Ms and oranges at 22. I had a HUGE crowd at 21. Aunts, cousins, parents, husbands (just one of those actually). And I got another burst of energy. I surged on to mile 22 and saw my friends and that propelled me to mile 23. At mile 23 ish (I think) I saw some folks from my MDRA group. They had a huge sign so I could see them from a ways back and they cheered me on. Then the coach of our group was there a little bit up and yelled my name and to stay strong. All this lasted until about 23. 23-25 were tough. I lost 2 minutes off my pace somewhere between 20-25 even with all that cheering. I think it probably happened after 23 to be honest. I started walking at the 1/2 miles more and more.

Going from 25 to 26.2 was great. For some reason 1 mile didn't seem like that much to me. There were fans and a lot to look at and it flew by. Plus I ran into a lady that works at the same company. Different building, but she was really supportive and we ran together and encouraged each other. The last .50 at least I think I had a pretty good kick. I caught site of the capital and there was no stopping me. I was so glad TO BE DONE. Five hours is a long day! Official chip time: 5:17. And I look back and I can't think of one place where I could have done more. The way I felt finishing, well, I might not have had that same feeling if I didn't walk at this point or that point. So absolutely no regrets. I just ran a perfect race.

But here is what I didn't expect. I've had more emotional races. I think I've even had more meaningful ones. Don't get me wrong. THIS WAS AMAZING! But I didn't get too emotional at the end. And I thought my first 1/2 marathon was harder. Heck, I think my first 10k was harder. In my opinion I was well trained for this race. And 20 miles is hard. 26.2 hurts the same, you just have to be smarter in the beginning of the race and then hold on for longer. I owe a lot to the coaches and trainer in my group from MDRA. They know how to run marathons and train people.

Here's what I think of the marathon. It's a strange race. Because you spend the first 1/2 and then some holding back, pacing steady, waiting for the 'race' portion to start. Then by the time you get to the 'race' portion you don't have anything left to race with and you are just trying to hold steady like you did in the first 1/2. That's just my take at my ability level. But it's like you are waiting for the moment to go, and when the moment arrives you don't actually go you just hang on.

Next on tap - email the Des Moines Marathon and drop down to the 1/2 marathon. I originally signed up for this race before Twin Cities and until yesterday thought maybe, if I walk a lot, maybe I can do it. I know I could. But I don't want to. The time and energy and pain.....nope. The 1/2 will be a great time. I'll take it easy, and then be ready to rock the Monster Dash on Halloween.

I was just an average runner. Nothing notable really. I found a good group and followed directions and I ran a marathon. Anybody can!! You can!


Chad said...


Congrats!!! My guess is that you were just a lot better trained for this than your first 10K and first half.

I think your thoughts - It's a strange race. Because you spend the first 1/2 and then some holding back, pacing steady, waiting for the 'race' portion to start. Then by the time you get to the 'race' portion you don't have anything left to race with and you are just trying to hold steady like you did in the first 1/2 - are totally accurate. I've run that scenario in my head on lots of occasions.

Enjoy some R&R!

Rachel said...

Great job on the finish! It sounds like you had a great smart race! That Gopher to Badger is a tough half so I can see where you might have felt it was harder. It is in the middle of summer weather and alot less spectators.

MissAllycat said...

Great job, Em. You looked fresh as a daisy at the finish. :)

At one point of the race, your mom told me I looked fresh as a daisy. I laughed out loud. Thanks Marcy! :)

gohrfam said...

E- you can see by my comments I am just catching up on your blogs.

Your post brought tears to my eyes before I read the portion about how you've had more emotional races. I haven't! ( I mean for your races, I have none!)

I'm so happy for and proud of you, and you won't believe this but Bitch by Meredith Brooks just came on the radio. I know!!

GS-T and lots of love.