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10487 Views 92 Replies Latest reply: Sep 30, 2010 1:45 AM by actmanman 1 2 3 ... 7 Previous Next
Holly S. Legend 1,828 posts since
Nov 26, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 22, 2007 8:27 PM

ORRRC Marathon RR

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:[/URL" target="_blank">

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… !|src=|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.


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.


Holly[/URL" target="_blank">

[http://This message has been edited by hollys4874 (edited Mar-25-2007).|http://This message has been edited by hollys4874 (edited Mar-25-2007).]

[http://This message has been edited by hollys4874 (edited Apr-03-2007).|http://This message has been edited by hollys4874 (edited Apr-03-2007).]

  • Head Band Bill Legend 789 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 25, 2007 3:54 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Holly, you're high HR and heat descriptions brought me back to Disney where the same things happened to me there.  And our times were very similar.  Wanna pace me somewhere?   !|src=|border=0!

    Holly, you did great! You will never forget this day and your grin will last for at least a week. Savor it and go really easy for at least the next 3 weeks.

    You did the Boomers proud. Congratulations!



    Bill's Profile[/URL" target="_blank">

  • flkjr52096 Legend 243 posts since
    Nov 14, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Mar 25, 2007 3:56 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Great race and report Holly.

    I think with mile markers and being able to get your pace down you could have even done better than your remarkable first marathon.

    It is a testimont to all your hard work.



  • jemmama Legend 260 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Mar 25, 2007 4:07 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Holly, all your hard work has paid off. You must be so proud of your accomplishment. You handled the last minute changes so well, including the warm weather. You're inspiring some of us non-racers out here.

    Love the photos, esp. the one with Cindy and little pumpkin next to you. I didn't realize you were a total curly girl. Love it.  Skirt looks great, too.

  • robintravers Legend 370 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 25, 2007 4:08 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Hip hip hooray!  What a great race under some difficult circumstances...not having the mile markers made for some difficulty pacing yourself, but it sounds like you made a wise decision to rely on your HR monitor.  It let you save some strength at the beginning so that you could pour it on at the end!  I'm sure others fared less well in that heat!

    Get that finish line photo blown up, framed and hung speaks a thousand words!


  • Econo011 Legend 1,429 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 25, 2007 4:13 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Congratulations, holly!  Very, very nice!  The finish line photo is a real treasure, too.  

  • JJJessee Legend 774 posts since
    Aug 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Mar 25, 2007 4:15 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    You ran a great race Holly. That heat must have been tough and that last minute course change wasn't exacty a mental boost. But all that hard work this winter paid off and you finished with grace and a very respectable time. You and your family should be quiet proud of your accomplishment. I know all the CR Boomers are.

    You Rock!

  • ksrunr Legend 1,292 posts since
    Aug 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Mar 25, 2007 4:17 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Congratulations Holly!  We enjoyed your report and are thrilled you've accomplished your goal even with some suprises thrown at you.   Congrats too to DH.  It's good to get bonus points from time to time.

    Enjoy your victory

  • robp099 Pro 114 posts since
    Oct 9, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Mar 25, 2007 4:21 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Nice race Holly.  It's good to be smiling at the end....

  • RunstheBitterroot Legend 591 posts since
    Aug 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Mar 25, 2007 4:30 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    HI Holly, Congratulations!  Great race, report and photo's!


    My Photo's[/URL" target="_blank"> "If you see a man running up a mountain trail in Montana with a fly pole attached to his back, you are probably lost. LDD

  • cajohnson5 Legend 567 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Mar 25, 2007 4:32 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Hey kiddo, nice race. When I saw the river waist high pouring over the bike path, I wondered if you were going to get into trouble even after they rerouted everything. Glad to know you kept dry.
    Starting you an hour later than planned also threw you into the hotter part of the day, so glad that hydration was not an issue for you.
    Folks -- she had her Boomer Pace Band with her!
    Glad you were able to keep your composure through the major course change. One of these days, when I get faster (and lose that final 20 pounds), perhaps we'll get to run a race together. Take care, cj

  • vista129 Legend 800 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Mar 25, 2007 4:47 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR


    What a great report. Thanks for sharing it. The pictures are great. What a photo finish.

    That was really neat that CJ got to come along and be there. The picture of the three of you there is great as well.

    You have worked hard for this and you were able to pull it off in perfect order. Thanks for letting us all be a small part of it.

    Rest up, for you have certainly deserved it.



    vista129[/URL" target="_blank">

  • hally Legend 1,194 posts since
    Aug 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Mar 25, 2007 4:56 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Glad to see this when I got home, great report and considering how all your long runs were in COLD you adjusted and did greta!
    The first two pictures you look a little nervous but that last one tells the whole story!
    Congrats Holly, when's the next one?

    PS, Robin need not have worried, you didn't forget the sunscreen.


  • tselbs Legend 1,208 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Mar 25, 2007 5:03 PM (in response to Holly S.)
    Re: ORRRC Marathon RR

    Great job, Holly!  This has to be one of the most awaited race reports since I've been reading and posting here.  Your training got you a very good marathon.  It was neat you got to see Cindy.  It sounds like you didn't have too rough of a time and your smile at the finish was evident in the picture.  Have a good recovery as you relish your accomplishment.



    My Profile[/URL" target="_blank">

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