Famous Potato Marathon 2012

Sometimes the most amazing things happen when you least expect it! I had a “pipe dream” goal of breaking 4 hours today at the marathon. My PR from a year and a half ago was 4:20:59 – and that was the last time I ran a marathon – or trained for one properly! I’ve had my attention set on getting better at the ultra distance – at trail running, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this race since I’d done none of the “speedwork” or “tempo runs” that normally build a runner up for something like this. I knew I had endurance — but could I hold a faster pace on pavement? I wasn’t entirely sure.

I had something wrong with my left hip all week. It was popping when I walked and I’d seen the chiropractor twice in the last few days to help get it in shape for this race. He said my IT band on the left was really tight and was causing the issues. I was concerned. At Wild Idaho 50, my left IT band tightened up so painfully, that I limped the last 28 miles! So, I was conservative from the start today. I listened to my body, didn’t care about my pace and just zoned out with my music, walked through all the water stations in the first 20 miles, ate my GUs (3!! Which is really good for me! I’d only taken one in the last race and bonked at that one!) I did NOT bonk today! I also took my S Caps pretty regularly and just made sure to run a smart race. That’s what I wanted. To be consistent, strong and steady and I think I did a pretty good job of it!

I noticed at the half point that my average pace was 8:35 and it occurred to me I was on BQ pace without really overextending myself — BUT.. I have learned in distance running NEVER to get over-confident. I take one mile at a time. I stay in control. I don’t let myself “race” others who pass me. Interestingly, I passed several today by being steady and didn’t get passed as much as I have in the past. It was a good feeling to be in control.

My husband showed up along the course and took photos and offered me drinks. I was ok, though and didn’t need anything at all today, which is a first for me. When I saw my friend Christine and her guy Tim waiting for me at mile 21 I was so thrilled!!! They jumped in to pace me and shortly after,Ryan A. showed up at my side , Michelle A. behind me on her bike and their daughter, Hannah on hers also joined in the procession! I felt very supported and having my friends there really boosted my spirits — though since I refuse to speak in races, I didn’t share that with them at the time. (Thanks, guys!!!)

My endurance was good. I fueled well, but fatigue was really difficult in those last few miles. I was sore and my pace was slipping. But, I didn’t let it get me down. I KNEW I was close to a Boston Time, but realized that I was already giving all I could and that bumping up my average of 8:40 back down to 8:35 or so would just be more than I could do that day and I was totally fine with it. Inside, I was grinning like crazy, thinking, “I am definitely going to break 4 today and I feel fine!” I finished in 3:48:32 (chip time.)

And, I did!!!! I came running across the line, arms up in victory, a huge smile on my face in 3:48:32. Before the Boston standards changed last year, my qualifying time would have been a 3:50:59 for a woman in the 40-44 age group (I’ll be 40 before the next Boston race and that’s how they do that.) So, by the old standards, I would have BQ’d which is really, very exciting to think about! The new standards require me to run a 3:45:00 or better, so I still have a bit of work cut out for me, but I’m CLOSE!!!!

My confidence was really bolstered today! AND.. I was 10th female overall and 1st in the 35-39 age category! Yay!!!!!

Ave HR: 175. Max HR: 212. Elevation Gain: 131 feet (nice and flat and fairly shady!!) The temperatures were awesome – 49 at the start and about 64 at the finish. The race was well marked, the aid stations were well stocked and did a great job showing support and I had a great time!

P.S. I forgot to mention something else exciting! My PR at the half marathon is 1:53:05. Today I did it in 1:52!! So, it was a half marathon PR by 1 minute and a full marathon PR by about 32 1/2 minutes! YAY!

Update! Official results are now posted here.

It looks like despite wearing bib chips, that only gun time is listed. Rats! So, my official gun time was: 3:48:41. I was 10th female (out of 116 female finishers), 47th overall (out of 237 finishers) and 1st in the 35-39 female age group (out of 21)!  I’m very happy with that!!! 🙂

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