This post includes a picture of me in very tight shorts, so I am warning you, and also attempted to make up for assaulting your eyes with that, by providing these beautiful pictures of a rainbow that I took last night.
My camera also crapped out today, so all but the rainbow pics and one other are ipod pics, so they are even lower quality than usual.
Thank so much for everyone's advice on my pacing question yesterday! I was so torn. Coach Kristy, plus a few others, recommended only doing the last 10 miles at marathon pace. I completely trust their expert advice, but Kara and Lily, who have actually met me and spent a ton of time running with me, said they had confidence that I could hold the 9:30 pace for the entire run.
When Casi gchatted me last night to tell me the humidity would be nearly 90%, and I remembered that we started up a huge ass hill, I decided to hold back at the beginning, and aim for marathon pace in the last ten, per Kristy's advice.
I met my friend Jill at a park downtown around 6:30 this morning, for the Baltimore Marathon course supported run. They provided a link with route sheets you could print, bibs, several water stops, and even Powerbar Gels to the runners testing out the course. I highly recommend running on the course if it's at all possible before a target race. I run the portion of the marathon that's in the nice part of downtown all the time, but running through the ghetto with hundreds of other runners is a special treat.
|This may be the last picture ever taken on my camera :(|
I remembered starting uphill, but I forgot that the first five miles were entirely uphill. Jill and I powered up them and still kept under 10:00 miles for most of it. Bad news though. This run is out of order. During the actual marathon, those hills are mile 16-21. The hills feel much bigger then.
It was really fun to run on the course and get excited for the big day. The whole time we were reminiscing about the course run last year and especially the marathon itself. At times, one of us could remember exactly what had happened at a certain spot, and exactly how we felt. Other times, we were like "did we even run this street in the marathon?". Marathons play tricks on your mind, and I swear some parts are ingrained in my memory like they happened moments ago, and some parts I must have blacked out for.
Jill knew my plan, so when she started getting tired as we neared mile 13, she encouraged me to take off. I'm not going to lie, it was a bit hard to do. Running a nice easy pace while chatting with a friend vs. 9 + more miles gutting it out by myself. It seems like a lot of runners are able to overlook the pain and run at a really strenuous pace all the time, but it's a struggle for me mentally to push past my comfort zone. I'm really not one who likes to inconvenience myself in any way.
So, I left Jill, and the plan was to finish at marathon pace, but I felt really good, so I just ran what felt right. I rarely post splits because I know they are boring, even for others, but I'm pretty excited about these, so up they go, scroll past if you don't care. But if you do, tell me this was not a picture perfect negative split run.
I mean, check out those last five miles - and the last one was an uphill mile at 8:15?? I do want to note that the beginning was nothing but uphill and the end was flat, but still. I felt really good on my own, and I wasn't constantly checking the Garmin or pushing for a certain pace. Miles 21 and 22 were tough, but not grueling or I felt like I was going to die, like Thursday's tempo run or anything.
So, although I was only aiming for MP the last ten miles, I ended up doing 22 miles at an average pace of 9:25! On the race course! Now, I did stop the Garmin for water breaks, and for a porto-potty break, and unfortunately the marathon clock won't stop for those. But I was still pretty proud of that time.
|Jill and I met up to take a sweaty post 22 mile pic afterwards|
While we were stretching with some other members of our running group, something truly amazing happened. I was recognized by a blog reader! Of course, my friends were all totally impressed, and Jill said it was like I was a celebrity. Hal found my blog when I posted a link to last year's marathon recap on the Baltimore Running Festival facebook page, and read it because he is training for his first 50K. Here we are together!
Part of my speediness I am attributing to my new Aspaeris Pivot compression shorts that I got in the mail last night. When I put them on, I was shocked at how soft the fabric was, they actually felt really good on my legs. Usually my hips/hamstrings are the first to get tight and sore on a long run like this, but not today.
As we were stretching, I told Jill that I could tell where the shorts ended because that's where my legs started hurting. Times like these I really wish I had a washer so I could be wearing them again now. I took an ice bath in them though, so by hanging them up to dry, I should be good to wear them after tomorrow's swim, bike, run, right?
|Lame ipod mirror photo before my icebath|
While I'm not sure anyone is a huge fan of pictures of their legs in spandex type shorts (if you are, please send me your address so I can slap you), compared to my 8 million bike shorts pictures from my duathlon, my legs definitely look less frightening in these shorts, despite the absolutely amazing, wonderful professional photography by my peeps at that race.
Side note - remember how I discussed me folding all the laundry on Wednesday? Well, it's Saturday, and I'm not naming names, but someone else who lives with me still hasn't put his or hers away.
Between my phenomenal Handful bra not chafing me, and doing great at it's job, and the absolutely fabulous, fantastic Aspaeris Pivot shorts massaging my legs, it's no wonder I had a good run.
And for a limited time only, you have a chance to win BOTH on my very own blog. Eric is very excited to do a dramatic vlog choosing of the winner of the Handful bra later today (or tomorrow, if he runs out of time before work, he's out right now), AND Aspaeris is giving away a free pair of shorts to one of my wonderful, lucky readers. So if you haven't entered the Handful giveaway yet, do it! These bras are awesome! I'm not linking to it though. You have to really want it.
Here's some other stuff that is making me so happy today. I'm not giving it away, but you are free to go to the store and buy it. In fact, I recommend you do. You're welcome, Trader Joes.
|I like my coffee the way I like my men|
|I don't know why I was fooling around with that little canister before|
|Me + figs = happiness|
|This has not made me happy yet, but it will soon|
I have no idea if my no sweets challenge had anything to do with this run, but in my head it did, so I'm calling it a win. I'm only on my fifth day, but that's already significantly less dessert than usual for me.