Finally doing my marathon recap! I spent the entire last week forgetting that I was a runner and enjoying other things. I really like taking my weeks off when the time calls for it.
On friday night poboy and I drove about half way to College Station and stayed at my mothers house. The next morning we drove the last 4 hours. We had to make lots of stops at gas stations because I was drinking lots of fluids. Once we arrived in college station we found the hotel and I picked up my packet. We then found a place to get some lunch. I ate some sort of chicken sandwich and some fries (carbs!). Then we went back to the hotel to check in and settle down for a while. After an hour or so of hanging out I went on a short jog and did some stretching.
Later in the afternoon our group drove the course to check things out. I noticed that the course had LOTS of turns and gradual hills. Around 7pm I had dinner consisting of steak, mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. It was very delicious.
The morning of the race I woke up at 4am to eat breakfast (a blueberry bagel and honey). I attempted to go back to sleep until 6. I didn’t get much sleep. At 6 I got out of bed and proceeded to get ready. We drove to the start and then did a 5 min jog and found woods to use as a bathroom. The race started promptly at 7am and it was dark.
The first 6 miles I was worried about going to fast so I tried to stay calm and relax. My splits were: 650, 645, 642, 13:51, 658. Then I took one gu. I started taking water/gatorade immediately at 1.5 miles and continued to take it every 1.5 miles after. I was running with a pack of one female and two males at this time. It was nice to have a group to run with. I started to warm up and feel good during the second 6-7 miles. I allowed myself to run a little bit more aggressively. 643, 650, 655, 631, 645, 13:34. I took my second gu at 12 miles. The course started to get a bit hilly around 12-14 and I started to realize just how far this race was.
I came through 13.1 at 1:28:30something. I was feel pretty good at this point and probably pushed the next couple of miles harder than I should have. Next 6 splits: 653, 647, 632, 648, 14:07, 7:09. I started to falter a bit at mile 18 but still thought I could hold on to sup 710 pace for the rest of the way. I took a gu at 18 and tried to think positive. The final 5 miles were horrid. My legs were cramping (feet mostly) and my hips were killing me. This makes sense because I only had one long run over 18 miles. I don’t think my body was familiar enough with running over 18. Last splits: 722, 717, 719, 14:49, 731. The last 3 miles I was just surviving. We merged with the half marathoners and ran some on a bike path. This was annoying because it made it VERY difficult to get around people.
My overall time was 3:03:21. Not exactly what I was aiming for, but still a good debut marathon. I learned a lot about myself and about what to do next time.
After the race I took an entire week off! I was very sore on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wed I started to loosen up nicely.
Since Sunday I have run twice (3.5 and 5 miles) and my glutes are still a bit sore but overall I am not feel to bad. My return plan entails this week running 3-5 miles 5 or 6 days. Next week aiming for 35ish miles. Then by week 3 being back at 45-50 mpw. Hopefully I just keep feeling better and better.