On Friday we left the Cities around noon and took a small detour to avoid some slow downs on I-35. We got to my sister-in-law’s around 3:15 (after a stop at the grocery and liquor store). Since my brother-in-law was running his 16th!!!!! Grandma’s Marathon and had to go pick up his race packet, they picked up mine as well. It was nice not having to deal with the expo once we got into town.
Andrea and I stopped by the Oiselle meet up that was hosted at Tammy’s gorgeous house off of London Road! It was great to chat with some other birds and put names to faces, finally 🙂
After the meet up, we had our traditional pre-race meal of spaghetti and garlic toast. (And Andrea’s famous s’more bars.)
I decided to sleep on the couch since I still wake up if Calvin makes even the slightest noise. Even though I slept pretty restlessly, when the alarm went off at 3 a.m. I got up without hitting snooze. I ate my breakfast cookie and drank a half a cup of coffee, along with about 16 oz. of water. After throwing a few “in case of emergency”-type supplies in my gear bag (poncho, sunglasses vaseline, etc.), John, Andrea and I were out the door at 4 a.m. sharp and en route to Duluth.
We arrived and parked at the Edgewater Hotel around 4:30 and were able to get on the second shuttle. Once we arrived to the start, we sat alongside the road with a stunning view of Lake Superior. While sitting there, I ate a half a banana and my Gen UCAN snack bar.
We got in line for a final porta potty stop and were headed to the start corral shortly after 6 a.m. The corral was crowded and as I worked my way towards the 2:00 area, the gun went off and we were on our way!
Miles 1-6 – 8:59, 8:49, 8:48, 8:45, 8:46, 8:49
The first mile went by quickly and was pretty uneventful. The weather felt nice and cool still and my legs felt pretty fresh — I didn’t notice any of the fatigue I was feeling over the past week.
I had to do a fair share of weaving at the beginning, but the nice, wide roads made it a lot less frustrating than in other races in the Cities. Around mile two or three, all of a sudden I noticed that it felt significantly warmer than it did at the start. The first few miles ticked by and I tried to enjoy them by taking in the scenery.
Right around mile five, I noticed a little twinge in my left hip. I didn’t think too much of it, but by the time I was approaching the seven mile marker, it had gone from a ‘twinge’ to dull pain. My left foot was also starting to bother me and I felt the heat getting to me — I started to feel my pace slipping a bit.
Miles 7-13.1 -8:53, 9:06, 8:51, 8:40, 8:45, 8:43, 8:24
The next couple of miles were my slowest. I walked through the water stops and it took a lot of effort to pick the pace back up after walking. I tried to focus on my form and to do my best to keep a sub-9:00 pace. Lemon Drop hill came and went and like the last time I ran it, I used it as motivation that I only had 1/4 of the race ahead of me.
Right around mile 10, my friends Kate and Brian appeared and it helped me pick my pace back up! The crowds started to thicken as we made our way down Superior Street.
Between miles 11 and 12, I saw Jesse, Sara (my SIL) and Calvin! I was feeling awful by then, but I plastered a smile on my face and focused on getting the race over with.
Trying to harness my fast-finish training runs, I gave the last mile all I had left (which wasn’t much) and crossed the finish line not able to push any harder.
Official finish time: 1:55:46
I collected my medal and shirt (not a fan) and beelined to the gear bag area. There was only one person in front of me! I promptly took off my shoes and slipped on my birkies. Ahhh, relief.
I was feeling a little woozy, so I sat down in the finishers area for a little while before heading over to the family meeting area. I got a text from Andrea that she had finished already — MAJOR PR for that girl!
Shortly after I got to the finishers area, Andrea and John and Sara, Jesse and Calvin arrived. The moment I squeezed my little guy was one I’ll never forget!! ❤ ❤ ❤
Since we found out our car was basically being held hostage at Edgewater until the marathon was over the roads reopened, we took the shuttle to Proctor where Jesse picked us up. After a short nap, some lunch and an amazing shower, we drove back to Duluth later in the day to pick up the car. Once we arrived back to my sister-in-law’s, we celebrated with some champagne, a beer or two and juicy lucys!
I went into this race hoping to break two hours. My 10 mile race a few weeks back gave me the confidence that I should be able to do that relatively easily, but given my low weekly mileage totals and the crappy runs I’d had recently, there was not one part of me that thought a PR was a possibility. This was a wake up call that I’m probably not training at the proper paces and was further validation that working with a coach is the right call for me. (I’ve already started working with my new coach and I’m SO EXCITED!)
Fuel: I felt like I fueled properly for this one. I took water at every stop except for the first and last one. I also took a second cup to pour over my head at a few stops and I know that helped keep me cool. I took a total of four Shot Bloks starting at mile 6 and through the end of the race. I probably could have had an entire package, but I didn’t train much with them and didn’t want to upset my stomach.
Gear: I went with Stride shorts and my Oiselle singlet as well as compression socks. I felt a bit warm with the socks, but I’m still happy I decided to run in them. My Stride shorts stayed put the entire race ❤ I could’ve used sunglasses, but was fine without.
I’m so grateful I had such a great place to stay with the best hospitality (thanks, Tim and Sara!) and great training partners throughout this cycle (s/o Andrea, Kate and Kristen!) and a huge congrats to Tim for completing his 20th marathon, all of the amazing Oiselle women who raced over the weekend and to everyone else who raced!
This week is all about recovery and I’m already feeling much better after the race. I did some major foam rolling and saw my chiropractor for an adjustment. As long as my hip feels OK when I run on Saturday, I’m considering myself as good as new!
So what’s next? Not 100 percent sure, but talking it over with my coach and thinking that it’ll be a fall 10 mile or half.
What’s up next for you? Any fall races planned?