I had no definite time goal or pace plan until Saturday either. I really just wanted to PR, which I did not think would be hard to do. I ran my first marathon in 5:08:10 on a very hilly course with an IT band issue that kept me running a very conservative pace. Shamrock is FLAT, I had more miles under my belt and I was not injured. I planned on maintaining a 10:50 pace (4:45:00 finishing time).
The marathon start was late, in my opinion; 8:30 AM (the half marathon started at 7AM and I think they wanted to give lots of time between the races so that the faster marathoners would not get stuck behind the slow halfers). Anyways, I woke up, took a shower (yes, I shower before spending 5 hours sweating!), and went down to get breakfast where I talked to some other marathoners.
Our hotel was about a mile away from the start, so I left the hotel at about 7:50AM and went to my corral. Still, all this time, I was fairly calm! And then we were off . . .
The first few miles were down Atlantic Ave and I ran past our hotel! All my boys were out to cheer me on and I gave them hugs. I was running about 30 sec. per mile too fast, but by the 4th mile I was able to slow myself down to my goal pace.
I won't bore you with a mile by mile re-cap. I was feeling good during about 95% of the race and had fun. Around miles 7 and 8 we ran through Camp Pendleton, a military reservation. There were service men and women in their uniforms yelling, clapping and cheering us on. I slowed down a little to high-five as many as I could. So cool.
|High-fives with my boy at mile 12|
|Running with my little man|
Between miles 11 and 12, I got to see my family again and my boys ran with me a tiny bit. After I left them, I was trying to get my pace back up after having several miles below goal pace (from running with the homeschooling marathoners . . . I do not regret it though, AT ALL!). I was able to get my pace back up to goal pace until about mile 16 when I slowed again. I was feeling good, but mentally I started doubting. I was running a good race up until that point, and I think I just let myself slow.
Around mile 20, we were running on another military base, Fort Story. We passed a cute little chapel of St Theresa and I asked for her intercession. I picked up the pace again and ran a strong mile 20 and 21. And I really did not feel
But, I gave it my all at the finish. I picked up the pace as much as I could for the last 1.2 miles. And once we turned on to the boardwalk and toward the finish line I was so happy. I scanned the on lookers for my hubby and kids. I really wanted to cross the finish line with my boys. But, when I found them, only my 5 yr old was adventurous enough to run the rest of the way with me, so K and I raced each other to the finish! I finished with a time of 4:50:33, 18 minutes faster than my first marathon!
|K and I racing to the finish|
I got my medal and K put it on me. That little boy is so sweet . . . every bottle of water, banana and snack I was handed, he would take it from me and said, "Mommy, I'll carry it for you." I got my finisher's hat and sweatshirt, seriously the best SWAG of any race I have done! I met up with the rest of the family and we all headed to the after party. We enjoyed some Irish stew and my husband drank my beer (I do not like beer) and we sat on the beach enjoying listening to the band while the boys played in the sand. It was really so great!
|Modelling my medal and new sweatshirt!|
I am writing this post two days after running the marathon and I am still in the "marathon after glow." I did NOT feel this after my first. I was sore and miserable after my first marathon. But, this time, even the following day, I felt good. I was sore, but only a little and walked miles with my family up and down the beach. Today, I am not even sore anymore.
I am pleased with my time. I felt good, but as with most of my races, I would not say that I really pushed myself hard. But, more importantly, I enjoyed the race. I have memories from this race that I will remember because I took the time to give high-fives and to talk to other runners. Things I would not have done if I were solely focused on my time.
Shamrock marathon is flat, and fun. There are DJ's along the course to keep up pumped up and moving. There are beautiful views of the ocean. The medal is nice and I LOVE the hat and the sweatshirt! The biggest bonus of the race is that there was so much for the family to do while I was running the marathon, so I did not feel too guilty for running it!