Monday, January 16, 2012

Chevron Houston Marathon - The Recap

...and it shall be minimal.  Maybe.  :O)

Not a course PR, not a distance PR.

As I close out my marathoning days, my 26.2 PR shall remain at 4:42.  I have had 4:20-4:30 in me twice.  Before Chicago 2010 and this one...but with one weather got me and the other...well my leg/foot got me (along with the weather; it got hot yesterday with full sun).  Thankfully today the foot is better, but the calf, not so much...its moved also to the Achilles...ugh.  Anyway...

From the start of yesterdays marathon, I was so ready.  I felt SO good.  Yes 2 days prior, my left calf (the outer part of it) had begun to feel 'ouchy' when I ran the last two short runs on Thurs and Fri but I kept taking ibuprofen to deaden it and that helped, so I didn't give it too much thought.  However when it started kicking in during the race and kept getting worse, I knew that eventually it was going to just cave, I just didn't know when.

I was running 10:20's like I should, most times running closer to 10, but then when I would see my lap pace under 10:20, I would slow down until it settled in where it should.  A few times I was at 10:30 or so and was fine with that too.

And I was walking every single water stop whether or not I took water or not.  I never once took Gatorade, and probably should have since once it started getting warm I could feel the salt residue on me.  It was indeed much lower humidity than I ever remember at any marathon I've ever done except for Chicago 2010 when by the time I finished my shorts were literally stiff from the amount of salt that had built up in them.

The crowds were SPECTACULAR this year, and I wonder how much all the television coverage all week of the Olympic Trials and the marathon were being showcased.  I am certain it had something to do with it.  Once you pass the half marathon turn, its usually scarce in some places, but yesterday I don't remember a place where it was scarce at all.  Other than that tiny bit of road after the Westpark Bridge and before you get to Richmond.

I knew by the clocks near the timing mats along the course that between my watch and that clock was about 5-6 minutes, but then when I stopped at 17.5 for about 5 minutes (not sure on that) when I saw the timing clocks again, I had switched to intervals and now had no idea of the differential.  If I remember correctly at around mile 24 or so, I saw the timing clock at 4:38, or maybe it was just before 24, can't remember now, but I knew I would be cutting it close to still come in under 5 hours.

I mean I had stopped for a potty break at 16, then with my family at 17.5, then maybe around 19 or so to stretch my calf/Achilles, then along Memorial at a med tent to ask to have my calf taped up, and then the DNF discussion at 22...I mean thats a LOT of time that I had stopped...and how much time had I really taken?

I was clueless, but when I did see that 4:38 part of me thought 'shit, I shouldnt have spent so much time talking...but then I would think how much it meant to me to spend that time with them...

When I got to that last part of the course, just before you get into downtown, where you see the overhead sign that says "1.5 miles to go", I knew everything was going to be OK and that I was indeed going to finish this thing, gimpy leg or not.  And whether or not I had to pay for it for a few days afterwards no longer mattered.

I also picked it up a bit, ignoring the beep that told me it was time for that 1 minute walk.  Before I even reached the last left hand turn where I knew the finish line hoopla would be awaiting me, I started fist pumping and 'Ryan Hall-ing' it (if you've never seen Ryan Hall hype up the crowd at the finish of a great race, you wont know what I am talking about), but for me, just like Ryan Hall, it made the crowds closer to the fence go nuts and I loved every minute of it.  I ran that last bit like my life depended on it and I wanted to go out with a bang...

Now I am super glad I ignored the beeps and ran my heart out at the end, otherwise it would have been over 5 and while I still would have been OK with that, I am glad that I haven't seen a '5' in my marathon finish times since that first one back in January 2007.  :O)

Much much more to come....So many pictures and so many blog posts with such a phenomenal weekend, that I just have to parcel it out!

Melissa and I...ready to rock and roll.  Thanks to Lukes Locker for the outfit (trying to get me to be a Nike girl again and not Lululemon :)  Ladybug was my sisters nickname for my Momma, so that is why I honored BOTH of them on my bib for Houston.  :O)  They were and ARE truly wonderful women and I feel blessed beyond blessed that I come from such good stock.  :)  ALSO, I had met Joan Benoit Samuelson on Friday and she signed my bib!!! 


Jamoosh said...

Once again - Great effort yesterday!

On a different note have you read the scathing article on Lulumon business practices?

Scott said...

Someone is definitely showing signs of all that hard work in the gym! Your body is loving what you are doing and you look fantastic. That is one flaaaat stomach! Keep up the great work.

HS @ Our Debt Blog said...

Let me guess, those GPS watches are Garmin?!


TX Runner Mom said...

Great job June! Way to dig deep and show that b*tch who's boss! :-)