Tuesday, December 4, 2012

St. Jude Memphis Marathon

WY I Run... bringing so many loved ones together

 11/28: Swim, Pilates, 5 Miles
11/29: 4 Miles
11/30: 15 minutes
12/1: Marathon
12/2: Easy Swim and Hot Tub, Stretch
12/3: Easy Swim and Walk
12/4: Pilates, Easy Spin and 2 Mile Shakeout

The re-cap:
Running for the children of St. Jude and seeing their sweet faces along the course was also an experience in itself.

I am wearing shorts, I promise
The iPhone played its jingle at 4:30, although my thoughts had been stewing for hours and my stomach churning with nerves and excitement. I woke up with a bagel, PB and honey and carried a banana to the race. There were 19,000 taking part in the St. Jude event; a kids race, family race, 5k, half and full and from my perspective, it was a seamless operation. While it was still a lot of racers, the mayhem of a race like New York was non- existent. With a qualifying time, I was able to sneak into the elite wave ( there is no prize purse for this race) and being accommodated made my stress levels that much lower.

And my dad rocked out the 5k before I started. He is getting back into running at 61
Quick pic with my mom and Godmothers (the cheering squad)

To the start... As usual I managed to talk to most girls in the wave and met some wonderful runners on the walk to the start. Then the gun...
Everyone took off and even those who had discussed similar time goals were off... I held off as best I could, but boy was it hard, especially as the half marathoners start passing you left and right.
Infamous Beale St.

 I held race pace instead of the 5-10 seconds slower I had intended ( which cost me at mile 24).  From here, my race was pretty spot on and the halfers broke off at 12. It was undulating terrain with short steep and some longer incline hills that usually came with some flat or downhill to counter balance. I stayed within my head and kept telling myself I felt fine, which, I did until 24. I held a 7-7:15 until that point.
Getting passed by the half-mrathoners

Mile splits 1-16: 7: 22 (so hard to do this, but this why I passed two girls in the end), 7:12, 7:11, 7:15, 7:00, 7:13, 7:13,  7:09, 7:03, 7:01, 7:01, 6:59 ( not necessary and probably what bit me in the end), 7:15, 7:16, 

After the Half-Marathon split, chugging on alone

* A bonus to this race was I had some of the best cheerleaders in the world. Two Godparents, mom, dad, uncle, and some other spectators cheering me on. They managed to catch me 6 times ( wouldn't have happened in NY). Even with 4500 Marathon runners, the small town feel was just the race I was looking for. 

My Cheering Squad
Mile 16, the butt began to ache but I held strong.... But with the little speed in the beginning I suffered the last 2. I remember a specific wind gust that just tore me down and all I wanted to do was walk... 
Achey Breaky Butt

You train so hard and once you make that mistake in the beginning and the acid starts to build in your muscles it's hard to push yourself even when you want too. So my paces slowed, a 7:24 and then 7:52. With my watch reading 26.45, I wanted so badly to stay within the 3:10 range. Somehow, I managed and crossed the line in 3:10:58. The goal I had been training for and a 5 minute Pearson Record (PR). 
Mile Splits 17-26.2: 7:16, 7:14, 7:13, 7:15, 7:16, 7:07, 7:14 (passing girls who had gone out in front of me!), 7:15, 7:24, 7:19, 7:52 (the wheels came off and the acid build-up glued me to the ground) , 7:14

Being paid close attention too as I meander along at the finish

This beast of an event is always a learning experience and I have much more to learn. Execution being my goal, I almost had it... but it will come. I am ready to get it right, but the fun part is the journey there. I will most likely take a few weeks off the pounding and not run the actual marathon event for a while but will begin training again for some shorter races all helping me prepare for that final kick of the big kahuna. 

I placed 6th out of the women and first within my age. My aspirations soared when I saw the top 5 were between 34-36. I have some great years to come and so much to learn in this sport and I can't wait.

Already analyzing my race to my parents... they just nod!
Everything happens for a reason and while I know it's a cliche, I strongly believe in the fact that it does, but it doesn't just happen, you just make what you can out of the alternative. And this marathon alternative was the bomb.com which piled on the fact that I got to see aunts, uncles, great aunts, godparents, family friends, old friends of mine that I hadn't seen in 5-10 years. What a wonderful whirlwind filled with so much appreciation and love.

With a crowd unfamiliar with the running world, I felt like I just won the Olympics! It definitely made me realize what I do is special and I work damn hard to get there. I couldn't feel luckier than I do right now and because of it, maybe I can kick the marathon blues in the butt and appreciate a little time to reflect.


  1. Congratulations on a huge PR! Great race!! You kept it together very well and I bet it was great to have such a support team there to experience the marathon with :)

  2. Great race, congrats! You were LOCKED IN to that pace. Even when the "wheels came off" it was only for a mile and you kept it in the 7s... that's really hard to do... to hold it together like that. Impressive. You have a lot to be proud of - that's a fantastic PR!!!

  3. CONGRATS on the PR!!! 5-min huge!
    and your Dad is so awesome!
    I'm so excited reading your comment that you will be all around California in February!!! we must meet up and run some miles!
    Redondo is close to me, and I am from the Sacramento area, so we should be able to find a meet up date!
    I hope your all healed up post-marathon and feeling great!