Sunday, October 3, 2010

Race Report - Twin Cities Marathon


My #1 fan!

This morning my mom dropped me off at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis a little over an hour before the start of the marathon. It was a brisk morning - 39 degrees - and I was actually worried I might be chilly in the race. I went inside the dome to use the restroom and to stay warm while waiting for the start. Right away I ran into Julie and it was great to wait out the start of the race with a familiar face.

Before long, we headed outside to drop off our sweat bags and line up in the corral. As we packed in like sardines with 11,000 of our closest running friends, I quickly realized I would not have a problem feeling cold during the race. I warmed up fast! National anthem, first corral start, and then we were off.

In my last post, I said that one of my main goals was to enjoy the race. I really fulfilled this goal, especially the first 10 or so miles. There were so many spectators out on the course, the weather was beautiful, all the people running around me were in high spirits - it was easy to get carried along with all the excitement. I kept ticking off the lakes as we passed them, and the first part of the race felt like it went very quickly.

Miles 11ish through 16 were the most difficult of the race for me. For a couple mile stretch in there things seemed to quiet down a little. Less spectators, runners working hard meant less chatting and cheering, and the scenery wasn't as exciting. I had expected to see my brother and Sophie near the halfway point, but they didn't make it in time. I missed out on the nice boost seeing them would have brought. About mile 13, my legs started cramping up. I stopped to stretch a couple of times, but it didn't really help.

At mile 16, my running partner Jim was on the side with his wife. He jumped in and ran to nearly the finish with me. This was a HUGE help. He also had my handheld filled with kona kola nuun, which was a welcome change from the powerade and water on the course. Running with Jim gave me and new strength and I kept going strong.

My leg cramping never went away, but I just kept ticking off the miles. Once we were at the 22 mile mark and onto Summit Ave., I was in my home stretch! I just kept my eyes peeled for the St. Paul Cathedral (soooo close to the finish). Just before the cathedral, Jim's wife was on the sidelines again, and she said Sophie was waiting for me at the finish. This, along with the nice downhill past the cathedral and into mile 26, was the push I needed.

I ran down the hill strong, saw Sophie and my mom and brother cheering for me, and kicked it to the finish. Final time - 4:44:54. My second fastest marathon time, and a course PR for me by about 11 minutes.

Although this wasn't a marathon PR for me, I still feel that this was the strongest I have ever run a marathon. I have never experienced leg cramping like I did today, and yet I totally ran through it, just stopping at the water stops. In the past I would have walked MUCH more - in fact, in prior marathons, I have walked more for less painful problems. I am very proud of how I ran the race, and just had an awesome day.

Thank you all for your supportive comments and good vibes - I thought of you many times out on the course today!

25 comments:

MCM Mama said...

Congratulations!!! Great job on running strong!

P said...

WOO HOO!! What a wonderful race - you are such a tough cookie!! Congrats on staying strong and enjoying yourself!

Jill said...

Woohooo!! I though about you all morning along with Derek and Julie and was so hoping it was going well! I hope you heard me cheering from Denver! Congratulations, girl! So awesome!

LMC said...

Congratulations Heather!! So glad to read that you are proud of yourself. You did a great job! Enjoy the accomplishment and get some rest!

Diana said...

Great to have family and friends to cheer on!
Congrats on a great sounding race!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats! You had a great day! I'm so glad you ran strong and enjoyed it despite the leg cramps. Love the pics!

Carly said...

WTG Heather!!! You did great! It was a beautiful day to run and I totally agree about the spectators.

Jamoosh said...

Great job. The weather looks like it turned out nicely.

Hey - course PR - Rock on!

Anne said...

Yay Heather! You did great! Congratulations on a strong race...way to push through :)

Julie said...

Woo hoo! Way to go Heather! I am so glad that I got to see you again! I appreciate that you kept my mind off of being nervous:) It was fun chatting with you! Maybe I will do that Anoka Halloween run that you were talking about.

My right leg also was giving me problems the last five miles or so! Those damn hills:)

Congrats to you Heather!

bobbi said...

You did it!! Congratulations! What a great report - you ran so strong!

Marlene said...

Yahoo! CONGRATS on your 2nd fastest time, the course PR and for pushing through the cramping!

RunMommyRun said...

A huge congrats Heather! I was so bummed that I never saw you...I think we may have just missed you a couple times. Another friend who ran experienced leg cramping for the first time too....weird....anyway, congrats on a great race and course PR!!! Now, back to triathaloning?? :)

onelittletrigirl said...

Congrats- your biggest fan is super cute! Love the photos!

You should be super proud of yourself for staying strong through the race- even those tough miles :)

Katie A. said...

CONGRATS!!! I was thinking of you many times yesterday when I was running! You did amazing! Leg cramps are the worst! But you showed them who's boss and ran a great, strong race! Be proud of that 11 min PR for the course! YOU earned it!
Have a great week and bask in the glow of a great marathon ;)

DRog said...

GREAT RACE! Way to push through the hard parts you did fantastic. Lucky you ran into Julie I'm bummed I missed you guys I was walking the concourse hoping to run into either of you. We had a great day! thought about both you guys out on the course today at the same time...we could not have asked for anything more. Great #1 fsn, she looks much bigger to me even since I have been following you:)

-Derek

the dawn said...

i can't believe that you dealt with leg cramps for over half the race and still enjoyed yourself! that is a serious victory. your hair looks so cute and the pictures are adorable!!

Becka said...

Great job on having a fun race and running fast!

Christine said...

Congratulations!!! You can be soo proud of yourself!!!

Jeri said...

Congrats on a great race! Those hills at the end were no joke. :/ Ick. I'm beyond bummed that I didn't see you. :( I was at the finish line until ~4:40 so I probably JUST missed you. The last tracking update I had for you was at mile 13.1, so I didn't know what was going on. I had SUCH issues with those stupid tracking things.....ugh!

Great job. Great time, And great TOUGHNESS. To keep running and running when you had a leg cramp is so impressive. Congrats on another marathon. :D

Steve Stenzel said...

CONGRATS!! Way to go!!!

aron said...

you did incredible out there!!! CONGRATS!

DRog said...

Cant believe spectators lining up for porta pottie at mi.16?!?!?!?!


was TOTALLY lol at your comment on my blog for some reason I was just picturing you snatching the cig out of the guys hand that I saw

that cracked me up
hahaha

Derek

The Happy Runner said...

Awesome job! Congrats on the course PR -- 11 min is huge!

Beth said...

Great job!! Running through cramping is tough but you did it and finished so well! Wonderful of your friend to run with you. That is a true running partner. I'm so happy for you and hope you are enjoying your accomplishment!