Lower Potomac River Marathon

Marathon recap time!! Ahh it feels good to finally have one of these under my belt.

Let’s rewind to Saturday night. Brennan’s company threw their annual party. We rode around the Potomac on a dinner cruise and made it home around 11:30pm.IMG_20140308_173837As we all know it was daylights savings this weekend so that kind of stunk. I set my alarm for 4:05am and proceeded to sleep for 3 and a half hours. Thank you daylights savings! I woke up and set out to pick out my outfit and KT tape up my knee. Around 4:30am I made a bowl of oatmeal and topped it with a scoop of peanut butter.IMG_20140309_044421At 4:45am I headed to the gas station, filled up the tank, and picked up Brennan shortly after 5am. We hit the road and drove for an hour and a half and arrived at the race start. I had Bren take this adorable awkward picture for me:DSC01533At 6:45am I had a package of sports beans (with caffeine!) and portioned out my Shot Bloks for the race. I like to wrap them in groups of three in saran wrap. As part of my ambassador perks with Zooma Annapolis I was hooked up with a race belt from the Jenny Jurek line of Ultimate Direction. I popped all the blocks in there and headed to the start.Untitled34At this point I started wondering why in the world I thought a marathon was a good idea. I was also really excited to run though because I haven’t been able to all week thanks to a screwed up tendon in my neck (perfect timing right??). At 7:15am we were off.DSC01535 DSC01538 Miles 1 – 6: The race was a strict no headphones race so I decided I’d make some friends. I chatted up a girl name Katie and we ran together for the first 6 miles. At mile 2.5 all the KT tape on my knee started falling off so I ripped it off and held on to it until I found a trash. {9:40, 9:41, 9:39, 9:28, 9:29, 9:28}

Miles 7 – 13: Katie end up with a side stitch so I went ahead on my own. My game plan was to stick to 9:45 for the first 20 miles and depending on how my knee felt I’d speed up for the last 6.2 miles. I ran with a marathon maniac who was running her 43rd or something crazy that day. We stuck together for a few miles and then she said she was going to slow down a bit so I kept on going. We were running behind a guy who had the most horrible tights on that had see through material ONLY on his rear. I saw way too much. This fueled me to buzz ahead because I couldn’t handle looking at his butt any more. {9:32, 9:27, 9:27, 9:41, 9:45, 9:37, 9:44}

14 – 20: These were some of my least favorite miles. We were on a boring stretch of road and at this point every one was pretty spread out. I had no one to chat to. I passed a guy at mile 15ish and we watched the first place male run by on the other side of the road at mile marker 23 and we laughed about how easy he made it look. We battled some pretty annoying long stretches of inclines and a really bad head wind for a few miles. The turn around point was right around mile 19 and when I hit that spot I felt so much better. I always enjoy running toward the finish rather than away from it. The tail wind was also much appreciated and I started passing some folks who had gone out a little to quick. {9:43, 9:44, 9:58, 10:07, 9:54, 9:54, 9:48}lpr_marathon_course_map21 – 24: I am happy to say I never hit a wall but at this point my body was starting to get really sore. I had a strange burst of energy for about two miles but after that my body was just cranky. In particular my left quad all of a sudden was super tender and miserable. My quads are rarely sore unless I did a really tough speed work out. I didn’t enjoy this part at all. My feet were sore and I could feel a blister forming on my right big toe. This is the point where I started talking to myself and reminding myself of how far I’d ran already, how many hours I’d been moving for, and that walking wasn’t an option. So I pushed through and a kept on trucking. {9:36, 9:28, 9:48, 9:59}

25 – 26.38: My old project lead was the person who turned me on to this race. He is a part of the running club that was putting it on and he was working the course. I spotted him waiting for me in a parking lot around mile 25 and he hopped out of this car and started cheering for me. I was beat at this point and running uphill so his cheering was incredibly helpful. Its amazing how seeing a friendly face can lift your spirits. FINALLY at mile 26.2 there was a turn to the finish line. I hauled butt and finished strong. {10:14, 10:01, 8:56}DSC01549 DSC01550

I have nothing but good things to say about this race. It was small and intimate, and every one cheered for each other. There were 4 out and backs to make up the course and all the front runners cheered for us normal folk and all us normal folk cheered for each other. Every time I spotted the girls I had ran with we would wave and cheer each other on. The volunteers at the water station were also so sweet and supportive. There were a bunch of kids helping out too who just loved to hollar about what was in the paper cup they had in their hands. It was such an incredible environment. At the end of the race there was a big buffet for all the runners so Bren and I did some work on some baked ziti with meat sauce.IMG_20140309_121552When it comes to how I felt after the race I was definitely more sore than I have ever been. BUT I wasn’t even remotely as tired as I normally am after half marathons. The pace I finished the race is slower than most of the 20 miler training runs I did so it was definitely a comfortable pace. I was conversational and never overly labored to breath. I know I could have ran this a lot faster but with the way my knee has been it wasn’t worth it. The last thing I wanted was to go into this with a goal and then be disappointed if my leg started to give me problems. My training the last 6 weeks has been a hot mess so I just wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. I may run another marathon and run it for time but I am not sure. This race was sort of perfect and I don’t know if I want to tempt this beast again. Maybe though.

Another super odd thing about the race was my hands. They were so swollen. I kept running with my hands in the air and squeezing my hands to try to relieve the pressure. DSC01555It was freaking horrible. I have very long and thin fingers and as you can see in this picture my rings are way too tight, when they normally are a bit too big, and I have sausage fingers. This was honestly the most obnoxious thing ever. I can handle your normal running aches and pains but feeling like my hands are going to explode is wildly uncomfortable. I felt ridiculous trying to unwrap my Shot Bloks with these sausage fingers. I am amazed I didn’t end up dropping any on the ground.

On the topic of Shot Bloks / fuel: There was a water / ultima station every 2 miles or so, there was one spot where it was 3 miles between the stations. I drank water at all but two of them and that was only because I grabbed the wrong cup. I took 3 Shot Bloks at 1:00, 1:57, 2:57, and 3:45. I didn’t bother going off the miles and tried out a timing system. It worked great for me and I had no belly issues and felt like I had energy for the entire race.

So there you have it. I am officially a marathoner : )

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17 comments for “Lower Potomac River Marathon

  1. March 10, 2014 at 7:54 am

    I’m so glad you had a great race!!! That stinks about the headphones but I like how you just made friends instead! Congrats marathoner! :)
    Becky recently posted…5 on FridayMy Profile

    • March 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Thank Becky! I was actually totally fine without the headphones. I haven’t used them for the last month or two. I do not miss music at all. I feel so odd saying that because I never understood people who ran without tunes. Honestly it is easier to just throw on my watch and head out the door. Thank you for the congrats!

  2. March 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

    SO HAPPY AND PROUD OF YOU! I can’t believe how swollen you got… I have heard of that! Crazy….. I am so glad you had a good experience with the marathon. I also can’t believe you ran with like 3.5 hours of sleep! crazy! I wish I could have watched you run, I would have probaly chased you here and there and fed you skittles. Ahhhhh YOU ROCK ! SO PROUD OF YOU.

    Im going to brag about you at work today. :)

    OH AND SEE YOU IN LIKE 2.5 WEEKS.
    Lillian recently posted…DIY Party Favors: Tea & CookiesMy Profile

    • March 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Thank youuu!!!! The hands thing was freaking weird. I also always get super cold after races until I shower and then after that I am like a furnace and feel like I have a hang over because I can’t get enough water to feel totally hydrated. Ahh the things we put our bodies through! The marathon maniac I ran with for a little had her sister in town and she would drive to a point, walk until she found her sister, run with her for a while, and then go back to the car. I loved that I made TWO friends out of befriending one and she was another awesome cheerleader once the road wasn’t conducive to have her hop in and out of the race.

      And thank youuuuuuu. I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT!

  3. March 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Great recap! So glad you were able to run the race and you ran it strong! Ride the post marathon high!!
    Sophie @ life’s philosophie recently posted…PR, Sunshine and New Shoes (Part 2)My Profile

  4. March 10, 2014 at 11:32 am

    CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are an marathoner! I absolutely loved this recap, and I am glad your knee held up so strongly. I can’t believe you hand were so swollen – I need to google why that happens after I finish with this comment. I probably would have died without headphones.. I always run with music so 4+hrs without it would have been bad.

    I’m gonna try just taking shot bloks on my long runs leading up to my marathon. I have been taking an energy bar with me and it has been working fine but I am curious to see how I will feel with just chews.

    Congrats again!!! So amazing!

    • March 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

      clearly I’m still half asleep.. sooo many spelling mistakes. Sorrrryyy! haha

      • March 11, 2014 at 8:05 am

        Ha no worries on the sleepies! If you figure out what was happening with all the swelling lemme know!

        With the shot bloks – I went through two packages, any more and I think I would have been begging for some real food. I was really happy to eat some salad and pasta after the race. I think I would have ended up with a sour belly otherwise.
        Megan recently posted…Lower Potomac River MarathonMy Profile

  5. March 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    congrats congrats congrats!!!! gosh my hands do the same thing when I run distance. so freaking painful.
    Alex @ therunwithin recently posted…Up a Notch: Running, Pilates, DCFit {Giveaway} oh myMy Profile

    • March 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Yuck I’m sorry. My hands have never been as bad as they were for this race. They were that swollen at mile 3 and just kept on getting worse. I have no clue what was up with that.
      Megan recently posted…Lower Potomac River MarathonMy Profile

  6. March 10, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Ahhh I am so stinking proud of you! What an amazing accomplishment. With all you have gone through leading up to this race, I am super de duper excited for you. Do you think you’ll keep going after the 26.2?
    Nikki recently posted…A Winning WeekendMy Profile

    • March 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Thank you Nikki!! Hmmmm, maybe? Not this year. This year I want to get back into boxing and short distances. Next year who knows!
      Megan recently posted…Lower Potomac River MarathonMy Profile

  7. March 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    CONGRATS! Looks like you had a great first marathon.
    Leigh Anne @ livefitandrun recently posted…Barre 3 – [7 Day Body Blast Review]My Profile

  8. March 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Congratulations!!! It was so fun to read your race recap. I don’t think I could do a 5k after only a few hours of sleep, let alone a marathon. I’m so impressed! Miles 14-20 seem to be my least favorite too and way to rock out that last mile! Congrats again!!!
    Luv What You Do recently posted…Five for Friday XIX {Why Winter Needs to be Over Edition}My Profile

  9. March 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    WOW- congratulations! What a great race report and you sound like you really enjoyed it!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Shamrock Half Marathon: Breezy, Brutal, BeautifulMy Profile

  10. March 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    OMG WORST FRIEND AWARD GOES TO ME! HOW did I miss this post!?!?!?! UGH, anyway..I’m glad I was able to text you right after..but reading this made it even coooooler!! YOU ARE A BADASS!! I get swollen hands after long runs too..it’s the worst.

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