Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marathon Recap: Part I

I have been thinking about this marathon post for the last couple of days and have decided that it has to be a 2 part post... I hope I don't bore you all with them, but I really want to properly capture it so I can come back and re-read it when I need to remember the events of the marathon.

So part I will be a high level post (but still sort of long!), part II will delve into the splits, etc.

So here goes!

On Saturday afternoon, Amber and I met up with Lauren and her manfriend and headed to the expo. It was awesome to meet Lauren and manfriend face-to-face after reading her blog for such a long time. She was exactly how she comes off in her blog! It was great meeting her boyfriend - they are such a fun/cute couple. I definitely wish we lived closer so I could hang out with them more often, but we did discuss meeting up for a destination half marathon in the future!

After getting our numbers and wandering around the expo, we headed to dinner at a local restaurant that actually had some gluten free pasta options!! It was a cute little restaurant and the service was awesome. Our server was a runner so she understood that we were hydrating and was great about constantly re-filling our water glasses.

We got back to the hotel and the nerves really started to set in. I knew it was going to be raining the next day and I have rarely ran in the rain, so I hemmed and hawed about what to wear. Amber posted a question on the Portland Marathon page on facebook and on Twitter to get recommendations, which was so helpful. Someone commented and said to dress for the temperature and not for the rain; the temps were going to be in the 60s, so I went with my original planned and layed out my marathon outfit.

This is the same outfit that I wore on the 20 mile run - that run went so well, I figured I would wear it again!

We went to bed early but I tossed and turned all night and never really fell into a deep sleep. Before I knew it, our 4:45 alarm was going off and Amber and I both sprung out of bed! And I mean that literally. There was no pressing the snooze button that morning. We had a marathon to run!

Amber snapped this photo of me before we headed out the door!

It was lightly raining as we walked to the starting line and I thought - 'eh, we can do this. I can handle a drizzle.'

Well, that drizzle turned into a heavy rain. And then the wind came up. As we lined up to start the race, I looked at Amber and said - 'this is hell.'

Ok, I know there are worse things than running the rain, but it is really, really mentally grueling to run in the rain for ~ 4.5 hours. What choice did we have, though, right?

I had picked up a 4:30 pace bracelet and the night before, I wrote down a name next to each mile and dedicated each mile to a family member, nephew, or special person in my life. Looking back, this was a really, really smart thing to do because each mile, I would focus on that person. I would envision their face or I would think about fun things we had done together. I dedicated some of the later miles in the race to friends/family members who are pregnant right now and when I was really struggling, I thought of how hard they will work to bring their baby into the world. Thinking of that helped me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Which is exactly what I did! My goal was to run the entire thing and to only walk through aid stations, and I accomplished that goal. I really wanted to stop and walk during some of the final miles, but I pushed through and kept running, albeit a little slower than I ran the earlier miles.

I'll be back with my splits and other reflections, but for now, I will leave you with some stats!

  • I finished ahead of 44% of the men!
  • I finished ahead of 72% of the women!
  • In the final 6.2 miles, I passed 239 runners and was passed by 41 runners.
  • I finished ahead of 64% of the women in my age group (25-29)
  • My average pace was 6 mph

It probably sounds braggy to mention these stats, but I am mentioning them because I have come so far since my last marathon. For starters, I took nearly 28 minutes off my time. Plus, when you consider the fact that I took a long break from running, returned to the sport and could barely run 10 minutes miles for 2-4 miles and now held that pace for 26.2 miles, it makes me even more proud of how far I have come!

So this is what you can take away form this post: If you want to run a marathon, you can do it. It wasn't long ago that I was huffing and puffing and struggled to run 2-3 miles at a time. It takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance - if you have those things, and the desire to run a marathon, you can do it!

I'll be back later this week with part II!


Charbelle said...


qwerkyqook said...

Your stats are awesome! It's amazing what your body can do. Congrats!!

Jess said...

Nothing "braggy" about this post at all!! You did amazing and you should be proud of yourself.

I love the idea of focusing on a loved one before each mile. What a good way to keep motivated. I can't wait to hear more about the run - I'm really happy for you!!

Anonymous said...

I love this post, you're my hero! Congratulations again!
I LOVE your idea of having a family member/friend to think about each mile, I feel like this would really work for me!

Emily Jane said...

There is absolutely nothing "braggy" about ANY of this - the stats are AMAZING!!! I am so SO proud of you!!

Kyla Roma said...

"For starters, I took nearly 28 minutes off my time." LISA! WOAH! That's wild, that's not braggy, that's incredible! It blows my mind that you're able to do these things at all, never mind do them and knock a half hour off your time on the course.

You and Amber, and all the other marathoners, are beyond amazing to me. Love you guys! :)

Nora said...

That is so, so sweet that you dedicated each mile to someone special in your life! What a great way to look at the race and help get you through.

There is nothing at all wrong with relishing in your accomplishments. You did a GREAT Thing and should be incredibly proud of yourself, which those stats prove. So way to go, Lisa. Still so happy for you and proud of you; I knew you'd rock it!

Marlys said...

WOW - That was amazing! I'm so glad you shared that with us! I still can't fathom running in the rain like that so it makes it all the more heroic that you accomplished what you did!

Abby said...

That is incredible, Lisa!!! That is not braggy at ALL. You hit a huge accomplishment. I think is one can gruel through 26.2 miles, they are alllowed to "talk" a little ;)

That's pretty amazing finished 65% above your age group, too. For your age group for women is the toughest one to beat!!

You rock!

That's SUCH a cool idea about the name bracelet! I think I'm going to steal your idea!!

Becky said...

You can be as braggy as you want! You RAN over 26 miles! That's rockstar!

And what an incredible idea to do each mile for someone in your life - what a perspective! Can't wait to read part 2!

Lisa-Marie said...

Lisa, your are properly awesome. To run in the rain for a mile is good, to run a marathon in the rain is beyond words!

And how sweet that you ran each mile for a family member!

Go on, do some more bragging, I'd be shouting from the rooftops!

Unknown said...

How interesting. I really liked how you envisioned different loved ones during the race. What a smart idea to keep one's mind occupied.

What an accomplishment. Bravo!!

I loved this post.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

yay! ;) i am so proud of you! hopefully i will get right back into my mix of the couch to 5 k and hal higdon after i have this baby. right now walking is about as strenuous as my exhaustion will get! ;)

Mandy said...

I got sort of teary reading this. You and Amber are absolutely amazing. Before the two of you started sharing your running with us, I had no idea how much running was a mental sport. The fact that you trained your bodies to go this extraordinary distance is phenonomonal.

I love that you dedicated each mile to someone special in your life, what a great way to focus on getting through to the next one.

You, my friend, are an inspiration. I'm so, so proud of you. Love you!

Cherry Blossoms said...

you did such an AMAZING job!! Very proud of you!! Even though I get bored when I run you give me inspiration to at least run a half someday!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I absolutely LOVE the idea of dedicating each mile to someone you know. That is so touching and thoughtful and fabulous and you might have made me tear up reading about it.

Also? You're so right ... anyone who wants to run a marathon can. I've always said it's 50% physical and 50% mental ... it's often getting over the mental barriers before people realize what their bodies will allow them to do!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Great post! I love the way you dedicated your miles, especially to those ones having babies or who are struggling, for those final miles. I'm sure that made it 'easier' in some sense to keep pushing. Now we just need to figure out where that destination might be!

Amber said...

Not braggy AT ALL! You worked hard for this and you know what, you kind of should brag ;-)

So proud of you, my friend!

Stephany said...

So, dedicating each mile to someone special in your life is pretty much the best idea ever! I mean, it gives you something else to focus on and just imagining them & how proud they must be of you must have helped so much! I love that idea!!

This post was not braggy in the least. You accomplished something amazing. And not only did you accomplish it, you SMASHED your old marathon PR.

It gives me hope that one day, I'll be able to run 3 miles without feeling like I'm going to die. 26 miles? Now that's a different story. ;)

abbi said...

Look at those stats! Awesome! You definitely rocked the marathon, can't wait to read more about it.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Awesome post. I LOVE that you dedicated each mile to someone important to you! I might use these tips even on my short runs :)

Your stats are AWESOME too and you should brag about them- you have come far and you should be proud of yourself. I suppose if I really put in the effort my body could do a marathon but I don't know if my knees would take it well at all. I'd probably never run again if I made it through a marathon, so to me it's not worth it. But that doesn't mean I don't LOVE cheering you guys on :)

Shoshanah said...

I really love the idea of dedicating each mile to a person! And you definitely should be braggy about how you did! I would be bragging too if I were you

Erin said...

Thanks for sharing!!! I have been waiting (somewhat) patiently to hear how things went for you :) You are a total inspiration!!! You make me want to train for a marathon. Right now I'm just focusing on the 5k I'm running in December :)
p.s. Seriously-----I am SOOOO impressed with your results and think you are an inspiration to ANYONE thinking of giving marathon training a try!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

You did SO well!!!!!!!!! I am very happy for you, and inspired by you :-)

Anonymous said...

niiice!! great job!


Carolina John said...

That's amazing Lisa. You did so good! i so wish I could have been there to cheer you on.

Fantastic babe, rock on.

J said...

I love the stats for the race Lisa! You did so well even with the rain! I can't imagine running 26.2 miles soaking wet! Great job! Hope you are recovering well!

Nicole said...

I can't even imagine running 4.5 hours in the rain. You are amazing, and those stats are just further proof of that. You are such an inspiration for me to get out there and do it!