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Illinois Marathon - RunMarathon


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Champaign, Illinois
United States
Christie Clinic
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 5h 25m 20s
Overall Rank = 1571/1808
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 94/109
Pre-race routine:

Planned to go to bed early-ish.. Ended up talking with my friend (and roommate, at the hotel) Shawna and giggling and being pre-race silly until - OOOPS - midnight! Get some shut eye with some crazy dreams (must have been the weird paint fumes in our stellar hotel room), alarm goes off at 4. I did consider just shutting it off. Got up. UGH. Shawna and I were out the door at 4:40 for a little 20 min warm up run. 10 minutes into it, in the dark, I glance down to my shoe and see that my timing chip is gone. SERIOUSLY?????????? (something to explain, as well organized as this race was-the one thing they did pretty loopy was this time chip gig-it was supposed to just go on your shoe like a paper clip-just go on your laces and stay there... riiiight... and yes, we followed directions and they even had a picture of the chip on the shoe, all there and perty... i think they forgot we'd be running in those shoes and shaking the chip all over the place. OY.)

I do a quiet freak-out and 10 seconds later decide that if I don't find it, I certainly am not going to NOT run. I am running with my watch and using that as my official time, and they can't stop me. There.

So, we are running back, WIDE awake (who needs coffee, just lose your timing chip in the darkness, ZINGGGGGG-awake!), trying to locate this thing somewhere down below, in the dark, mostly. No luck. I'm praying as hard as my brain will go at 5 am and really hoping it's in the room. It's in the room. I have never been so happy and thankful. (well, I have, but that's besides the point). We put everybody on chip alert, and mine gets cemented to the shoe by three pins, and I mean, it's immobile. Sigh of relief (big one), grab bags, out to the car, get coffee, get parked in the race parking lot, shlep together a PBJ sandwich....

Did I mention the race hasn't started yet? Eventful start to an eventful day! That's the way I roll, baby.
Event warmup:

20 min at the hotel, 10 of which were at a heart rate equivalent to running a 5 minute mile, what with all the chip worry and mini heart attacks and cursing the mind that came up with the idea to just slide the chip on the shoe.
Run
  • 5h 25m 20s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 25s  min/mile
Comments:

Ok.. Bear with me, this may be long.

My friend Shawna and I planned to start out together and stick together for 3-5 miles and then play it by ear. We are at about the same pace, ran 2 of the last long runs together, including a 26.2 one (yes, I made sure it had the .02 in it, the Wall had no chance with us! ), but we didn't know how the race would go, so we didn't make any plans past the very beginning.

We got separated before the start and couldn't connect-she tried calling me, then I tried calling her, no go.... I was bummed out, but figured I was all by myself, so 5 minutes before the official start, I decided to make a run for the port-a-potties one more time... So, i'm standing in line, and they announce that the 5K crowd hit a delay, so we have about 6 more minutes. All of us in line to the little blue house are cheering...I actually took a minute to read and update my mentor group forum on BT, and then I see Shawna!!! She was standing in line 4 port-a-potties down! It was awesome to find her. Turns out, her ipod broke and she had no music, couldn't find me, was bummed out, as well. So, we get back in the line up, make sure to stand in front of a bunch of ladies with walking sticks and some guys whose shirts read, "We started training yesterday." We both looked at each other and just moved ahead of them.

We started out doing 1-1s (1 min running, 1 min walking), figured we'd do that for 3 miles,get our legs happy, then reevaluate and at some point and switch up to 2-.30s. The miles kept rolling, we felt great, were talking to a bunch of people... The 1-1s felt awesome, we were keeping our pace (I wanted to stick to a 12 min mile for the first 13 miles), so we just decided to keep doing 1-1s.

The whole thing felt surreal.. we kept telling each other we are running a MARATHON, and it didn't seem real, because we were joking, and laughing, and chatting with people around us, and cheering the crowds and bands. As we started, we could see a ways down the road, and it was just a sea of people... now, i have seen that at big races, many times, but we were running a marathon, and somehow, it was just so majestic! Ok, did I just use the word "majestic" to describe a grueling race? if you are still reading, brownie points to you, my friend!

Anyhooo... I remember thinking before the race how much it would suck to have the half-marathoners break off at 11.5 miles and go to the finish, while we still had such a long way to go. I kind of dreaded the moment, because I thought it would just drag me down... What ended up happening was me telling Shawna that as soon as they would break off, it was THE real deal-it's just down to us, marathoners...and it felt awesome, instead of the expected horrible. That was a pretty cool moment.

I know the pace was right for me, because not only were we passing people the.whole.race, but we also had SO much fun! We danced, we laughed, we talked (yes, the whole 5.5 hours). There were lots of people sitting in chairs on their front lawns, and I would bug them to borrow their bikes or put the chip on their golden retriever, which got wierd looks followed by chuckles. I even asked a couple of police officers directing traffic if we could just take their car, but then i figured that if I kept it up, I'd come across one without a sense of humor and he'd arrest me, and I wouldn't get to finish. Any runner that had a name on his/her shirt got a shout from us. Serously, the gig was FUN. Who says that about a marathon?

When we were nearing the last .2, we were kind of (ok, not kind of, totally) spent and wanting to really sprint down the 50 yard finish line, we kept to our 1-1s, even though you just want to give it all you have at that point... that's when we saw some of our friends and family. Shawna had a couple of friends who did a Half, my MIL and her friends did a Half, my SIL and FIL did a 5K, Shawna's daughter did a 5K. We had a full house! And.. they were all there to cheer us in! It was the most amazing few minutes :) We sprinted on the football field and ran across the finish line holding hands (and then crying). It was almost spiritual.

Hey, I'm a MARATHONER!!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Honesly.. i am not sure. I felt like we did everything right. The pace was right- we passed people the entire race, we never hit the wall, and now, 3 days later (i know, I'm a RR slacker) my soreness is pretty much gone!
I now am looking forward to jumping into speedwork and shaving time off of the next one :)
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around in a happy delirium, not even a lick hungry, but my good MIL told me i needed to eat something, so I had a banana and a slice of pizza... she also shoved some pretzels into me for salt hehe. Changing into flip flops was another spiritual moment. In all seriousness. My feet wanted to sing, I think. The warm down was rightfully completed with a Jack Daniels burger and fries at the nearby TGIFriday's.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I only had 4 months to train, which is not a lot with a good base, and i did nothing for almost a year and a half prior to that - having Lukas and then being blatantly lazy... I started off too much, too fast, overtrained 5 weeks into it, and my shin started getting crabby-so i had to slow it down and completely dropped speedwork. Obviously, hard to get faster without drills, but that was fine, my goal was a) to Finish and b) Not to Hate It. Both are done! And hey, it was a PR day as Shawna put it.

Event comments:

My only two complaints about the race would be the timing chip and the water stations. The timing chip design will hopefully be a bit more secure next year. The water stations were there, well stocked, but I did feel quite a few times that there should have been more of them, for sure. Another thing-the brochure said the port-a-potties would be available each mile, and they weren't. Not a huge deal, because I only ended up using it once, but still...




Last updated: 2010-01-02 12:00 AM
Running
05:25:20 | 26.2 miles | 12m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 94/109
Overall: 1571/1808
Performance: Good
Course: Nice and flat, mostly. A few very gentle gliding hills, but we felt obliged to be grumpy about those, just to have some justification for tired legs.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2010-05-06 8:09 PM

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Expert
952
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Chicagoland
Subject: Illinois Marathon


2010-05-06 8:49 PM
in reply to: #2842588

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Royal(PITA)
14262
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Illinois Marathon
Congrats on finishing the first marathon   cause I think you already signed up for a  second one!!
Way to go having fun and keeping a good working plan rolling!
2010-05-06 9:30 PM
in reply to: #2842588

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Pro
4360
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Baton Rouge area
Subject: RE: Illinois Marathon
Nice job! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!!
2010-05-10 6:29 PM
in reply to: #2842588

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Master
1845
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Canandaigua
Subject: RE: Illinois Marathon
Congrates!!  You are a marathoner.  Sounds like you had fun and that is what it is about.  Good job. 
2010-05-16 5:30 PM
in reply to: #2842588

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Champion
5312
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Calgary
Subject: RE: Illinois Marathon
good job, congrats.
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