About me

Race Report: Windermere Marathon: an emotional and physical ADVENTURE:)

I'm a bit sad that I am stuck in BED unable to walk on this beautiful day....but it gives me a chance to write while my husband takes some pictures of nearby waterfalls:)

Okay....wow! well..this marathon went nothing as planned just like a lot of people told me COULD happen. I guess I was hoping it would go EXACTLY as planned but that's okay.
I do feel blessed I was able to run today, but there will always be that little part of me that wishes conditions had been better...
The weather the last 2 days was showing 80 degrees today with thunderstorms and lightening...but when I woke this beautiful morning it was all blue skies!
I got up, and got ready....I was so excited and SURE everything was going to be PERFECT!

When we started the race it was already 60degrees:) at 7am!!!! I THOUGHT this was good thing. WRONG.
I have been training in sub 50 degree weather for the last 7 months and I had NO idea what it felt like to run in warm warm weather. The weather got up to 75 degrees during our race and I have never felt heat effect me like that before.
I started off slow like my coach told me to do....did the first 2 miles at 7:55 and 7:45 pace. it was just perfect! I was smiling and SO HAPPY!!!!!
then I cut down to 5 -10 seconds slower than race pace. I could feel that Yes, it did FEEL a bit harder with the elevation but I thought thats okay!
I was in the 7:25-7:30 pace until mile 12 and it felt great!
By mile 12 I was REALLY hot. This path had no shade at all..just wide open under hot sun and I could FEEL it. (I actually have a sun burn on my face:)).
it was SO nice to see my family! at Mile 2, 4, 8 and 12.5:)

At mile 12 I started to notice my pace dropping....I couldn't really figure out WHY to be honest? I had felt fine, wasn't tired...just extremely HOT. Again...I have never run or raced in heat so I didn't really know what to make of it...but my pace just kept getting slower and slower. it was a really strange feeling b/c I had done so many training runs much faster than this at longer distances. I was feeling a bit confused and starting to wonder what the next half of this race was going to be like???

by mile 14, My pace was dropping more.... the course felt really hilly to me starting around this point.....and not a lot of down hill like I was expecting.
By mile 17 I felt inside like something was wrong. I was TRYING to embrace the experience and let go of time goals b/c I was now running all my miles between 9 and 9:30 min miles which is normally a recovery pace for me and it felt really difficult.
As the miles past I continued to see my 3:20 slipping away. The goal moved to 3:25...then 3:30...then 3:35....then to JUST FINISHING.

I know my body was capable of SO MUCH MORE! I have run 7:29 pace for 20 straight miles for peets sake! but all I could control was my attitude....which became a feet in itself:)

The winds picked up and were coming from the side and sometimes from the front. (as I stare out my window right now it looks like a hurricane is a brewing by the way the trees are swaying).
From mile 16 or so on, I had to walk through the aid stations so that I could guzzle TWO full cups of water at each one. I have never felt so thirsty in all my life! I kept thinking..."why can't I stay and drink 2 more?" lol....

At mile 22, that silly muscle that runs up the outside of my calf (attached to the toe flexers) was giving me sharp pain. This is the one that made me walk home from my run on Wednesday.

for a moment I thought "oh my gosh, this better not prevent me from finishing?"...I stopped to try and stretch it but then when I tried to run again, it hurt more so I thought it better to keep moving even if it was slow.
I was 4th female in line they told me at Mile 20 but I got passed by 3 girls and ended up 7th female overall:) I honestly didn't even care anymore...I was just praying I didn't pass out from heat exhuastion:)

Anyway....so at mile 25 I see my husband and I just start to cry, I felt like I was dragging along, in pain and completely beaten. I had missed my goal by oohh.... 15 minutes! lol and I just wanted to stop.
He was so sweet and encouraging and ran with me to the finish! I cried half the way there but I did it.
I hit 26.24 miles and couldn't even SEE the finish line! damn race has been off every year except in the past they were too short...seems like they OVER compensated by .20 miles this year to make up for it.
My finishing time for 26.4 miles according to MY garmin and 26.2 according to them was 3:35:33.
I sat down and CRIED. ....and cried and cried......I felt so bad for crying. I felt ashamed that I wasn't happy with my time. I promised myself I would be happy no matter what but it was hard to swallow.
My coach was so great, I thought he would be disappointed in me, but he said he was amazed that I ran a 3:35 in those conditions and that he wanted to send me an article to read about how heat and elevation affects long distance performance.

I also admit my wonderful family and friends on face book made me feel SO good about it and that helped a lot. My sisters wrote the sweetest things to me and then My mom called me and just to HEAR how proud she was of me for FINISHING made me realize that I had done something really GREAT and that I could just accept that and be at peace.

I am trying to remind myself of the heat, the wind, the injury and illnesses I've had recently and be PROUD but it is hard for me.
To my non-running friends and family they are AMAZED at 3:35 and it's VERY sweet but to me who KNEW i could run a 3:20.....well..you get it.
I just don't understand my body and how it stopped "working" as it seemed at mile 12:(
I am proud that I never gave up and that I did my very best for TODAY:)

I placed 29th overall for the race, 7th overall for females and 3rd in my age group. I got a cute cup too:):)

* interesting fact * I compared this years results to last 2 years results and the winning times were about 20min slower than the past with men and women. first female was only 3:20:/
AND the guy who won the race THIS year ran it 6min FASTER LAST YEAR.

and the 3rd place female LAST year ran it in 3:22 and this year ran it in 3:46!! that's a huge difference and actually makes me feel better and know that I am not the ONLY one who was extremely affected by the heat.*

Anyway, I won't be running any marathons for at least a year (Steve is thanking me for that!) but I KNOW I will run that 3:20, i'm just too determined to stop now. (in fact, i will bet I can run better than a 3:20 on my next one! I'm so stubborn and competitive:) lol). At least this marathon means I can get a HUGE PR next time:)

In the mean time I will continue to work on 5k,10k and half marathon distances:) and PRAY I heal in 2 weeks so I can WALK PROPERLY IN MAUI!!!!

I am thankful to my God for holding off that calf pain as long as He did. For my husband, dad and Susan who came all this way to support me and for all my friends who have made me feel so great about what I did today.

I am sure as I absorb this experience over the next few days I will be even more grateful for it.

I will post pictures (we have A LOT OF THEM!) when I get home tomorrow night. I probably have the most beautifully documented first marathon ever b/c of my loving husband and his awesome Photog skillz! thanks baby!