Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pittsburgh Marathon

So the week leading up to it went as such-

M 4/27: 7 Mile Run 8:00 pace with lunch gang
T 4/28: 4.25 Mile easy run, Lifted core & Upper Body at Lunch, played some volleyball at night
W 4/29: 6 mile run 8:46 pace over to track
R 4/30: Lifted Upper Body at gym at lunch
F 5/1: 2 Mile run at gym with some strides at PMP
S 5/2: off- travel
S 5/3: 26.2 miles run

Core/ Lift: 2 sessions
Ran: 45.45 Miles

First the numbers according to wrist watch: Total time 3:35:50
1 8.01
2 7.28
3 7.36
4 7.59
5 7.51
6 7.59
7 7.56
8 7.48
9 8.05
10& 11 16.13
12& 13 17.50
14 8.28
15 8.19
16 8.28
17 8.26
18 8.02
19 8.05
20 8.29
21 8.22
22 8.22
23 8.54
24 8.13
25 8.18
26 8.25
0.2 2.01

Total Time 3:35:35
Total Distance: 26.37 mi
Avg Pace: 8:10
Total Ascent 4272 ft
Total Descent 4306 ft
Garmin did not take stupid lap splits as far as I can tell.

So I am back from the weekend and it was a blast. Yeah I may not have ran quite as fast as I would have liked, but I still ran a PR and really enjoyed the weekend.

We left out Saturday afternoon and made it into Pittsburgh with no problems and as luck would have it, BS & SS who were were sharing a room with got into town right at the same time around 3. We hit the expo which was pretty small, but busy. Then we headed out for dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse where we met up with 3 west siders. The 8 of us indulged in some good food and of course, a Yuengling, one of my favorite beers that is not sold in Ohio. Good food, good conversation and then we headed back to the hotel before 8. It was just too early to be in the room so we headed across the Street to Tonic to watch the basketball game before heading back to our room around 9:30.

While I had been so tired about the time we left Tonic, we got to talking back at the room and I was wide awake and unable to sleep most the night. I mean seriously I doubt I slept two hours. Anyways, woke up at 6AM and got dressed and headed down to the hotel restaurant for an overpriced coffee and blueberry bagel (which for convenience and need was totally worth it for me!).

About 7:10, TR and I headed out of the room to find a place at the starting line around the 3:30 pace group. The morning was pretty comfortable in the mid 50's and cloudy. We started off together but as I saw the Garmin click down below 7:50 pace at the 0.5 mile mark, we split so we could run our own races. The miles clipped by easily and pretty effortlessly.

I could tell I was a little ahead of pace and I consciously was trying to ease off and let the 3:30 group swallow me. About 4 miles in, that happened and I enjoyed the conversation. I had worn my ipod but did not have it on and talked to a few of the other runners for awhile. The beginning seemed very flat and I was shocked that it was so flat given all of the hilly streets I could see off the sides of the road. For the most part, it just felt that it rolled a lot throughout the whole course.

The prior day at the expo I had bought a fanny pack...perhaps a little lame, but it worked pretty well on race day to hold 4 gels and my inhaler which I hit 4 times over the course of the day as I felt things tighten up occasionally, albeit nothing major! I took some water in around mile 6 and took my first gel with water around mile 9. I was using Crank Gels which have electrolytes so my plan was to only drink water, which I followed. I took a gel at mile 9, 14, 19, 22 or there-abouts.

About 8 miles in, Mindy caught up to me and I was happy to see her and chatted with her a bit before losing her and the 3:30 group after the water stop when I took my gel. I think that was a mental blow as I just was not feeling it to catch up. I turned my ipod on and fell back into my own lil world. Then shortly after the half marathoners split off I started feeling worse and a terrible side stitch coming on. Up until the last couple months I never dealt with them but I have been getting them more often and they are awful. I really wanted to quit with the half marathoners, but trudged on, worried that it may be a repeat of last spring marathon's horrible second half! Around miles 11 & 12 I walked some as I grabbed my side as it ached. I was ready to quit right then and thank goodness I did not see anyone I knew or I would have.

There was some gray haired guy who asked if I was OK and he said just take deep breaths (which I knew) and that the upcoming "big" hill should help. I think it was just the idea that other runners want to help other runners keep going that gave me the motivation to keep going and I trudged up the hill slowly and steadily. I walked the water station just before the halfway point and then kept going feeling better as the hill must have actually helped the stitch.

I started feeling better and better and I was happily running to the music on my playlist. The miles started clicking off more easily and I was a bit frustrated with myself that I had almost checked out earlier when I was perfectly capable of getting through this race.

About the time I hit mile 20, my calves started to really cramp and I felt that I had to adjust my stride and be careful as any step might just cause them to fully seize. I felt pretty good otherwise but I wanted to just make sure I made it to the finish without any issues. It was now sprinkling and a little cooler but all and all not too bad.

The crowds were pretty good throughout the course even as we winded through some less than inviting neighborhoods. About mile 23, we got a nice long downhill which seemed to go on forever and was the perfect decline. It was so welcome at this point in the race and was probably the best thing about the course. The crowds were roaring and I could hear them, even over my loud music.

As I neared the finish line, I did not dare to pick it up as the calves were still hanging on by a thread and I cruised into the finish line where LT took this pic.

As usual, I hurt terribly right after the race. 26.2 miles on the road just hurts! I stumbled back to the hotel with my husband and TR (who ran a BQ time of 3:19) and headed straight for a salt hot bath and felt miraculously better. BS ran a huge PR as well! Then a bunch of us went out for burgers and beers before making the journey home.

All and all, a great weekend! Finished 15/204 in my age group. 3:35:50 chip time

Points of note:
1) wondering if salt/electrolyte tabs would have helped...maybe I should try
2) hills may be good for something!


duchossois said...

Congrats on the shiny brand new PR! The fact that you did not stop when things were going bad, that makes the PR sweeter. Don't you hate calf cramps? Yep, I hate 'em too.

EbethS said...

Good job on hanging in there and Congrats on the PR.

Charlie said...

Awesome job. Congrats

Brian said...

PR with stopping. Very nice. Cramps could have been just the day, maybe starting too fast, who knows.

Nice pic, btw. Your six pack is looking good.

Kim said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE PR JANET! fantastic job - and hello abs!!!

Nathan said...

Nice work Janet! Love reading your race reports.