Thursday Talk it out!!!!!
Sometimes the best way to go over your most recent marathon is to talk it out with others; thus this morning I thought I would share my thoughts on the Missoula Marathon just over a week ago. Mariah and I were up to a lot of racing in the last weeks. She is gearing up for nationals in August, and had a great race a few weeks ago as a prep for nationals.
I completed my first marathon back post baby three in Missoula, Montana at the end of June. It was so fun to be back in Montana and to race on my favorite course. My marathon PR was ran at the Missoula Marathon a few years back. My family and I have been on vacation, which started in Washington. Now we are working remotely as we enjoy a much slower pace in Montana before we head back to Texas.
If you have never ran in Montana, you really should consider a RUNcation there. The Missoula Marathon is a beautiful course that offers great views, and Missoula is surrounded by mountains. Thankfully the hot and humid running in Texas prepared me for a higher elevation. Temperatures were much cooler in Montana, so I didn’t even break a sweat race morning and even had to wear gloves. I guess I am more acclimated to Texas weather than I thought. Race temps at the start were 45 degrees.
I went into the race with a “have fun and enjoy racing in Montana” attitude. After having my appendix removed end of March, I wasn’t able to bounce back as quickly as I would have hoped and really struggled through my training cycle. I only completed one 20 miler. Typically I complete three 22 milers or more in a training cycle with a few 18-20 milers. This training cycle was mixed with missed long runs and shorter long runs then I would have liked.
I felt under prepared and couldn’t shake the fatigue from kids and surgery. My body didn’t seem to be adapting to the mileage and to being a mom of three. Throw in the heat and humidity of Texas, and I felt my workouts were nothing short of horrible. My A goal of a sub 2:50 wasn’t going to happen and I had decided to switch to the half marathon distance instead. Being back in the North, made me reconsider and I kept with the full, starting elite. My new goal was to try to finish under or around 3 hours.
I ended up surprising myself with a third place finish and a sub 3 hour marathon. I ended up pacing with another great runner Sarah Hallas from California. I could only stay with her for 15 miles. After coming up the hill, which I felt strong, I couldn’t hold my pace on the downhill around mile 15. This was the point where my legs felt like bricks and didn’t seem to want to move. My stomach was doing turns and felt uncomfortable around mile 9. I couldn’t take in any more nutrition and felt as if I needed to use the port-a-potty or throw up. I managed to ignore the discomfort and kept pushing.
Mile 16.5ish – smiling at the photographer
I know around mile 17 I would see the kids and Marc and this help to motivate me. Little L was cheering “Go Mommy Go” and this gave me the motivation I needed and brought a smile to my face. Around mile 19-20 I felt like throwing in the towel. I wasn’t paying attention to pace and felt I had slowed considerably. The last 8 miles I had slowed. Physically my legs couldn’t carry me, but mentally I said “you only have 6 miles to go, you can’t quit now. Who quits a marathon with only 6 miles to go? That’s only 40 minutes or less of running left!” So I kept pushing on.
Mile 17+ (waving “Hi” to L)
I felt the urge to walk, but would tell myself just make it to the next aid station. I was in third place and I reasoned with myself that if 4th place passes me, then I can just walk/run the rest of the way. Wouldn’t you have it, fourth place never did, so I just kept pushing on. Mile 20-24 seemed to drag on. I enjoyed the cheers from the crowd and those that knew me. At mile 25 a client was cheering for me and this gave me a little extra push. At this point I was self motivating with mantras “You go this. Less than 10 minutes to go. Only a few more turns. You are going to run under 3 hours, don’t let up now. This is it, you got 3rd place. You are going to take home prize money!”
Final Stretch on Higgins Street Bridge – waving at the crowds
This was the first race I actually had fun, while also being my most painful race to date. I willed myself to finish, even against what my body was saying. Lungs felt fine, but the legs wanted to give out. When I made it onto the Higgins Street Bridge, it was relief and accomplishment. I came in 3rd overall female and 5 minutes under 3 hours, with a time of 2:55:10, only 3 minutes off my marathon PR.
Finish Line – relieved to be done!
No it wasn’t my ultimate goal, but for me it was a well deserved accomplishment all things considered. I surprised myself and learned that mentally I was strong. I had so much fun and loved racing with Sarah. I taught my oldest, that you never give up and you keep moving forward, even if the pace slows and even if it is painful. The finish line is worth it. Crossing the finish line, even if it wasn’t a PR or a first place finish, is an invigorating achievement and you can’t help but cry, smile or yell for joy! And every time you cross the finish line you should do that, even if it wasn’t your goal race. It’s an accomplishment finishing, EVERY time!
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit