Sunday, May 15, 2011

Windermere Marathon HOT Race Report

Well let's just say things did not go as planned. I felt strong prepared and confident in all my training and was excited about my "times" and knew things could only get better in race conditions..right?

WRONG!

Let's start at the beginning. Forecast for thunderstorms and lightening so I was pleased and surprised to see blue skies in the morning. It was 60 degrees at the start...7:00 a.m.!! We started off and I felt good and was enjoying running in a tank top for the first time since last summer. Most of my training runs since February have been in tights, long sleeves and ear warmers. I was able to stay on pace for most of the first 13 miles but I was hot, tired and thirsty and I started to pull back a bit just trying to conserve any energy I had left. This supposed "flat" course was far from FLAT. Felt very hilly and never really flattened out for long.

I typically drink on the run BUT this was not working. Just a swallow was not working! So I began walking through the water stops around mile 6. I was downing two cups and grabbing one for my head as well. I knew this took time but it wasn't really an option. I tried not to get down on myself and hoped my Coach would still love me. (OK of course she loves me but I did not want to disappoint her)

My family and wonderful friend Amy (thinking of hiring her as my running assistant..ha) were able to see me several times and cheer me on. I was hurting and wanting to STOP so every time I saw them it gave me a little push to keep going. By mile 18 I just wanted it to end. I was trying to do math in my head but brain was fried. At this point I wanted that sub four BAD and knew that walking through those water stops was killing my time. UGH!!

I never walked in Portland Marathon so I again felt confused. My training this time was GREAT. Coach did an amazing job...and as a result I was faster and stronger than I was in Portland. I just wasn't seeing or feeling that during the race??

This was my first run in any type of heat. I didn't have the opportunity to train in the heat or sun for that matter. There were huge stretches in the trail where there was zero shade and this was tough! It reached 75 degrees mid race! I have the sunburn to show it!

At mile 22 I ran past a Gonzaga flag and it made me smile and think of Mel. So I kept pushing through. At mile 23 my left knee was done and not wanting to move. Again I pushed through...I kept telling myself, just a 5K, just a 5K!

So you can imagine my disappointment when I hit 26.2 and I didn't even see a FINISH line in sight. WHAT?? Long course....really?? Come on people. I felt like I was dragging my feet and all I could taste was salt!

I finally saw the finish and tried to sprint! That was funny I am sure. It wasn't much of a sprint but I wan't to somehow throw my body across the finish line to be DONE. I heard and saw my friends and family and so badly wanted to be with them.

My Garmin read 26.52. 3:59:39 Again so confused.

My official time was 3:59:11!!! I feel like I got a 3:58 and some change at least with the long course. Or this is what I am telling myself!!

But what I am hanging on to is I RAN a SUB FOUR MARATHON!! Yes!

17 minute P.R. I'll take it!

Finishing my Second Marathon felt TOUGHER than my first!! Despite everything that went wrong there were some GREAT moments with friends new and oldand many things went WELL! Met a new bloggy buddy and she just blew me away with her strength and determination. You will have to come back to see all the crazy pics and hear more about the people that made the experience special!!


Thanks for reading, praying and thinking of me on my RACE day! Pics coming soon!

Nicole from I Dream of Running shared this on her blog and made me feel much better! (kind of)
* interesting fact * I compared this years results to last 2 years results and the winning times were about 20min slower than the past with men and women. first female was only 3:20:/
AND the guy who won the race THIS year ran it 6min FASTER LAST YEAR.

and the 3rd place female LAST year ran it in 3:22 and this year ran it in 3:46!!

26 comments:

Michelle said...

Congrats on the huge PR and under 4! What an accomplishment. Heat certainly plays a MAJOR role. Wish you had felt better during the race but your body was talking to you! Way to push through and show incredible mental strength!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Wow! Congrats! All this and you STILL broke 4 hours! Amazing. I read Nicole's report too and it sounds like these conditions were rough and the course was not what it was supposed to be. So happy for you and reaching your goal anyway! And great race report! Sorry about the sunburn...I have one too.

Richelle said...

Congrats on the sub-4 marathon finish! Even though the race was rough, you pushed through the pain and still got a PR. You are awesome and strong! I hope your recovery goes well.

Maia said...

Way to go!!! Great PR despite all factors against you. Way to persevere through it! Many congrats!

Kerrie T. said...

Sub. 4. Rock. Star.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Great job Harmony! You battled victoriously on a TOUGH, TOUGH day.

Well done!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Wow, sub 4 in that kind of heat? Very impressive, since you were feeling it way back at mile 6!

juanitagf said...

I think heat is more tough than just about anything in a long race! Congratulations on the HUGE PR and the sub-4!

misszippy said...

That's a HUGE PR and you did it in really brutal conditions! Be happy and proud! Big stuff.

misszippy said...

That's a HUGE PR and you did it in really brutal conditions! Be happy and proud! Big stuff.

Tricia said...

Congrats!

Nicole Wagner said...

The term "hellish" comes to mind :). The longer I think on this stinking race the more I realize that we are superstars:) and not meant to run in heat!! Lol I love you my new friend. You did so great. We both ran the last 3-4
Miles on injuries and never gave up or quit!!! You are a tough chickee and are going to kick even more bootie on your next one!!! Xxxx I am truely inspired by you!!!

Valerie said...

way to go Harmony! I can't believe how far you have came since our Portland Marathon! It sounds like the race conditions were tough, way to push through!

Amanda said...

You did an amazing job! So proud of you :) Congrats on the sub 4, that's awesome.

Penny said...

Congrats on your PR. That is awesome. It is so hard mentally and physically at those last 4 miles. Way to go getting though it.

Erika said...

YEA!!! awesome job and what an accomplishment!!!

AngMomof3 said...

Don't beat yourself up... you made your goal! And one thing you can't control in training is heat. That surely threw everyone off since no one has had a chance to run in any temp over 60 degrees until that day!

abbi said...

Awesome job on your great PR...sounds like a tough day and course but you should still be very proud of your great accomplishment!

LauraElaine said...

Way to go!!!! So proud of you that you were able to pull through, and in the end you still met your goal :)

Teamarcia said...

Fantastic job in the heat! Huge congrats to you sub 4!!!

bobbi said...

Congratulations on an awesome race in the heat! Sub 4!!! HUGE!

SupermomE12 said...

Great job and huge congrats!!!! :)

Julie D. said...

Oh my word!! Crazy conditions!! CONGRATS on the sub-4 and 17 min. PR!!! That is just AWESOME!! Those stats you wrote about at the end are crazy...you guys did amazing pushing through some crazy tough conditions!! YOU ROCK!!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Even if you train in the heat, racing in the heat is tough! (I live in Houston.) Congrats on your sub-4 finish!

track coach and adorable wife said...

Way to go! I am so proud of you for pushing through and getting your sub 4! Hooray!

Marlene said...

Sounds like a HOT day. After training in cold weather, your body was not ready for that - I'd say that's why you were having a hard time.

BIG congrats on the sub-4 and massive PR. Celebrate this, girl!!!