Monday, April 30, 2012

First Marathon: Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 2012 Race Report

My race expectations changed as frequently as the weather forecast this week. At one point, we were expecting a glorious low of 51 and high of 61. My dream weather. Instead we got a low in the 60's, high of 75 by the time I finished, mostly cloudy, and some rain. I have cloudy brain on half marathons so it's really cloudy for a full. On Friday I talked and texted with some friends who helped me realize that I put a lot of (unneccessary) pressure on myself to measure success by speed. Based on my long run pace, I felt like sub-5 was within reach... with good weather. As it became clear that it would be warmer than ideal, I became ok with letting that goal become a lofty "A" goal, but totally ok if I couldn't hit it. I really didn't even know where to set "B" and "C" goals, so I spread them out at 5:30 and 6:00. I got a little emotional telling Jake goodbye at the entrance to the corrals. Dork! I lined up at the very front of the C corral, nowhere near a pacer. It was a different feeling to look at my Garmin to be sure I wasn't going out too fast, rather than hitting a goal pace. Early in the race, I just ran for comfort, not to hit a certain pace. From the first beep of my watch at mile one, I took a one minute walk break at each mile. I'm sure it did some physical good, I know it helped psychologically, and it's what I did on every long run in training. In the first or second mile, I passed a group of firefighters walking the race in full bunker gear- very inspirational. I didn't see a fire truck displaying an American flag on the course, but this worked for me.

I saw runners taking beer for the first time in mile 5. Mile 6 held vodka. I didn't partake. For not training on hills, I was surprised at how well I handled the hills. I passed lots of runners who walked up the hills. The hill with a name- Gorilla Hill- didn't phase me. I saw Libby and Jake at the same time around mile 8. The miles were passing quickly. Before I knew it, we were at 11. There were two periods of steady rainfall. It felt good and was peaceful. I naturally started picking up the pace around 13 and just went with it. The volunteers and spectators were awesome. I loved having my name on my bib and having people cheer for me by name. It helped! I saw Jake just before mile 14, when we hit the lake. He gave me a package of Pringles because I knew those are easy on my running tummy and good for the salt. By this point I really didn't want another Honey Stinger waffle or chews. This was also when I saw a 5:15 pacer because the course had a very short out & back portion. I never saw that sign again. I didn't particularly like the lake portion, not because it wasn't pretty or anything, I think just because it was too far from the finish to be happy. Those were some of my fastest miles, though.  I started taking Powerade at some aid stations for the sugar. I also took oranges a few times. They were the best oranges I've ever had and I normally don't even like oranges! I saw Jake again just before mile 21. I was starting to hurt but held it together for another 2 miles before the hurt got worse. 23 was rough for me. It was a great pick-me-up to see Corina and some other NTX Runners walking backwards on the course during that mile.
Pic borrowed from Mama C- she turned around and ran alongside me until she could get the pic. Love her.

From 23 on, I walked at every half mile and through most aid stations. I was shocked later to see that my pace in those miles wasn't as bad as I felt. Jake was waiting for me about .3 miles from the finish. He ran with me until I entered the finishers chute. I could see the finish line and knew from my watch that I could finish under 5:15. I gave it all I had, finishing stronger than I ever imagined I'd be able to, with a pace near 9:00. My official time was 5:13:46, with an average pace of 11:59 (my Garmin shows my distance as 26.51 dropping my pace to 11:50). I picked up fluids, a couple cookies, had my picture taken, and claimed my first finishers shirt. I promise to wash it nightly, but I may wear that thing for the next week. I also saw Elaine before leaving.
Pic borrowed from Elaine- she squealed and said, "Ooh! I gotta text Lesley, she's dying to know how you did" and then she whipped out her phone and texted Lesley.

The walk to the car wasn't far, thankfully, but I was certainly ready to sit. I actually felt better than I did after my first half marathon. We stopped for lunch at On The Border, where I had quesadillas and a margarita (a runner needs salt, right?). Then it was time to go home. The ride was tough. My legs just weren't happy with any position. A shower and bath at home felt good, but my legs were about the highest level of soreness without actual pain. And the were hot- inflammation, maybe? I usually avoid ibuprofen, but I took Prilosec, Maalox, water, a whataburger junior & fries, and chased it with 800mg of ibuprofen and a long night's sleep.

I'm a marathoner!!!


Elaine Hillis said...

So happy I got to see you!! You.are.amazing!! Happy marathon birthday!

Katy said...

So very proud of you! It is a great accomplishment!

Christy MyDirtRoadAnthem said...

Congrats Congrats Congrats! This is very exciting, so happy for you, this makes me so excited for my first one.

That is so huge :) I can't imagine drinking vodka during a marathon! Crazy!

bobbi said...

Congratulations marathoner!! said...

Yea!!!!! So excited to hear it went so well! Super proud of you girlfriend!!!

Lesley @ said...

Elaine was right! I was dying to hear about your first marathon and how it went and had asked her to give you some extra cheers from me!!! So proud of you for getting out and doing this after some rough patches this last year with injury. Your body *is* strong! WOO-HOO marathoner!!!!!!!! (OK, I'll admit, I'm a little emotional... first marathons get me every time!)

Sybil said...

What a great re-cap! Very inspiring :) congrats!