I have known I was running the Newport Marathon since last September. It was supposed to be my best friend's first marathon and I was going to run it with her every step. Well, she didn't get to train as much as she wanted, so she decided not to run. Our other good friend Ranell (she was at the MM party!) decided not to run either, so SuziePetunia and Smith got permission to take their numbers. We decided not to make a big deal about it and just go have fun. We were hoping having being at sea level would help. :-)
So, none of us really had any expectations. We were just hoping to feel better than we did at our last marathons. I, of course, was secretly hoping the stars would align and I would qualify for Boston. :-)
Newport is significant for me for many reasons. It was my first marathon 3 years ago. It did not go well in 2005. I had trained using the beginner schedule and felt great going in. At mile 7, my heart started racing and I couldn't breathe. I spent the next 19 miles run/walking and crying. I was devastated. It took me 5:11. 2:10 hours for the first half, 3 hours for the second and I was miserable. I didn't care about the time so much, just how awful I felt running it. The good news is, I am stubborn and knew I could do better than that, and I have run 4 more marathons since then!! Each one (except 1) has been a PR!! I have learned so much about myself. I have had a baby since then. I have followed an advanced schedule. I have done lots of speedwork. I have made many incredible friendships through training for marathons.
So, back to yesterday!! I started out with SuziePetunia. I had a whole heart rate related plan to follow and whatever my pace ended up being was my pace. The most important thing was to start the first mile slow. I always start too fast. So, I wanted to run a 9 minute or 10 minute mile. It was an 8:52. Not too bad. I ran around that pace for the next 4 miles with Sarah. Then we ran into someone we knew from church as we were going up the one big hill on the course. As we came down, I was excited that my heart was doing well. As we hit the water station at mile 7 I got a second wind and it was emotional for me because this is where my problems started 3 years ago. I actually went ahead by myself for a little while and enjoyed my burst! Suzie soon caught up and had made a friend, Catherine!! She is a Marathon Maniac and super nice. I stayed just behind them for a few more miles and then had to hang back. I had to be on my own so I could listen to my body.
Things were going well and I was feeling strong. It was a beautiful day, perfect weather and it is an incredible run along the bay. There is enough elevation change and curves to make it interesting, but it really is "flat" overall. I talked to many people as I came up to them and I am always impressed with runners and how nice they are! If I wanted to qualify for Boston I needed to be at a 2:50 by mile 20. I was at a 2:52, so I knew it would be really tough to do it. So, my first thought was to slow down and enjoy the last 6 miles knowing I would still get a PR. I chased that thought away and decided there would be no coasting!! I was still going to push it as hard as I could and get the best PR I could get, even if it wasn't Boston.
The last 3 miles were hard!! They are a slight incline getting ready to go back up the hill from the beginning. There were many times I wanted to walk, but my main motivation was that I had NEVER had a marathon that I didn't walk in. I wanted this to be THAT marathon.!! I am happy to say it is!! I did not walk once. Running into our new friend Catherine really helped me through a particularly difficult part mentally. I didn't stop for anything. I hung on with all I had and even picked it up on the last .2 which is downhill. I loved seeing my sweet, supportive hubby and my cute kids cheering me. What a wonderful sight!
Final time: 3:48 something(not chip timed) A 15 minute PR and I am completely satisfied!! As my good friend, Chelle, said, that is closure!! Will I try to qualify for Boston again? Of course!! But for now, I am putting my feet up, enjoy running with my friends, maybe running a triathlon, and just enjoying the progress I have made. From 5:11 to 3:48, I couldn't be happier!!
As for SuziePetunia, I kept wanting to catch her and never quite could. She ran a 3:46. I will let her tell her story, but I know she is happy too. She had an enjoyable run with Catherine and our other good friend Kristie. Smith was very sick so she did not have the run she wanted.
Thanks for all your support! I can't wait to hear more race reports. Good luck to those in the Teton Dam!
We played all day at the beach yesterday and stayed at Ranell's beach house with SuziePetunia's family, and are just enjoying time with our families! It is a great getaway!