Monday, March 11, 2013

Lower Potomac River Marathon Recap

Alternate title: the pathetic post I didn't want to write

The short version: I trained my ass off to PR in the marathon for 2 1/2 months, and failed.

Even our beautiful twinsie outfits couldn't save me

Spoiler alert: nothing went wrong in the race. I've thought long and hard about why I couldn't pull it off, and my friend Mike pretty much spelled it out - I ran too slow. Womp womp.

Friday night Kari took the train to Baltimore to visit me and run the race. We lived it up Friday night with crabcakes, Dance Central, and Eric's old yearbooks. We were in bed by 9:30, did a two mile shakeout run in the morning, and headed to southern MD to hang out with Kara for the night.

I meet my BFFs on the internet, you got a problem with that?
I'm not trying to be rude, but someone in her household had certainly put on some weight.

Kara gets full credit for the graphic design here.
We spent the night carb loading like crazy and I was also nearly paralyzed from cuteness overload, thank goodness I don't find dogs cute or I may not have been able to run the race at all (darn). If anyone out there is concerned that Faith is grumpy 100% of the time based on pictures posted on Kara's blog (like my mom), rest assured, she's basically the most adorable happy child on earth.

Sunday morning, we moaned the loss of our hour like every other whiny American and headed to the race. Kari and I had been pretty consumed with anxiety over our goal all weekend, so we were ready to just get running already.

This race is not like most marathons, in the best ways possible. There are less than 200 runners, no chips, and no tech shirts. You park mere feet from the start/finish line (aka traffic cones), hang out and get your bib in the comfortable, heated School of Seamanship, which not only has an awesome name, but tons of empty clean bathrooms. We headed into the cold (the start was 35 degrees) at about 7:11am for a 7:15 start. The course has mile markers, gorgeous views, and that's about it, except this year it featured a banjo player and a guy hitting a gong.

In short, everything went right. If I could have talked to God and put in my request for the weather, it could not have been better. First I was super rested from my snow day on Wednesday, and then the race varied from about 35-55 degrees and sunny with just a slight wind. No stomach problems, I didn't have to pee, nothing. Just too damn slow.

All my best races have happened when I haven't looked at my watch, even once, so I set my Garmin to only show distance and ignored it. It didn't work this time.

Post race sad faces

All of our splits for the first half were 8:45-8:55 with an exception of 8:36 at mile 3. So...perfectly on our goal pace. After that, we hit the hills. The hills weren't big at all, but we logged a few miles over 9 minutes. I guess we slowed down too much because my overall pace according to my Garmin was 8:53 and the last few miles felt like death. I thought we were pushing it, but they were all 8:50-9:00 (although my last .4 was at a 7:55 pace!).

Pushing it in at the end - until I saw the clock
My official time was 3:54:44, which makes this my THIRD 3:54 marathon. I took two bathroom breaks during Wineglass and got 3:54:35, so....yeah. Lame. 

I managed to put on a happy face because I was done!
So I crossed the finish line, dropped a few F-bombs, but then managed to get over myself because I was pretty honored that Kara had brought two small children to the finish line just to cheer us on, and that actually sounded harder than running a marathon to me. Plus, PR or no, it was time to celebrate. 

Well, after the tortuous two hour drive home.

Popping the cork on some fancy Prosecco 
We made this beauty as soon as we showered.

My food photography sucks, so here's a picture to show off the deliciousness.

Across the street from us is an amazing Mexican restaurant. We hadn't eaten anything but one of Kara's unbelievably good dairy free chocolate chip cookies since the race, which made the food taste like a 19 on a scale of 1-10. Then we came home and started the true partying.

Pajamas NOT optional
Somehow Kari had never seen or heard of Catfish, so I introduced her to my man.

He's just not that into you.
So that's the story. Consolation comments not necessary, I swear, Nev and wine cheered me right up last night and let's face it - this isn't exactly the tragedy of the century. But I will happily take suggestions more constructive than "you ran too slow" or ideas for redemption races within driving distance (bonus points if I can stay with you!).


  1. It sucks that this wasn't a PR, but it's not like you ran it ridiculously slow, so...yeah. You ran another marathon. That can't be a bad thing, right? I feel that any race ending in wine and treats can't be a bad thing, really.

  2. I love that your mom thought that Faith was grumpy all the time. No, just when I try to take her picture haha

    I really think you just had an off day and you are so fully capable of running a faster marathon. I bet you will have a faster race the next time you try. If you still can't break 3:54, then when I get into shape, I'll pace you to victory. I know you'd love leaving me in your dust at mile 21 :)

  3. It's because you didn't eat Chia Seeds prior to your race.

  4. Blame the time change. Gettysburg is in April and close to me, it has some hills but I didn't think it was bad!

  5. I thought we figured out that Eric was to blame.

  6. I love the before and after pictures of Cordelia! Also, I'm sorry about the race, but prosecco is a pretty great consolation prize.

  7. Sadly I am not within driving distance but if you feel like venturing south for a marathon I am happy to house you and feed you. Dessert + wine after a marathon = great way to round out your time with Kari!

  8. On a different note, I really hope you inhaled that entire chocolate thing because that looks delightful. And, it's not even close to you and it'd be hard to PR just because of the whole altitude thing, but you should come run a race here. We'll find a good trail race for you-- it'll be fun!

  9. Are you still moderating?! My comment went away and it doesn't say "moderating." I'm confused.

  10. I think you should just go ahead and blame to lost hour. Seems logical.

  11. I composed my comment here, then put it onto your FB instead, to show how multidimensionally digital I am.

  12. Three 3:54 marathons is pretty amazing. At least you are consistent. I would blame it on the lost sleep.

  13. Sorry that you didn't PR, but I am glad you are taking it well. I didn't PR in a 5k and I was mad enough!

  14. I'm thinking of doing Delaware in May if you are interested. Seriously, 3 sub-4 marathon is awesome. I'm worried enough that my one sub-4 was a fluke!

  15. I blame everything that didn't go my way last weekend on Daylight Savings Time, feel free to do the same :)

  16. I blame everything that didn't go my way last weekend on Daylight Savings Time, feel free to do the same :)

  17. Run faster seems like pretty good advice since I don't run marathons. That's still a great time even if you didn't get quite to your goal. Is it possible you overtrained? People tell me this is a thing, but again, I don't run marathons. Ever.

  18. I'd like to know what that dessert is!

  19. So 3:54 is now your nemesis time. Mine was 4:11 - 3 marathons in-a-row. I wanted to beat the shit out of 4:11 (so violent, I know). I did. You will too.

    It was kinda hot on Sunday too. I know, I know...never happy but it was kind of a freakishly hot day for March.

    Congrats, even though I know you are bummed. You will beat 3:54 next time.

  20. Congrats on the awesome celebrating you did post-marathon!

    I'm not as fast as you, so I can't possibly give advice. :)


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