On Sunday, I completed my fourth (and fastest to date) marathon. This was my first time running the Cowtown Marathon and I will do what I can to come back again next year. I had a great race experience, and it started by following my plan. It also helped that I had great support and encouragement along the way. My dad, my husband, and my Ironman friend were there at the start, along the course, and at the finish. What a difference that made!
The size of the race was ideal for me with almost 1500 finishers in the marathon. At this stage in my running, I need the support of other runners around me. Even in the first ten miles before the half marathon split off, the course didn’t feel crowded. The temperature was nice enough for this easily overheated runner to wear short sleeves and shorts. My $1 throwaway gloves were off by the second mile and tucked in the back of my iFitness belt. I put my earbuds in place, my playlist on shuffle (a first for me), and I was ready to go.
I stuck close to my pacing plan (five miles at a time) and it went smoothly until miles 17-20 when the wind started to affect my pace. My plan was to run negative splits up until mile 20, when I would use whatever I had left in the tank to finish. It was pretty close, but the last 10k did take its toll on my body. There were a few more hills than I expected, but fortunately I train on hills, so my legs powered up on autopilot. A fun little bonus was when I reached the top of the big hill around mile 9, the theme song from Rocky came on. I couldn’t have planned it any better.
While I didn’t quite make my time goal, I did take ten minutes off of my PR from Oklahoma City last April. Also, for the first time I completed a marathon without walking at all. I knew that if I stopped once, then it would be easier to stop again and that would impact my finish. No tears were shed, and I even managed smiles at the finish. My friend and husband both agreed the throwaway gloves needed to be thrown away, so I guess it’s time to hit the clearance to stock up some more.
5k – 30:56 (pace 9:57)
10k – 1:01:14 (pace 9:51)
Half – 2:09:02 (pace 9:51)
20 mile – 3:16:40 (pace 9:50)
Finish 4:22:12 (pace 10:00)