or how I PR'd when I didn't train to!
I signed up for Virginia Beach's Shamrock Marathon last fall as soon as I realized that it FINALLY fell on a weekend that I don't work. I even talked my best running friend to sign up too. I had a plan to train to PR. Then I got a stress fracture in my right foot after Wineglass and after much discussion with Coach Heather, decided to train to make it to the start line healthy. As a result, I trained very conservatively. I mean, when I started my training cycle my longest run in 2 months was 4 miles.This has been a bucket list race for me. I have a history of repeating the same race over and over again. Seriously. I had 7 marathons in the bank from 3 races. I was ready for something new and just plain fun.
|March 22, 2015...beautiful!|
Race morning I was up early but headed downstairs to the hotel breakfast for a leisurely meal and chat with fellow runners. I still had no idea how the day would pan out. Coach Heather had given me 2 race plan options but both were based on simply trying to break 4:30. I had only had one 16 mile run that went well and I wasn't really sure what I could pull off. At the last second I decided to go with the negative split to see if I could do it but overall I just wanted to have fun in the race and enjoy it. I started out in Corral 3, said goodbye to Trail Buddy and put on my game face. When I crossed the start line I just went with the flow and what felt easy. Just keeping it easy as much as possible....there were a lot of miles in front of me. The energy was fierce! So many spectators and volunteers cheering us on! It was great! The first out and back brought us out over a bridge, past a residential area and the aquarium and then through Camp Pendleton where so many soldiers were out to man water stations and cheer us on! It was fantastic!
By the time we got back to the main strip
we were at mile 12 and we got to channel a ton of the energy of the half marathoners crossing the finish line! So awesome! I reached the half feeling stronger than I anticipated. I decided to just keep plodding along and see what happened.
13.1: 2:10:49 (Much faster than I had planned!) Feeling good.
We headed south now...opposite the last of the half marathoners who were walking it in for the most part. I tried to cheer them on as best I could. Suddenly I see the winner coming at me and wouldn't you know, it was Brian Morseman from my hometown! Woohoo for the hometown boy!If that doesn't bring a spring to your step I don't know what will!
Just letting the hammer down now and going for it as long as my body will allow. Bart (yeah we're on a first name basis ;)) told me that wind was coming around 19 so I just figured I would continue to give it as much as I could and see what happened. The stretch out to Fort Story is very slightly up along a long lonely road. It would have been easy to back off....especially when I could feel the first twinges of my knee and then my quad (wtf?!?) starting to burn like crazy. But then I turned into Fort Story and the wind wasn't that bad.
|In the pain cave knowing a PR is close!|
(My Garmin logged my @ 26.41 miles which is a 9:59 pace! My first sub-10 marathon!!!!)
At first I thought I had an 11 second PR. I looked it up. It was 2 seconds. Seriously. 2 seconds. If anyone ever tells you seconds don't count in a marathon I'm here to say they're wrong. Most fun, most unexpected PR. So very satisfying.
Trail buddy came in behind me and we collected our medals and then the awesome finisher hats and beach towels! Great SWAG!!!! Then it was photos and the best beach party and beer I've ever had. I wasn't sure that 4 free beer was the recovery drink of choice but let me tell you that 3 slid down mighty easily.
#8 is in the bank. I am seriously considering going back next year to complete the Whale Challenge. So. Much. Fun.