Site:
http://robotladyrunner.blogspot.com/
Miles:
10841 total / 0 in 2018
Goal:

Run. Dance. Sweat. Breathe. Make it Happen: Sub-21 5K, Sub-1:40 half marathon, BQ in 2015! Run more trails. Finish 100K in 2016. Have adventures. Be happy.

Tracey G. another long and wind...

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Another Long and Winded Race Report: Lakefront Marathon

I needed like a whole day to process the marathon. I read everyone else's race reports, looked through Facebook photos and tried to make a dent in my Twitter and DailyMile thank you list. (Sadly, a small dent will have to suffice for now- though I read EVERY message and was quite frankly overwhelmed by all the awesome support.

Pre-race:

While eating piles of pasta with Marty, Anne and Rochelle on Saturday night I told them that I was strangely not nervous at all- and it was the truth. I was excited because I know how amazing running a marathon could feel and I couldn't wait for it to actually happen but I wasn't "nervous" about the distance anymore. I know I can run 26.2 miles. I've done it a couple of times before. Sure, I had a big new goal of running a sub-4 time but I was pretty positive that after my intense training this summer I would at least have a PR (less than 4:07) and I wouldn't be heartbroken if I couldn't break in to the threes. We made jokes about the 4000+ calories Marty had eaten in that day in preparation (and consequently his growing food baby) and all was relaxed and easy going. I even slept REALLY well which never happens pre-race.

Race day!

Again the school bus ride out to Grafton is the longest trip ever. It finally dawned on my kids just how far 26 miles is when I told them "I'm going to run all the way from COSTCO." Whoa. I still didn't feel really nervous but I definitely got quieter and started to go in to "game mode". It reminds me of back when I was dancing in college and getting ready to go onstage. I would stop talking to everyone and just go into my own world, visualizing what I needed to do. I was happy to have my buddies with me for support but I was already on my way inside my mind. When we stepped outside to the starting line I thought at first that I had made a mistake by wearing a tank top and shorts but once everyone started bunching up at the start I immediately began to get warm. When the national anthem was sung the sun began to peek out of the clouds and I knew right then that it was going to be a good day. I couldn't believe that I was about to run this crazy distance for the third time

Go!

I ran with Rochelle and Marty just ahead of the 4 hour pace group for the first few miles. They were planning to speed up at mile 5 and go for a 3:55 pace and I wrestled a bit with whether or not I wanted to join them. I felt so good at the beginning and I wanted so badly to go faster but I ended up keeping myself in check. The beginning of a long race ALWAYS feels good! I didn't want to mess up what I had trained for by getting too ambitious literally at the last minute so when they took off at mile 5 I had made peace with it.

My decision paid off. I realize that a lot of people don't like running races by themselves. (Of course, I know I wasn't technically by myself but with Marty and Rochelle going ahead and Krista and Anne behind me with the 4:30 group I was the only one of our crew running at this pace.) But for reason I think being by "myself" really works on race day. As much as I love chatting away in our group training runs, I am not a race talker. I am ALL BUSINESS. It doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying myself, it's just that I really enjoy cranking up my music, absorbing everything I'm feeling, and focusing completely on my goal. I did turn my music down at most of the larger spectator areas because I wanted to hear everyone cheering and to look for familiar faces. (I know I missed a bunch of you though and I'm sorry! I tried!) But for the most part I just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and staying on pace. I also spent some time thinking about my mom because I wasn't a runner while she was still alive and I can''t help but think of her when I run races now and how cool she would think this all is.

I do have to say something about the spectators. As in they were SPECTACULAR. Not just the people that I knew either. It seemed that whenever things started to get tough or monotonous there was another stretch of cheerleaders to keep pushing me along. I know I'll forget people if I start naming names but I have to mention how Cheryl ran along side me at one point taking photos! I couldn't have asked for better support. Oh, and a kid dressed like Luke Skywalker gave me a high five and said the force was with me so that was rad.

Wall stuff:

I can't say that I hit the "wall" at 19 but I definitely started to feel worse then. This was earlier than last year but I was running over a minute faster per mile and it was the longest I had ever sustained a nine minute pace before. (I did all my 20 mile training runs at a 9:20-9:30 pace.) The Lakefront course is not really hilly but there are a lot of slow inclines around this point that all culminates at mile 23 at the top of Lincoln Memorial Drive. I knew the big downhill was coming but it seemed to be taking FOREVER and every time I thought I was almost there I was wrong. Crap! When I finally got there at the top of the hill though the crowd was AMAZING and I was so happy to be approaching the final miles that I got all choked up started to lose it. I saw my friend Chris yelling like crazy at me and I and I got a total cry face. Sob!

The thing about mile 23 at Lakefront though is that after all the brouhaha there are still three miles to go after you tear down that big hill. Three. Miserable. Miles. This was definitely wall territory. As soon as I got to the bottom my previous elation faded and it got rough. My pace slowed and I started to worry whether or not I could still make a sub-4 time. I was trying to do the math in my head to figure out just how much I could slow down and still get in under 4 but math is hard and I my mind was all scrambley so I didn't trust anything I was thinking at that point. I was in a total daze when I finally realized that Mark (a.k.a.OBLIVION!) was jumping up and down wearing neon yellow and screaming my name. I was so happy to see a familiar face that I yelled "OH THANK GOD!" at him as I passed by leaving him to wonder why I am such a weirdo.

FINISH!

Even when I got to mile around 25 and realized I had over 12 minutes to meet my goal I still couldn't tell myself that I had it in the bag. Anything could happen! Plus, this was crazy hard! Also, for the record I HATE the mile 25 1/2 marker. I wish I would have given it the finger. But 25 1/2 marker be damned I pressed on, turned the corner and headed down the home stretch. CHEERS! More cry face as I saw the official clock click over to 3:58! Then something that did not happen to me last year came over me: I had energy to kick it up the last few yards! I saw Mike cheering on the left and the rest of my cheering squad on the right and I blew past the two guys in front of me to cross the finish line. That felt good.

Hugs and crying ensued.

And thus ended my third marathon. My official chip time was 3:58:40. I would have been happy squeaking by with a 3:59:59 so I was more than thrilled.

Life is fantastic.

  • Krista

    LOVE. Congrats! Again.

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Meghan A.

    Congrats Tracey. You are such an inspiration! On to the ultra!! :)

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Mike C.
    Mike C.

    Excellent write up. I felt your pain at my 25-1/2. I did not give mile 25-1/2 the finger; I did, however, moon it.

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Stacy R.
    Stacy R.

    Awesome awesome race Tracey!!! Glad we got to hang out for a little bit :) And I'm guessing you found your car lol

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Alison S.
    Alison S.

    A big, huge congrats to you Tracey!! Loved reading your race recap. Awesome job!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Marty
    Marty

    Great write-up Tracey! And, I couldn't agree more about the 25 1/2 mile marker. I was so sure that was the 26 mile marker (despite my Garmin disagreeing)... when I realized it was only 25.5, it was like I'd been punched in the stomach. Congrats again on your new PR and getting that sub-4 (handily)!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Middalia
    Middalia

    Congrats!!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Jodi H.
    Jodi H.

    Wow, Tracey! I just loved reading your inspirational story. You have got to be just "beaming" from head to toe with this great accomplishment! I know how that feeling or gush emotion sneaks up on you at the end since the same thing happened to me! I can also be an emotional mess especially since you really get inside of your own head and pull out so much deep thought and meaning to things in life. Congratulations on your great run!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • John P.
    John P.

    Really great recap Tracey!!! Hope you have one huge smile on your face right now!!!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Mark-Oblivion R.
    Mark-Oblivion R.

    Math is hard. Let's run 26.2 miles. I know what you mean about running alone versus with others. In all 3 of my marathons so far, I've started with Tim, but run the hardest miles pretty much on my own and I kind of like it that way. Got a starting buddy lined up for Sunday, but like to know that I can go on my own if needed/wanted. As for your odd comment, I'm used to women thanking god for me being around. ;) Great race. Way to PR with authority!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Jane S.
    Jane S.

    I love reading these! Congratulations on a great finish. I'm more of a solo racer too. I need to go at my own pace without worrying about slowing anyone down - or being held back! Now on to the ultra!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Karen B.
    Karen B.

    Tracey, congrats on the amazing race. What a wonderful recap. Thanks for sharing!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Aaron
    Aaron

    Congrats!! Great job and inspiring account!!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Laura C.
    Laura C.

    Great race Tracy!! And I loved your recap. Congrats!!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Jackie

    Great race report. Congratulation on a great marathon finish!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Steve H.
    Steve H.

    fantastic race report! congrats

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Dianna M.
    Dianna M.

    Congrats Tracey! Fantastic marathon :)

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Ron L.
    Ron L.

    Great report Tracey! "Scrambley" will be my word of the day. 3 marathons and a sub 4, very nice!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Cara V.
    Cara V.

    Awesome race! I think I saw you at mile 7.5...but I didn't realize it until you were passing...and believe it or not...you were the ONLY person I recognized at that point! (if it was you) There was just so many runners! I didn't even recognize the people I know in person! ha! Congrats on hitting your sub 4 goal! That is SUCH an accomplishment!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • John C.
    John C.

    Great recap and congrats on the sub 4 PR. That's awesome!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Angela
    Angela

    Congratulations on your PR!!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Cheryl R.
    Cheryl R.

    Thanks Tracey :) I had sooo much fun taking pictures! I wanted to see you all finish, but I stayed at mile 19 until Krista & Anne came past, and then I had to find parking by the finish & didn't quite make it in time. Congrats on your PR and thank you for being such great inspiration!

    over 7 years ago Like

  • Cory C.
    Cory C.

    Awesome effort and achievement!!! Keep it up and you'll be going to Boston! :)

    over 7 years ago Like