On Sunday I ran my second standalone full marathon and third if you’re counting the Ironman. It went quite well if I do say so myself.
I woke up at 3:45am on Sunday which was fine because at 2:30am these two drunk dudes were getting into a fight in my apartment parking lot and I had to call the police (LOL). They were seriously so loud. But they also sounded like fucking morons. After I called the police, they came and talked to the guys, but even after that, the guys still stayed outside and loudly talked for like another half hour. Then I heard them get into their car and drive off, which is obviously great considering how drunk they were.
ANYWAY, so I couldn’t really back to sleep after that. So waking up at 3:45 really wasn’t hard! I had my usual pre-race breakfast of Kodiak Cakes pancakes, coffee, Ibuprofen, and Imodium. A balanced breakfast. Since I was up so early I was able to relax and take my time getting ready. I left at 5am, the race started at 6:30 and I only live 10 minutes from downtown haha. I like to get there early because I get extremely flustered trying to park. I still got flustered even though I was early and every lot was empty but I still ended up parking in a $15 parking garage UGH.
I walked to the race start and got into my corral at like 5:45am. I was the first person in the corral. This was nice though because there were 6 totally free porta potties in the corral. I always have to pee before a race and I hate standing in line for an hour just to pee. A little after 6am, I peed and let me tell ya, that porta potty was so clean, you could probably eat off the seat! I mean, I didn’t do that. But they’re never clean so I was excited.
I lined up at the very front of the corral. I was in corral E because when I registered I think I had to provide proof of my last marathon time which wasn’t very fast for me. Based on the time I did end up going on Sunday, I should have started in corral C. Usually the corral you start in isn’t a HUGE issue, but the further back you are, the more you have to try and avoid people walking.
My corral started around 6:45. I definitely started out way too fast. I always get way too excited! I knew I was going faster than the pace I wanted, but I felt so good that I didn’t want to slow down. The first 8 miles truly flew by. Even the giant Gilbert Ave. and Eden Park hills barely phased me. I actually trained more hills this year so I’m sure that helped. WOW, imagine that!
Around mile 8 is where the half and full split. This is also where my mom, stepdad, and grandpa stood to cheer me on. It’s always very exciting to see them and gives me a little boost of energy. I felt great when I passed them still, but don’t worry… I still had 18 miles to go LOL.
After the full split off, we turned right onto Madison road and took that all the way to Erie. I like this part of the course because I’ve run it SO. MANY. TIMES. It’s right by my apartment! The route goes allllll the way down Erie to Bramble. Again, this is a section of course that I’ve done a billion times in my life. It’s comforting. Also, the second half of Erie is literally like two miles of downhill so that’s always nice.
The race then went down Bramble, through Madisonville, then down Settle into Mariemont. On Settle I got to see my officemate from work which was very exciting and gave me another little boost of energy. While in Mariemont, I saw my grandpa again! My mom had mentioned that he was going to watch me at mile 8 then go over to Mariemont to see me again, but I totally forgot! That was very exciting. He’s definitely my number one fan!
Towards the end of the Mariemont section there is this fucking hill. It’s not even a long hill but it’s STEEP. Plus, we were about 17ish miles in and my legs were getting a wee bit tired. I did end up walking this hill. Even the people who were running up the hill were running so damn slow. I figured it would be better to just save my legs since it was such a short distance.
After Mariemont, the race then comes out onto Columbia Parkway near the Frisch’s. This is the last area of decent crowd support before the worst section of the race. This is where Columbia Parkway turns into a normal highway (AKA no sidewalks, stoplights, trees) which means there is no crowd support, nothing to look at, and no shade. It’s only about a mile long stretch but it’s horrible! Luckily, it’s pretty flat.
The course then went down an exit ramp that takes you onto Eastern Ave for a long time. This section had pretty good crowd support again, which thank god because we were at like mile 20/21 and I wanted to DIE. Mile 20 is the absolute worst in a marathon. Typically, this is the furthest you go during your training, so your body is like cool we can handle this. BUT THEN, you start to realize YOU HAVE SIX FUCKING MILES LEFT. SIX IS A LOT OF MILES.
Plus, this is where shit really starts to hurt because your body is like… why have I been running nonstop for 2.5 hours??? My left knee started hurting out of nowhere which was fun. Especially because I like never have knee pain EVER. But the knee pain made me run a little weird which cause my right hip to start hurting too. I also started getting foot cramps in both feet (this is normal for me though). Luckily foot cramps are easy enough to run through! Also, around mile 22ish (or whenever the race runs through Columbia Tusculum), I got a horrible side stitch. Seriously?? A side stitch?? What is this? Amateur hour? It was so bad I couldn’t breathe, so I had to stop and walk for just a second to try and stretch it out. It wasn’t going away so I decided to stop being a pussy and to just run through it anyway.
Starting at mile 22 I also walked the aid stations. My body just really wanted some Gatorade and it’s really hard to run and drink Gatorade, I’m not tryna be all sticky, ya know? It was kind of nice to walk but at the same time, my knee hurt the most whenever I started back up running again.
By mile 24 I just wanted to be done so I ran the last two miles straight. It was a pretty pathetic excuse for a run though. I was basically doing this really slow weird limping run thing BUT HEY, I was still moving!!! Between mile 25 and 26, the crowd really started to pick up since we were close to the finish line. This motivated me to run a little bit faster even thought my legs were not happy about it.
We turned by the Red’s stadium for the final stretch of the race. At this point, I could see the finish line and the crowds were insane. I ran as fast as I physically could (which was not very fast at all) and pushed through to the finish. I looked down at my watch and cried like a little bitch. I BROKE FOUR HOURS!!! That was my ONLY goal and I DID IT!!! I cried because I was so happy with that time, cried because my body hurt so bad, cried because finishing a marathon is always exciting, and cried because I was so god damn happy to not be running anymore. My official time was 3:57:51. This was nearly 40 minutes faster than my previous marathon!
Finger-gunning my way to a PR!
I do think that I took this race out too quick. My first half was like 1:50 according to my Garmin, which is my fastest half ever (or close to it), the first half is also super hilly so I probably should have dialed it back a bit. But here’s the thing, I knew I was going to be in pain and struggling in the last few miles anyway, no matter how slow or fast I went in the beginning. I was feeling great for the first 18-19 miles, so I really pushed myself and died a little bit at the end. But who knows, maybe even if I had gone a little bit slower in the first half, I may have still gotten really tired towards the end and my time wouldn’t have been as fast. I don’t know, but I am happy with it and I TRULY gave it my all. Seriously. I could barely walk Sunday and Monday. I also slept for 3 hours Sunday afternoon and fell asleep at 8pm.
I did absolutely nothing physical on Monday, went for a short walk yesterday, and decided I should probably stretch and foam roll last night. Today I biked into work, am biking over to 50 West after to work to do a short ride on the trail, then I have my first night of my sand volleyball league at 50 West later! I will probably bike and maybe swim some this week but I don’t plan on running again until next week.
My 20 week Ironman training plan was supposed to start on April 21, but I was more focused on the Pig. I will probably start following that more structured plan in the next couple of weeks!
The next races I have coming up are Steelhead 70.3 on June 30 and Ironman Wisconsin in September. I miiiiight do the Mojo triathlon sprint or Olympic distance, BUT it’s the weekend before Steelhead so liiiiiike ugh I don’t know. But I do really enjoy that race! I think it will be a very last minute decision! I also think I might start to dabble in bike races this summer as well! I recently made a new cycling friend whose boyfriend is like a professional cyclist so she knows all the deets!
ANYWAY. That’s all from me for right now!! Thanks for reading m long ass post!