This year’s St. Jude marathon didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but I’m so thankful for what my body endured and the PR I managed to snag. In no way am I sad or disappointed with how this race went, but I may keep it short because I’m ready to move forward. And I have the Craft Giveaway winners to announce!
I learned from the Sound of Music that the beginning is a very good place to start so let me go ahead and say that I went to the expo twice. Am I the only one who looks forward to it just as much if not more than the marathon? It’s like Christmas morning for runners, but you have to pay for your presents. I went once by my lonesome and again with my sister and our friend Katy.
In some ways, I’ve been training for this race since February, after I started working with BPC and my coach, Chris Winter. It’s been such an amazing road in which they’ve helped me to PR in every single distance from the mile to the marathon and I am so grateful. I’m also a little tired. In 2015 alone, I’ve run in over 25 races so I think I was a little emotionally winded going into this last one.
Saturday I toed up to the starting line with the least amount of pre-race jitters that I’ve felt in a long time, but there was definitely some emotion. I moved to Memphis less than a year and a half ago and this huge race of over 10,000 people felt like a small gathering of friends and familiar faces. I felt like I knew or recognized half the people in my corral, which overwhelmed me with gratefulness of the Memphis running community. It didn’t matter what group you ran with, who you raced for, or if you were on your own. We were all connected because it’s our city and sport.
Going into the race I set four goals of:
a) Sub 3:32:35 (my last marathon)
I started off in the 3:15 pace group, which was bold but actually kind of conservative for the pace I’d been training at of 7:13. I was in it with two other girls (Kathleen and Kacey) who I had done some training runs with and it was just comforting having them in sight. We hit every split pretty close to 7:20 and I felt okay starting off. I kept waiting for my legs to warm up and feel more fluid, but that never really came.
Two miles after the half marathoners split, I pretty much said farewell to the girls, who went on to run outstanding times.
I, however, was a little sick of being miserable. I kept hearing my dad telling me to have fun and my grandmother telling me that she didn’t care about my time. You could say I was getting negative, but I actually loved how I was willing to let my dream time go.
Mile 14-19 were the hardest as they usually are for me. They are right at the point where it’s over half way and my body is starting to feel it, but I still have a long distance to go. I started walking through some water stations and stopped at a porta-potty so I could keep taking in more fluids. I prayed for strength and I kept going.
Around mile 19 I actually thought that I wouldn’t PR or even qualify again for Boston, but I pushed forward because running is a much faster way to get off the course than walking. My friend Dave was hustling on his bike and met us at multiple spots on the course. He gave me many pep-talks throughout and assured me that I was still having a good race.
I did some math at mile 20 and realized that I still had a shot at a pretty significant PR, which my friend Erica reminded me as she passed and my mind immediately changed back over to positive. I realized I had a good shot of being under 3:30 and there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve run my 4.5 mile recovery run about 100 times in this marathon training cycle so by the time I hit the 21.5 mile mark, I knew I could do it and had a pretty strong finish at 3:25:07.
From my track record (pun totally intended), I’m pretty sure my friends and family expected me to be heartbroken about this race, but I wasn’t. Even afterwards everyone kept looking at me like “do we congratulate her or offer our condolences,” but I was pumped about my time regardless if it was what I was fully capable of or not. My body did some huge work for me out there and I’m so grateful, but I’m also emotionally exhausted.
It’s hard to be emotionally disconnected when your running for those facing childhood cancer. My feet were hurting, my hip flexor felt like it was slowing tearing, but I my mind kept thinking about children going through chemo and how much I complain or act like a baby every time I throw up a couple times with the stomach bug. I know I need to work on my mental toughness, but this wasn’t the race to do it.
Well, I’ve cried a lot, mostly for no reason so that’s been neat. My boy friend is a saint for being so sweet even when he has no idea what to make of me. I definitely want to take a little time off and just do whatever I feel each day for the rest of December. I still love running and still want to break 1:30 in the half and keep chipping away at the marathon, but I’d also like to learn how to work out and maybe switch back into triathlons for a little.
Yesterday the girls and I treated ourselves to manicures and pedicures plus wine.
(Rita and Rosie)
I asked the poor woman doing my feet if they were the worst she’s ever seen and she said yes. I was kind of kidding but like whatever, lady.
(me, Laura, Kristen)
Then we went to yoga for runner’s at Hot Yoga plus with our girl Lisa and messed up our toes within the first 5 minutes. Not smart planning on our part, but ya live and ya learn and it was worth it.
Now allow me to brag on all my friends who absolutely killed it Saturday.
Half marathon: Rita J. (PR and yes, she’s amazing) 1:21:10, Chris W. (my coach) 1:22:51, Tom C. 1:31:40, Rosie H. 1:34:01, Richie S. 1:38:48, Laura R. 1:40:07, Alex H. 1:48:35, Christin Y. 1:54:11, Andrew G. 1:57:43, Colton L. 2:05:46, Melissa B.(my sister in her first half!!) 2:08:28, Cecilia @ mommiesrun 2:22:49, Lindsey C. 2:28:09, Katy O.(in her first half!) 2:42:22.
Marathon: Kathleen B. 3:07:59, Kacey N. 3:10:11, Bjorn D. 3:17:39, Erica S. 3:23:02, Rachel R. 3:26:39, Kristen L. 3:32:29, Buck T. 4:13:10, Michael F. 4:52:25
Cheerleaders: my mom who came in town from Nashville, Dave on his bike, Mark, my brother-in-law Josh who had to go into work right after, and everyone who finished the half and stayed around to cheer on everyone running the full.
Thanks to Craft Sportwear and all who entered this fun and successful giveaway! Congrats to:
Amanda C. won the LS shirt
Farrah won the gloves
Shay won the headband
I will be emailing you shortly!
How did your run go this weekend?
Please let me know if I forgot any St. Jude runners and I’ll put you up there!
What are your next running goals?
What are your usual thoughts during a race or something that’s difficult?