I wen’t into the Marathon knowing at some point it’s going to suck and be hard. But I forget just how hard it gets. The Marathon really doesn’t begin until mile 20, that’s where you can either start fighting or start giving in.
I was feeling good for the first half. I was taking it easy – so I thought. It felt easy. I would even back off if I looked at my watch and I was going under 8. I passed the half-way point, and was right where I wanted to be – 1 hour 45 minutes. I was happy, and still felt good, and getting excited that this might be the day I qualify. I also still knew there would be a wall… no matter how good I felt, the wall was coming.
Around mile 15 my legs started feeling tighter and stiffer. Around mile 16 it was getting harder to hold my 8 ish pace. Mile 18 I accepted the fact that I won’t be qualifying this day. Mile 20 my only goal was to not walk. Mile 22 one of my running friends passed me and I broke down. I was a mess till mile 24. Mile 25 I pulled things together and picked up the pace for the last mile.
I am proud that I didn’t walk. It was still my 2nd best Marathon time. But how the heck did I run my first Marathon?? I haven’t been able to get close to that time. It’s crazy. Here’s my Garmin map of the race –
I learned some things for the Niagara Falls Marathon next month. I’m going to take it much easier in the beginning. I will stretch/roll out my muscles before the race. I wen’t into this Marathon with tight calfs at the start. I will probably force myself do use a gu/gel earlier in the race. During Rochester I only used one gel at mile 11. I had another with me, but I didn’t want it.
I have a month till my next Marathon – I’m thinking as soon as my muscles recover from yesterday I’ll keep my mileage high for a few weeks, then have a few weeks to taper. If I don’t qualify for Boston next month, then thats fine… I’ll have a year off (road) Marathons, while I run tons of trails next year!
Here’s my results:
Time: 3:48:49 (8:44 min/mile)
8th in my age group out of 33
192 overall out of 603
40th female overall out of… 200ish? (not sure exactly)