Monday, May 7, 2012

Providence Marathon Race Report

The short report: The official time was 3:22:38. On the up side, that's a 4 minute PR. On the downside, I think I'm in better shape.

Now, the slightly longer version...

Pre-race week:
My right arch was killing me. From the symptoms, it seemed like plantar fasciitis, but I'm positive running isn't what started the issue. It must have been a bad pair of shoes I wore to work. While running didn't cause the issue, it definitely exacerbated it. I ran an 8 mile tempo at half marathon pace about a week out. Before the tempo there was a twinge, but it wasn't much worse when I finished. The next day I ran easy, and after that it was full blown pain. It hurt to walk even. I took the four days leading up to the race off and actively did the whole RICE thing. Friday before the race my arch finally stopped hurting while walking. I stepped up to the line pain free and well rested...though I was wondering at what point (during the race) my arch would start to hurt.

The race start:
My race plan was loose. Based on my training, I figured somewhere  between 7:20 and 7:40 pace was reasonable, but I didn't want to force any particular pace, so the plan was to go out and see how I felt. My first mile was 7:20, and it felt right, so I went with that. The first 16 miles were 7:21 pace, but...then things got complicated.

The first 16 miles were good to me. There were more hills than I remember, but I was handling them. I was drinking and taking gels at my normal rate, but at around 15 miles I stopped sweating, and though I was still drinking I just stopped sweating. It's probably worth mentioning that the temperature was comfortable in the fifties, but it was 90% humidity. Maybe that's why I had an issue? I don't know, but by 16 miles my legs really started burning. It was strange because it felt like the last mile of a 5k when I'm having asthma issues, BUT my breathing was great. My breathing and heart rate were both great. But my legs were burning. At that point, I just had to hang on. Over the next four miles, my pace slowed, but I was still hanging on.

The race finish:
The last 10k was a struggle, which is pretty typical for a marathon. My breathing and heart rate were still great, but the burning in my legs was bad enough that running down hills hurt (like walking down the stairs the day after a marathon hurt).  I just kept moving forward, and slowing down. The last 10k was over 8:00 pace per mile. My official time was 3:22:38, which is 7:44 pace.

I guess maybe I went out too fast, but the pace felt right at the time, and I don't regret my calculated risk. Would I have run faster overall if I had gone out at 7:30 pace? Maybe. Maybe not. I do know I'm much faster over shorter distances right now. Perhaps I simply didn't have the endurance necessary to cover the distance at my initial pace. That happens to runners all the time...

The awesomeness of the race:
I felt great! (Well minus that whole leg rebellion thing during the last 10 miles.) No nausea! I wasn't crazy tired after either, but my legs hurt enough that I knew I gave all I had for the day. (I actually had trouble sleeping last night my legs are so sore.) No arch pain at all! No other pains! I remain injury free, and ready for a speedy recovery! And it was just a great day. The kids had a great morning with Nick, my parents were biking all over the course offering me water and Gatorade, and we all had an awesome lunch together afterwards! Just an overall great day for me.  (Huge thanks to Nick and my parents!)

One last item:
I ran this one for you, Connor! You are one tough little man fighting DMD!

My mom insisted we get my number in the pic...

My littlest lady has the bluest eyes ever! (Actually so does my other little lady...)

Me at the end of the day. My t-shirt says Sunnydale High School. Anyone know what that's from?


Karen said...

Congrats! You did so awesome!

Its funny, each marathon seems to hand us different limiting factors..I'm pretty sure the moisture had something to do with yours (since you're not used to it).

Great PR! :)

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Congrats on thePR. 4 min for a marathon is HUGE! I do agree though that you are fitter than a 3:22. I think you are a fast twitch gal who just needs more marathon experience, and maybe miles but who knows. Interesting that I remember you mentioning that you had the same burning legs issue at Baystate as well. Also interesting that you ran 20 milers at 7:30 on tired legs and you were fine. Marathons are weird and so unpredictable. Glad the arch is OK and that you are feeling good and happy! Oh, and Cox is a hilly course, which also makes for leg problems.
Darn, my comment is all over the place!

Pam said...

Way to go!!!! I'm glad I was there last year instead of this year b/c I am soooo not used to humidity and I would never have had the chance to run even a few miles with you at this year's that speedy pace:)

Raina said...

Nice PR, Katie! I am glad your foot didn't become an issue during your race, and I hope that it continues to feel OK. You were really smart to take the last 4 days off to RICE. Now I understand better some of the blog posts from before your race. WHY do we get these weird things in a taper??
You did super on a hilly course. SO much work goes into one of these, and "secret" individual recipes. I know you are still perfecting yours! Can't wait to see another PR on the next race, speedy lady :)

Michelle said...

Still an excellent job! Temp in the %0's with 90%?? Odd. Clearly an East Coast thing!

And a big yay to the no nausea!! That is definitely a win.

Katie said...

@Karen: Thanks! Yeah, every race brings some new challenge. It's all good though. :)

@AM: Hmmm, I did have burning at baystate, but it wasn't as bad. I definitely need to run more miles. I think my fatigue rate may be high. The only real solution to that issue is running more miles...So, what does your summer race schedule look like? You planning on baystate for the marathon? I probably can't race much beginning to mid June (since we're moving and need to pack), but I'm excited to get out there race!

@Pam: Thanks! You really made Providence bearable last year when I was soooo sick!

@Raina: Thanks! So you coming to Boston next year? I'll be there for sure. We could be virtual training partners. ;)

@Michelle: You know, it was really weird! It was probably high 50s and you could see everyone's breath (like you can when it's really cold out). That's not normal here either, but it wasn't uncomfortable to run in, so maybe that wasn't my issue, I don't know. And no nausea is a big yay. It sort of ruins the experience when you feel gross and sick the rest of the day. Thanks!

portia said...

So glad your foot left you alone. Great race! I've been reading your blog for inspiration and I really appreciate hearing about your experiences in training and in the race. :)

Kat said...

Nice work on another amazing PR! Those hills in miles 5-7 and again in 21-23 were no joke, as all our screaming legs would agree.

I also had trouble sleeping Sunday night b/c of leg pain anytime I shifted position. Or maybe it was all the whoopie pies I ate. Hard to tell ;)

Raina said...

I would LOVE to come to Boston, Katie. Not sure about racing any marathons there. :) I have some reservations about new england weather and hills! In any case, you are welcome to come to Eugene next spring where you are bound to run a HUGE PR.

side note- I had all three boys drug free too, after i had planned on an epidural for the first. I got to the hospital with no time for one. The marathon reminds me that I am QUITE happy with the three i have. Ha!

lindsay said...

Congrats on the new PR and another marathon in the books! Hooray for no nausea but the no-sweat thing is weird (I dont sweat normal myself for over a year now so if you figure it out do let us know!)

Restless leg said...

This is a very informative for me.This is one of the best way of promoting myself in running.No one can not ignore its fact.I think it gives us courage.