Monday, October 21, 2013

I ran 3:07:11: Nick was worried when I didn't finish sooner

Nick still has nightmares about a certain race, where I had trained well enough to possibly run 3:20, but wound up running 4:15. (It was a very bad day, but one that I'm proud of.) Now if I miss the mark by even a measly 2 minutes and 11 seconds, he worries. He's so cute. After I finished the BayState Marathon on Sunday, he said to me "I was so worried!" With furrowed eyebrows and a smirk I replied, "I was only 2 minutes behind my goal of 3:05". To which he said, "I know, but I thought you'd be faster and when you didn't make it by 3:05, I thought you might be hurt." I actually thought this was really sweet. You see, Nick is ever the engineer. He's almost always logical and data driven. He's been keeping track of my training and really believed that I could and would run faster.

So does that mean I had a bad day on Sunday? No. It was a spectacular day. I felt good. The virus that has been plaguing our home seemed to lift Saturday, I've been getting a reasonable amount of sleep (6-7 hours), and there was nothing wrong with my legs. All great omens come race day. The weather was beautiful being sunny and 50-58 degrees during the race. The 3:07:11 time I posted is a 4.5 minute personal record, and I was the 3rd female finisher. Coming in 3rd really made the day. I might have been a tiny bit disappointed that I didn't go under 3:05 had I not had such a nice finishing place.

If I was feeling ready to go, the course was flat and fast, and the weather was cool, then why wasn't I able to post my initial goal? Well, it was probably a combination of going out too fast and a nasty headwind. My first mile was 6:52, which was good, but by the 8 mile mark I was averaging slightly under 6:45 pace. That was based on the race clocks not my Garmin (looking through my Garmin splits it reports some of my miles being in the 6:37 range). I didn't look at my Garmin at all during the race. I tried to run more by feel, but I guess I was getting a little a head of myself. I crossed the half around 1:29, which I didn't think was too too fast, but there was also a 14 mph headwind for a good stretch of the course. The course is a loop done twice, so there were portions with a tailwind too, but from what I've read the two don't cancel each other out. A runner doesn't gain the same benefit with a tailwind, as the deficit that is acquired with a headwind. You can check out the Daniel's calculator where you can enter headwinds and tailwinds and predict what times might have been. Using the Daniels calculator and guessing that roughly half course had a tailwind and half had a headwind, it seems I might lost 3-4 minutes there. That combined with running a little faster than I should have for the first half probably accounts for my finishing time. My legs were dead after about 17-18 miles, and by the time I hit 20 I was telling myself to "just keep running". Really the finish couldn't come fast enough. My two final miles were 8:10ish (and I was surprised they were that fast), because at the time it felt like I was running slower than 10 minute pace.

Now I would hate for anyone to think that I'm complaining. I am so happy! Overall, my race experience was great. There were a good number of men running near me, and they were all supportive. Guys passing would say things like "you're crushing this race" or "you're awesome". A few times I found myself in a group of guys, and they were always friendly. Spectators seemed excited to see the "3rd female". So as much as the last 8 miles were a suffer fest (which was probably my own fault), everyone was just amazing. My parents, Nick, and the kids were all at the finish. And I ran a 4.5 minute PR! It really was a great day.

Running the race also made me realize even more how great the Greater Lowell Road Runners (GLRR) are. (The GLRR hosts the BayState Marathon.) Technically I'm member of the GLRR, but I don't really participate. I just don't have the time right now (or my priorities are just elsewhere at the moment), but every single person I've met from the group is so nice. Some are fast and some aren't, but all of them are great.

Here are some post race pictures! I'm sure they're boring to you, but it's the first time I remembered to take some pics with my phone after a big race, so I'm excited to have them!

 Ahhh, family photo!

 Nana and Grampy get in on the action

 My ladies and me :)

And Nick and me

What's next you ask? Some rest and recovery for now. Then I have my sights set on Boston, though I don't know that Boston is the course for me set any crazy PR's, but a solid time would set me up nicely for another go of it next Fall. :)


Amanda@runninghood said...

Ah, I was thinking about you this weekend and wondering how you did! 4.5 minute PR is big! So glad you feel good about it too. Really awesome! Congrats. Love your pics too.

Michael said...

Nice work Katie! It's really a win/win situation. You ran a 4 1/2 PR ... AND, you know that with just a little tweaking you can run even faster. Congrats!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

My thoughts exactly on this, after seeing the weather and your splits! I love how gutsy you are though! Proud of you! FT working mom and running so strong! XO

Karen said...

Congrats on the new PR! That is really fast and 3rd overall shows that it was just a tough racing day for everyone with the wind.

The lighting in your photos is fantastic. I love the fall color backdrop on all of them.

John Smith said...

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Tia said...

3:07:11 was my EAXCT time (down to the second!) from the Little Rock Marathon in March. I was actually shooting for a 3:05 at that one too but it was still a PR, so like you I couldn't be disappointed. In my case the weather was perfect and very calm wind but the course has some killer hills that kicked my butt. I will say running against the wind is AWFUL and my least favorite element to fight in a race. Way to go for hanging in there. Fighting the wind for that long can wipe out all the joy of running.

You did great and I'm so glad you were able to run this one without any leg/ foot issues. Dealing with something that came on suddenly right now and it is throwing me for a major marathon training loop. It reminds me to never take for granted just being able to get to the starting line healthy.

Tia said...

How do you spell EXACT?! Lol!

Katie said...

I didn't even notice. But I hate when I leave typos too!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be fast enough that somebody would worry if I came in at 3:07!! Congrats on the big new PR. And how do you look so good in the post-race photos?! I always have a bright red face and hair flying everywhere...


Pam Moore said...

Way to go!!! I always suspected that headwinds hurt worse than tailwinds help but it's nice to have it confirmed by an engineer. Thanks for that. And again, congrats on a major PR and an amazing performance!!!!