Monday, November 15, 2010

Ft Worth Marathon

 Sunday I ran the Ft Worth Marathon.  The marathon has an early start for those folks walking the marathon, the marathon start, a 20 mile start and a 1/2 marathon start.  Somehow it still has the feel of a small hometown race.  People are super friendly and the runners do a lot of running together supporting each other and talking.  I ran it last year and liked the feel of it so much I came back this year for more. 

Sunday was a cold morning, the temperature at the starting line was only around 40 degrees.  Yowsa.  I had on tights and tons of tops to pick up my packet.  I watched the Walkers take off at 0630 and they brought tears to my eyes.  They all gathered and when they found out there was no National Anthem to be played they sang it.  I am not kidding, these folks stood together in 40 degree weather and sang the National Anthem.  You already know you are going to meet great people when the race begins like that.  Fast forward an hour, I meet Ruth, a nice mother of two who is looking to crack the 4hr mark.  We are chatting and I decide at the last minute with her urging to change to my skirt, so I dash to the car, change quickly, dash back and find Ruth.  I tell her I would be happy to run with her the first half and pace her (my race plan had me running negative splits so I was totally down with running her pace the first half and then cracking the whip the second half).  So off we went.  As it turns out Ruth didn't need a pacer to keep her on a pace she needed someone with a leash to slow her down, lol.  Every time someone would run by us she would take off.  I would call her back and we would revisit her goals and race plan.  I did have an awesome time talking with her.  We ran and chatted and around mile 5 we were really getting thirsty (I had decided in all my wisdom not to take a handheld water bottle or camelbak to this race, I figured I would go light and just drink at every aid station, kicked myself for that decision for like 8 miles :)).  We had gone by 2 water stops in the first 3 miles and now it had been 2 miles and nothing. No Water.  I had a bad feeling about this.  We ran by a man who said there wasn't water on the course until mile 12, he happened to be standing next to a water fountain, so the pack (yes there was a group of us now running along chatting) stopped and took turns drinking.  Even with the slurp from the water fountain my mouth felt dry as the Sierra.  I felt like I had cotton mouth and how was I going to eat a ShotBlock if I couldn't wash it down.  This meant no food or water for the next almost 7 miles, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I did what any good ultra runner would do, I channeled my inner Anton Krupicka (Elite Ultra Runner who often heads out for multi hour runs with no food or water).  I thought if he can go for 20-30 miles with nothing I am sure I can make it 8.  Right???? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! At this point Ruth asked me to leave her, she thought maybe she could slow down if I wasn't running with her and so I headed off.  I quickly met up with Michael.  He was 18yrs old and running his second marathon.  His goal was also to break 4hrs (Ruth's goal as well).  He had only trained up to 7 miles during his HS Cross Country season.  I told him he was either crazy or just a really good runner or possibly some combination of the two.  He said he would let me know at the finish line. We had a great run together.  We were both hurting for water when a nice man pulled over and started handing out bottles of water to the runners at mile 10.87.  Yes, that is right, I know the exact mile where the guy gave me water, it meant A LOT to me.  That might have been the best water I have ever had, lol.  After that point in the race there was water every 2 miles.  On our way into the turn around we saw Michael's Dad and they did an awesome father son high five as we passed.  Michael was having some issues and so we stayed at our 8:37 pace for quite a while, as we went by mile markers I would do the math and let him know what his finish time would be if he stayed on pace.  He was pretty excited but said he was struggling to hang on.  He was such a sweet kid.  At mile 19 he dropped off.  I ran on up passed his dad and let him know Michael was a little ways back and was struggling.  And then I did my best to drop the hammer, I was close to breaking 3:40 but I would have to seriously kick my own A$$ to get the job done.  I wasn't quite sure what my legs could do.  I had run about 50 miles last week in training leading up to the race and was only a month out from Heartland.  I just didn't know if I pushed how much they would give me.  But, I went and went hard. I spent the last 6 miles of the race pushing as hard as I could to break 3:40.  I would run by a mile marker and redo the math, it was going to be close.  I ran up the last hill rounded the corner to the stadium and saw on the clock 3:40 click on the clock and my spirits dropped.  I ran it in but my time was 3:40:12 (unofficial).  Boooooo!

I hung out after the race and got a great massage.  You know, for a little bit I let the time (3:40) really get to me.  Thinking of all the things I could have done different to break 3:40 but, now as I sit here reflecting on the race, I feel pretty dang good about it.  The goal for the race was to get in some speedwork, to have a long run where I really pushed my legs and I did that.  I also got to run with some great folks and I ran negative splits the whole way.  It was a great run.  I think sometimes I get caught up on the number and forget the journey. 

This morning I did some post race foam rolling and Chloe did her best to help me out.  LOL!!

Happy Running Everyone and don't forget you have one more day to enter the Head Sweats Giveaway.
Post race foam rolling.  It definately helps to work out knots if you have a willing toddler to sit on your lap.

More foam rolling and yes those are compression socks on, those things are miracle workers.


Kaci said...

You are amazing. You ran an awesome race & are just an incredible person. You go out with a goal and then you step up and volunteer to pace others to try to help them reach their goals. I'm glad you're no longer beating yourself up over those few seconds. You did great!

Unknown said...

DUDE!!! I cannot even imagine it! How did I not know you were running a marathon this w/e...oh wait, you run marathons almost every frickin' they are no big deal...that is why! The sweet peeps you met along the way sounded cool Tara.

Love you.

jill said...

oh, Tara, you are so wonderful! love reading & running with you.