Monday, May 23, 2011

Race Report: Fargo Marathon

Saturday morning I got up 8 minutes before our alarms were set to sound and noticed that I already had good luck tweets from people, including the coolest depiction of me as a llama from Jodee,  Just wow.  IT'S MARATHON MORNING!  Race morning went off without a hitch and we were off to the Fargodome.  We easily met up with some of the area Dailymilers, and were all ready to rock the race course.

Me and Ang looking ready to go in our green.

Me and Megan.

Some of the Dailymile crew.
1st day of school photo er.... pre-race photo.

About 20 minutes before the start I headed outside to find Kier and find our place in the starting line.  Kier was calm and excited to go, and I was just ready to rock out my 9 minute miles.  The sun briefly peeked out from behind the clouds and we were on our way.  Marathon #3, let's do this!

The first couple of miles were fairly congested, but Kier and I made our way through the people while staying on pace.  In the midst of mile 2, I saw our pace ~8:47 and knew I needed to slow down and let Kier go on her merry (fast) way.  :)  I started up my iPod and settled in to my 9 minute pace.  There were a ton (and I mean a TON) of turns on the course, so I made sure to keep my head up to see which direction the next turn was to make my way to that side of the road.  No tangent failing here!

Some of the early miles were in to the wind, and I started to wish I would've discussed a windy race plan with Jason.  Back off slightly in to the wind, and let the wind at my back make up the time?  I tried to find that "comfortably hard" pace and zone in on it.  My legs did not feel very fresh from the get go.  I'm not sure if I should've scaled back the first couple of miles until I was warmed up or what.

I knew my first split was at the 10k mark and that was going to be the first update some Team Green and Team Glitterfart members were going to see.

10k split:  56:26. 9:06 pace.

Around mile 7 I was feeling like my legs didn't have it in them for a sub 4 finish.  I'm not sure if I was on my feet too much at the expo, or if I'm doing something wrong with my taper, but definitely something I need to evaluate as my legs were shot at mile 1 of the Vegas Marathon, as well.  However, a 9:15-9:20 pace was still feeling easy, so I knew I could hang on to a slightly over 4 hour finish, and still knock out a monster PR.

Because there were so many out and back portions of the course, I got to see almost everyone I knew who was running the full.  This was such a great motivator!

It was a fairly warm day (especially compared to what I've been training in) with 65* temps at the start, and 80-90% humidity.  My one complaint for an otherwise really great and really well organized race, was that there weren't nearly enough water stops. especially early on in the course.  If I could go back in time, I absolutely would've carried my own handheld.  On my long runs, I usually only have a little sip every couple of miles, but I am also sweating much much less than I was on this warm and humid morning.

Around mile 9 I randomly saw my friend Justin, and was super de duper happy to see him.  I barely got his attention before I went barreling by.  Seeing friends on the course make so much of a difference when you're racing.  Seriously.  I get so spoiled at local races, I don't even realize it.

Around miles 11 or 12 my IT bands started to get... I'm not sure how to describe it.... stiff?  labored? tight?  I feel like my stride started to get a little bit choppy at this point.  Right before the halfway point, the 4:00 pace group passed me.  Sniffle.

Half marathon split: 2:01:53. Pace of 9:19.

It was here that my hopes for a PR were dashed, very abruptly.  I began to have a sharp pain in my left hip, almost feeling like my hip bone was popping out of alignment.  Neat-o.  I continued to run, but had to shorten my stride drastically, we're talking 10-10:30 max pace.  :(  Some quick mental math had me bummed out.

I totally wish I would've had my phone with me, because I needed some support big time.  Also, I wanted to let Jenn know that she could finally head off to bed (she was up at like 2am trying to follow my sub 4 finish on the other side of the world :P).  I just tried to keep my head down and block out the pain as best as I could.

Around 16 and 17 I started walking through the water stops so I could drink a couple of glasses of water at a time.  I was so thirsty and salty.  Getting going again made me realize that not only was my hip hurting, but my right knee was sporting some shooting pain of its own, likely from me changing my gait to alleviate some of the hip pain.

20 mile split:  3:15:27 (just slightly behind the 3 hour mark I originally was hoping for :P). 9:47 pace.

I thought to myself, hmmm.... if I could run my originally planned 9:40 pace for the next 10 miles, I could have a Fargo Marathon twinsy time with Jenn!  And I was off!  This pace lasted for about a half mile before I thought I was going to start crying from pain.  Hah.  (So not funny at the time, but ya know....).  I kept calculating my estimated finish time based on a 10 minute pace, even though I was clearly incapable of maintaining a 10 minute pace.

These last 6 miles seriously lasted sooooo freaking looooooong.  Cumulatively, probably the slowest 6 consecutive miles of my life, so that's something exciting too.  :P  The crowd support was awesome.  Almost shoulder to shoulder for the entire race.  Amazing.  There were people out handing out freezy pops.  Little dixie cups of water.  Kleenexes.  Jolly Rancher Candies.  Seriously...the best.  The bibs had a place for us to put our names, and hearing someone cheering for me when I wanted to die helped me to smile and put an ever so small pep in my step. :)

Through some of these water stops, I walked and also took a small stretching break to try to loosen up my hips.  It would help ever so slightly but the knee pain really kicked it up a notch, especially after the walk breaks.  With about a mile and a half to go, I realized that if I could run a 10:00 min pace, I could come in under 4:25.

True story:  When the race started falling apart for me, I told myself I HAD to finish under 4:30, because I had heard the rapture was to begin at noon (7:30am race start), and I was going to be damned if I posted my first race DNF! (pun intended).

There were so many people lined up the final mile of the race, it was great.  Coming up to the Fargodome I was ready to be d.o.n.e.  I knew I was going to hurt whether I walked it in, or ran my hardest, so I tried to kick it in to gear.  Luckily, I wasn't very tired since I had been slacking off the final 12 miles.  ;)  I ran by a girl at mile 26 who was walking and told her that she had 2 minutes left, and she could do anything for 2 minutes.  About 10 seconds later she ran past me..... uh no!  Competitive Jeri kicked it in to high gear and flew by her.  The finish line is a bit of a blur, but I do remember throwing my hands in the air and screaming out "whooooooooo!"  (Whoo girl for life, yo!)

Final time: 4:25:09.  10:07 pace.

To be honest, I'm really bummed out and shed a few tears writing this up.  I felt really confident in my ability.  It's very obvious that there are issues with a) my running form causing these issues during race/post race/and in training and/or b) I have some weaknesses in my legs that are causing other muscles to be too fatigued to quickly causing the pain.  Very much a wake up call to get it diagnosed and remedied asap.

It's definitely not the end of the end of the world, nor will it be the last time that I take on 26.2 miles.

And finally, the biggest and most sincerest thanks to all of you that were cheering me on.  Seriously, I get all teary eyed just thinking about the love and support that you all have given me leading up to this race.  Reading back through the tweets from during the race crack me the EFF up.  And the thing that ran through my head the most during the latter miles was how bummed you were all going to be for me that I wasn't going to make my goal.  You're all the best, and as a thank you present, I'm sending glitter farts to each and every one of you. :D  Bahahahah.


Julie D said...

Sorry you didn't meet your goal. I was about 30 min behind my informal goal as well, and I'm pretty sure it was due to humidity (not used to that)+ lack of water stops in critical areas. I overdressed a little because of the weather forecast, which never seemed to be right my entire time in Fargo.

You still managed to crank it out at the end. I remember running that last turn into Fargodome thinking it was the most awesome thing!

Heather said...

Sorry you had a rough race, but way to suck it up and get it done. I was looking for you and all your green during the mile 9-17 stretch where all the fasties were heading past me, but missed you. :(

Anonymous said...

Take heart - you'll get there.

That said:

As someone who is injured due to years and years of shitty form? See if you can either 1. run with a group where people know what to look for 2. Look into sports massage or ART...and tell them it's running related. Maybe it's form, maybe your legs are different lengths, but knowing that physical pain is part of the problem is in a way a good sign since it suggests it's something you can treat. Once you've got it under control, I expect to see glitterfarts moving at the speed of light. ;)

Krista said...

You're too cute. And I still salute you and can relate only too well :) Spring 2011 was NOT our time. There's nothing worse than that MOMENT you know your goal is out of reach. I always remember that moment. It was just before mile 9 for me this time around. I remember stopping to stretch at a streetlight thinking, "Fuuuuuuuuck." Makes the next 17 miles reeeeeal long. But you still knocked Fargooooo off your list and finished in a GREAT time. Bad marathons are like ex-boyfriends. They suck. You regret them. You sort of wish they'd die. BUT. You learn something every time. :) XOs and glitter farts, girl. You'll get your sub-4.

bobbi said...

So sorry it wasn't your day, but congratulations for finishing despite everything that was going on. I hope you get your hip figured out, and I hope your next marathon gives you the sub-4 you know you have in you...

Val said...

I was eagerly awaiting your race report:) Sorry you didn't hit your time goal but it sounds like you pulled together a very decent race under not great circumstances. You should be proud of that. So....when's your redemption run? ;)

Jen Feeny said...

You can never be sure how race day plays out no matter how hard you trained. I'm so sorry your day was not in Fargo but it will come and when it does it will be all the more glorious. Very proud of you for gutting it through to the end. Take care of those legs my friend! Like angryrunner said, form is not something to mess around with. Get it looked at and ASAP so you can get back out there and get that redemption race! Hugs!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your race wasn't all you wanted, but you dug deep and should be proud of yourself! It seems you've learned a lot from this effort already, and you know what they say - on to the next!

Mac said...

Congrats on the 26.2! That's an accomplishment no matter how fast it is run!

Julie said...

Way to go! Congrats on another marathon finish! Great pictures and beautiful smile as always!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you didn't reach your goal :( I've been there many times and it just blows.

Richelle said...

So sorry that you didn't have the race you wanted! You will get that marathon PR! Take some time off to relax and heal (definitely get checked out... sounds like you have some muscle imbalances... I highly recommend physical therapy). Congrats!

Hannah said...

You are awesome, Jeri. Seriously. I'm so proud of you for fighting through the pain, and finishing. Running with pain is so tough mentally (and obviously physically!). Congrats on marathon #3! I'm learning all the time that a finish is a finish...and those marathons that hurt the most, especially when we literally feel our #1 goal slipping from our grasp, are the ones that are the best for mental training. The.Best.

Now the real question is...are you running Swan Lake? Do I get to meet you in a few weeks?!

J said...

Sorry Jeri - I know that feeling at the beginning of a race and it stinks. I know you can run a sub 4! Take some time, recover and get back out there!

Anonymous said...

So sorry it didn't work out how you wanted I totally feel you on that but hey you finished! It will come eventually you did all you could do nothing to regret. Figure out a way to come run in the sold out Chicago and we can hang! Haha I had a great time tracking you and tweeting for ya!

Bree said...

Never doubt how amazing finishing a marathon is! Sorry about the hip - I hope it's a one time deal and is better already.

Sorry we missed each other! We probably walked past each other on the street Saturday night :)

..:danielle:.. said...

so you and your glitter farts are gonna come do maine with me in october now riiiiiiiiight?! :)

X-Country2 said...

I love the part about the end of the world! Great job on the marathon finish. Sorry about not making your goal. Way to finish strong!

Jamie said...

I'm sorry you didn't reach that goal :( so know how that goes and how you're feeling right now. I'm sure you'll be back stronger and redemption will be oh so sweet!

Rest up and take to recover properly. Enjoy the little break! Congrats on another marathon finish girl!

Anonymous said...

Girl, I'm so sorry that you had such a painful race :( It says everything about your drive and determination that you just KEPT pushing it through all of that - and didn't just throw in the towel. Fingers crossed that your muscles are recovering this week and you won't have any serious damage to deal with. Whenever you decide to tackle your next 26.2, you'll just be that much stronger and smarter about it all...Congrats for finishing #3!! You've run THREE MARATHONS. Yah, don't forget that. :)

Susan said...

Awww I'm so sorry your race didn't go as planned, but props to you for sticking it out and still running a rocking time to beat the rapture! IT bands are silly and shouldn't be allowed to act up, but they do from time to time. Time to plan out that next race!

Evolving Through Running said...

Sorry you didn't venture into sub-4 land, but you definitely will. Just wasn't your day. Sounds like maybe just your hip got Raptured - gotta hate a partial rapture.

I'm sure Greg Jennings is still proud of you. Rest and heal and bring the noise next time out.

Dom and Trey said...

I ran that morning and thought, I'm only running about half the distance that you will be racing. I'm so proud of you for completing another marathon.

Marathons are like a roller coaster ride. A really loooooong roller coaster ride. You should be proud of your time. Those numbers are amazing, especially considering all the pain you had. Amazing.


Anonymous said...

So sorry your hip acted up and the race didn't go as you hoped. That humidty was crappy too... Heal up, and know that it is ok to be disappointed. You worked hard and deserved a better race. You will get you sub-4:00 though, I firmly believe that. Awesome to meet you, can't believe how much we ran into each other.

Aron said...

Ugh I am so sorry that your kip acted up and you didn't get to run the race you know you are capable of. IT WILL HAPPEN though- don't give up! And CONGRATSSSSS on finsihing ANOTHER marathon!

Glenn Jones said...

Sorry that everything didn't align properly. It happens sometimes. That what makes the distance the challenge that it is. Congratulations on finishing!

Nicole @ Haute Runner said...

I know it wasn't the race you wanted but you still did amazing! I hope you are able to get a diagnosis so you can finally run sub 4 hours. I know you can do it!