Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hartford Marathon Recap

Two sub-4 marathons in 13 days. I feel pretty good about that. I barely snuck Hartford in, finishing in 3:59:19.  But I made it.

Eric and I got on the road immediately after work Friday to drive to Kari's house in Connecticut.  I was almost as nervous about the drive as I was for the race, because we needed to go near New York City and most of my experiences driving anywhere close to that area have been filled with horrific traffic. We lucked out though and made it there about 10:30pm. Kari let us in and then immediately went to bed. I used that opportunity to do a quick snoop around her house before going to bed myself. 

Saturday morning I stumbled into the kitchen at 5am moaning "WHY is this our hobby?", which made a great first impression on Kari's husband Mike, as this was our initial meeting. After I got over my disgust with myself for my bad choices, I put on my race clothes and sunscreen, and drank my tiny allotted amount of coffee. I crammed into Kari's car with her, Mike, Eric, and Emily to drive the hour to Hartford for the race. 

It was freezing at the start, right around 32 degrees. It sucks while you're waiting but awesome to run in, so I'll gladly take the suffering.

Looking good in trash bags and reused space blankets

Right from the start, Kari and I felt better than we had at Wineglass. We were able to talk instead of just huffing and puffing trying to breathe, a huge improvement. Kari even told me at one point that talking to me was better than miserably slogging through miles, which I took as quite a compliment.

The course was mainly flat, only a few small hills here and there, which was fantastic. It went through all sorts of pretty small towns, and the changing leaves gave me the true "it's fall and I'm in New England" experience. There was some fun crowd support and we even got to hear Gangnam Style, so the race was a win all around. 

I had my sister's Garmin set to just show distance so I could run by feel. We kept up a pace that felt comfortably hard for me until mile 17 (most were in the 8:50-9:15 range). We slowed down a bit to a pace that just felt more comfortable at that point, more like 9:20ish.

Kara says I have a special gift for being extremely, annoyingly perky in the last 6 miles of a marathon (she's experienced this with me 3 times) and I didn't disappoint in this one. At mile 22, I felt really good, so Kari and I split up. After the race, she told me she was thrilled to get rid of me. However, while writing this blog post I texted my BFF Carolyn, who I ran my first marathon with, and she stated for the record that she did not hate me at any point.

I blasted some Whitney and felt great. I was on a serious runner's high (it's real, I swear). Everything was wonderful and I loved life. My last four mile splits were 8:24, 8:11, 8:24, and 8:29, and my final .2 was at a 7:20 pace. By far my fastest miles of the race.

So glad we redeemed ourselves with a great marathon for both of us!
Eric literally did zero training for this race. He does extremely intense workouts at his gym several times a week, but hasn't done any running other than sprints in between other really hard things like lifting tires and stuff. My dad, aka this blog's most popular writer, was nice enough to get him a race entry for his birthday, and his number one goal was to beat the 3 hour cutoff. He finished in 2:55 doing the walk/run method, felt great, and enjoyed the race.

The backdrop is like our medals!
Once we rounded everyone up, we took a group pic, changed in a parking garage, and took our classy sweaty asses home.

Kari's car now smells delicious

In her never ending quest to get me to move to Connecticut, Kari threw down her trump card and invited her sports masseuse friend over to give us all massages. She had a table and everything. I've never had a sports massage, mainly because I've been known to cry over the level of pain equivalent to a paper cut, but I couldn't wimp out with everyone watching. It wasn't as bad as I thought, and afterward I felt like a new person. We all did. Best plan ever.

Immediately after massages, Kari and I got baking. We made red velvet s'mores bars. They were even better than they look and sound.

As tempting as it was to just eat the whole pan with a spoon when no one was looking, I crave salty food like crazy after a race, so Kari and I went to pick up Thai food for everyone. We felt good enough to take a little walking tour of the town while we waited, which is a true testament to those massages.

When we got home, I busted into my wine, plowed through my curry like my life depended on it, and recapped all the gory race details with everyone while watching Saving Silverman. We almost fell asleep before dessert, all decked out in our compression gear on the couch. Just kidding, maybe everyone else did, but skipping dessert would have to be over my dead body.

As Eric and I climbed in to Kari and Mike's gloriously comfortable guest bed, Eric was disappointed that we were going to bed so early, "like 10 or 11 o'clock, right?". I told him it was close. It was 9:06 pm. Have I mentioned that I'm even more than a party animal than usual after a marathon?

In the morning, Kari and I took her dog, Bungee, to the beach to do a recovery run.

Seeing the ocean excites me every time.
It was crazy windy, but we managed to do 3 miles at a 10:15 pace. I've only run the day after a marathon one other time, and this was significantly less painful. After the six hour drive home, we were both a bit stiff, but eating an entire deep dish pizza between the two of us really helped. 

So that's it for fall marathons for me - next up, the Fire on the Mountain 50K in two weeks!


  1. I stand by my statement that no one should be as cheerful as you in those last 4 miles of a marathon. I didn't HATE you hate you, since you did get me that sweet sub 4 with your speedy pace. :)

    Peanut is jealous that you ran with another dog. She thought she was special to you.

  2. I can't believe you were able to get another sub-4 two weeks later. Great job to both of you!

  3. I'd say you should feel good about two sub-4 marathons 13 days apart! See you at FOTM...well, see you at the start of FOTM at least! :)

  4. Congrats! You are amazing! You are almost month out from JFK. I am getting so excited!

  5. I can't believe you ran another sub-4! Amazing! And hooray for not running into the bushes this time.

    Also, I didn't think you were annoying during the last 6 (10?) miles of the 50k! It was fun!

    That dessert looks incredible...

  6. So when are you moving here? I'll start looking for teaching jobs for you guys. I can't wait til thanksgiving weekend!!

  7. congrats on another kickass marathon time - you are my hero. and your cheerfullness has gotten me through many a long run. i don't know how you do it!

  8. Can I hire you to be my Last 6.2 Pacer?
    Congratulations on TWO sub 4 marathons in a month. That's awesome.

  9. you ARE a machine! awesome splits for those last 4 miles -- that's impressive!

  10. That is amazing. Two sub 4 hours marathons in 13 days. You are my hero.

  11. Amazing job on another sub-4 marathon! You and Eric both had great races it sounds like. Pizza is my favorite thing to eat post-race and I almost always have it either the day of the race or the next day. You guys seemed to have had a great weekend even with an early bedtime!

  12. dang girl, great job on TWO sub-4's!! that's awesome and looks like u guys all had a lot of fun. :) yea, i haven't run a marathon yet but always kno that the FIRST thing on my mind after would be FOOD!! haha. hope u're having a great day!

  13. Oh my gosh! What an awesome weekend! Congrats to you and Eric on awesome races! I need someone perky like you in the last 6 miles, lol. :)


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