Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chasing a PR.....

  I ran my first marathon in 2009 at the Derby Festival and had huge disagreements with Pat over even running it.  My longest training run was 8 miles.  I walked/slogged in the last 10 miles to finish under the cut off at 5:55:30.  Since then I improved some, but had not been able to break 5 hours.  I came close in 2011 with a 5:02:45.  Pat likes to tease me that if I had missed a few port o potties on the course, then I would've beat it.
  This year I had been training for barkley and not running as much.  I was worried that I would not be able to do it once again.  I had one month from running barkley to the marathon to get some miles in.  I was dubious that the hill training would roll over into running.  All I could do was try.
  I arrived at the start line just as the wheelchair races started and tried to make it back to my corral.  I saw the 4:30 pace group and got behind them, in front of the 5:00 hour pace group.  I did not want to see that group pass me again.  Not this year.  I also wanted to run the race- no walking.  And eliminate the excessive use of the port o pots calling my name.
  The race started, and as usual, it took about 10 minutes to get to the starting line and then we were off.  The weather was beautiful and I settled into a comfortable pace.  I watched the miles and noticed I was staying under 10 minute miles.  That was good for me, easy to calculate.  (Split time for 10K was 1:00:57 and 15K was 1:31:01.)  I was looking forward to the half marathoners splitting off.  For some reason, I thought it was around the 5 or 6 mile mark, but it wasn't until after the 8 mile mark.  I was never so glad to go thru Churchill Downs.  Although, that is one of my favorite parts of the race.  It is always fun to see the horses training out on the track and before we leave, there is a speaker blasting out the stretch calls from years past.
  Once we leave the track, we turn out onto Southern Parkway separating from the halfers (finally).  This is my other favorite part.  Heading to Iroquois Park on Southern Parkway you get to pass the front runners that have already did the hills of Iroquois and are heading in for the finish.  I love watching them!
  I hit the hills of Iroquois, slightly slowed, but still running.  I was determined not to walk any of them this year.  I came out of Iroquois Park and hit the 25K mark at 2:33:50.  Still staying under 10 minute miles and the 5 hour pace group had not went jollily past me.  My only problem was that I really needed to visit a port o pot.  I kept passing them, but going down Southern Parkway, I gave in and stopped.  I felt like a crewperson from the Nascar pit crew.  In and out as fast as I could.  Secretly hoping the 4:30 pace group didn't pass me while I was in there.  I was slowing a little, but not too much I felt.  Thus far, I had not walked any on the course except for a couple of aid stations that had plastic cups and I did not want to take the chance of drowning myself.  With the port o pot stop and slowing down some, I hit the 30K mark at 3:08:41.  At this point, the marathoners meet up with the halfer's again for a couple of miles before splitting off again for the desolate streets.  After the pick up from seeing people again, I was starting to slow but still running.
  I was having an issue with my right foot feeling numb and was moving up into my leg some.  I figured it was from my back.  My co worker usually adjusts me every time I get out of alignment (thank you Roger!).  I had passed one medical tent already.  I knew my work (Kort) had people volunteering and I thought if I could get one of them to give traction to my leg it would help some.  My quad was starting to cramp some by now.  At the next medical tent (around mile 22), I stopped and asked the volunteer if she would pull on my right leg.  She agreed while I laid down on my back.  She pulled, but not quite hard enough.  I did get relief for about 7 or 8 minutes before it came back.  It was just annoying, but the sharp pains in my quad was a little more.  I was getting a little discouraged.  Then the 4:30 pace group passed me.  A little dagger in the heart.  Although, I was just trying to break 5 hours, I secretly was hoping to break 4:30.  Oh well...
  I turned down main street trying to pick up my pace but with my quad screaming at me, I could not manage any type of finishing kick until I turned down Preston Street for the finish line.  I managed to pass 6 people then, using the downhill to its full advantage.  I crossed the finish line in 4:32:17.  My new PR finally breaking 5 hours!
Getting ready to turn to home!

My biggest fan

My niece, Jasmine, and mom coming to see me finish

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