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ING Georgia Marathon - RunMarathon

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
50F / 10C
Total Time = 4h 16m 53s
Overall Rank = 910/2149
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 48/141
Pre-race routine:

Woke up, showered, braided my hair, debated about race outfit with predicted rain, ate oatmeal, and drank black tea.
Event warmup:

None - walked out the front of hotel and just a little bit to our corral.
  • 4h 16m 53s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 48s  min/mile

First let me say that I met goal #1 - make it to the starting line. This is the 3rd marathon I've trained for since November 08 and the first one I've made it to the starting line.

Got a course-adjusted pace band for the race and decided to use that plus how I was feeling for the race. Mostly to be sure I didn't go out too fast. :) Realized at the start that my Garmin had auto-pause turned on, so I had a brief freak-out moment when it autopaused immediately after I turned it on. After trying to run in the dark, with thousands of people, with medians in the street, and turn off the autopause, I decided that it probably didn't matter that much. I didn't know my exact time the rest of the race, but close enough.

Started with GW and the first 10 miles flew by. I had a 3:57 pace band and he had a 3:55, we were about in the middle of those two. Pace felt nice and comfortable, although we had to slow ourselves down a few times. Hills felt easy, much easier than when I've run the half before. Split off from the half marathoners around 7 and passed through some beautiful neighborhoods. The hills definately got worse once we split from the half marathoners, but I knew that was going to happen.

About mile 14 my right toe started really bothering me. It had started to blister around mile 6, but I think I stopped for a second to add some chapstick (my version of on-the-go bodyglide) around 15ish. I think GW and I split up around here, as I was starting to slow down a bit. My toe was bothering me and my quads were starting to really tighten up. If I remember correctly, mile 17ish was where things really started to suck. I trained on lots of hills, but these were somehow worse and my legs were not having it. My quads felt like they were filled with cement and my poor toe was really hurting. Then my left foot started killing me, right where your toes bend, very wierd and painful to step on. I slowed way down and tried to convince myself to keep running. I didn't do a very good job with the convincing and I started walking A LOT. I was mad at myself for walking, but the pain won. I ended up walking on a lot of the uphills, and tried to at least not walk more than once a mile - not sure if I always did that or not.

At some point I caught up with GW again, but lost him again shortly after. I just tried to keep moving forward and distract myself however I could. I tried to switch to my audiobook around 19 miles, but I wasn't focused able to shift my focus at all to that, so I went back to music. I think things started to move better again around 21. I remember one of the specatators had a vasaline bottle and I think that helped my toe for a lot longer - that was very nice. :) Just tried to run as much as I could and convince myself that I wanted to finish quickly more than I wanted to walk. During the out and back in the park I saw the 4:15 pace group going out on my way back - yikes. I decided I had to stay in front of them.

The hills over the last few miles took it's toll, so I watched the 4:15 pace group pass me with about a mile to go. With about a half mile left, I could still see them in front of me and I could also see GW up ahead. I tried to just keep moving and running and focus on how close the Omni Hotel looked ahead of me.

When I finally crossed the finish line - I wasn't sure of my time, but knew I was at least faster than 4:20.

Although I had hoped to break 4:00, let me say that this was a HUGE PR. My previous marathon PR was 5:05 - so I'm happy to have a 50 minute improvement. This goes to show you anyone can get faster, given time:

Marathon #1: 6:45:xx (2003)
Marathon #2: 5:40:xx (2003)
Marathon #3: 5:05:xx (2005)
Marathon #4: 4:16:53 (2009)
What would you do differently?:

Find even more hills for my training runs, I guess? I thought I had found some good hills for my long runs, but these hills were the longer more gradual kind, I think. My legs just wore out from the constant climbing and I'm not a uphill runner anyway.
Post race
Warm down:

Stumbled around, got my medal and space blanket, and tried to find my way back to the hotel. There were so many barriers, it was difficult to get back to the Omni. I think the walk back to the hotel was the worst - all I wanted to do was sit down and it took me forever to work my way back. Then I had to go get another key and it just felt like I had been standing forever. :) Found Kevin by chance in the elevator and he went to look for Kirk for me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Legs not ready for the length or amount of hills, I guess? This was slower than the average pace for any of my training runs, so I know I could have run faster on a different course.

Last updated: 2010-01-19 12:00 AM
04:16:53 | 26.2 miles | 09m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 48/141
Overall: 910/2149
Performance: Average
Course: Hilly circle from Centennial Park to Decatur and back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2010-03-23 11:21 AM

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Marietta, GA
Subject: ING Georgia Marathon

2010-03-23 11:46 AM
in reply to: #2742820

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Winder, GA
Subject: RE: ING Georgia Marathon
Congrats, Heather! Way to fight through and make it up all those hills! I've heard it's tough marathon course. I know how frustrating it's been since 2008 and getting to the start line - I knew you'd do it. Hope your recovery goes well and your toe heals quickly!
2010-03-24 7:55 AM
in reply to: #2742820

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Subject: RE: ING Georgia Marathon
Heather!  Good tough performance from you.  Congrats on the PR!  Nice improvement.  You will get to that 4 hr mark.  Keep going.

2010-03-25 11:25 AM
in reply to: #2742820

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Smyrna, GA
Subject: RE: ING Georgia Marathon

Great job, Heather!  That course is no joke!!! 

2010-03-25 10:17 PM
in reply to: #2742820

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Subject: RE: ING Georgia Marathon
congrats on the pr, good job.
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