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Rochester Marathon - RunMarathon

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Rochester, New York
United States
Arthritis Foundation
Total Time = 4h 10m 56s
Overall Rank = 250/590
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 10/32
Pre-race routine:

2 nights before marathon: cheesecake and drinks. More than several. Woke up a little hungover the day before the race.
Drove to Rochester from NYC drinking as much Gatorade and Vitamin water as I could tolerate. Finally pee'd clear that night. Had a great dinner at Marmadaddy's (got to meet Dexter too!) and then we went out to watch a band play. And I had beer. I NEVER have drinks before a race.

Woke up several times during the night to pee. Had coffee, banana and a clif bar for breakfast. Drove to race site completely worried about what I was about to do to myself.
Event warmup:

Ran from car to the chip pickup area in a state of panic as I realized there wasn't a bib number in my packet. Fun. Stressed about that, and my horrible nutrition for the past 2 days.

The race start was 1/2 a mile from the chip pickup area (which was the finish line at the stadium). 15 min. before the race I was sitting on a toilet with diarrhea. Official freakout mode fully engaged. This is going to be a bad day...made it to the start 3 min. before the start.

Got in with the 4:30 pace group (usuallly NEVER do pace groups, or the races I do are too small to have them). Was a little worried as my old PR was 4:29, but I'm not used to running that slow. I usually run races a little faster, then walk water stops so that brings my overall pace down.

1 min. before the gun, I see the 4:15 and switch to that one...
  • 4h 10m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 35s  min/mile

My strategy for all my marathons is to run the first half comfortably and then evaluate how I feel at that point. I usually either 1. keep the same thing I'm doing or 2. slow down.

I realized immediately at the start that the Garmin I borred from Mike (Marmadaddy) wasn't configured to the setting I prefer. Cussed myself for not thinking about it the night before. Frantically got the pace and distance fields up (although it was continuous pace not average). I can't believe I didn't even think of this before the race. Didn't find out until the week after the race it wasn't even set up to save the mile laps, so I don't have splits.

Before mile 1, a guy (John) asked if there were any Hashers in the group. Uhh, yeah! We exchaged hash names (no questions). The group was very chatting the whole run and I was happy that I was keeping the pace easily (9:30's-9:40's) and able to hold conversation. Good marathon pace. Or so I thought.

I was dripping sweat before mile 4 and started to get a little worried about my nutrition as I didn't think I would be that hot. I wasn't really hot, but I was sweating. A lot. Wished I had brought little salt packets, but nothing I could at that point. Stopped in a front yard at mile 6 to pee. Went behind a bush and caught back up with the group. Thankfully, this was my only bathroom break. I mostly hung with a much older gentleman, Steve. We chatted the pro's and con's of race courses we'd done (he'd done almost all the ones I had) and someone said "how many have you done?" I replied and Steve said "463" or something like that. Holy Shit. WTF? Apparently Steve is the founder of the "50 States Club." Race royalty people. Another great connection made during a race. Steve fell back before mile 10, but not before he said he would hold a satellite marathon in Iraq for me, I can coordinate when I get there. He is a race director as well. I was overjoyed.

I was keeping with my plan of running with the group, walking just to drink, then catching back up with the group. As we hit the trail (after going up some big hills), our pace slowed. I asked the pacer if we had banked time (I don't do math and run) and if we were slowing. He said yes, and I got worried. It was hurting to run that slow and slower wasn't going to be fun. My hasher friend had already left ahead of the group complaining it was too slow as well, but I didn't have the balls to do that before mile 6 of the race.

By mile 11 I decided I had to leave. I thanked the group and pacer, then sped up. Really sped up. Within a mile, my slight knee pain disappeared and I think I was running almost a minute per mile faster. The continuous pace was reading anywhere between 8:20-8:40. I got really worried that I would blow up, but I had no choice.

Miles 16-17 I started to get really excited and shocked. I could not believe that at what is usually my lowest point of marathons (between 14-19), I was running sub-9 min. miles. HUGE mental breakthrough. I started trying to do math to figure out what I *might* be capable of. As long as I didn't blow up too bad, I would PR. If I kept the last 6 miles under an hour, then I had a chance at finishing 10-14 min faster than ever before. So, I sped up...again.

At mile 17 I saw a guy on side of the trail who looked like Dud (dexter). The clapped and cheered and said I looked great. I yelled back, "can't stop, going for a PR!" wasn't Dud. So, thanks random dude cheering for me because I was passing everyone...

Mile 18, I saw the Hasher that left us early in the race! I didn't remember his real name, so I yelled out "Kiss My Crack!" (hash name). He wasn't feeling great and couldn't keep up, so I chatted for a minute, then left him.

From then to 22/23 I just concentrated on form and pace. Didn't walk the water stops and tried to ignore the pain and fatigue setting into my legs. It was normal marathon pain, nothing serious so I didn't let myself get down, or slow down.

24 I started to get tired. Right before 25 we went up a hill, then over a bridge, off the path, and onto the city road to take us to the finish at the stadium. I walked over the bridge as the downhills were KILLING my knees at that point. I hate downhills.

25-26. Bad. If there is a time to cramp and have pain, I guess this is the time to have it. I have never cramped in race before. I was PISSED. Both calves cramped, right in the spot they get sore from wearing Vibrams. Since I had been running at a faster than normal marathon pace and concentrating on form, I'm not suprised. I walked the first half of that last mile. Cost me well over 5 min. and I was bummed I wasn't going to have a 20min PR.

Last .2:
I debated all week sharing this, but my friends said I need to. I was moving at about a 10min mile and saw someone holding a ".2" sign. Then, a ".1" before we were about to make a left turn to the finish. People everywhere cheering. I was hurting pretty bad, and was trying to be happy about finishing and a PR.

Someone had a ".1" sign and at that moment a fleeting thought passed through my head, "This could be your last marathon. Ever."

WHOA. Since I found out about my deployment, I have not let the thought of not coming home waste space in my head. WTF was it doing popping up now? I was crippled. I started crying, almost hysterically. I couldn't breathe. I started to walk again right at the left turn. I was hoping my glasses hid the fact I was crying, but I couldn't breathe. I was gasping for air and new I would have an asthma attack a hundred feet from the finish line if I didn't calm down. I have never felt so emotionally crippled in my life. I felt like I was being stabbed in the chest and crushed. All I could think about was this being such a great race that the world might have it be my last. It would have to be my last, why else was this race so good? It took every ounce of everything I had to try to start to run to the finish just so I could get away from people. I was so embarrassed.

I have never cried in a race or training, much less had a complete emotional breakdown.
What would you do differently?:

Train. Apparently I need to have beer the night before a marathon. I've never done that before but some of my other 'marathon' friends swear by it. Something I will seriously consider doing again.

Had I carried salt packets like I sometimes do, the cramping might have been prevented. I would have eaten one at mile 6 and then probably another before 20. I'll never know, but I am a HUGE believer in learning something from every race, even if you think it goes better than you could have ever thought.
Post race
Warm down:

As soon as I finished, I assumed the tri-pod position (hands on knees to open lungs to breathe) and the chip people took off my chip. I was still balling and making terrible asthma-wheezing sounds. Medical people came up but I told them I was ok. I walked about 10 feet and sat down on a curb and cried. Hard. For what seemed like forever.

All the weight of the deployment, misssing my family and friends came to a head. At a horribly embarrassing public time. I wanted nothing more than for someone to be there with me so I could not think about it. I had no one to share the experience with. I got a massage and decided it was time to go so I could get on the road back to NYC. I walked around in a haze, but told myself to take it all in.

Started to walk back to the car, and broke down again walking past the finish line towards the course. I could not get the though of "last race" out of my head. I hurried to the car and wanted to crawl into it and hide.

Went back to Mike's, walked their dog and took an ice bath. By that time I was feeling normal and on a post-race high. And starving.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

No training and the late-race cramping. But, nothing really. It was a perfectly executed race with my timing of Shot Blocs and Gatorade/water ratio.

Event comments:

Hard to complain about an 18min. PR on no run training.

A well run race, no complaints about the aid stations or volunteers. Great course for me (not flat).

I don't know if I want to say I should learn to control my emotions because this has never happened and it's a strange circumstance. I did this race specifically because I'm deploying. I just wish all that would have happend AFTER I finished.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-09-09 12:00 AM
04:10:56 | 26.2 miles | 09m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/32
Overall: 250/590
Performance: Good
Course: Moderate hills to mile 10. Gravel trail along canal until mile 19ish. Back onto asphalt trail (more hills) until mile 25, then city streets to finish line at stadium.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-09-19 6:57 AM

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Queen BTich
Subject: Rochester Marathon

2009-09-19 6:34 PM
in reply to: #2414951

Online or Offline
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

STFU with the coming home via Dover bull$h!t.

You'll come back and the next marathon you'll do you'll BQ with your eyes closed. Just don't forget the beer the night before your qualifying race

CONGRATS on a kick race!!!

2009-09-19 8:23 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
Great job, especially without the formal run training.

Emotions are natural and it happens, and it was definitely part of your race experience. The race may have been the "release" you were needing.

Every race is an opportunity to learn something new and I truly believe that, too.

Thanks for your service.

Go forth with honor!
2009-09-20 4:45 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Reston, VA
Gold member
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

You will be back for the next mary.  Great race!!!!!!!

2009-09-20 5:41 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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West Henrietta, NY
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

Great run!  I didn't know there were any out of town BT'rs coming up for this one.  I ran the half, guess I'll have to stay more in touch with BT in order to know these things are happening.

Not sure what Mike and Dudley have been up to as I've been focused on running this summer and haven't seen them at too many races like I usually do.

Guess I'll just have to meet you the next time you're in town.

2009-09-20 6:39 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
Congrats on the PB even more impressive with less formal training!

Cool you met so many nice folks racing and well staying with Mike would be awesome.

Being emotional is part of life, you completed something you love and did well and you have deployment ahead, you probably needed to let it go so being emotional is helpful.

Thanks for serving!

You know it is cross season again...yippee!

2009-09-20 8:29 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
You worked your butt off this past year. So cool to see this race go so well.

You'll be back next year, you need to run that other marathon you skipped to do Rochester.
2009-09-20 9:41 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
You rock! Disney will be waiting for us when you get back. I love you!
2009-09-21 12:43 AM
in reply to: #2414951

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Extreme Veteran
Latonia, Kentucky (near Cincinnati)
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
1.  I've tried the "night before" drink, and it works for me too.
2.  Don't go to marathons by yourself....everyone needs a "hug buddy" at the end.
3.  You're awesome JUST the way you are.....WE all know it.
4.  You have LOADS of races to do when you get back, but while you're's YOUR job to get your fellow deployed friends into CF and all  of your other whacky !
GREAT RACE.....all of it!
2009-09-21 7:49 AM
in reply to: #2414951

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Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
Great job!  IMO just keep effing that chicken and you'll BQ!
2009-09-21 12:03 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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San mateo California
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
you are a  FU#*&NG rockstar...   Love the RR and cannot wait to read many more..   You have been an inspiration for many in BT over the years and you will continue to be so..   Go haley...  Give them hell!!

luv ya


Edited by velasqu7 2009-09-21 12:04 PM

2009-09-21 12:19 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Pulaski TN
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

Great job and youll be back!!! Remember the harley you are going to buy just think about that!!!

2009-09-21 4:11 PM
in reply to: #2414951

Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

You are a rockstar!  I have to say the picture of you sad in your car makes me want to cry right along with you!  I got very emotional following RAGBRAI, cried on/off for two days!  I think sometimes the physical exertion breaks down all the barriers that keep all that stuff inside, and probably for a good reason.

Take care, enjoy your time before you head out and remember that we will all be with you!!

2009-09-21 4:19 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

Wish I was there.  Thought about you that morning.   Sometimes you need a good cry. 
Sweet meeting up with Steve. Get that international Mary in. 

2009-09-21 8:44 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
Hey Haley,

Great race!  Sorry about the ending.  It's amazing the emotions that will come out in a race.  Congrats on the PR

2009-09-21 10:20 PM
in reply to: #2414951

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

Dudette, finally got a chance to read this. First, super race. I'm amazed at what you can do when you set your mind to something.  I guess cheesecake and beer have become new pre-race food for you.   I'd say I'd give that a shot at IMFL, but we all know better.

Adrenaline does amazing things, and as is evidenced by the emotions at the end, you had some flowing through your veins. I wish I could tell you it'd be the last time, but no, deployments bring with it a variety of emotions, and just about everyone is unpredictable.  You can prep yourself for some of them: holidays, birthdays, things like that...but then there will be freaking weird times where you think you're nuts, and you're not, you're just deployed.  It is perfectly natural to have the thought you had out there, but at the same time, that thought has passed through your head, and now it needs to go away. Don't dwell on it, don't let it dominate your mind because THAT will eat you up and you will not be able to do what others need you too--and you've got a job that requires people to NEED you at your best.  I have had those crushing feelings and emotions--it's normal.  If you didn't have some of that, I'd be worried cause then I'd think you had no caution before going over. 

So, here is what's going to happen. You're going to get there, you're going to serve your fellow servicemember and patch them up when they need it (and I hope it's mostly due to basketball or football injuries), you're going to find you have more than enough time to workout and it's the only thing to keep you sane. You'll eat the same food everyday otherwise you'd get fat (cause that's just what the DFACs serve...sigh.)  Then you'll come back in such bada$$ shape that 4:10 will be your "easy" run marathon. 

Super PR. I want to run a marathon with you one of these days.

2009-09-22 10:18 AM
in reply to: #2414951

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
Great RR, Haley and congrats on the huge PR!

I can only begin to understand all the pre-deployment emotions you must be going through. But I totally understand the overwhelming emotions at the finish. I think that working that hard for that long just rubs the emotions raw.

Finally, I totally agree with the beer the evening before theory. My best race ever was the morning after staying up late playing poker, eating pizza and having two beers along with a bunch of water. Who knew?!?!
2009-09-22 10:42 AM
in reply to: #2414951

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2009-09-22 3:09 PM
in reply to: #2414951

Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

{{  }}

Haley, great job.  Yes you are facing a huge challenge, but I'd put my money with the poster who said you'll BQ soon after your return!

It's okay to cry.  Heck, any spectators who even noticed were thinking, "hot dog, if *I* tried to run 26 miles I'd be crying too!"  At least that's what I'd be thinking.  

Great race.  Sounds like the beer worked.  Beer + salt next time, and it will be perfect.

2009-10-06 1:24 PM
in reply to: #2414951

Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon
What an amazing performance! I am so impressed with your strength... mental and physical. 

While I'd do the same thing and not waste any time worrying about what might happen in the future, I think at the end of a marathon you are at your most vulnerable emotionally, and it's only normal for something like that to happen. I've cried before after races. It's only natural. My hope for you is that it was cathartic and productive.

You're going to get wicked fit while you're over there and come back even stronger.

Congrats on the HUGE PR! you are a maniac
2009-10-06 6:15 PM
in reply to: #2414951

Subject: RE: Rochester Marathon

Awesome performance Haley! Great job out there. Everyone knows when you're pushing your body to the limit and you're tired that emotions can come flying out. They are there for a reason and feeling them is not wrong. We all know that you'll be back soon, continuing to tear it up! Congrats on the PR!

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