Monday, June 01, 2009

Newport Marathon Race Report

My quads are still sore, but I'm mostly recovered from running the Newport Marathon on Saturday. That's a good thing, since Wasatch Back is only three weeks away and I've got 16 miles to do! And I spent a good 20 minutes today looking for a half marathon to run. Am I crazy? Maybe. Just as crazy as the rest of you, right?

I did a few things right in this race, my second marathon, but a few things wrong, too. I'll start with the things I did wrong, and hopefully I'll save someone else from the same mistake!

1. I got a terrible position at the start. Since they only had a gun, no chips, it would make sense to be in a place you could cross the line quickly. I didn't think I'd have trouble moving forward, but the five middle-aged guys in front of me didn't even BUDGE when the gun went off. By the time I crossed the line, 45 seconds had gone by.

2. I forgot to memorize or write down some important splits. I was a bit too wishy-washy about my goals. I should have set a firm goal for a time like 4:05 (a ten minute improvement on my last race) and memorized a few splits. I knew what my pace should be, but a Garmin glitch that caused me to have to power down my watch erased my pace, so I was off after mile 11. I did make it to the half in two hours, but lost track after then.

3. I ran with a newbie. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to run with someone else, and my friend Sharen is a strong athlete, but I forgot about the things you don't know when you're new to racing. I had to actually stop at a standstill and wait at at least three water stations for Sharen to catch up -- they weren't as prepared with cups as they should have been, I guess. We never discussed the possibililty of splitting up, so I didn't want to leave her high and dry. But as the race wore on, I realized this was costing me some time. Not much, but some.

One thing that happened that was out of my control was a pretty strong headwind (in my estimation) that hit after the turnaround. It made me struggle a bit for a few miles and definitely put me off my pace. Other than that the weather was great!

Some things I'm happy about:

1. Keeping my race pace up (as far as I could tell) for about 16 miles of the race. I fell off once I felt the wind.

2. Fueling better. My goal was to take in about 100 calories every hour, and I did it. I felt like I didn't eat enough during my last race, and I had nothing left at the end. I definitely felt better the last two miles during this race.

3. I was tougher mentally. This has always been a struggle for me, and I worked on it during training more. I was much more focused and pushed through some pain, including my right knee that began hurting unexpectedly at mile 9 (luckily that pain faded a few miles later), and a big blister on my left arch that I felt the last 8 miles of the race.

4. It's alwasy good to see Marathon Mommies out on the course and know that people are rooting for you.

5. I did improve my time, if only by 2 minutes. My official finishing time was 4:12. Not too pleased by it, but not too disappointed either.

So what's next? Probably not another marathon. I don't want to run another one until I'm sure I can improve my time by a good chunk. I think I'll work on races that are half marathon or shorter, improve my speed (because I need tons of work in that area!), and do some cross training with swimming. And maybe have another baby. : )

Here are some photos! I'm sorry I look like a man. I'll have to post one normal picture so you know I'm a woman. I think it's the hat or something.


Ready to go and still looking cute. I am on the right, my friend Sharen (who's 49!!) is on the left.

Feeling good at mile 3. We did lots of little hills through town before heading out to the bay road.

Powering down the hill to the finish line.

The next day at the docks with my kids.


Amateur Steph said...

Congratulations! I liked reading about your lessons learned. I'm definitely taking them to heart (if I ever convince myself to run a marathon again)

Cal said...

Great Job on your race!!! I also loved your lessons learned...I think that (at least for me) I come out of every race thinking there are things I wish I would have done differently...but maybe it will always be that way--and if the day ever came that I had a "perfect" race...I should just quit-there wouldn't be anything else to learn (That will never happen:)

Laura said...

I like the way you structured this post with the good and the bad. It was helpful. Congrats on a good time and completing another 26.2!

Heather said...

Way to go Amy! That is awesome! I hope that we will get a chance to run again. . . Maybe in Nov for the 1/2 in Eugene i not sooner. Again, what an accomplishment!

Suzie Petunia said...

You've got to try the oyster shots next time! I've never felt so much energy at the end of a marathon! (My first oyster ever. I was having a terrible race, so I thought I might as well make it memorable.)

It was great seeing you again! said...

CONGRATS on running Newport! I was there too! it was my Very first Marathon! LOVED IT!

Hey, i noticed too tha tyou are going to participate in the Wasatch back Ragnar this year. I too was signed up to be on a team... however, I have had some conflicts come up & just thought that i would check to see if you knew of anyone that would like to participate with a GREAT group of girls & take my spot?
It is an all girls team.
Let me know! THANKS!

Kelly(M&M) said...

Okay, I thought I commented on this. I am a nerd! You know I love talking to you and meeting up with you! I wish I could have stayed with you, but it was not my race, as you know. I am proud of you for taking the race as a learning lesson. Every marathon makes you a stronger person and a stronger runner. And a PR is fantastic no matter what!! Can't wait to keep following your progress. It was great seeing you. I will write my report soon. Your report was fantastic!

foxontherun said...

It was great seeing you in the race. Thanks for the encouragement during. I wish I had seen you at the end of the race.