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This year's marathon training was the first time I have trained to not "just finish". We hada schedule chock full of speed work, tempo runs, hills, and long runs, along with the lowly recoverys. As the weeks ticked off, we became more and more confident that it would be a good race.... all we needed was some good weather. And boy did we get some.<br>
However, said good weather did not come on Friday. We entered DC via a rainy day at Washington Dulles. By the time we got to the hotel, we had walked alot and were quite soaked. Who'da thunk we'd have to walk a block to the hotel. (I actually knew, but forgot to get an umbrella. Oops.) Hit up the expo and damn, that was a stellar expo. For having crappy weather, they adjusted accordingly and was very organized. I got alot of free food and stuff. I loved it. That night we met with my college friends and had a small Halloween party. Got home at 12.... way too late.<br>
Saturday, the skies cleared slowly and we decided to take it REALLY slow - our big problem before races of yore. We met with friends to watch my Gators outclass the Dawgs, and then had a nice dinner with Merigayle and sistergoldenhair. We had a great time getting to know them. They also handed down running experience to us. It was appreciated.<br><img alt="" src="http://i6.tinypic.com/5zlzr5i.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br>
After dinner we crashed and then woke promptly at 5:00. Getting ready for the race took no time and by 5:40 we were on the metro, dressed and full of food. We had plenty of covering considering it was 45* out - cold for Floridians but perfect for a marathon (high of 62*). The Metro took us right to the Pentagon... in fact, we came out of the stairs directly under the dang thing. Pretty cool.<br>
(Fast forward passed portolets, baggage, donut!!!, and long walk to the start.)<br>
We jumped into the 3:40-3:59 corral, with breaking 4 as the goal. After a long wait in the wind, the gun went off. For a while, it was slow going, but as we entered some city streets, it really took off. In fact, we were ahead of the pace we were prescribed, but I decided we should just go with the flow, and really, both of us considered it easy. The first mile was 15 seconds under what I had down. Oh well. Then the easiness subsided as we hit the hills. We took them like champs though, as we trained hard for them. After a couple miles, we hit the first waterstop. Holy Hell, that was a clusterF. I dont think I have ever experienced one that chaotic. We got out of there as fast as possible and honestly, we had to run most of it behind the water tables.<br>
We settled into a really good groove from 3-9. There were some slight uphills, but there were some momentous downhills. I loved it. Did I mention that our mile pace was creeping a good 30 seconds+ below plan? Well, it was easy, so we stuck with it. Around mile 10, Toe Jam tells me of impending blister pain. This has been a problem in the past, so the info is duely noted. At around the halfway point, its getting bad. I am just keeping us going at a good pace, but she hurts. We start contemplating me finishing alone. I havent done a race without her since the day we met. I was not happy about this prospect.<br>
Finally, after alot of hard decision making, she had to hit the med tent at 16. I gave her a kiss, got a little teary eyed, and went on my way. I wanted to make her proud, and was determined to finish well. I think this determination also kicked my pace up a notch. I was knocking out 8:20's. That might have been a mistake as I approached mile 20, I felt my first twinge of cramping in my quad. I have a history of cramping, and I had even brought along sodium supplements on the trip - that I conveniently left in my suitcase. So far I was running my perfect race, and I decided that I would just stay my course and see how far I could make it. If I could eek out the last 6, Id hit 3:50. It was a gamble, and turns out it did NOT pay off. Mile 22, I made my first stop to stretch the quads. In between stretching stops, I was cranking though, knocking out an 8:40 pace. I had 45 minutes to finish 4.2 miles.<br>
As I rounded a corner, I saw Becca again. Apparently she had the guts to get out of the med tent and push forward. Seeing her really motivated me to get it going. It helped.<br>
But by the time I hit the last half mile, it was a death march. I would stretch, walk, then sprint, stretch walk, sprint..... I got to the last hill, and all of the sudden, the 4 hour pace group passed me. I decided to screw the pain and somehow make it with them. Well, I finished right beside them, but I also started in front of them. Chip time : 4:01:29.<br><br>
As I walked to my medal, walked thru the water/food line, and then walked UPHILL to the baggage claim, I couldnt help but wonder how TJ was doing. I missed her, alot. I waited by the bag truck, and 12 minutes later she appeared. I was pretty happy. She pulled off an astounding 4:13:22, especially considering she sat in a tent for 15 minutes. I am terribly proud of her.<br><br>
I beat myself up over those 89 seconds. Would slowing down 10 sec. per mile at some point have saved my legs any more? Would the sodium supplements have helped? As TimR suggested, did my starting line side really run .4 farther? Did the water stops kill 89 seconds?<br>
I am slowly getting over it, especially considering that I PR'd by 43 minutes. But now I have a goal. I also have alot of confidence. I had a helluva run for 22 miles. It was easy and I felt on top of the world. I am so close to being the runner I want to be. I just have to figure out my little cramping problem. I think I can handle that.<br><img alt="" src="http://i2.tinypic.com/6arzl1d.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
NEXT MARATHON: Feb 17th.
 

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What a great report! You guys did awesome. I loved reading it.<br><br>
Don't beat yourself up over those 89 seconds. I know it is easier said than done, but you'll do it in February. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Are you going to come hang with pcmarathonmommy and do a marathon here so I can cheer you on and take pictures? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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That totally rocks!! I'm so glad for you guys...and amazed! How cool is that to run together???!!!<br><br>
*sigh* You're both awesome!<br><br>
C
 

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I could feel a lot of energy in your post and have no doubt you both will hit that sub 4:00 soon! Great job and congratulations on a big PR!!!
 

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awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys both did awesome
 

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You are def going to be in sub 4 territory on the next one. Nice RR. Remember those salt packets next time. LOL.
 

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Great job guys! Way to hang in there. That's a very emotional report, and a well run race, by both of you.<br><br>
Snooze, after my prelim evaluation, I did some looking at google maps and my route information and here's my final take on the 1st mile. There's lots and lots of reports from people saying that their first mile was long. By my estimation, if you were on the farthest right, up agains the gaurd rail [ which is were I was ] you were at the absolute farthest away from from the most straight route to the 1st mile marker. Doing that long sweeping turn on the outside right, may have accounted for .2 - .3 miles. The rest of my extra mile stuff is just weaving and bobbing and not cutting corners as close as possible. I still stand by my statement that the 1st mile probably wasn't long on the shortest possible route between the two points that were the starting line and 1st mile marker.<br><br>
Oh well, a little course recon would have served us well. But, that's the price that one pays when you choose to line up in a race with 22,000 participants. I don't fault the race people at all. I thought their organization was really good, given what they're working with.<br><br>
Nice pics. You two did awesome. I hope you're enjoying the post race glow. You'll get you sub 4 for sure. It's out there for the taking.<br><br>
Great job!<br>
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We were right on the right rail as well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Wow! You guys look great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Becs, big ups for guttin' it out. And a very nice time considering being sidelined.<br><br>
Snooze, I don't blame you for beating yourself up over those 89 seconds. You should. But that's because you're competitive and aren't just mailin' it in. But, there's no way you can pin it down to one thing or another. Had you started out slower, then x might've happened. Had you taken the sodium, y might've happened. There's now way to tell what would've happened under a different scenario so there's no use dwelling on it.<br><br>
The fact of the matter is, you gave it hell and ran a damn fine race. Trust me, it took me seven times to get there. You'll be there.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1"><br><br>
Way to go you two!<br><br>
*sniff* who has the tissues? Gah, they're so damn cute those two ....
 
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