4:30 Pace Group, Here I Come!

I finally registered. With my coupon code M&B, I only paid $95 (only! ha!). I figured if I survived the 20-miler, I should probably register for the actual race. Members of my running club couldn't believe I hadn't registered. They are believers in registering early and since you've already spent the $$$, you'll stay motivated. But I don't think I'm lacking in the motivation department. I think to train for a half or full marathon, you've got to WANT it . Otherwise, it's just pointless torture!

A few details about the 20-miler.... I was really blessed to have a running buddy for 17 of the 20 miles. My friend Shelly slowed her pace significantly to run with me. We started with a group of 6 ladies, all of us running different paces/distances. (Some were doing a 10-mile training run for the half rather than the full.) After only a couple of miles, we paired off into groups of two. After about 7 miles, we never saw any of the other ladies again.

We ran the first ones pretty much at my half-marathon pace--around 10-minute miles. Just like in the last long run, I started out with 10-minute miles, dropped to more like 10:15-10:30 in the middle miles, and ended with 11-minute miles after about mile 16. The pace still averaged out to 10:30, so I'm very happy. My slower miles at the end are always when Shelly goes on ahead (that girl always finishes strong!). I tend to relax and start taking walk breaks once a mile then. I don't know if it's because it's the end and I'm tired, or if it's the lack of "pressure" to keep up with someone. Either way, I'm ok with it.

In the actual marathon, I plan to walk through all the water stops. Yesterday, we hardly walked at all. I think walking earlier and more often in the beginning might help me finish at a little more of an even pace. It certainly did in last weekend's half-marathon. That's where the 4:30 pace group comes in. The marathon has a "wave start," meaning we are assigned to corrals based on projected finish time. I'll be starting with all the 2:15 half-marathoners and the 4:30 marathoners. I'm going to latch on to the 4:30 pace group for dear life! Since I don't have a buddy to run with during the marathon, I'm going to make friends!

Will I really finish in 4:30? Probably not. 4:45 is probably more realistic considering how I slow down as I go. If the 4:30 pace group is out of my league after the half-way point, I'll just find the 4:45 or 5:00 hour pace group. If the wheels fall off completely, the goal is just to finish before they shut down the course. :-)

Nutrition-wise, yesterday I think I planned pretty well. I drank about 6 oz. of Cytomax Fruit Punch flavor immediately before starting. That's what they are serving at the marathon, so I knew I'd better try it. It was BAD. It's super-sweet, not what you want to taste for 4+ hours. I think I'll carry my own Accelerade and Gatorade in my fuel belt. I intended to GU at 3-4 miles, but forgot, so I did at the 6-mile point. I tried GU Just Plain w/caffeine. Loved it! I'll be packing those for the marathon.

At mile 10, I pulled out the 1/2 peanut butter and honey sandwich that had been riding in my pocket. Yes, it was squished and rather disgusting-looking, but it tasted great! I plan to carry one in the marathon, too. My Nike capris have nice deep pockets. I'll look lumpy for the first 12-13 miles, but who cares?

I Gu'd again around 13.5 and 16 miles. I finally poured out the Cytomax from my fuel belt and drank Gatorade instead. My stomach felt uneasy at one point and ate three Ritz crackers that I had in my pocket. I've read so much about "real food" being helpful in the marathon, so I'll definitely carry some.

Last night as I lay in bed, my legs felt kind of hot/feverish. I'm not sure what that was. This morning around 5:00 a.m. I limped into the bathroom and took some Aleve. My joints are somewhat sore, but my quads are super-sore (all those rolling hills). When I first stood and attempted to walk, the soreness took my breath away. As I became more active this morning, however, it's getting better. My ankle is surprising me---it's in really good shape. (Or the Aleve is masking the pain...).


Stacey said…
I am so glad it went well! I love being sore after a long run. It doesn't happen for me so much anymore...I use accelerade and gatorade endurance and I like that combo. I haven't tried the sandwich before, I will have to do that! Sounds like a great plan you have. Good luck with the remainder of your training, you are going to do awesome. Have a great weekend!
Jules said…
wow at all the food you carry w/ you...the peanut butter & honey sandwich? sounds yummy! If I get to running that much I need to pack one of those. YUM

You are doing great...hang in there w/ the pain.
Good job on the run. I have never been very good about eating real food while running, I struggle with getting it down. But I think I may try a P & honey Sandwich... YUm-O

I take walk breaks as well, it seems to help my overall pace and the recovery time. My quayds are killing me today too... all my runs are down and VERY rolling hills, so you would think I am use to it, but I am pretty tight and sore after every Long run.

Are you planning on another 20 miler?
Tina said…
It sounds like you have everything planned out for race day. It's great that you ran the 20 miles on hills and are trying out the foods you'll eat during the race.

Congratulations on finishing your first 20 miler. What an accomplishment!
Congrats on the 20-miler! And on registering :-)

I walked through all the water stops when I ran the marathon and I thought it worked well for me. Hope it works well for you, too!
MCM Mama said…
Great job on the run! I'm impressed you ate real food. I can barely eat sharkies, so I have to rely on gels.
Cyndi said…
20 miles...I can't imagine! :-) Something to aspire to some day!

Thanks for stopping by my blog...my first seven miler was a success!
Amy said…
Awesome job on the 20 miler!!!!! I am just like you, regarding signing up for races early... (although I did sign up for St. Louis early, because they'll put your name on your bib if you do so). I have signed up for almost all my marathons the week of the race. I was just always afraid that I'd jinx myself, ya know?

Anyway, congrats again! Doesn't it feel awesome to run 20 miles???? There's nothing like responding to the question... "so what did you do today?" with... "ahhh.. just knocked out a 20 miler and then went about the rest of my day." priceless.

Great job!!
Anonymous said…
Found your blog through Running Along. I am marathon mom, too. I just ran my 2nd marathon last month and I will be running my second 1/2 marathon this Saturday.

Twenty miles in 3 and a half hours is great! With all your GU,snack breaks and planned water walking stops, it sounds like you are on the right track and will do great for your first marathon. Good luck! :-)

Come visit me! ~Run DMT
kateymwf said…
I'm a running mom too. I'm 32 and will be doing my first full at the CMM. All of my friends are doing the 1/2. I think I'm going to run with the 4:30 pace group too. Our times seem to be quite similar. I did 18 this weekend and have a 20 miler April 4th. Have you ever considered trying to do a negative split marathon? I have just started to think about it, and might try it out for the marathon. I'll try to say hi at the marathon if I see you in the 4:30 pace group. I don't really talk while I run though, takes too much out of me.