Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reflections - Baton Rouge Beach Marathon

Pre - Marathon -  Tues goal - low of 40 - going for the BQ - 8:35 avg pace

Pre- Marathon  - Fri goal - low 52ish - going for the PR - 8:43 avg pace or anything sub 8:45
During the Marathon - Mile 15.5 - going for the BQ - 8:35
During the Marathon - Mile 24.5-26 - hang on for the PR - sub 8:45

On Tues.of marathon week,  the low was still predicted to be 40, and I told Chad I was going for a BQ (Boston Qualifying) race.  Let me tell you, I was "feeling it!"  Most of the time, when I get this feeling, my goal is met, IF the weather cooperates.    Well, if you've been reading lately, you know the weather did indeed change to the warmer side.    After consulting with Chad (my hubby), and getting some SUPER feedback from blog world, and local friends, I decided to go for a PR (sub 8:45 avg) race.

(if you missed the earlier debate, Wed.,  when the predicted weather changed to mid 70s for my last hour of running, I considered not racing this one and looking for another race within 2 wks)
With the low of 50 and a quick warm up, I definitely decided against the faster BQ race (8:35 avg). I had not vocalized or written about the BQ attempt to anyone but Chad. 

Jen and I headed down to Baton Rouge Fri am.  We had a quick "chatty" trip.  We stopped in Mandeville for lunch at the Olive Garden and then zoomed on to Baton Rouge.  We took a ride around most of the course, went to dinner, the expo, and then we went to bed early.  Smooth sailing and ready for a PR race.  Woo Hoo!  I was actually so excited about the race, that I  was worried that I may not be able to sleep.   I went right to sleep and rested well.  Everything on track for a great day.    We were able to park within a 1/2 mile of the start.  We waited in the car for a while, and then we walked to check our bag, potty line, quick chats with other runners, and we're ready to start.  Jen and I wished each other good luck and a good day, and we're off.                 

I had this in a nice, readable format and blogspot randomly messed it up.  I decided to leave it, as is, because it's really how I ran on Sat.  I was all over the place with pace, I couldn't get on a pace and maintain it.  I was constantly too fast, or too slow.                                                                            


   3:49:34           26.35        
slower than planned

1.  9:12
faster than planned

2. 8:43
 almost perfect 


 a little slow, but I'm ok - 5

perfect -
6.      8:40

oops too fast, slow it down -

7. 8:34
good, that's better -


crap, too fast again 

good, I feel good

10.  8:38
ditto - 11

ditto - 12

 ditto - 13

too fast, man I can't believe how good I feel, slow it down

14.   8:20
at 15.5 I decided I'm feeling GREAT, I'm going for the BQ

15. 8:31
too fast for PR or BQ, slow down Ginny

a little fast, but I'm good

man I feel great, I'm at 18 and I feel great, this is NEW to ME

18.  8:21
slow down, this is my day

19. 8:18
your doing it!


ok, that one was slow but that's ok

slow again, but I'm still ok - get on pace!
22. 8:38

I can't believe you ran a 9 + mile, get on pace, you can do this

RUN, FINISH THIS, you still have the PR,  go for the PR

 you can still PR, RUN, GO, FINISH THIS

25.  9:34
holding on, trying not to slow any more, still hoping I can PR,

 you missed the BQ, you missed the PR, and you ran LONG 3:09.6 0.36 8:49

Prior to the race, I had looked at the map and knew the course had many turns in it.  I had to run the tangents really well to have a good race.  However, in addition to the turns, the course also has a lot curves as the road meanders around "The Lakes:, near the LSU campus.    Until late in the race, I stayed at +.06 which, excited me.  I'm guessing that I zoned out a little on the tangents when the stress of my slowing pace elevated.  As you can see, I ended up with and extra .15 on the day.  Bye Bye PR!

After the race, immediately my feet and legs felt like they would cramp at any second.  I made it over to the water and powerade and started refueling.  I wasn't in the mood, but I decided to eat some jambalaya (LA rice, etc).  I knew it would be salty and hoped it would help.  A few minutes later, I was going to for more water.  I stepped up on a curb, and just like that, my leg was stuck, with my heel in the "UP" position.  I could NOT move.  It took a while, I bent over, and rubbed my leg, and finally I was able to lower my heel to the ground.  It's now, Tues. morning and my left calf feels much better.  It's still sore, but fading.    I took and ice bath Sat. night.  On Sunday, I rested most of the morning with a nap at 9:30 am, yes I said a nap at 9:30 (much deserved).  Sunday afternoon, I met Kelly and we walked for a little over and hour.  When I finished walking my calf was totally loose and feeling good.  By the time I made the drive home, tight and sore again.  I took an epsom bath.  I do not know much about Epsom baths, but some people swear by them, so I tried it.
If you have studied, or have experience with Epsom baths, please educate me.
Not sure if it helped, but the soaking in the warm water felt good either way.  Monday am, I went to a yoga class - same thing - totally loosened up, and then later sore and tight again.  Monday night, I walked on the treadmill for just over 30 minutes and it felt fine.  
It has, exactly,  ONE week to be healed.  ha ha

The Good Stuff!
**8:43 avg. - which is a PR pace for me. (for 26.35)
**I felt really good all the way up until mile 23.  Usually I start feeling bad anywhere from 16, to 18, but definitely by mile 20.  This is huge progress!  Excited!
**Had the last hour been in the 60s, instead of the 70s, I KNOW I could have "held on".
**usually when I "fall off the pace" - it's a much larger "fall off" than the decline on Sat.
**2nd in age group

**I loved the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon - it's a great course, scenic, well organized.  It has a few minor rollers, but most of you would call it flat.
**I was expecting the humidity to be much worse, but the gentle breeze helped.
**Jen ran a PR race!  Woo Hoo! 

The Bad Stuff
**ran a little too fast some of those miles - BAD (critical race day mistake)
**tangents late in the race  - FOCUS
(IMO - this would be the only down side of this race.  it's a technical course, if you want to run 26.2, you will need to zone in, and run the tangents, really well)

So with a couple of days to think and reflect, yes, in some ways I'm happy with it.  I see some new break-through positives about this race.  I tend to focus on the positives, BUT ....
I worked way too hard, and I'm in much better shape than 3:49, so I will be totally honest here and say....
It's eating me!     
and Jenn is right...

this is why I will keep training, 
I will keep racing, 
I will keep looking forward because 
I'm NOT done yet
I can go faster


Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

In my opinion, you ran a really strong race. There were certainly some catches to this one - I mentioned the hills, but you're right, the curves and turns were probably just as challenging (I kept feeling like the waterstops sneaked up on me!). Don't feel bad about tangents - I talked to the female winner (Kristin Wenstrom rocked it in 2:53, she is INSANE) and she said she ran perfect tangents and the course read 26.3 for her; may have been just a touch long (which is ok, but can be frustrating).
I think you have a BQ in there, you just need cooperating weather. I'd tell you plan one up north, but I did that in September and ended up in record braking 80 degree heat, so don't listen to me!

Robbie said...

I know this was disappointing for you not reaching a BQ pace. With that said, sounds like you were feeling great that day in spite of the temp, which I believe is the result of excellent training, preparation and good attitude. I agree with the previous comment as it appears there is a BQ in there.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

The funny thing is, it's not about going back to Boston. I'm not sure i would go if I qualified again, but, it's a goal that drives me...... I suppose it drives me because it's a stretch for my talent level. Fun Stuff!

Jennifer said...

I was just reading Gracie's comments and yea the water stops did sneak up on you. You are right about the curves, I didn't even think about that as a factor, it made it interesting but also much more technical. You did a great job Ginny and I always love reading how you take a part a race and analyze the components to make it better. Cheers!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I totally thought that too about the water stops. 2-3 times, I sucked my Gu down REALLY FAST to get it down before the water.

Jen - it's all the "technical details" that keep me entertained with 26.2 at this point. I'm just about tapped out with "my talent" at this point, so the details are huge for me now.

Lisa said...

Warning - glass half full moment...

Missing a PR (though if the course was on the long side, did you really miss it...) just makes us hungry for more.

And based on your last few sentence, you are starving :)

Tri-James said...

Epsom salt is Magnesium sulfate. Soaking in it allows you to absorb some magnesium through your skin. It can also dry out your skin (especially in the winter).

I have never used it but have thought about it often - just never picked it up when I was at the store.

lindsay said...

I've done Epsom foot soaks - I think to soften up my rough heels so I could then attack them with a pumice. But I have heard general talk about them. A relaxing bath can't hurt! :)

I understand how you feel - maybe it was the weather, maybe it just wasn't "your day", who knows... But we DO know that you're very capable of faster and iknow you will make it official in a race soon!

Meg said...

Nice job, Ginny!
I totally get it about the BQ thing. It's not really about going back to Boston. I'm not into that anymore, I just want to do better than the last race!
Regarding the GU...I just read that GU should not be taken alone and then chased by water but instead, it should be taken slowly and held in the mouth, to be absorbed in your mouth and not in your stomach! I always get a tummy ache from GU so this was interesting news. I'm going to try it out on my next long run!

Marissa said...

what a strong race! Hats off to ya.

And on the previous post, that Baton Rouge race looked pretty cool too :) We go to Louisiana A LOT...lots of family! did you enjoy it?

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I felt better longer in my last marathon, too, and didn't want it to be really over until I made it to mile 25. Can't wait to see how fast you run the next marathon!

Rach @ Girl on the Run said...

that's still an amazing time (and in harsh conditions, too) great job!

Teamarcia said...

Oh man, you ran a great race in so many ways. The heatup would have killed my pace. The fact that you held on for so long and didn't feel anything until 23 speaks volumes to your fitness. Yes, you definitely have a faster race in you.
Congrats though. That was a great effort! And woot for AG 2!