It Was a Good Day--PR race report

Garmin finish time for 13.1 miles: 2:10:21/avg. pace: 9:55. Finally.

However, the official results say 2:11:57. The Garmin measured the total course distance at 13.32 miles instead of 13.1. (I checked, and every other person around me had 13.1+ miles on their Garmin's, too. Not sure how that happened! I don't think I zigzagged that much.) So, I'm sticking with 2:10!

It rained THE WHOLE RACE. Not sprinkles, real rain. The course was massively flooded. I ran in water deep enough to cover the TOP of my shoes several times in the final miles. All of my layers were soaked. It was between 40 and 45 degrees throughout, but I was strangely comfortable. I guess I was dressed just right. My 50-cent plastic poncho stayed on for half the race! (Dollar Tree, two for a dollar, yay!) I took a chance and wore my new Ininji toe socks for the first time and managed not to get even one blister, despite running in submerged shoes.

So this is what even splits feel like? It was not my most pleasant race, but definitely my smartest one. I finally started a race without going out too fast in the first mile. It took every ounce of self-control I had to not run with the crowd and stand by as so many people passed me (and I lined up way in the back!), but I kept the adrenaline surge at bay. Then in mile two, I discovered that my legs felt a little, well, dead and heavy. All that marathon training I guess. They were actually burning in mile two. What was that?? Maybe they just needed warming up, but that didn't happen in the last race. In the last half, I went out feeling great (perhaps TOO great) and it came back and bit me in the....

I finally warmed up and found a friend from Clarksville to run with, and the conversation kept me going pretty easily for the next 4 or 5 miles. I came to the half-way turnaround at around 1:03. (Where they were serving BEER oddly enough. Thanks, but not right now. I'm racing here.) I was still holding steady, but my friend was ready to speed up a bit, so I was on my own for the rest of the course. I stayed pretty consistent and on pace. I walked through the 4 water stops today, and I think that helped me mentally as much as anything.

The finish was a little anticlimactic. The brochure says, "Finish in the Titans' football stadium on the 50 yard line! See yourself on the Jumbotron and hear your name called! Get your medal from a Titans Cheerleader!" Whatev. I ran around the perimeter of the stadium on soggy, muddy, sorta slippery grass, never heard my name called or saw myself on the Jumbotron, and I'm pretty sure the kid who gave me my medal was, like, nine years old. But I was happy to be finished, nevertheless. (As I was crossing the mat, I heard my sweet husband, standing in the rain, shout, "Go, Honey!" That was good enough for me.)

Mile splits and such:
Mile 1-- 9:48
Mile 2--9:52
Mile 3--9:58 (took a gel at 2.5 and walked at the water stop for 10 seconds. It was Gu Chocolate Outrage. My FAVORITE gel of all time. +caffeine!)
Mile 4--9:54
Mile 5--10:03 (walked water stop, drank Gatorade)
Mile 6--9:54
Mile 7--9:56
Mile 8--10:07 (walked water stop at 7.5 and gel'd again. Gu Espresso Love with 2X caffeine. Not my fav.)
Mile 9-- 9:54
Mile 10--9:48 (Yay! tied for fastest mile of the day with mile 1)
Mile 11--10:17. OOPS. (I walked the water stop and took 1/2 of a Gu Lemon Lime. Not bad. I also had a problem with the zipper on my jacket. It got stuck and I was fiddling around with it and got off pace a bit.)
Mile 12-- 9:56 Back on track
Mile 13-- 9:55
.32-- 8:34 avg. pace. Finished strong. Garmin recorded fastest pace of the day: a ridiculous 4:26. Seriously? No way. Must have been for about one second.

Other than some post-Gu tummy issues, I'm feeling pretty well. I ice-bathed my ankles only (so much better when it's ONLY your ankles). My knees are a little on the tender side as I go down steps, but nothing terrible.

Did I leave it all out there today? Nope. I ran steady and smart for a change and didn't kill myself on any of it. And that was apparently good enough for a PR. I have to run 20 (for the first time!)* either Wednesday or Friday. I had to save something for that!

*I think I PR'd on use of parentheses in this post, too.


StangLuvr said…
Congrats!!!! Sounds like we were close at the start. I was near the back, close to the sidewalk on the parking lot side. THEY WERE SERVING BEER AT THE HALFWAY POINT? That sucks. I didn't hear them. I would have never made it back....hehehe (But I would have PRed anyway) My IT Band was killing me by the time I walked up to the bananas. Then coming down the stairs after going up to the food was no fun either. Maybe next race we are at we can plan to meet prior to running.
Tina said…
Congratulations on your PR and for running at such an even pace!

I had an Espresso Love Gu this morning, too, and I didn't like it as much as I used to so I picked up some vanilla and tri-berry Gu.

I'm sorry you were drenched during the half, but I'm glad you didn't get any blisters.

Happy Running!
Lisa said…
Congrats on a great race and on your PR! I hope to be at that pace soon. How long have you been running?
MCM Mama said…
Congrats on your PR! Great job on the race!
Lisa said…
Thank you for such a very nice and helpful comment. I was not athletic either and really surprised myself when I found that I enjoyed running. I know that running more miles will help with everything, including speed; I just wish it would happen sooner rather than later. I’m glad I’m doing the 10k; I need to do this in baby steps and not set myself up for failure. I just need to keep telling myself that it WILL get easier and I WILL get faster. I don’t want to be a speed demon; I just want to set realistic goals and hopefully accomplish them, that’s a really nice feeling. I’m going to search your archives for inspiration. I’m glad that I found your blog, and knowing that we are close in age is nice because we probably share a lot of the same obstacles and challenges that some of the younger bloggers haven’t discovered yet. Thanks again and good luck with your marathon! You have a great mindset re your running and yes, we have accomplished so much more than all the people at home on their couches!
Run Mommy said…
That is wonderful! I am sure it was a bummer that is poured rain but your splits look great and you finished strong. This must make you feel even more confident in your marathon right?? Great work!
Anonymous said…
Awesome job! Great time too! Oh my goodness, it rained the entire time?? Oh yuck, I give you credit for sticking it out! YOU ROCK!
Jules said…
woo hoo! What a great accomplishment! 13.1 in the go.

Guess we BOTH had rainy ick races this wknd! ha

Way to go. Great race report. I am running 20 this weekend too, probally Friday. I have a big church thing I am in charge of Sat at 5 and I dont want to be dead tired and pooping all day. So Friday it is. Good luck with yours.
Bethany said…
Great Race!!! Sucks about the rain, but way to bust through it :) Best wishes for your 20 miles. I am so proud of you! It really makes me excited reading your progress towards April 25th!!!
Amy said…
Yay!!!!!! Awesome job!!

And... I don't have a garmin (yet), but I felt like the race was a little long, too... and I always heard people's garmins going off wayyy before the mile markers on the course.

Anyway... great job and good luck with the 20! You're doing awesome right now, so I'm sure it'll be a breeze :)
Cyndi said…
Just wanted to stop in and say hi - I saw your profile over at Runner's Lounge...I also am a mom of 3 and started running in July 08. Running has indeed changed my life in the last 8 months!

I am training for my first 1/2 marathon in May.

Nice job on the race - excellent stats!
Stacey said…
Congratulations on your PR!! Sounds like a great race. I got my marathon PR on a rainy day too. I think there is something good about running in the rain.

I think this was the best: "Did I leave it all out there today? Nope. I ran steady and smart for a change and didn't kill myself on any of it."

That's great.
Bill said…
It certainly did rain Saturday, didn't it? We had a ton of mud, but I wouldn't trade it for Tom King any day.

Congratulations on a very smartly paced race. That's the way to do it. And you've poised yourself well for a memorable CMM.

But I can't believe you passed up the beer! ;^) By the time I hit the half-way point last year, I realized it wouldn't hurt.
Lovely ... way to go!!