Time for the race report and a little story of how I ended up in the medical tent for the first time since running. All I have to say is Mrs. Duffy -- you were right.
I would like to give the Empire State Marathon a thumbs up! Job well done. There were a few hiccups, but I am sure they will work those out.
Have to give a shout out about the shirts and medal. The shirts were men and women sizes! Mine fits perfectly. Seriously. I've run a lot of races and only TWO shirts (one being the Empire) fit and doesn't hang on me like a circus tent. The medal is pretty sweet too. I am all about the 26.2 bling.
My sister flew in on Wednesday for a short visit and to cheer me on. She has never seen a marathon or me in a race. It was awesome to have her here and to take three days off from work before the race. Mental note. Do that again.
I thanked my lucky stars that race day wasn't Saturday because we had horrific weather. Rain and high wind. The local weather station was calling for Sunday to be a "breezy" day. I was thinking to myself the word "breezy" means hell by mile 23. And I was right.
Race morning started out stressful because one of my greyhounds suddenly because very ill. Why do these things always happen on a weekend?! ***He is still very sick and is in critical care, but that is another blog post. I get to the start around 6:30 a.m. and wait for my running buds to show up.
We do our usual -- port-o-john stops, bitch about how cold it is and just fret till it is time to get going. Finally it was time. My goal was to keep a 9:50-10 minute pace for as long as I could hold it. Ease on the hills and pick it back up on the downhills.
Gun went off and boom off we go and it felt like EVERYONE was passing me. I really hate that feeling. People running by you like you are standing freaking still. YET, my pace was about 9:30-9:40 so I knew I had to reign it in and I did. But man, I was pissed. Secretly I was hoping the people passing me would die on the Green Mile. Little did I know I would be part of the carnage.
The first 3 miles of the race are on Onondaga Lake Parkway -- a highway next to the lake. There is no protection from the wind. It it wide open. There was a water stop at the first mile. I passed it because there were to be an aid station every mile and would hit one every three miles like in training. However, there weren't every mile in the beginning - or the end. Insert - HUGE hiccup in race organization.
Mile 2. Nothing.
Mile 3. Nothing.
We get in the actual park and I don't see anything until a little past mile 4. Here begins my mini freak out. I was scared that there wouldn't be aide stations every mile. I decided to drink at every stop. Bad decision #1.
My pace was steady and consistent -- took it easy on the Hayes hill and worked my way into B'Ville. And can I just say this one thing. Sorry, break in train of thought. **I HATE RELAY RACES. Especially after mile 13. You have NO idea how bad I wanted to trip a relay person, rip off their relay bib and stuff it up their relay ass. But I was too tired.
Here are the splits from 1-13:
9:55; 9:58; 9:48; 9:45; 9:53; 9:49; 9:40; 9:58; 9:57; 10:20 (hello, Hayes); 9:50; 9:49; 9:46.
I am extremely proud of those splits.
In B'ville I hit the "fucker" hill. Oy. And it was. I am sure if a hill could smile, it was wearing a big old grin. It was as brutal. The only thing that got me through was knowing I would see the husband and my sister. It was the boost I needed to keep my pace under 10. After I passed them I was thinking two things -- get to Kelle at mile 20 and keep it under 10. However, around mile 17 I started feeling light headed and I stopped sweating. Uh. Oh. I've been drinking only water till about mile 15. After 15, I started drinking Accelerade. But I think it was too late.
Splits from 14-20:
10:22 (freaking hill); 9:59; 9:55; 10:09; 10:24; 10:21; 9:56.
Again. Very happy with my splits even though I knew I was slipping. Around mile 18 it was a fight to keep my pace and I tried. I tried so hard. It is so frustrating at this point because I desperately wanted to keep it under 10, but it wasn't in the cards.
The last stretch on River road was tough. Real tough. A few times I really wanted to walk, but kept pushing through. When I hit the parkway -- at mile 20 I knew I was in trouble. I was feeling weird. Real weird. Like, light headed, weird.
My friend, Kelle, joined me. At first I told her to pace me to stay under 10. But that quickly changed when we hit the wind. I do believe I may have yelled the word FUCK in front of a large crowd of people...and children. But hey, at the 20 mile mark, it is anything but pretty.
After mile 21, I thought I needed nutrition because I was feeling so light headed/dizzy. Thought the carbs would give me the boost I needed and decided to take a gel. The one I had in my ass pocket would taste like hot ass so I decided to take what was being offered on the course.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
I thought I would be fine since I have take gels before. Not this year, though.
Again. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
What I pick? Accelerade - Chocolate with caffeine. I couldn't pick the goddamn grape!
I was already feeling weird, but by mile 23 I was feeling WAY weird. Light headed with a topper of heart palpitations. There were times I had to walk because I thought my heart was either going to explode or stop. Kelle was scared. Her exact words to me were "please don't die."
It was a combo of taking in too much water and my body wasn't processing it through my system and not enough electrolytes and adding to the mix of ingesting caffeine.
I screwed up and I knew it.
Splits from 21-26:
10:17; 10:18; 10:54;
Walking the Green Mile: 11:20; 10:54; 10:33.
After I crossed the finish line I made a bee line for the medical tent because I really felt awful. They took my blood pressure and heart rate. Blood pressure was good, but heart rate...not so much. It was through the roof and I had to sit there being monitored until it started going down.
Total time per my Garmin: 4:26:58. Last years marathon was 4:31. A 4 minute PR.
I am very happy with my time. However, I am not happy that my net time was recorded as 4:28? How is that possible? Screw that. I am going by my Garmin. He would never lie to me.
What am I most happy about? Keeping my pace under 10 for longer than I thought I could. PR'ing even though it didn't come CLOSE to what I wanted.
What am I not happy about? Making rookie mistakes. I know better. Yet, I was an asshole and did it anyway. Feel free to come and kick me in the ass.
What am I concerned about? Feeling so physically wiped out afterwards. Not just the soreness. That is a given, but the sheer exhaustion. Typically I am ravenous and want to eat everything in sight. Not this time. I couldn't even look at food without feeling nauseous for a few days.
I am considering take a year off of marathons and focusing on half's. Key word - considering. Haven't decided. Maybe I will focus getting faster in half's and working on doing more sprint tri's.
Regardless. These feet will still be hitting the pavement.
**Rimmy passed away two days later from an infection of the heart .
**Several of my friends ran the relay, but I still love them.