Well, as you may have heard the Twin Cities Marathon this year was the hottest in it's history of 26 years. That's right...starting temperatures of 74 degrees with 87% humidity @ 8am with no clouds in the sky. Beautiful by many judgements, but very uncomfortable to run in. Oh, and there was no breeze! Around 11:15am, clouds did start rolling and a slight breeze did come through, which later I heard saved the marathon from being called earlier. The Chicago Marathon, also held that day, got called early (3.5 hours into its marathon). By the time I fininshed the race it was 86 degrees.
2007 Chip Time: 4:28:29 (hr:min:sec) = 10:15 (min:sec)/mile on average
Interval Splits (hour:min:sec):
5K (approx 3.105 miles) = 0:26:10
10K (approx 6.21 miles) = 0:54:10
Half-marathon (13.1 miles) = 2:01:27
30K (approx 18.63 miles) = 3:02:47
20 mile = 3:17:33
2007 Goal Time: 3:55:00 = 9:00 (min:sec)/mile on average
Qualifying Time for Bostons: 3:40:00 (so I obviously didn't qualify)
2006 Chip Time: 4:07:12
As you can see, my time slowed down by 21 minutes compared to last year, despite my efforts of training harder and faster this year. Note, however, that last year I finished in the 27th percentile for my division (female 20-29) and this year I also finished in the 27th percentile for my division. That means everyone slowed the pace sort of consistently in my division.
10500 runners registered for the marathon, of which only 8106 crossed the start line. Of the 8106, only 7215 runners finished the marathon. The average time was 4:48:01.
My Marathon Story:
I started the marathon weak. I did not feel strong as I often did during my training period at the beginning of my runs. I blame myself for not eating consistently the day before the marathon and bulking up on my carbs. Jeremy and his mom came out to cheer me on at mile marker 1 on Hennepin Ave. By mile 5 my left pinky toe started hurting. It felt like it was bleeding, but no time to stop. So I kept running.
Jeremy and his mom cheered me on at mile marker 6, which was when Jeremy handed over my inhaler and I took my first puff. This was also around the time I took my first carb shot. Note that during my training I never took my inhaler - not once, so I knew the humid weather was playing a role in my difficulty running.
Every two miles, the marathon provided Gatorade and water. I initially started taking Gatorade because this is what I was consuming during my training runs. For some reason it did not sit well this day and upset my stomach. I felt like throwing up. My side cramped up at mile 8. I stopped for 30 seconds or so to get a good breath of air and release the cramp in my side. Ok, so now I was at least ok to run. No more Gatorade...water will have to do.
I started to doubt I would make it to the finish line since I already was showing signs of fatigue, my stomach was upset, and it was hard to breath. I started to feel claustrophic with all the runners and spectators and the narrow path that seemed to go on for miles. Where was that breeze? We were to predicted to have an 80% chance of thunderstorms this morning by NWS, so where was it? I overheard others asking the same question that I had been pondering for miles.
Jeremy and his mom came to mile 11, just before Lake Nokomis. I think this is where Cedar Ave meets Minnehaha Parkway...I very well could be wrong. I was overjoyed to see them. I need the lift in my spirits so I could stop thinking about giving up. I remember Jer asking how I was feeling, to which my reply was "Not Good!". This is about the time when many of the other runners started walking. I tryed to only let myself walk at the water stations.
It seemed to take forever to run along Lake Nokomis, but eventually I got passed it and broke away to West River Parkway, which parallels the Mississippi River. We head north on it for a few miles. At mile 15, the usual folks were out offering up cut up bananas. As much as I wanted to take some, I couldn't. I didn't have enough slivia in my mouth to swallow them. That is probably the best description of just how hot it was out there.
Despite water stations passing me every other mile, it just did not seem like enough. After a mile of passing a water station, I would become lethargic again. It felt like I was in a desert and needed water. I thought I would pass out. Oh, did I need water. I looked at the spectators downing their bottles of water and thought about snagging it out of their hands, or at least asking them for it. So thirsty!
By mile 16 I saw Jeremy and his mom again. That goodness...just the lift I needed to get me throw the last of the Minneapolis portion of the marathon. Jeremy was drinking a bottle of water and I asked him for it. I downed half of the bottle of water despite getting water from a water station one mile previously. I told hime there was just not enough water stations out her to accomodate the weather conditions...most likely because it was forcasted with 80% probability of having completely different weather.
At mile 17 I started to walk again. This was also the mile where there was more water and where volunteers passed out Clif Shots (i.e., carb shots). I got strawberry! I found it very difficult to swallow these shots and my own stash of carb shots because there was just no slivia in my mouth to get them washed down. I decided at this point to only have them at the water stations from this point forward in the race.
Mile 18-19 crosses over the river, which represents departing Minneapolis and heading into the last portion of the race in St. Paul. Thank goodness I told myself. Now, I can't quit. Nope, only if I pass out will I quit. I saw a few good friends in this neck of the woods, including my friends Nick and Kaleb.
The end of mile 20, going on to mile 21 is where the BIG hill is located. This happens when you start to depart away from the river and head onto Summit Ave. I didn't think I could make it up the hill without water. I stopped to walk, but a fellow runner named Roberto, who was from Costa Rico, to me to "Vamos!", and so I did.
Spectators kept saying at the top of the hill is water...just make it to the top. I got to what I thought was the top of the hill and there was no water. Thankfully, there they were...Jeremy and his mom. Jeremy gave me his water and this time I kept the bottle. I took my third puff of my inhaler and I was off again.
Only 5 more miles left...this was a pleasant thought at first, but then it quickly turned into a scary thought. Can I make it the last five miles? I was in so much pain already. My body hurt. My muscles were tight from the lack of water retainment in my body. Ok, I am not going to get to the end being negative..."think positive thoughts". This and more I kept repeating to myself as I took on Summit Ave.
Summit Ave seemed to take forever to run. I mean forever. Each mile seemed to pass slower and slower. In actuality, this was not just in my mind. My time slowed dramatically, so each mile was actually passing me slower and slower. I had my water bottle with me so I felt secure that I could make it. The kind specators offered to hose me down with their garden hoses and I obliged. Thank the kind Lord for these folks. It was just what I needed to keep from passing out -- keeping my body temperature down.
Finally, I passed mile marker 25. Only 1.2 miles left! I can do this, I thought. But my body hurt...so I needed to walk despite the finish line being so close. I walked for a minute and ran the rest of the way. The last half mile was all down hill with the finish line in site. Nice! I see the end. Focus on that finish line. Just get there. Don't hit a wall now. Just get there! 3-2-1-finish line! Praise the Lord, I finished this one!
At this point I screamed to my sister "never again". I quickly changed my mind after I had a chance to cool down. I have to reach my goal time...so another marathon will be in my future.
My family, Jeremy, and his mom, plus a few other folks were waiting my arrival at the finish line. Thank you all of you! It honestly makes it all worth it to me. Thank you!