Saturday, November 5, 2011

marathon PR!

It was a perfect day for a marathon personal record (PR)! I registered for the inaugural Savannah Rock n Roll marathon over a year ago with a promotion code that saved me $30. Then shortly afterwards, there was talk amongst my twitter friends of renting a house on the beach; count me in!
I finally got to meet Tara yesterday after interacting with her for years on twitter. She ran the half marathon with two of her other wonder women friends. Loved their costume! Here we are waiting in the long line for the shuttle buses to the start. If this were my first race I would have been panicking because time was ticking and we were still in a long line. The race actually started before our bus dropped us off. But thank goodness there was a wave start and chip timing! I wasn't able to get to my starting corral, which was disappointing because I really wanted to start with Tonya. But I didn't let it get me down because this was going to be the day that all my hard training would pay off.

The temperature ranged from mid-40s to mid-50s with sunny skies and little humidity. I wore a skirt, tall socks, a singlet and my Chicago marathon arm warmers. I had applied body glide liberally to every part that I thought might chafe, but since this was only my second time wearing arm warmers I found out the hard way that I forgot to apply body glide to the parts that would rub against the arm warmers. I started with what felt like a slow pace, although the splits on my Garmin Forerunner 310XT seemed to indicate otherwise. It was an easy, comfortable pace but faster than what would normally be easy which I chalked up to being on a flat course rather than my usual hilly training routes. I decided to go by perceived effort rather than the watch. At 10K, I picked up the pace a little more. It still wasn't a hard pace, but a little more than easy. Miles 4-17 were at roughly a 10 minute/mile pace. Then the wheels started to fall off.. Not from pushing too hard of a pace, but because my left IT band started sending shooting pain into my knee. I took more frequent walk/stretch breaks to try to work through this, which resulted in paces in the 11 minutes/mile range for miles 18-22 and then 12 minutes/mile for the last 4.2 miles.

The shooting pain hurt, chafing from my arm warmers screamed, but I was determined to finish this race running rather than walking. I worked hard to get this far and am leaving it all out on the course. My fastest marathon finish time before this was 5:27 in my first marathon in 2008. My second marathon finish time was 5:45 in Chicago thanks to IT band problems. My third marathon finish time was 6:16 over a mountainous course. I've lost 20 pounds, trained harder and had my goal set for 4:59 on this flat course today. I totally ROCKED it with a 4:46 finish! 41 minutes faster than my fastest marathon. I'm a happy girl!

I cried tears of pride and amazement as I crossed the finish line. I shared my success with friends and family via phone calls and text messages and to my virtual friends via twitter. The congratulations were almost overwhelming. I am so thankful to be part of this great running community! I eventually made it back to the beach house and rewarded myself with an ice bath in the Atlantic Ocean. Life is great!

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