When I looked closely at the numbers from Sunday’s marathon, I was kind of blown away.
Yeah, for most of the race, I looked like this:
^George took these pictures in the first couple of miles of the marathon (before he went to do triathlon swim training in the ocean!).
Here’s how the marathon went in chunks of miles (hope you like to see a bunch of mile splits):
Miles 1-5: 8:27, 8:19, 8:23, 8:19, 8:15. Did a great job not to go out too fast. I knew that I certainly didn’t need to worry about being behind or anything… I’d just have to worry more if I was running anything below 8:10.
Miles 6-10: 8:13, 8:15, 8:14, 8:19, 8:18. Pretty good. I was going a teeny bit faster than necessary, but there was a very slight downhill in this part. I tried not to follow behind anyone, in case they sped up and I blindly followed.
Miles 11-15: 8:17, 8:17, 8:20, 8:12, 8:32. I was cruisin’. Didn’t look at the time too much. Didn’t freak out at certain times. It’s all good, friendo. Keep chuggin’ along.
Miles 16-20: Things got interesting. There were some nice rollers (but pretty gentle). It was also when we got to run along the ocean on the PCH. Just didn’t try to speed up on the downhill. Even effort was my goal. 8:33, 8:18, 8:26, 8:30, 9:04.
Miles 21-23: One of the reasons why I had a feeling I wouldn’t be PR-ing is because of what comes at the end… some formidable hills (compared to the flatness of the farmland of the beginning). I walked for two or three portions (around 20 seconds each?), but I tried to just keep the effort the same, and not gun it on the downhill. Also, by this portion, the quads were kinda sorta wrecked. 9:09, 8:40, 8:45.
Miles 24-26.2: In other marathons past, I would already have hit the wall and started having trouble maintaining a 9:45 pace… and this is on flat/downhill finishes. I would have at least one mile split that is in the double-digit… but I was smiling and enjoying the race. wEIRdsiES. Totally new to me to feel so great at the end. Also, there was a lady who took quite a tumble, and I ran over, stopped, helped her up, dusted off her shoulders/back, and made sure she was okay to run. Turns out that she is visually impaired and she’s used to falling. Even still, I ran with her a bit before settling back into a good pace. 9:19, 8:44, 8:22, 6:58.
Offical time: 3:43:03 (about 20-something seconds more than what my Garmin read. Oh, well).
3rd in age division, 13th female overall.
Pause for a more serious note:
Numbers. Sometimes we can get caught up in it, or even forget what it’s telling us.
When the news flashes a number of soldiers who were killed in combat, or statistics on injured soldiers, or numbers of soldiers returning home, we forget that there are faces and lives behind those numbers. Yesterday was Veterans’ Day, and I appreciate those who are serving/have served this country. Not just as a civilian, but I have to remember that they are my brothers and my sisters.
To all who are serving/have served in the armed forces: Thank you. You are all heroes!
To all who have a close family member who is serving/has served in the military: You are heroes, too (I’m sure it’s tough holdin’ down the fort when a member of the family is serving far from home)!
Okay. Back to more meaningless things…
So what does the outcome of the race tell me? I need to trust in my training. If I know I need to run 8:15’s to PR, then there’s no need to try to bank some time in the beginning by running faster. Also, the couple of miles (especially in the beginning) that are a bit slower won’t screw me over… what would be my undoing is if I go out too fast.
You hear it, you read it, and it’s still hard to do it sometimes… “Don’t go out too fast, blah blah blah.” Well I finally listened to it, and I can see why it is so very true.
Then again, I wasn’t in race mode. I just wanted to test out everything… fueling with gel about every five miles, taking in electrolyte drink at every station (except only water when taking in gel), and sticking in a certain range for the pace, never going below a certain pace (even if I felt awesome). It gives me confidence for next year when I try to go for a big PR and a BQ 🙂
So what’s next?
Berkeley half marathon in less than two weeks. That one will be for fun (translation: I’m bringing my camera with me). And then a 10K on Thanksgiving morning!
Besides that, even if I didn’t race the 26.2, I still covered that much ground, so I will need to give my body a break. Respect the distance, yeah? I’ll try to stick with elliptical-ing and cycling for a few days.
Do you have a GPS-timing watch to study every component of your race afterwards? (Yes. My Garmin FR 405 is my bff and I study the mile splits and everything to see what went right/wrong).
Anyone running a race on Thanksgiving Day (or that weekend)?