Dec 22, 2007 8:27 PM
Course description: The course was a flat and scenic out-and-back. Athletes ran along and over three main rivers that intersect in downtown Dayton. The course traveled through six different parks, which are a small part of the Five Rivers Metroparks. Half-Marathoner's ran the course once; Marathoners ran the course twice. It really was a lovely course.
Here’s the link to the marathon site, if anyone is curious:
Fashion report: I wavered heavily back and forth between my tried-and-true black drawstring shorts or my new running skirt with only 8 miles on them. The skirt won out, since I was worried about fussing with the little drawstring tie on the shorts at potty stops. So, black Nike skirt, blue Nike tech shirt, FUGs (purple), Brooks hat, Saucony Trigon 4’s, and HRM. I fussed about the hat, too - I have not worn it much, because I run in the dark so I wasn’t sure if it would bother me when I got sweaty, but I figured I would need it if the sun came out - sunglare is blinding to this nightrunner. My husband said, “If it bothers you, just take it off and pitch it.” But you see, then I would have “hat-hair.” Once you make the decision to wear a hat, you’re stuck with it all day… !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/smile.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/smile.gif|border=0!
I got up at 5:00 a.m., had a cup of coffee, banana, oatmeal with raisins, and 24 oz. water. I slathered some Vaseline on my feet, which felt strange at first, but I soon got used to it. Put suncreen on, loaded my gel belt pouch with 4 GUs, my Boomer Pacer list, and pinned my laminated pace chart to my bib upside down.
We got there about 7:10 a.m. and soon found out that there was a major glitch. The recent rains had swollen the Little Miami River so that part of the course was flooded. At the last minute they had to change the course, move the start to another park, and changed the start time to 9:00 a.m.
I got a huge surprise when a woman walked up to me and said, “Are you Holly?” It was Cindy Johnson! She had come intending to run the marathon, too, but since there was now a question of certifying the race, she decided not to run it so soon after Napa. How awesome it was to meet her, though.
The weather forecast was lovely at the start: sunny and probably about 60 degrees. This warmed up very quickly and was 75 by the end of the race. Here’s me waiting to start:
Right away I figured out that they had not marked the miles on the new course, so my pace chart was almost useless, but I was able to check the times at the ¼ point, ½ point, and ¾ point. With no mile pacing, I tried to use my HR to pace myself. Figuring that my LT was about 162, I had intended to keep my HR under 144 for the first ¾ of the race, but almost immediately I began having trouble with that. Half a mile out I looked down and saw my HR at 150! I slowed down to what felt like a snail’s pace, and managed to keep it in the mid-140’s, but it was hard. I didn’t understand this – I felt like I was barely shuffling along. All I can think of is the heat might have affected my HR. All my long training runs were in less than 20 degrees, and I was not used to today’s heat at all. The 3rd leg I was really having trouble keeping my HR down, and it stayed mostly in the mid-150’s. By the last leg, I said, “Heck with it,” stretched my stride a bit, and let it range into the 160’s, sometimes jumping to 172-175. At this point I began breathing mostly 2-in/1-out, which I do when I am pushing myself. I took a 30-second walk break at mile 22, and a 60-second walk break at mile 23, but it was so hard to get my stiff legs started again afterward that I figured that I was better off trying to keep moving.
Hydrating was a big question mark for me in this unaccustomed heat, too. I must have gauged it okay, because I had only one potty stop at about 5.5 miles.
I actually managed a bit of a kick at the end. My 10-year-old son raced me the last 100 yards or so, and I beat him to the finish line. (Even after 26 miles, I can STILL beat you, boy!) That’s what I was laughing about in this photo.
The time on the clock is the HM time. Add 30 minutes to that to get my time. Results will be posted later, but they told the girl who came in just ahead of me that she won in her AG (20-24). I'm betting that my AG was a tougher division, though.
AND I got an extra bonus when I got home: After my shower, my dear, dear husband laid out a sheet and gave me a full body massage with oil. Now THAT earned him some serious bonus points!
I cannot tell you all how much the support on this forum has meant to me. You have taught me so much, and inspired me, spurring me on to do more than I thought I could.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL BOOMERS! I COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU!
Edited to add addendum - The race was remeasured later and found to be short - a LOT short (1.7 miles) so this finishing time is totally in accurate. I probably would have finished in something like 4:30, which would have been fine by me. I'm sure you all understand my acute disappointment, and I'm planning my revenge marathon in September. THANKS AGAIN, Boomers, for all your support and kindness.
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