Flying Pig was a planned “Run for Fun” Marathon. Given that Glenn and I had both PRed in March at the Lower Potomac Marathon, we figured we deserved to that. When I was running Lower Potomac in March, one of the biggest motivators to keep up a good pace and finish with a PR was knowing that at Flying Pig 7 weeks later I could just sit back and enjoy the race, no worries about time. Glenn had plans of running with our friend Erik for his first marathon. Erik is a naturally gifted runner and wanted to run 3:00 hours for his first race… and Glenn was going to try to pace him/try to stay with him! (although 3:00 is 5 minutes faster than Glenn’s PR of 3:05) So the just chillin idea for him obviously wasn’t happening.
At the start of the race we were all in trash bags getting rained on. (I’ve never given in to the trash bag wearing thing before, but it was actually really great). Glenn, Erik and I all started in corall B, but after the bathroom stop right before the race we never found eachother again so- of I went to run the 26.2 on my own! (well, along with however many other people race Flying Pig).
Warming up felt fine as I was soaking in the atmosphere and crowd. Around mile 5 I started to get those marathon thoughts that creep in your head when you still have 20 miles to go. You know…. thoughts like, maybe I will just take the 1/2 marathon course instead, or how the heck am I going to do this? Why am I spending my morning doing this? Then I started thinking of how jealous I would be on the ride home when Glenn and Erik would be talking about the full… and about how ultimatley I really do want to run a marathon in every state, so what would be the point of cutting this one off and having to do Ohio all over again.
The whole race I remained at a steady, very comfortable 8:20ish pace and refused to speed up like I tend to do around miles 7-10. As usual, I was watchless, but everytime I crossed another mile the volunteers yelling out paces had me at that same steady pace. I was honestly kind of waiting for when I would “blow up” and have to painfully make my way into the finish. Our March marathon was only 7 weeks before- and we only made sure to get one “long” run of 16 miles in before this race…. and that was just one week before. (not very smart right?)
After the Lower Potomac Race when my race friend Steve coached me to my brand new PR- I told myself I wanted to pay it forward and do something similar for someone at Flying Pig. I kept trying to find someone who looked like they needed encouragement and run with them. Unfortunately I never found anyone who seemed interested in my company… and the last thing I wanted to do was be annoying to someone who was already hating life because they are in the process of running 26.2 miles. Since that plan fell through, I just made sure to encourage those who I ran past and really try to lift people up who seemed like they had lost the mental battle.
I get to mile 20- a little bored and wishing I had some entertainment. I look over to the right side of the road and there’s Glenn standing on the side waiting for me. Apparently at mile 10 he decided he didn’t have the interest in trying to push himself for 16 more miles with Erik, and certainly didn’t want to hold Erik back if he couldn’t keep up. He had walked an entire mile before I caught up to him (he was pace for a 3:10… so it took a while for me to catch up to him) What a precious husband I have.
Over the next 6 miles, we talked a lot, and I loved it. We were cruising and it felt great. 3 miles in to that last 6, Glenn had a lack of protein attack- he was starving (forgot his mini cliff bar at the hotel). and had to slow down. Of course I wanted to slow down with him- because he waited for me and his company was much better than running by myself…..but I was kind of hmmmmmm…. frustrated because I had had such a consistent pace the entire marathon and felt really comfortable still at mile 23. I really just wanted to see if I could finish out at that pace with that much comfort. Luckily at mile 24 there was this mystery homemade aid station that was handing out full size cliff bars. Perfect! Although he did fumble it once he got it opened, dropping it on the ground, it didn’t stop him from woofing it down and giving him energy to pick it up and finish on in at that steady 8:20ish pace I had been keeping.
As we were coming in to the finish with about 1/2 mile to go, I realized I was still feeling pretty good and totally had another 5 or so miles in me. Do I see an ultra in our future? Pretty tempting! The only kind a marathon that feels better than the kind where you finish feeling as though you could run a few more miles is the kind that you set a new PR. OK, and maybe also the kind where you run with someone for their first marathon.
Next up: We are going to do our first triathalon this summer. Yippie!