Monday, October 22, 2012

BayState Marathon = 3:11:53 :)

My attempt at getting excited for the race...painted nails

Pre-race taping and stuff

There were 3 weeks of tapering. And I actually ran less miles than planned all 3 weeks. I wanted to make sure I was well rested and when (in those weeks) I felt tired, I ran less. I figured by the time tapering comes being tough isn't all that beneficial.

The week before the race was difficult. Besides being nervous, my right knee randomly started bothering me, my right IT band randomly started to feel tight, I got my period, my asthma was acting up, and I seemed to be fighting off a cold. I iced, stretched, rolled, rested, took my vitamins, took my inhalers, and did my best not to waste my energy worrying about things out my immediate control.

I tried to get excited for the race by watching "The Spirit of the Marathon", but other than the parts about Deena Kastor, I didn't find it particularly inspiring. I was actually a bit nervous that I didn't feel more emotion regarding the upcoming race. I was stuck in my engineer mindset (completely logical, practical, and emotionless).

Race morning

I did all the normal stuff. My parents picked me up. (Thank you mom and dad!) The last hour was really annoying. I just wanted to start...

The race

My goal for the first mile was to make sure that I didn't run too hard. I kept checking my Garmin because people were flying by me. My first mile was 7:11. Hmmm, could that be too fast? Well, given that the Garmin is always a little off and that my breathing was excellent, I thought I was probably okay. I wanted to be cautious though, so I made an effort to ever so slightly let up on the pace. And I did that. My mile 5 was a 7:20, but then I decided I didn't want to get complaisant either, so I made an effort to ever so slightly increase my effort. And I did.

I felt in control the whole race. My asthma turned out to be fine (though I made an effort not to talk knowing that exacerbates it), my knee and IT band were fine. The one issue I did have was a cramp in my side. The kind you get when you drink too much water, but I hadn't drank too much. That cramp traveled with me starting at mile 5 through the rest of race right to the finish, but as far as things go that's no so bad. Just uncomfortable.

I didn't feel great, but I didn't feel bad either. I don't find running marathon pace easy. I also (in a way) find the first half of race to be more difficult than the second half. I think a lot about how the second half will be harder and the fact that first half isn't easy...well this mentally takes a toll on me. Anyway, I crossed the first half at 1:35:30 (according to the race clock, so it was actually 1:35:23 for me). I was quite pleased. All my training had been geared towards a 7:20 marathon pace which is a 3:12 finishing time, so it was a great half point time. I spent the next mile or so thinking about seeing Nick. He was waiting around the 14 mile marker to switch my bottles. Poor guy, he was stressed about getting the bottle swap right, which went just fine. (Thank you Nick for everything you did to make my race go smooth! I love you soooo much!) Then I was on my own until the finish. Once I hit mile 14, my mental game got better. I thought "12 miles. I've done a ton of 12 miler MP runs. I can do this."

Once I hit 16 miles, my confidence grew (though my legs started to feel tired). I had run so many 10 milers, and I ran 10 miler MP runs the day after almost all my long runs (on tired legs). So I thought, "Yes, my legs are getting tired, but I can do this. I did this all the time in training." When I hit 18 miles, I thought, "At most, I have a little over an hour to go. I can do that." I was slowly passing people. People were starting to fade, but I just kept pushing. It felt controlled and consistent. 

I hit 20 miles, and then there was just a 10K left. Less than 50 minutes for legs were starting to feel tired, my hips were a bit tight, but overall I was just fine. 21, 22, 23 miles past. It was at 24 miles that I really started to feel tired. I was getting warm, but I kept dumping water on myself which helped. I just told myself that I had less than 20 minutes left, and obviously I can handle anything for 20 minutes. It wasn't until the last half mile that I really felt like I was fading. People were yelling only half a mile to go, and I was thinking "sigh, I don't really feel like running anymore." Then I started thinking, "just 4 minutes, just 4 minutes, just 4 minutes." Then with about 100 meters to go, I saw the clock...and started hauling. That clock read 3:11:xx, and I thought "I want to break 3:12." The clock read 3:12:00 when I finished, and I forgot to stop my watch so I wasn't sure until later day if I had actually broken 3:12. My official time was 3:11:53! 

Final thoughts

My parents and Nick and Kaylee were all at the finish. Nick gave me a hug, and I started to tear up a little. This was the first marathon I've run that I felt like I was actually able to meet my goal. I had trained for a 3:12, actually hoping to run 3:15 (because to run a good marathon I have to train harder than the calculators seem to think I should.) I trained so hard for this marathon, got lucky enough to also have a good day, and am so happy with my time. Now I'm looking forward to not training for a marathon, running a 5K in few weeks, and a 10K on Thanksgiving.

Splits for anyone interested 

So there are the Garmin splits, which reported me running 26.52 miles at 7:14 pace, which would be super cool, but I know the Garmin was off a bit. I'm assuming the course is not long. I've assumed that Garmin error is about the same for each mile (which may or may not be the case), and normalized my reported Garmin results to reflect what my splits probably were based on my finishing pace of 7:20 per mile. Mostly it just gives an idea of where in the race I might have been struggling or not struggling...

Mile Recorded Garmin splits Normalized based on official time
1  7:11 7:17
2  7:12 7:18
3 7:15 7:21
4 7:17 7:23
5 7:20 7:26
6 7:16 7:21
7 7:14 7:20
8 7:17 7:23
9 7:14 7:20
10 7:10 7:16
11 7:05 7:11
12 7:07 7:13
13 7:11 7:17
14 7:10 7:16
15 7:15 7:21
16 7:15 7:21
17 7:13 7:19
18 7:13 7:19
19 7:13 7:19
20 7:11 7:17
21 7:12 7:18
22 7:16 7:21
23 7:13 7:19
24 7:24 7:30
25 7:19 7:25
26 7:16 7:21
26.2 7:22 7:28


Karen said...

Wow! Congrats on such a wonderful marathon! It sounds like everything went perfectly for you, that is so awesome. You deserve it! :)

I had issues with Garmin for my race yesterday too, but it was mostly the tree cover and misplaced mile markers. In most races (without obstructions like mountains or dense forests), I find that 1 actual mile = 1.02 Garmin miles.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! What an AWESOME time!!!!!!!! :)

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I was waiting for this all day!!! Awesome report! Loved to hear your thinking as you ran. Yes, the first part of the marathon (and HM as well) is harder for me as well!I also have to train for a harder pace than I am planning to run for the marathon. However, you did nail your pace that you trained for. I was talking to Chris the other day and told him about how you trained so few miles in the past bc of injury, and how you diligently upped the bar, and got faster and faster. I love to follow your training because you truly experiment and do these really cool workouts and just your thing without caring about what others do. I truly believe that the next few years are going to be awesome for you running wise and you are going to get so so fast. Now your body can handle the training, and you know what works for you. So excited to run together this winter...if I can keep up:)
Congrats on a great race and a great training cycle. Truly, I could not stop thinking about you yesterday because I knew what that race meant for you!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Oh, and the course is long in the sense that it is impossible to run all the tangents perfectly. Having said that, the older GPSs like the 205 and 305 are measuring courses shorter (I have a 210 now and my miles are longer). Having said that, 7 seconds per mile is too much and I don't think it is a GPS issue. I mean, the 7 secs difference would show up in a 5K as well, right?
What I am trying to say is that you did run 7:15 pace. OK, maybe 7:16, but I am sticking with that:)

Raina said...

First of all, CONGRATS on a SUPER Race!!! I knew it would come and I am so happy for you :)
Second--this is just a side note random thing--I laugh that you re-adjusted your garmin splits & normalized them slower!! Only an
I am sure your course was atleast a few tenths long- it's supposed to be, isn't it? Unless you can run a perfect race with no one in the way, and hitting all the tangents? I digress since you are the engineer.

Now I want to look back through what you did! The MP on the day after a long run- did you rest the day before a long run? Ah- I am so curious!

Any way you shake it, it was a rockin' race and you earned that HUGE pr!

Katie said...

@ Karen and Stefanie: Thank you!

@AM: You are too funny! I've said the same thing about you to Nick! It's interesting about the Garmin. I have the 305. 6 seconds off per mile does seem high, but BayState has been named one of the top 10 fastest marathons by Runner's World, so I'm thinking is can't a whole 0.3 longer. (And I swear I wasn't zigzagging around.) ;)

@Raina: Maybe I'll write a post on my training this cycle, but it was very geared towards my strengths and weakness, and I'm not sure how useful it will be for others...In general though: Monday and Thursdays were hard workout days (10-14 miles). Tuesdays and Wednesdays were super easy (7 miles 8:15-8:30 pace). Friday was usually an easy 10 miles. Saturday depended. I only ran a long run every other week. When a long was scheduled Saturday was 6-8 miles easy (10 miles when there wasn't and it was a bit harder). I tried to run my long runs easy (8:15-7:47 pace), and then Monday after the long run was some sort of MP workout. I'm sure it sounds crazy, but I really needed to be able to run MP on tired legs...

sea legs girl said...

Awesome race! Amazing time. So glad your training is working well for you. Very smart with the three week taper.

Tia said...

Congratulations!! What a great marathon! You had a huge PR and based on those splits you ran a very consistent and strong race. I just heard about your blog and I'm so glad I did! You've definitely got a new follower! ;-)

Michelle said...

All I can say is amazing!!

I got my period 3 days before my last marathon. I was so pissed off about it. Lol.

Jenn said...

AWESOME AWESOME job Katie!!! This is such an awesome race!! Your splits are awesome! Mine were much less consistent-ha! I ALWAYS make predictions for people (keep them private). CRAZY but I was 1 second off for you. ONE SECOND. I believe I will quit running now and start gambling instead! Hope you're still celebrating! I'm coming to Boston to spectate!!!

lindsay said...

LOL. I am so confused as to how you figure out which mile gets more seconds when normalizing them. But, CONGRATS!!! a sub-3:12 is so so cool!

Pam said...

WOW!!! Great job!! Your splits were so even and your time was SO FAST! Thanks for sharing what your training schedule was like, I was curious about that too. I am also curious- When do you fit in most of your runs? Especially during the week when you have to go to work... Early AM before your kids get up? Lunch break? And do you ever do core work or pushups or anything?

Katie said...

@Jenn: You should start a racing fortune company! People would pay good money for that!

@Linsay: I just added 6 seconds to each garmin split. It's the best I could do

@Pam: So I only work 24 hours a week. When I'm at work, I run at lunch but that pretty much limits my runs to 7-8 miles. The days I'm not in work I run on the treadmill with the kids playing nearby. And Nick watched the kids for my long run. When I go back full-time (once Emily is in 1st grade), I'm not sure exactly how things will go. I might need to do doubles. Run 8 miles at lunch then more in the evening or morning...probably at night b/c my kids are up before the sun...

Rae Crowell said...

Wow! I found your blog while I was looking for race reports before doing Baystate marathon this year -- I liked it right away. :-) I didn't, however, realize the author was right next to me at the start line! Or I would have mentioned it. I don't know if you remember me, but you did mention your goal time for the day: And congrats on nailing it!! It was a great day for race, wasn't it?

Katie said...

Hey Rae! Of course I remember you! I was actually trying to look you up after the race, but I had forgotten your name (sorry). I sort of figured you must have finished ahead of me because I never passed you, but I still wasn't quite sure which lady you were. Great job! It was a great day for a marathon! Maybe I'll see you again at another race?

Rae Crowell said...

I'm signed up for my first Boston and planning on doing a few races on the way (Boston Prep 16, Hampton Half, etc), so hopefully we'll cross paths again. :-) Truly love your training approach -- I've also had some issues scaling to longer distances. And your entries give me alot of ideas and inspiration. Keep it up, and I hope you are still coasting on a well-earned successful race!

Katie said...

@Ray: I'm signed up to do my first Boston too! And I was also planning on the Hampton Half. I love that race. I haven't done the 16 Prep, but I have heard of it. Hopefully we'll find each other at Hampton!

Pam said...

Wow, I am inspired that you do a lot of your miles on the treadmill. I have been doing more on the treadmill since having a baby and I am questioning how well it will prepare me to run fast on the roads, but obviously it has not hurt you at all!

What percent incline do you set your treadmill at?

Side note: I think it is great that your girls get to watch you doing something that is just for you!

Hostpph said...

it is a pity that you have a bad time for that race. But At least you try to be motivated to do the best that you can.

glenn-the-runner said...

Hi Katie - this is Glenn Stewart from the Baystate Marathon - I'm thinking about using your bib picture in some of our advertising. Is that OK with you?

glenn -

Katie said...

Sure Glenn, feel free use whatever pics :)