Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cloud Nine @ The St. George Marathon

Look close and you will see my list of names of people who picked a mile. I pulled it out at mile 16. It really helped! I thought of each of you as I ran the mile that you picked and thought back on any, and all of the ways you have inspired me, or impacted my running or life in general. So a BIG Thank You to anyone who participated.

Oh what a day! Still can't believe it. It was truly a magical moment. My best running day EVER.

My sweet sister volunteered to haul me to the bus at 4:45 am on Sat. morning. So nice, we drove right up to the bus area with no problems. (I love the smaller marathons). While waiting for the bus, I spoke with 2 ladies that were nervously attempting their first marathon. So cute! When I loaded the bus, I was sitting with a lady who was originally from Utah and now living in Oregon and she had run SG previously. She was able to answer some of my last min. questions. (how bad is the Veyo hill?, what about the final miles - steep downhills or gradual? etc.

I found a great tool on the SGM website. It is a pacing chart that allows for the uphills, and steep downhills. So I entered 3:55 and it started me out slow, added some time for the Veyo hill, and of course, the steep downhill miles were faster. If you have been following my training, you know that I LOVE a technical run, so this was "right up my alley." I love the challenge of trying to hit the splits correctly and for me it is a great diversion to the running. First mile listed at 9:17, I kept telling myself to slow down and ended up at 9:15, sweet. 2nd mile - 9:06 and I ran 9:05 - great, 3rd mile - 8:44 and I ran 8:45 - love it and feeling great. Miles 3 and 4 were listed as downhill and steeper downhill. I was secretly laughing as many runners went flying by me, down the hill. I am thinking to myself, you are gonna pay for that later. Luckily, I maintained my composure and made a conscious decision to stick with my plan. At mile 8 we headed up the Veyo hill. It was the worst hill of the day. It was not super steep, but it was long. Thought about Jennifer W. and knew she would "work this hill." and knowing she was thinking about me and sending good thoughts. (sweet!) When we finally made it to the top of the Veyo hill, we had short downhill, and then basically miles 8-12 were on a gradual uphill, not bad, just unending.

At mile 13, I am celebrating because I realize I am already past the worst part of the marathon. I was 1 min and 20 seconds under the recommended pace for a 3:55 marathon. At this point, I am feeling great. I quickly realize this "might" be my day. So I decided to start picking up the pace. I wanted to pick it up, but not drastically so at first I decided to go under the planned pace for each mile by 10-15 seconds per mile. I think it was around mile 16 that I did some quick calculations, what I like to call fuzzy math, and realized that I needed to run around 8:30 pace or under, to have an outside chance to qualify for Boston. So I picked it up again. Mile 16 - I pulled out my list of names and thought about each of you at the selected mile. From mile 16 on, I had several people for each mile. Mile 16 - 8:27 - perfect. At each mile, if I was aware that you are "a person who prays," I said a quick little pray to ask God to hear your prayers.
Mile 19 - last uphill stretch - 8:51. At mile 22, actually still feeling good, especially for this point in the race. I am recalculating at each mile to see if I might "really be able to BQ." Scared that I might "hit the wall." At this point, all I can do is "go for it" if I hit the wall, I hit the wall. Getting really excited. Around mile 24 I realize that I will qualify for Boston, unless something really bad happens. Please don't trip, please don't trip, please don't trip. Miles 24 and 25 ended up being my best miles both at 8:02. These 2 miles were almost flat, but did have a gradual downhill slant to them. So excited to be running this fast at this point in the race.

At mile 24, Rascal Flatts - "My Wish" comes on my I pod. My Mom had picked mile 24. It was so neat. What a great song to come on for my Mom's mile. I thought back on all of the extremely hard times she went through to raise 4 kids as a single parent in the 70's. How strong, how amazing she is. How can I, not do this, when she went through so many hard years. Also, although she doesn't "get" the running thing at all, she does want me to be happy and pursue all of my dreams (BQ). Tim also had mile 24, and asked me to smile this entire mile to celebrate my love of running, my health, etc. I did smile a lot in this mile, but couldn't do it the whole mile. But Tim - I was smiling so big on the inside. I am going to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am giddy, but need to finish this race.

Splits - 1- 9:15, 2 - 9:05, 3 - 8:44, 4 - 8:30, 5 - 8:44, 6 - 8:54, 7 - 8:58, 8 - 9:49 Veyo Hill, 9 - 9:14, 10 - 9:21, 11 - 9:24, 12 - 8:54, 13 - 8:45, 14 - 8:45, 15 - 8:32, 16 - 8:27, 17 - 8:31, 18 - 8:28, 19 - 8:51, 20 - 8:31, 21 - 8:07, 22 - 8:28, 23 - 8:15, 24 - 8:02, 25 - 8:02, 26 - 8:26, .2 1 :58

26.2 - 3:49:17 Still can't believe it today, 1 week later.

Chip Time 3:49:17
Reasons for a great run!
* Weather - 38 degrees to start and low humidity. This is the first marathon that I have run where I had the perfect weather, for me. (Stennis and Houston both 3:59 - cool weather, but not cold. Austin was cold, but at that point, I was not ready for those hills - first year of the new hilly Austin course)
* Dropped 11 lbs. and healthy eating this summer.
* Higher mileage this time - up to 63 miles (previous high was 50 miles)
*Unlimited yoga for last month leading up to SGM.  3-6 classes per wk. (left this off of the original blog came back to edit.)  You can see it is fairly high on the list.  Prior to unlimited 1-2 classes per wk.
* Ran a 26.2 training run - (I do not recommend this for most people, but for me, it was a great thing)
* Consistent tempo runs
* 9 day rotating schedule
*worked on being mentally tough and was determined prior to this race to "finish" it strong.
* fewer long runs @ race pace (I am a firm believer in race pace runs, but I think for some of my training in the past, I have had too many pace runs and ended up "raced out" by race day) On the other hand, I do feel that the pace running did get me to the 3:59 marathons. ?????? I think a mixture will be my plan from this point forward - some marathon pace runs, some lsd (long slow distance) runs.
*being a germaphobe in the last couple of weeks prior to the marathon. (Purell, Purell, Purell - wiping shopping carts at Walley World, grocery stores, washing hands, avoiding confined places with a lot of people, etc.)

Thanks to anyone and everyone who has logged miles with me this summer. Thanks for anyone who signed up for a mile, I felt your support. Thanks to those who gave me pre marathon "treats." Thanks to my new blogger friends who truly understand this crazy obsession and share in my journey. Thanks to Mom and Linde for traveling with me and using part of their vacations for all of the "marathon stuff" and thanks for supporting me. Linde - thanks for getting my Gu's, getting my pre marathon bread sticks, driving me to the bus,etc. Thanks to Mom and Linde for listening to all of my "giddiness" after the marathon - BQ BABY!

Thanks to Chad for truly supporting me with all of this craziness the past, many years. Walked my first marathon in Dec. 2003 - 5:29, ran my first marathon Feb. 2005 - 4:54, Oct. 2009 - 3:49 - finally BQ. Although Chad truly believed that I did not have the physical ability to every qualify, he has continued to support me 100%, in this crazy, sometimes expensive endeavor. Chad has said several times along the way that he didn't think I could ever qualify. I was never sure if he "truly believed that" or if he was just trying to use reverse psychology on me. The reverse psychology worked. During the marathon, I thought to myself, "if I am ever going to prove Chad wrong, it better be today." "I REALLY WANT to prove him wrong today." Several days after the marathon in a conversation with him about the marathon, I found out that he truly didn't believe I could do it. He knew that I had the endurance, heart, and mental toughness to do it, but he didn't think that God had blessed me with the ability to run that fast. It wasn't reverse psych as I had suspected. I DID PROVE HIM WRONG! He is so happy to be wrong on this one. He has been excited all week too. Love Him!

Songs that "got me through" (in no particular order)
Not the Doctor Alanis Morissette
I tried - Bone Thugs
*I Gotta a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
I Do Not Hook Up - Kelly Clarkson
I Alone - Throwing Copper
Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Mockingbird - Eminem
Mrs. Independent - Ne-Yo
Love Drunk - Boys Like Girls
Lost Horizons - Gin Blossoms
*Lose Yourself - Eminem
Like Toy Soldiers - Eminem
Like a Child - Jars of Clay
Last Night - Diddy
Kill Myself - Tim McGraw
It's Hard out Here - Djay & Shug
In the Ayer - Flo Rida
If You're Gonna - Natasha Bedingfield
I Worship You - Mercy Me
I want to Be Loved - Bon Jovi
I'm Only Me - Taylor Swift
I'm in Miami B.... -LMFAO
How Far We've Come - MatchBox 20
Hook - Blues Traveler
*Hide & Seek - Imogen Heap
Follow You Down - Gin Blossoms
Fly on the Wall - Miley Cyrus
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Everyday America - Sugarland
Flood - Jars of Clay
Drop it Like it's hot - Snoop Dogg
Down - Jay Sean
Day N Nite - Kid
*My Wish - Rascal Flatts


Zach said...

Hey great run. It was a great day to run a marathon, I completely agree. I ran a PR too. Way to go! And great report!

Meg Runs said...

So happy for you! Loved your report too.

Marathonman101108 said...

FREAKIN' FANTASTIC! I think I'm going to go watch the Boston Marathon next year. If so, of course I'll look for you and cheer you on. Great race report and personal info. I truly had goosebumps while reading it. Congrats. You certainly trained hard and earned Boston.

HappyTrails said...

AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME! It sounds like you did have a magical day (the pictures support that-just beautiful!). Thanks for sharing - you are an inspiration. Hope you are still floating on Cloud 9!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Congrats on the BQ! To know that you were going to BQ as you were running the last part of the marathon - how exciting! Great race report!

kristen said...

Congratulations girl!! That is awesome news. You took a chance and it payed off big time. Major props!

Erin C. said...

Congratulations! I knew you could do it!

lindsay said...

Congrats!! Sounds like an awesome race and absolutely wonderful day for racing :) Your time was great and speedy!

Tara said...

Congrats Ginny; I am so very happy for you!!!
I got goose bumps when you described how Rascal Flatts came on at mile 24 and how that was your mom's mile. How special!

26.2 Princess said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! So glad you found my blog, and thank you for your comments! I'm very happy for you too! Its hard to put your mind around, huh? I'm still in some state of shock and disbelief, but I have the lingering soreness to remind me that it is real! Boston-bound!

Ulyana said...

Ok, you made me cry! Happy tears :)

You did such an amazing job, and I'm so happy for you. THAT was a fast marathon. And you stuck with your plan. Incredible. I'm just so, so, so happy for you! (and that race report kept me on the edge of my seat!!!!)

And now - BOSTON - how awesome!

runner26 said...

a belated congrats!! this post was really inspriring to me! wow, a PR and a BQ--nice job!

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