As I have mentioned, Emir got me a coach (Caleb Masland) for Christmas mostly to help me work towards my BQ goal and also my ultra goals. Since January, Caleb has been working me hard. Besides the speed work, hills and strengthening programs he's also had me running more miles than ever before. I ran 211 miles in March, my most ever in a month. Not that I don't completely trust Caleb but I have had some thoughts during training that my legs might be too tired to run a PR especially because there was many a run that I struggled to maintain 9:20-9:30 pace. Do I know that these miles usually are on tired legs? Yes but does that stop me from worrying about it? No ;-)
Anyway I was so excited that marathon week was finally here! Of course the first thing you do marathon week is check the weather apps and "bam" slap in the face, rain and wind. Ugh. Now I know this race usually has some wind. For instance the last two years were definitely windy however it was not a strong steady wind. I would say a steady breeze with some gusting that would be from all different directions. This forecast indicated steady 20+mph from the north. I was not happy! While one aspect that I love about Ocean Drive is that it is a point to point course however it is not so great when you are running the entire race in one direction that is into the wind. Of course it was all I could talk about the whole week. I could really care less if it poured rain the whole time. It's fun to have a wet, messy run and since this is a road race shouldn't really affect my speed. Emir told me to email Caleb for suggestions probably so I would stop bugging him. He gave me great advice on what to wear and some strategies. He also reminded me that there is nothing we can do about the weather so just give it my best and if the conditions are too bad there will be other races to PR. I appreciated all his advice, it was great but still inside I knew I would not be satisfied with not reaching my goal no matter what the conditions.
|beautiful day for a run|
Finally, the weekend arrived. All four of us drove to the shore Friday after work/school. As I indicated last post, Emir was not running this race so he and the kids would be my support. Saturday it rained all day. I got my shakeout run in. It was good practice for the rain and the temps so I could get a sense of what I would be comfortable wearing. The wind however wasn't a factor at all. It was a glimmer of hope. I picked up the race stuff for myself and my sister, Cindy. She was running the 10 miler that occurred simultaneously with the marathon. Other than that, I just tried to rest and eat well for the next day.
Sunday morning Cindy and I had our coffee and breakfast and then caught the bus to Cape May where the race starts. The logistics for the race really work out well for us as we have a condo in Wildwood not far from the 10 miler finish line which is where the bus picked us up. We arrived with about an hour before the start. The starting area is great since it's right in front of the famous Congress Hall which lets runners utilize their facilities and their cozy seating areas indoors. It wasn't terribly cold, probably 50 degrees but nice to hang out inside during our wait. I also should mention I had a brief freak out moment getting dressed for the race. I had decided to wear a long sleeve compression top under my #teamwickedbonkproof singlet because I thought the temps would barely be in the 40s however that morning it wasn't as cold and I was afraid I would get hot. After a brief argument with my husband, I ended up sticking to my long sleeves. As much as I hate to say he was right, he was right. I was a tad warm in the beginning of the race, however the temps and conditions deteriorated rather quickly and I would have froze my ass off in just the singlet and arm warmers.
|Cindy coming down the homestretch of the 10 miler|
|so happy to see everyone at 10 miles!|
|stalking me from the car|
|Finishing in the pouring rain|
|Coming in for the finish!|
Obviously I'm a very happy runner right now. I feel like I learned so much from this race and that it was such an important stepping stone towards my BQ goal. I feel like it's such an attainable goal now and maybe even within this year. This race taught me a lot about my pacing. I realize now in NYC I went out waaaay too fast. While I was still able to PR, the second half was really hell for me and way slower, not a good way to go. This time I kept my pace in control and I felt great the whole race. So I know now that I don't have to go so fast the first 13.1 to make my goals, I will still have enough in the second half as long as I run smart the first half. The other piece was my fueling/hydration. I've always been so worried about not having enough to drink or in the way of fuel and now I see I usually over did it. I was perfectly fine with just a handheld of Tailwind and grabbing some plain water at aide stations as needed even in the tough conditions. In the battle between the headwind and Tailwind, it was no contest! Now I just need the caffeinated Tailwind since I'm a caffeine addict.
|The bottle speaks for itself|