Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Manitoba Marathon Race Recap & (lots of) Photos.

Manitoba Marathon results: 2:58:10 for 2nd female finisher.

This is the first time I have had a chance to sit down and try to accurately describe the events of this past Sunday. To tell you the truth, I was in a sort of comatose state running this 26.2 mile race and I really don't remember most of it. I am going to do my best to recap this race, I may be off by a mile or two, but here it goes.

The race was set to go off at 7:00AM, so I woke just after 4:00am so I would be sure to get my stomach filled (and emptied) before the race start. I was nervous but I slept really well (because Maddy slept well). I don't know if I was more nervous for the race or leaving my Husband with my father, daughter, and nephew! I must say, on a fathers day, Houston really carried the team. He is honestly one of the most amazing men you could ever meet and I am so thankful he is mine.

After an extremely emotional Canadian National Anthem (it's been a while since I have race in my home country) the gun went off and I found myself in 3rd by about the 2nd mile. As we entered the first residential area, my hip cramped up and I slowed (see splits below). I tried not to get frustrated but I contemplated dropping out: CRAZY, YES! Because just after mile 8 it started to get loose. That was the last time I felt it the entire race (thank you P.T. Shannon, I could NOT have done it without you, after ten year, I finally have some RELIEF).

This picture was somewhere around mile 7 or 8 I think.

MILE 1-9:   6:43, 6:40, 6:38, 6:43, 6:48, 6:50, 6:48, 6:48, 6:44

Mile 10

My  hip had loosened up and I found myself back on pace but well over 20 seconds down. Instead of waiting and gradually moving back on number 1-2, I caught them within 2 miles (I would pay for this later in the race). I talked with the lady that would eventually finish third, a mother of two and probably the best marathoner of the three of us. She had ran Fargo just over a month earlier and let me know that her legs just were not feeling it today. After chatting a few minutes, I picked it up and would not see her again until the finish.

This picture is across the foot bridge around mile 11.

Splits 10-16
6:40, 6:33, 6:41, 6:50, 6:44, 6:41, 6:43

I caught up to the women in first at about mile 12/13. Instead of running with me, she tried repeatedly to get right on my butt when we had the whole road to run along. This made me angry. On the track is one thing, but seriously, drafting during a marathon when it is completely unnecessary...come on! I think I darted to each side of the road about half a dozen times and she just didn't get it. I eventually got extremely frustrated and decided to drop the pace down. This would at least give me some breathing room. Unfortunately, I freaked out and let her back up was still so early.

Once she did tire, I made another big move and lead from about mile 18-25

Splits 16-24
6:38, 6:34, 6:43, 6:49, 6:43, 6:47, 6:52, 6:54

Around 18 or 19 miles, we caught up with a lot of walkers from the half. As I was passing  one women waddling along, I heard her say out loud, "I AM A BIG DEAL." I could not help but laugh, did she accidentally say that out loud? About 10 seconds later, I passed a volunteer holding a sign that said just that. Upon passing her, she shouted out to me, "NICE ABS." It took me about a mile to figure out she was actually talking to me. After all, I was running a marathon and not really all there.

Mile 24
I don't quite think that the BEAR jumped on me but this is where everything started changing. My back started to cramp up, similar to what it has done in training when I have suffered from dehydration...  I began to freak out and I thought I was going to crash and burn. I started to take my salt stick but realized the last two pills I had dissolved in my (completely soaked) shorts. I didn't come all this way to kill my race with only 3 miles to go, so I started pacing off a man in front of me. I told myself, "If I can run 7 minute pace until the end, I will still be under 3 hours". Breaking 3 hours was more important than winning, 1000 dollars, anything else. I didn't want to be greedy, I wanted to run under 3 hours and I wanted to finish this damn race.
"Humpty Dumpty had wall issues also.." 

Mile 24-26
7:01, 7:05, (6:29 pace for .48- yes the course was long, but I will take long over hilly any day.)

I was passed at mile 25, and I couldn't think enough to cover the move...I'm not sure I was thinking at all. I just wanted to break 3 hours, I kept picturing myself crashing...I tried to keep myself calm. My biker (yes, I had the biker the whole race, how totally VIP) started trying to get me fired up the entire time... and with 450 meters to go I realized three things:
1.) I wasn't going to die
2.) I could still win
3.) I had WAY to much left
Before entering the track for the finish

I ran this last 450 meters like I was running the last lap of the looked ridiculous. Though I made up alot of distance, I eventually ran out of time and lost by 11 seconds. At the time, it didn't bother me. Now, it makes me furious. I hate loosing in a race I was capable of winning... I did everything I have been taught not to do. Don't loose a race in the last mile, especially when you led when it was hard.

I have been keeping my cool by telling myself that I will get another shot, and things will be different next time. I will be faster and stronger. In January, I was running just under 1:28 for the half coming off my pregnancy. This time, I am in 1:22 shape or faster. I will be much fitter for my next marathon.
Finishing Kick. 

After the finish they walked me to a small VIP tent and attempted to feed us some super spicy food....I wanted none of it. We were all given a "go to" person. She kept trying to bring me things...chocolate milk...water....a dry coat. I really just wanted to see my Maddy and Husband. It had been a long morning. After all, I had been running for almost 3 hours!!!

I must give mad props to my Husband. He made it to almost every major section, and offered me gatorade and a few extra gels (I took 7 gels, two salt sticks, and plenty of gatorade) how awesome! At the end of the day, me and my Sis took everyone out for fathers day. I helped myself to a burger and almost 16 ounces of wine. I slept terrible because of this.

I took two whole days off and basically ate the same as if I had been running. Not sure why but my appetite has not changed. I'm not to worried about it, I am pretty sure I will lose whatever ounce I gain through training in the next few weeks.

Besides the back cramp late, this marathon was easy. I ran conservatively and truly believe I can run under 2:55. My new goal is 6:38 pace (I just ran 6:46 pace for 26.48 miles). I am pretty sure Houston knows what works for me now. I am quite confident that the marathon will be my race from here forward. After all, I did go sub-3 my first time out the gates. Thats gotta count for something.

Thank you everyone for the support and for the congrats, it means alot to me! I have found inspiration in all of you and I appreciate each and everyone on of you! It was a damn good weekend.

Check her out at:

As for Maddy...she had a blast with her cousin Aiden. She played so hard and came back INSPIRED as well. Climbing on EVERYTHING and talking more than ever. How fast she grows amazes me, I don't know if I want her to keep growing or stay the same! 
Aiden bothering me and Maddy

Grandpa, Maddy, Aiden!

Mommy and Maddy, my sister Andrea (she ran the half in 1:53 after organizing two relay teams and playing an entire softball tournament the night before)

My Maddy!

That's all I got! Back to family time. Happy running, all!



{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Beautiful race recap and awesome running! I am so impressed by your speed - keep up the great running and I love your Humpty Dumpty pic! On a side note, I too have problems with my hip....where do you feel the cramp and what advice do you have? Mahalo!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

you are simply amazing. what an experience! it amazes me that you held the pace until the last 2 miles and THEN, ONLY fell off just a little. I have been known to fall off my minutes in the final miles(seriously).

I'm fairly new to your blog. Would you consider a short recap of your training?

You are very welcome!

(fast marathons to consider - Huntsville, Snickers, Stennis - many say it's boring - I like it - I'm weird - but it's SUPER FAST if the weather is right) Can't wait to here your future marathon race plans, but for now RECOVERY and RELAXATION. You EARNED IT!

lindsay said...

maddy is ADORABLE!

and amazing, amazing race report. your marathon pace is my 5k pace... man i feel slow :) i wish i could run as fast as you!! i know what you meant about being disappointed for not turning it on sooner to try and win, but just remember that sub-3 was your goal and you got it! besides, that other woman had extra energy from drafting off you ;)

congrats again!!

Lize Brittin said...

Congratulations! Great photos and recap. :)

Haley said...

Wow, that's awesome. What a great race!!
So proud of you :)

Running and living said...

I've just discovered your blog and absolutely loved reading it. I am on a long term chase for a sub 3, and reading this report was inspirational. I love the determination on your face. I hope you are superproud of yourself; I remember a post where you said your goal for the first marathon is to did a heck more than that, sub 3 is amazing. Next time for the win, for sure!

Jenn said...

Wow!! Awesome recap and great race! HOLY Batman-speedy! Your FIRST marathon!!! Found you on Ginny's blog! I've run the half in Manitoba a couple of times and had family running it this year (I ran Grandma's in Duluth this year.) I also recognized Cindy Sondag in your picture! I've seen her at the start of a couple of races but lost her QUICKLY-ha!

Love all the pictures! Really amazing accomplishment and such a great read! CONGRATS!

Caitlyn Clark said...

LOVE THE RECAP! SO AWESOME! Hope you're recovered nicely. I'm finally starting to run again, hoping to run a half in November if I can keep increasing training. This pumped me up big time.

mrn said...

so i just now read this--didn't realize your race had already happened--CONGRATS! just finishing your first marathon is an accomplishment (yes, even the lady who was waddling around on the course was somewhat of a big deal) and to do so with such a tough and consistent race is even more remarkable. i have no doubt you'll improve in leaps and bounds next time. enjoy some relaxation and then get back to training!