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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harrisburg Marathon: Race Recap #1

Well, howdy folks, I'm back from a week long vacation to New York and Pennsylvania and I'm brimming with photos, stories, and blisters!
Where I last left you, I had just finished running the Harrisburg Marathon, which I squeezed in to our trip last-minute. It was an hour and a half from our friends' house in PA, so I decided why not? I registered.
Those who read the last post will know that I actually narrowly qualified for the Boston Marathon at this race! But I didn't realize that when I first posted. And that wasn't my goal when I ran this race. Five weeks earlier, I ran a 1:46 half marathon that was my fastest half to date. I plugged that time into an online pace predictor calculator, and it predicted a marathon time around 3:45. The same website listed BQ times by age group and had a link to print a pace bracelet. So I did - for 3:40. Then I forgot about it, fell off the running band-wagon (which I do easily) and flew to Pennsylvania with a goal of running under 4 hours.
My pre-race behavior was typically absurd. We were staying with friends and the night before went to a party at their neighbors'. Instead of carb loading, I had a plate of chicken wings and several glasses of malbec. Then we went to a movie, and they wouldn't let me bring my water in. So I sat and dehydrated while watching Mark Zuckerburg be a rich and brilliant jerk. I went to bed late, slept through my alarm, and rushed out the door.
So Pennsylvania has these things called turnpikes, and they have no bathrooms. I discovered this as I got on the turnpike, and read a sing that said, "Next facilities: 102 miles". And I had just had a gallon of coffee. I was dying by the time we reached Harrisburg! The hubby had insisted on going with me, and he parked while I waited for a port-a-potty. It was cold at the start, and I decided to change into the long sleeved race shirt. It was far too short for me and the whole race my back was bare (Oddly, it is shorter in the back than the front, like a reverse shirt tail)! But it beat shivering in short sleeves. I had my BQ pace bracelet on because I found it with my race stuff I'd packed. What the heck, I thought, and taped it on. Actually I put it on because I thought it made me look cool. The coolness factor was negated by the belly-shirt effect, however.
Thanks to my awkward car ride and poor pre-race diet, I felt bad from the start of the race. Actually I immediately felt bad, but I remembered that I take 5 to 7 miles to warm up, and I promised myself I should get that far then reassess. At 6 miles I unexpectedly saw David, and I almost stopped then and told him it was time to go home. But I kept going and made the half-way point my goal. I wasn't looking at my watch at all; I was just feeling out of breath, queasy, and exhausted.
I hit the half at about 1:48, with a little push towards the end since I figured I'd stop there. Except I didn't stop, because I realized I had no clue how to get back to the start. As I pondered stopping or continuing, I decided I'd better have a Gu or something. I hadn't eaten anything since I planned on dropping out. Once I had a Gu, I perked up and decided to finish the race.
And eventually I will finish this post...but not now, because I'm tired and I have to go back to work in the morning! So see you in the morning for the other 13 miles!


  1. Good job! I'm looking forward to the rest of your recap!

  2. you're going to do fine. you have the will to move forward. remember to rest your legs 2 days before the race. massage them well at night and take advil 3 times a day for the 2 days prior to the race.

    keep me updated!!

  3. Oh my gosh, I can not believe you BQ'd at this race given the meal you had the night before and how crappy you felt the first 1/2 of the race! Wow! I am just in shock, lady! Can't wait to read about the 2nd half. That gu must have been magic or something. ;)

  4. Sometimes its those races that you go into with no expectations that end up going well.... despite all that you do that seems to be wrong!

    I love and hate those pace bracelets.... I always take one but part way through start to get pissed off at it.

    Cannot wait to hear the rest!

  5. I love your attitude. You were going to stop at mile 6, then the half, but ended up with an awesome time for the entire race...great job...looking forward to hearing more. I considered Harrisburg (not after picking Freedom's Run though) because it's only about an hour or so from me, might have to think about it for the future sometime!

  6. ok this sounds weird but i think i might have seen you and your husband walking! am i being crazy?

  7. Amazing! I cannot believe you BQ'ed with a pre-race meal of chicken wings and malbec. I tip my hat to you!

  8. Amazing....somethimes things happen when you least expect them...

  9. Sist, were we at the museum of art? We did walk around the grounds. I was in a Saints shirt :)