Harrisburg Marathon Recap (11.10.2008)

Where to start? Did I hit my goals I made for myself? Let's get into the recap to see!

Miles 1-3: These are always the hardest miles for me. Everything hurts starting out - always does for me. I noticed right away that my right hamstring (the one I have been "feeling" was letting me know it was there). My dad started the race with me and was planning on dropping out around mile 20. We were right on pace with our best mile (mile 2) being a 9:12. This hamstring wasn't going to stop me.

Miles 4-7: We looped through some beautiful paths along the Susquehanna River and were still on target with our planned pace. Our miles were all in the 9's, but some were creeping up in the 9:40s and 9:50s. We came back by the starting line on City Island and saw Kevin a bunch of times. He was on his mountain bike trailing us the whole way with supplies.

Miles 8-10: These were the hardest miles of the entire race. We left city island and turned left on a path right next to the water. The wind gusts had to be close to 20 miles per hour and it was making it feel all uphill. Why couldn't the wind be at our back??!! My dad was trying to block the wind for me by running immediately in front of me. It helped a little, but my hamstring pain was getting worse. It was creeping down behind my knee and felt like it was spasming. We met up with Kevin and I popped some Advil. Then I popped some more. I felt like these miles went on forever. We hit mile 10 at 1:38, which was still under a 10 min pace, but barely. I was trying so hard to hold on, but my hamstring was making it extremely tough. My leg felt worse than ever before. I was thinking about my blog title for the recap during this period - some ideas, "I am an Idiot" and "What was I thinking?".

Miles 11-13.1: I lied - these were the worse miles of the entire race because this is where I considered throwing the towel in. My leg wasn't getting better and these 2.1 miles felt like it took a year. My dad did give me an out at one point saying that maybe it wasn't my day and we should stop so I don't injure myself worse than I already have. I seriously considered it. But I have NEVER not finished a race and I knew I had to make it. Even if I had to crawl or hobble like the guy in "Run, fat boy, Run" - I was going to finish. We hit mile 13.1 at 2:13 and I knew my hopes of breaking my PR were long gone. Now, this was about finishing with a respectable time.

Miles 14-18: Despite running through an ugly industrial park, I felt slightly better for a little while during this portion. Maybe my overdose on the Advil was kicking in?! It was enough to clock a 10:13 min mile for mile 15!! We hit some major hills running around this one lake and I had to walk on those, but I picked it up on the downhills and was running. Not walking - that was an accomplishment! I was still managing to only walk through the water stops for the most part. They were out of cups at one water stop and had gallons of water for us to chug if we wanted. Out of cups? Come on!!! Thank goodness Kevin was there and filled up the Gatorade bottle with water for me.

Miles 19-23: We were heading home. I was trying so hard to stay positive. Mentally, I was playing a game with myself where I couldn't let these the "girls in the yellow shirts" beat me. We had been jockeying with them the entire way. They had to be in college and I kept thinking about how much more beer they consumed than me. I had to beat them! The one girl was stronger than the other and she eventually left her friend and took off. Now it was about beating the one girl in the yellow shirt in front of me. My back was killing me and at one point it was enough to force me to walk for a bit. It was making it hard to breathe. But, I could see the bridge we had to cross to get back to City Island, so I pushed on.

Miles 24-26.2: Heading back on the same path we were on earlier with the wind gusts, we were looking forward to that wind being at our back. No such luck. The wind was now pushing us the other way. I just couldn't get a break. But I was still running - well maybe more of a shuffle. The Survival Shuffle - that's what I was doing. Did my hamstring still hurt? YES, but it was this numb, throbbing pain that I had gotten used to now. There was no stride because I was basically dragging my right leg along with me. The finish of this marathon is torture. You run by the finish line and can see the clock, then you have to loop around this baseball stadium to come back to where you just passed. It felt like the longest 5 mins of my life.

But - I DID IT! I crossed the finish line. My 5th marathon was over and my clock time was OK. 4:47:52. Not great, but I was pleased with this time considering the wind and my hamstring.

Here are my splits, courtesy of my dad:

  • To the start: .28
  • 2M - 19:20 (9:26 ave.)
  • 3M - 9:25
  • 4M - 9:43
  • 5M - 9:52 (48:22)
  • 6M - 9:45
  • 7M - 9:45
  • 8M - 10:15 (wind)
  • 9M - 10:46 (wind)
  • 10M -9:52 (1:38:44) (wind)
  • 12M-21:33 (total for miles 11 and 12 - this was where I almost quit)
  • 13M-12:07 (i almost quit here too)
  • 13.1 - (2:13:31)
  • 14M-11:22
  • 15M -10:13 (2:34:01) (how did I do a 10:13 here?)
  • 16M-11:25
  • 17M-11:47
  • 18M-12:26 (in the hilly park)
  • 19M-12:15 (most in the park)
  • 20M-12:35 (3:34:33)
  • 21M-11:02
  • 22M-11:35
  • 23M-12:04
  • 24M-12:08
  • 25M-12:06
  • 26M-11:55
  • 26.2--4:47:52 (gun time)
Did I beat the girls in the yellow shirts? I beat one. 1 out of 2 isn't bad.

Did I beat my PR? Obviously not, but now I still have a goal to achieve.

Did I maintain under 9 mins miles in the first half? For the first 10 miles I did, so I did pretty good there.

Did I only walk through water stops? No, I walked on some major hills, but I ran for the majority of the race and feel good about that considering everything.

Did I stay positive/enjoy it? For the most part. When the sun was in my eyes annoying the hell out of me - I thought about how I was getting some sun on my pale, wintry face. :)

Now it is time for some REST and RELAXATION! I was majorly out of it after the race and left my camera along with my whole purse at my sister's house, so I didn't get to upload any of the pics Kevin took, but I will make sure to do that tonight!!


Caitlin (see bride run) November 10, 2008 at 10:08 AM  

yay! i love reading race recaps. sounds like you had a lot of challenges but managed to stay strong. sometimes that a bigger accomplishment than a new PR!

Erica November 10, 2008 at 10:09 AM  

CONGRATS! I'm so glad you made it! You are incredible in my eyes!

Meghann November 10, 2008 at 10:15 AM  

Wow that was some recap! I could feel every torturist moment, but you came through it with stride! I have nothing but respect for you with this race, you stuck it out when I know I would have quit! You are AMAZING!!!!! Great job :)

Anonymous November 10, 2008 at 10:22 AM  

Congratulations on finishing your
5th marathon and for completing it only a few weeks after your last.
You battled this one out and won. Well done.

Rest up your hamstring! So, when the next one?

Tina November 10, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

CONGRATS!!! So amazing! :)

tfh November 10, 2008 at 10:29 AM  

Great job! You are a STUBBORN and TOUGH girl-- it is very inspiring to read about how you hung on in those tough circumstances. I hope your hamstring isn't feeling TOO angry at you as you recover-- sounds like you've earned several massages!

Anonymous November 10, 2008 at 10:31 AM  

I'm so amazed at your dedication and determination to finish in spite of the serious pain you were in. I'm SO SO impressed with you Lauren! Take care of that leg and thanks for the excellent recap. :)

Rose November 10, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

Congrats! Way to go! I really enjoyed this recap.

EL November 10, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

Congrats, running 5 marathons is amazing! Now you need to give your body a rest. Just make sure you shake things out over the next few days (an easy walk and lots of stretching), so you don't lock up.

Zesty Cook November 10, 2008 at 11:27 AM  

Congrats... great work. It is so nice to read how you handled the adversity.


lauren November 10, 2008 at 11:36 AM  

First off - thanks all for the great, supportive comments! It means so much!

d10/not sure when the next one will be - probably next year, but I am not ready to commit to that yet! :)

tfn/yes, I have earned some massages - I am going to make sure my BF reads your comment! ;)

el/ you are right - i need to get out and walk/stretch. My legs and back are very angry with me right now.

*aron* November 10, 2008 at 11:57 AM  

CONGRATS lauren!!! another marathon under your belt :) you pushed through on some really hard moments and made it to the finish line... huge congrats to that!! way to keep a positive attitude also. soak it up and enjoy your very deserved relaxation :)

I Run for Fun November 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM  

Lauren, you did it! Great job on hanging in there inspite of the nagging pain. That too, so close to your last marathon. It is tough enough to endure pain for a few miles - to have to do it the entire duration of a marathon - that's grit and guts! You go, girl!

runjen November 10, 2008 at 1:59 PM  

You didn't give up and you finished! That is what matters. Go girl. I know you were in pain but I loved this recap. Well done. When is your next?? :)

chandra November 10, 2008 at 6:06 PM  

Congrats on finishing despite all the challenges you were faced with! Super inspiring! :)

VeggieGirl November 10, 2008 at 8:14 PM  

FABULOUS!!!! Definitely rest up, Lauren - you deserve it!! :0)

Courtney November 10, 2008 at 10:19 PM  

26.2 is a MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT!!! My wish is that you never lose sight of the everyday extraordinary that you beat down and OWN! Congratulations on your marathon victory. YOU ROCK!

Shoe Running November 10, 2008 at 11:13 PM  

I think I was feeling about as tortured as you were at about the same time, so I can totally empathize - the feeling of wanting to quit, but not letting it get the better of you is a good one, huh?

You rock!

Anonymous November 12, 2008 at 8:03 AM  

This was the first chance I've had to read about your run ... way to hang in there, girl! It was difficult, but you kept pushing on. That's AMAZING, in my book! Way to go! :)

Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) November 12, 2008 at 12:43 PM  

Way to go! Love your determination! Congrats!

Kevin November 13, 2008 at 6:25 PM  

I'm so proud of you. You did great and you overcame the harsh weather!

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