I carb loaded like it was my job for this race, and I do think it makes a difference!! Here is what my eating looked like a few days before the race:
- Wednesday: Didn’t change a ton, just shifted carbs a bit. Normal breakfast late in the day after a routine blood draw, bagel sandwich for lunch with pretzels, John made me an amazing dinner and I had more brown rice than I normally would.
- Thursday: Salt bagel for breakfast, pretzels for mid morning snack, sandwich for lunch, Clif bar snack, snack box on airplane with another bagel when I landed.
- Friday: Bagel for breakfast, Clif bar for a snack, Panera sandwich with cup of chicken noodle soup and a side baguette for lunch, Clif bar for a snack, pasta with bread and 1/2 glass of red wine for dinner.
Night before – dinner, passed out at 8:30pm, woken up by hotel neighbors at 10:30pm. Didn’t realize what woke me up at first and woke up thinking it was go time!
I slept pretty fitfully. I kept having bizarre stress dreams – one that I’d been having all week was that my super awesome race day manicure had peeled off LOL. I finally just got up at 5am and had coffee and breakfast.
Went to Whole Foods the day before so I could have stuff in my room. Used coffee pot to boil water for the oats and eyeballed the measurement.
Picky Oats – Can’t Beet Chocolate with blueberries, banana & peanut butter.
Went to VIP area around 6:30. It was great because it was right near the start, but I could stay warm and continue using the restroom repeatedly without standing in line. The race didn’t start until 8am, so if I hadn’t had that area, it would have been way too early to be standing around in the cold. But I would have been anxious about getting a place in the corral, so the VIP deal worked out great.
Nibbled on a plain bagel while I waited (only finished about half) and drank water with Nuun.
Got ready to walk to the start and had a Stroopwafel.
Took off my hoodie and left jacket on.
Saw friends, Lindsay and Keenan & then got into place in my corral after the National anthem.
Squeezed into the crowd of people and realized the jacket wasn’t really necessary while standing in a huge crowd. Tossed it. I knew I’d be a bit chilly to start, but I’d rather be a little cold than fumbling with a jacket. As we stood waiting to go I felt eerily calm and so ready. Sarah, my coach, said something in her interview before Chicago that wouldn’t stop ringing in my ears, “If I don’t PR today, its because I chose not to show up.”
Miles 1, 2 & 3 – 7:39: I spent these miles trying to get my bearings with pace. I was wary of becoming glued to a pacer who wasn’t running my race plan, so I let the 3:15 pacer go by. My plan was to auto lap my watch, but I completely missed the mile markers for these miles, not for lack of looking. I wanted to stay super calm and feel like I was running slow, which I did.
Mile 4 – 7:28, 5 & 6 – 7:37: At mile 4.5 I saw James on one of those lime scooters! Took a gel just before mile 5.
7, 8, 9 – 7:33, 7:36, 7:34: Half marathoners split at mile 7.
10 & 11 – 7:42 & 7:25: Took another gel. I tell myself that the 20 mile mark is halfway, as I have found it makes that last 10k easier to think through, so I thought of mile 10 as halfway to the halfway mark.
12 – 7:33: Getting to run through really pretty neighborhoods. I was enjoying the crowds and scenery. The homes were so beautiful and many had people out front doing a kind of tailgating cheering on the runners. I was feeling good and having fun.
13 – 7:25: I think it was around this time that I noticed the 3:20 pacer was awfully close behind my left shoulder. Although I was a little afraid of going hard too early, I knew I wanted to fight for faster than 3:20. So I surged and pulled ahead, trying to concentrate on form.
First Half – 1:39:59. I was feeling really good about that half split. Not too conservative, but not too fast either. I remembered the first half I ever ran in 1:43 and how I felt like my lungs were going to explode at the end.
14 & 15: 7:23 & 7:37: Finished & tossed my handheld water bottle. I was planning on finishing it sooner, but I kind of had to pee and I wasn’t sweating, so I didn’t force it. I also took another gel. This mile was a bit uphill and I ran it by effort. I was pleased with split and the perceived effort.
16 – 7:33: There were some uphill portions though this stretch. I had been looking forward to this part. I don’t generally have the ability to run on a completely flat stretch of road, so I was kind of nervous to run at an even effort for that long. When you run uphill, you kind of get a break from pushing on the way down. These were very mild hills, so I was happy.
17 – 7:18: Ran by Butler University which was fun and had great crowds.
18 – 7:21: We got to run through Newfields, which I was excited about. Newfields is an art museum that I knew I probably wouldn’t have time to go see, so I was happy to run by it.
19 & 20 – 7:10 & 7:18: We had kind of run up to Newfields, so in getting back on the road towards town, we ran down a big swooping road. LOVED that. Felt like I was flying. Took another gel.
21 – 7:19: I was smiling ear to ear and pushing. There were some signs with Indiana fun facts on them and I liked reading those, although I couldn’t tell what you what a single one said.
22 – 7:21: Pretty sure this is when I tossed my gloves? I started driving with my legs and swinging my arms and pushing my pace which was TERRIFYING, but also felt amazing.
23 – 7:05 – I knew I was running fast and tried not to think too much about it. I played the game of picking people off instead.
24 – 7:37: Took half a gulp of another gel and tossed it. Did it more for the mental trick because I was starting to feel the fatigue. I saw the clock here and it said 3 hours. So I knew if I ran two 10 min miles, I would still PR by over 9 minutes. But then I thought, NO. I’m not doing that. I’m not giving myself an out to do anything less than fight as hard as I can.
25 – 7:11 – Tossed my ear warmers. I was still smiling ear to ear and the crowd was noticing and loving it. I took my AirPods out and it them in my pocket.
26 – 6:50 or 7:03 according to Strava. Who cares?! That’s a fast mile 26!!!
.2 – 6:08: As I ran towards the finish line I pushed with everything I had. I thought of every time I’d doubted myself and let it push me. I had so many stress dreams the week leading up to the race, that I did take a second to think, “this isn’t a dream. This is really happening!” Haha.
James was there for a big hug right as I crossed the finish line and my legs buckled right away and I told him I couldn’t breathe and I was so happy. I was wrapped in a foil sheet and given a medal by wonderful volunteers.
I heard vague iPhone ringing until I realized it was coming from my pocket and it was John calling.
We talked for a bit – by talking I mean him saying he was proud and me saying I was so happy. Then I got my jacket because OMG it was FREEZING. Then I ate the most delicious slice of Dominos pizza that I have ever tasted.
I got my medal engraved and they gave me a print out of my results, which was so cool. I was especially excited to see the half marathon splits because I can’t do math all that well normally, let alone on long run brain, especially not with post marathon brain.
My Second Half split – 1:36:40 (Half PR by almost a full minute as the second half a full marathon?!
This PR has been coming for 2 years and 11 months, almost on the dot. Although that might seem like a long time, I really do enjoy the training. And while there were times I wondered how I would ever break through, I never once really believed that I couldn’t do it. That is very odd for me to say because I’m not a naturally confident person, but I truly knew in my heart there was more. And I still think that!
Final time 3:16:38; average pace 7:31
Division place: 17 out of 304
Gender place: 78 out of 1983
Overall place: 516
Looks like the total number of marathon finishers was 4,529.
I am so appreciative of John, my mom & dad, Sarah & James, my friends & my teammates who never gave up on me, and who never told me to stop talking about running.