Race Review: Grandma’s Marathon (Minnesota)

Well, here we go. I had such high expectations for myself in this race…I’ll save you the suspense: nope. Just…nope. I still had a blast and a GREAT experience, but I was way off my goal. I don’t really know what happened, to be honest. I have a few ideas, but I just don’t know where it went wrong. I wanted to go 3:05, I went 3:17:28. Yeah. For the record, I’m not whining about a 3:17 – that’s a great time. It just wasn’t what I’d trained for…or was it?

I posted when I got to Duluth that we made it there on Thursday evening – we road tripped from PA to Minnesota. Once we were in Duluth, we stayed at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. First of all, if you do this race, I would HIGHLY recommend these accommodations. They hook you up with a dorm room, towels and bedding for $150 total for two nights. AND there is race day transportation that leaves right from the university. It was stress free and easy.

We hit the expo when we got into town on Thursday night and went to dinner at a local pizza joint to make sure I got in a big, carb loaded meal. The expo was bigger than most of the small town races I’m used to but smaller than the big city races, like Boston or Chicago. I picked up my packet, bought a sweatshirt and called it a day. The swag bags had your standard goodies in them, but you get your T-shirt at the finish line.

After a good night’s sleep, a 20 minute shakeout run around the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a big breakfast, we headed out for the day. We drove the course – perhaps my first and my biggest mistake. I think it make me cocky. It was just soooo flat. How could anything go wrong? Case and point:

While I was running, my husband was going to go fishing in a nearby river so we took a short hike (I’m talking 20 minutes) to scope out the scene. Minnesota is truly a gorgeous place to visit:

Then it was off to meet Charissa and Hanna for coffee, which was an incredible experience! We hung out for a few hours, and then Hanna and I headed over to the pasta dinner. I highly recommend the pasta dinner for this race – it’s only $12, all you can eat, and pretty decent as far as pasta dinners go. After dinner, it was back to the dorms to try to get some sleep. Surprisingly, once I fell asleep I slept great.imageRace Day

The weather was predicted to be rainy with thunderstorms, but it was dry when I woke up. I got my hopes up that it would stay that way as I went through all of my race morning preparations. We boarded the buses to the start and arrived before 7am. I met up with Katelyn, who I met when I ran Clarence Demar in the fall. We stayed in touch and had a similar goal so if we could find each other, we decided we’d start out together. Even among the thousands of runners, we found each other right off the buses. We hit the bathrooms and it began to drizzle as we set up on the grass to relax and prepare. No problem, I brought a poncho with me. And then it began to straight up downpour.

I got a little cranky, and I think this is where I really started to go wrong. All I could think was, why am I even doing this? Every race I’d run up through this point in 2015 has been accompanied with some sort of disaster. I had to walk in the last six miles of the Lost Dutchman (Arizona) in February, when my Achilles was at it’s worst. I was so excited for Boston (which ended up going well) but it was freezing cold, pouring rain, and windy. Finally, when I began to feel better and got in a good training block, I was excited to go for Grandma’s. Except here we were again, sitting in the pouring rain. I’m not a negative person (I think this post is coming across that way), but this is what was going through my mind at that point. I think it’s also where everything started to go wrong. It was like I gave up before I even began.

Miles 1-5

We lined up with Tom, the 3:05 pacer as it got closer to the start of the race. He was holding a stick that said 3:05 and it was adorned with little red and white balloons. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t anything, really. I just wanted to start already, and hoped that the rain would let up because it was still absolutely POURING.

The gun went off and I begrudgingly ditched my poncho and throw away shirt. As soon as we started, Tom took OFF. Enter my second mistake: I went out too fast (real shocker, ha). I know better, especially since that’s been my problem in several races over the past year. I’ve DONE better, but I had it in my mind that I was sticking with Tom. Except Tom was running sub-3 pace. I stayed a good distance behind him, and clocked solid sub-7s for the first five miles. A 3:05 is a 7:04 pace. Even if he was banking a few seconds, I don’t think it was necessary to go under seven minute miles at any point. On a side note, one of the guys that began with him stuck with him through the half marathon point and told me after they didn’t do any seven minute miles up to that point, everything was in the 6:50s. That same guy ran a 3:10 that day – he lost the pacer shortly after that point. My husband pointed out (nicely) that he saw that the pacer came in exactly around 3:05, so he must have slowed down a LOT later in the race. I know I’ve been a pacer before, but mark my words. I will NEVER run with a pacer EVER again! I should have started in the 7:20s, as planned, and progressed down to marathon pace over the first few miles. I run better when I actively try to negative split, and I didn’t because all I could see were the stupid red and white balloons getting further and further away. I usually have a stronger mental game, but not that day. Seeing those balloons take off really pissed me off. It was mile 5, I was still well under the pace I needed, but I felt like the race was over. It just felt so HARD. But of course it did – that’s not how I start my long runs. What did I really expect?

Miles 5-10

I slowed down a little, and kept my pace in the 7-7:15 range for these miles. The rain had slowed to more of a drizzle, so that was good. It was enough to keep you cool, but not so much that it was annoying. For as beautiful as the course was, it was a little boring since the scenery just didn’t change. Over the first 8 miles of the course, I didn’t think there were too many views of Lake Superior and it was just the same tree lined road, over and over. I was also arguing with myself in my head and trying to figure out why my legs felt crappy, and why I just felt shitty in general. As we approached mile 10, I’d made a decision. I was in Minnesota running a marathon. I get to cross another state off of my list. That was going to have to be enough for me. No more negativity, because I had 16 miles to go. It would go by a LOT faster if I was smiling and enjoying myself.

Miles 11-15

Though my pace was steadily getting slower with each mile, I started to enjoy the race more after the half marathon point. We began to see more views of Lake Superior, and even though it was a cloudy day I could see the bridges in Duluth in the wayyyy far distance. I’d lost Katelyn within the first few miles, but she came up next to me as I was starting to slow down around mile 11. I watched her start to pass me, and then thought, GO. Stick with her! Don’t lose her! It was enough to light a temporary fire and I picked up the pace. I actually passed her, but I thought she was right on my heels and figured we would end up just running together as the race progressed.

Miles 16-20

I kept my pace in the 7:30 range and finally, we hit mile 18. That’s when we FINALLY get off scenic route 61 and start to see a change of scenery. It was like a breath of fresh air…or not. The sun came out, and it got a little humid to add insult to injury. But I kept moving, and figured I was on pace for something like 3:10-15ish. My legs felt like shit, but I felt happy in general at this point. As I neared mile 20, I saw aΒ  “Beer Here” sign, and a table with people handing out beer. Of course I took one. The spectators and the people handing out the beer cheered, and that lifted my spirits a little more.

Miles 21-26.2

Around mile 21, the freaking 3:15 pacer passed me. As he was passing, he was telling the group “68 seconds in the bank!!” I hung with them for about a mile, but as soon as he started to creep further away, that same defeated feeling I got when I watched Tom and his dumb balloons get further away came back and I shut down again. At that point, I looked for Katelyn – I thought she was right behind me. I didn’t see her so I slowed up in hopes that she would catch up. If this wasn’t going to be my day, then I was going to finish it up by having fun running with a friend to end the race on a high note. I slowed up a lot over the last 6 miles – 7:45-8:15s – in hopes that she would come running up next to me. I found out later that she finished in 3:24, and had a very similar experience. She also did a 3:14 at Boston, so I don’t know what the heck was up with us in Minnesota.

Driving the course might have led to me being a little overzealous in my pacing, but I was glad I did it for one reason: I knew the last mile was going to seem like it would drag on FOREVER. You hit Duluth and are running downtown by mile 24ish, finally seeing lots of spectators. When you hit 25, you are getting close to the arena, where the finish line is. However, you still have a mile to go and it seems to take forever. At 26, there was a clock. My Garmin was off by .2 so I looked down and in my marathon stupor, thought we were done. I actually thought, wow, what an anticlimactic finish…until I realized we weren’t done! We turned a corner and finally, the finish was in sight. I was so happy to be done.

The best part of the day was reconnecting with all of my friends and hearing their experiences. Three out of the four of us had a similar day – just not the day we wanted. But Hanna PR’d by 15 minutes and ran a 3:46! I was so happy that someone was able to come away with a PR and a completely enjoyable race experience. Oh yeah, and they gave us beer at the finish. And not just any beer – my favorite! Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale. Yesssss!

As I was writing this, I was trying to be more positive about the whole thing. But the truth is, I’m cranky. 2015 has not been what I expected, and this was certainly not the race I trained for. Or was it? As I drove home, I reflected on all of 2015. I don’t think I was trained for a 3:05. But I also don’t think I was trained for a 3:17. If I’d gone out more conservatively, I think a 3:10 was reasonable. Yes, I had some fast splits in there over the past few weeks – but really, that only in the last few weeks! I just started to get my base back from my Achilles injury, and I think I got a little ahead of myself. I also believe those past few weeks combined with the flat course made me overconfident. This experience was humbling (as usual). It also made me realize a lot of things – like what I need to be doing if I’m really serious about breaking three hours in a marathon. And I’m ready to do it…after my legs recover πŸ™‚ I’ll be posting about my strategy soon. For now, I’ll be spending the week relaxing, running easy, recovering, and plotting my comeback. State #28 is in the books!

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77 comments

  1. Congratulations on a great time, another state, and injury free finish (Sometimes just getting to the start uninjured is a victory for a ‘thon).

    I’m so sorry you did not meet your 3:05 time goal and can imagine it was mentally defeating to get passed by YOUR pacer then the next one, even though it sounds like the pacer was off. This does sound like a class-act race for a small town and it’s neat you got to stay at the college and save money that way. I love the race sweatshirt and that you even got good beer at the finish!

    Hope you have a good post-race recovery :).

    1. Thanks!! Yeah, I know my post came off negative about the experience but besides being bummed about my pace, I did like the race and the town welcomed us with open arms. And you are SO right – making it to the start without an injury is a win in itself!

      1. Eh, I don’t think you were really negative. Disappointed, but not negative bc I could tell you had fun running the race. You worked and trained REALLY hard. 26.2 miles is a long time to run and the longer the run, the more time for something to go wrong. I’ve read the saying that when you “bank” time in a race, you pay it back with interest. I bet if the pacer hadn’t banked that time you would have at least been closer to the goal.

  2. This sounds like such an incredibly mentally challenging race in so many ways- I don’t think it sounds like you are a negative person at all, it is totally understandable to be cranky when we don’t reach goals we have worked really hard for! Having said that GREAT job on finished even though it was so tough and doing so in such a great time (even if it wasn’t what you were aiming for)! Overcoming those challenges will set you up even more for next time too! πŸ™‚ hope you’re feeling a bit better- onto the next!

  3. Sounds like we had somewhat similar Grandma’s experiences. I ran it in 2012 and, though thunderstorms were on the forecast, it was dry for my run. However, I started with a pace group and wanted an aggressive PR, just to have the elements suck me of vitality. I watched as the pace group passed me and I ended up finishing in 3:45 (when I wanted a 3:35). Alas. However, I did have fun toward the second half, like you did.

    Pace groups are a fickle bunch. Sometimes they run even splits and are perfect ushers. But in other cases, they’ll run the S.M.A.R.T. strategy and start slower, others will run “by feel” and slow down on uphills, others want to bank time, and the pacers at Mountains 2 Beach specifically run 2 minutes faster than their designated pace to allow finishers to register for Boston. It’s insane.

    Anyway, sounds like you still killed it with an amazing time. Yeah, it wasn’t your A goal, but you weren’t given A conditions on the path between Two Harbors and Duluth. Given that, I’d say you rocked it πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much! I totally agree with you about pacers, I’ve paced races myself so I know that the 305 was probably easy for that guy and a few seconds in the bank was no big deal to him, but it was for me. And I’m sure there were people in his pace group that it was totally fine for, too. I should have just went with my original plan! Oh well, learning experience! It was still fun☺️

  4. Congrats!! First off, it was soooo fun hanging out with you on Friday and I had a great time and I’m so happy I got to meet you!

    I’m bummed that you didn’t have a good race and things didn’t go the way you planned. I know that you’re having a frustrating year and this doesn’t help, but in a way, knowing that the main reason you had a bad race was because you started out too fast might help ease your mind – it’s not because of your fitness or your ability, you just made a mistake that cost you and you know that if you hadn’t, you probably would have done a lot better. It’s one of those things that makes you mad but at the same time is sort of comforting, because you can answer the “why” question. I also think, all things considered, you did a great job considering you’ve battled injuries and you signed up for the marathon pretty late in the game! And now you know you will have a lot more time to train for your fall marathons (plus the weather isn’t usually such a gamble!). I honestly think it was a dumb idea to go for a huge time goal in a spring marathon – it worked out for me in the end but I was a mess leading up to it. Thinking good things for you this fall and I look forward to following your rebound this summer!!

    1. I feel like I should clarify because reads weird but when I said it was a dumb idea to train for a time goal in a spring marathon I was NOT talking about you! I was talking about me! LOL

      1. Awwww thank you so much for the motivation! I know what you meant, too – it was a goal and it’s a weird time of year – totally agree with you there. I’m still happy I did the race because I got to meet you and Annie, and see Charissa again! So fun. I hope we can plan another one like that in the future. I can’t WAIT to see what you do for your next race…Chicago qualifier?? BQ??? Ahhhhh!!! The possibilities are endless!!!

      2. I agree I hope we can meet up again in the future – for sure when you decide on your Wisconsin marathon (and maybe your Iowa one too, since that is my home state and I need to do a marathon there as well!).

        I wasn’t gonna try anything fancy for my fall marathon but now I’m thinking I’ve gotta shoot for a Chicago qualifier since I’m so close! It would only be like a 2 minute improvement so I wouldn’t have to go balls to the wall during my training and hopefully the improvements in my overall fitness will be enough! Let’s make Fall our best race season yet!!!

      3. YES!!! I’m actually going to take a look at Wisconsin races today, and I’ll add Iowa to my list! I TOTALLY think you need a Chicago qualifier for fall. I also feel like you should probably come run the VIA Marathon in September in PA for it πŸ™‚ I’m planning on doing the half, it’s a flat course, and you can stay with me!! Just sayin, πŸ™‚

  5. Awe, shit. I won’t say all the nice things that you already know. I’ll instead commiserate with you because sometimes that’s just what we need people to do. I think yeah, you were probably trained for a 3:10, and even a 3:05. But we all know that the marathon has a mind of its own. Respect it, give yourself some love, and then use your frustration to go out and get the next one. You’ve already proved how strong you are in your training sessions. The fact that you came back from an injury and then clocked those 20+ milers at 6-something pace is frigging beastly. Be proud of that, but then get angry too. You’ve got the next one in the bag, baby!

    1. Hahaha – thank you! That damn distance gets me every time – it’s always a freaking reminder that no matter how strong you are, you still need to respect the distance. I think I was so pumped up and saw the elevation of the course (like, practically none) and just got cocky. I should have backed off when I saw the pacer was trying to win the marathon in mile 1. Lesson learned…time to make a comeback!

  6. Congrats on finishing state #28. I’m sorry it wasn’t the race you were hoping for though. Very frustrating that the pacer started too fast. I’ve run with pacers before and had pretty good experiences, but I’ve definitely heard a lot of stories about pacing gone wrong.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, pacers can be tricky – but ultimately I can’t blame him. It was my choice to stick with him even after I realized what was going down. I took a chance, it didn’t pan out, and it’s okay πŸ™‚

  7. Congratulations on another marathon in the books! I totally understand where you’re coming from in regards to feeling trained for a different time. I ran a 3:18 in Boston and felt like I had trained for a much better race. Some days just aren’t our days and I think that it is so difficult to accept that after putting our heart and soul into training for 4 months. Celebrate a finish and another cool medal for your wall : ) Congratulations again and now enjoy this rest and relaxation!!

    1. Thank you!!! And you hit the nail on the head – I felt like I trained for more and it totally wasn’t my day. But I really am over it now and I’m ready to look forward to the next one πŸ™‚

  8. Congrats on crossing a state off your list AND finishing injury free! Sorry it didn’t go as you had hoped, but now it’s time to rest, recover, and like you said, plot your revenge, er, comeback. Training takes so much time and effort that it hurts when the race goes awry. One thing I can always count on from races that I didn’t do well in (or as well as I would have liked) is that I usually know what went wrong and I can always try again next time (for me it’s usually hills). Enjoy your rest & recovery!

    1. Thank you!!! I always think when a race doesn’t go the way I planned that it feels like a bad breakup! Not only is the training/race over, but it wasn’t what I’d hoped for. Oh well. Onward!

  9. congratssssss, speedy! i know your time wasn’t what you were hoping for but i love that you still have a good perspective on it and had a blast with the girls, and BTW, 3:17 is something my dreams are made of. you’re amazing! πŸ™‚

  10. I’m so jealous you go to hang out with Charissa and Hanna! Major FOMO.

    It sucks that you didn’t meet your time goal but also sucks that your pacer didn’t do their job. Kudos to still running a super fast, injury-free race! Yay!

  11. Sorry that your race didn’t go as planned.!! but honestly, I don’t think that race showed your true training. You did super great runs and track work this training cycle.! Yes you did come back from an injury.. but this race sounds like mentally it beat you up. You’re better than that time, but it happens sometimes.! You’ve got plenty more races to PR at girl : )

    1. Thank you so much. Seriously – you are so sweet! It really was a mental challenge this time. I think my injury, combined with my one bad race in AZ that I had to walk in earlier this year scared me early on in this race. I just shut down as soon as things didn’t go my way. Huge learning experience!

  12. I’m sorry to hear that your race didn’t go as planned. I know how frustrating that can be, but 3:17 is still amazing! Congrats on crossing another state off your list. I hope the next race goes much smoother for you.

  13. “Aim for the moon- even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!” Cheesy but words to live by! Keep swinging for that fence lady! Ps I love your sign off, “plotting your comeback”!!!!! So badass! Get it girl! πŸ‘ŠπŸ’›πŸ’™

  14. I’m sorry it didn’t go like you’d hoped but 3:17 in those conditions is awesome. It’s great that you got to meet up though, it looks like fun! I’ve learned that I hate flat or mostly flat courses- I always tank on what should be every runner’s dream. Your next race will be a great one! Congrats on your finish!

    1. Thank you! You know, it’s funny you say that. My PRs are mostly set on hilly courses and I rarely love a flat marathon course. And this was flaaaatttt! I wonder if that had something to do with it! Hmmm.

      1. I can relate. I had a gold race once where the pavers passed me and I broke down into tears. The marathon is a humbling event. And we runners are all entitled to feel grumpy about sometimes!! We work hard darn it! 3:17 is still smoking fast but I totally get it wasn’t your goal. That’s one reason I’m running Savannah again. I totally bombed last year. Beautiful pics girl!! I hope to make it up there one day. Chin up. We will run better marathons another day. Even if we question our sanity πŸ˜‰

      2. Thank you so much! I wanted to cry when the Pacers passed me. So disheartening. Still a good experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world, though!

  15. Hugs for the disappointment. It kinda eats away at you when when you know you can do better.

    Relax. Recover. Then go out and attack your goals again.

    Despite the race not turning well for you, i enjoyed reading the recap and vicariously living thru you. I will most likely never run a 3:17 marathon, but I can live it thru you.

  16. First, I’m bummed you didn’t have the race you wanted and second, HOW WERE YOU IN ARIZONA WITH ME NOT KNOWING? I might’ve found you blog after but still, I’m sad you were here and I couldn’t cheer you on. I always do the Lost Dutchman 10k because it’s always 2 weeks before Phoenix Marathon and I’m too much of a wimp to run a 1/2 right before a full lol… (p.s. Third, I’m sad your Arizona race was a sour experience too 😦 a do-over might be needed)

    1. OMG did you do the 10K this year?!?!?! That is freaking crazyyyy! I absolutely need an AZ do-over. I actually really liked the LDM and would love to come back for it someday – it might have been a bad race experience but I loved AZ. What a cool state – also, what a badass state to be a runner in because dude. It’s hot there. It was like 80 degrees at the finish line…in FEBRUARY! It was -15 or something back home that weekend. I thought I was going to die. Hahaha!

  17. I’m sorry the race didn’t go well- esp after other cruddy races in 2015!
    I totally believe mentally can affect your race, either in a positive way or negative. I know if I was in a bad mood on the start line, I’d likely feel defeated before starting too.
    This post reminds me not to trust pacers for a PR attempt! I’m glad there weren’t pacers for 3:30 at the Baltimore Marathon a few years ago, & that Boston was up to me too. I think pacers can work for some people, but it’s not a gamble I’d want to take.
    Onward and upward! You’re still in great shape & killing it in training, you’ll get that well-deserved PR soon!

    1. Thank you! I think a lot of this was mental, part of it was that I went out too fast, and part of it was that I just wasn’t in 3:05 shape but I pushed for it anyway. You never know if you don’t try, so I did! But like you said – onward and upward!!!

  18. I’m so late to the recap party!! Still working on mine lol. I’m sorry the race didn’t go how you wanted it to and that pacer was not a good pacer to go out like that! That’s definitely not how they’re supposed to do it. I also feel like 2015 has not gone so well for me yet either. It’s been a tough year. But I try to think back to how I feel every year when summer hits and this year really is no different. The heat and humidity can wreak havoc on our times and more importantly…our confidence. I know you’ve got it in you for another marathon PR if you stay injury free the rest of this year. Hope your recovery is going well! And also, congrats on another marathon and amazing time!! Maybe one day I’ll be as fast as you are now πŸ˜‰ But also, it’s hard work and I think I’ll be happy with myself once I hit BQ time πŸ˜€
    And…I was happy to see you again and hang! And that our boys enjoyed their drinking together. BTW, we did go back and eat at Duhblin’s after the marathon and I had the Ugly Betty shot. It was AMAZING!!!!

    1. Thank you!! I am sorry your race didn’t go as planned, too. Personally, I was happy with the race because I did it, and I am happy with my time, just wasn’t what I was training for. I think I can hit a 3:05, but I have work to do and Grandma’s proved that to me. Time to recover and start fresh πŸ™‚ I am putting out a post today with a bunch of races I am signed up for – local ones in my area, shorter distances than marathons. Let me know if you are interested in any of them!! There’s a 10K in there that might fit in well with your marathon training and it’s part of a cool festival in my town. I’m so glad we got to hang out, and it was so cute that the boys went drinking together! Jealous that you tried that shot and that restaurant – I really wanted to go back. I realized when the race was over that by the time I showered, we would need to hit the road because we drove 5 hours to our next stop at that point! But we will hang again soon!!!!

      1. I’m happy too… Even though it didn’t go as planned, I wasn’t far off my PR and conditions were not as good as when I ran my PR so it’s a win in my book! The humidity really was killer once the rain stopped.
        I probably will do that 10k! I think it would fit my schedule pretty well. I’ll also consider the VIA half but only if the weather looks nice for that day. Otherwise I’m thinking of only doing shorter races leading up to my fall marathon πŸ˜€ Then I’ll do some half marathons in November/December after recovering!

      2. I keep forgetting that the conditions really were not ideal. Since it was cool, I also keep forgetting about that humidity. Maybe that’s why I felt so crappy. Who knows! I was pretty far off my PR, which was frustrating. Good idea about the VIA half – it is partially on a cinder trail like the one you and I ran on when you came to visit – so if the weather sucks (like rain) it can be a muddy mess. Though keep your eye on it because it often does sell out. It is a FLAT course – I think one hill at the end from what everyone says. I ran the full in 2013 but can’t seem to remember the hill at the end. It used to be my marathon PR for awhile – great course!!! If you need a November half, we have a great course in our area – check out the D&L Half Marathon!

  19. Oh girl! I enjoyed your report and am glad I’m reading it this far post-race because now It makes me chuckle. I had the exact same emotional experience about every aspect of that race!! The only difference between our races was the painful side cramping that I got around mile 17 that forced me to walk off and on for 3-4 miles before finally picking back up a slower pace to finish. I think we would’ve both been spot on and could’ve ran a very strong 3:10 had, a) we not started out being drenched from the torrential downpour with pissy attitudes, and b) never met Tom!

    Regardless, it was such a great time otherwise and I enjoyed catching up with you in Minnesota! Looking forward to another run soon…without stupid Tom!!

    1. LOL – FREAKING TOM! I’m glad you were there. I know I suck to run races with – I get in my zone and am the worst company – but I am so glad you were there. It was so much fun to hang and catch up – and we need to plan another one together!! I do think we both had 3:10 in us that day for sure – the starting out too fast with dumb Tom was the problem. I don’t think I had 3:05 in me regardless, though. I need to do a little more work first! Keep me posted on your upcoming races, maybe we will get to meet up again soon! xoxo

  20. First off, so bummed I didn’t get to meet you…But…I think we all had tough races that day. The torrential down pour to start out the day didn’t help ANYONE’s spirits. It went from wet and cold, to humid and hot which is so hard on our bodies. I think you did an amazing job!! ❀

    1. Thank you! So bummed we didn’t meet. I am sure there will be another race, another time!!! The rain and weather situation certainly didn’t help matters much. It was ROUGH but we survived!! Can’t ask for much more in conditions like that!!

  21. Congratulations on your marathon finish! Even if it wasn’t the time you hoped for, you finished with an excellent time, still. That’s really a bummer about the pacer. In my opinion, he should have tried to run an even pace OR negative split. It sounds like he ran the race like a 5K, not a marathon. “Tom and his dumb balloons” – I loled at this. πŸ™‚ Also – I’m glad you grabbed that beer!

    1. Thank you so much!! I am happy with the time, it was just frustrating to be so off my goal and my PR. I was definitely bummed about the pacer but even more bummed that I was so stupid to get wrapped up in it – I know better and should have run my own race, but I was stubborn! Hahaha his dumb balloons are still haunting me! Every time I see a balloon, I think “Effing TOM!!”

  22. So I’m a little late in catching your recap, but still – congrats on crossing off another state! πŸ™‚ I know it wasn’t the race you wanted it to be, but really it sounds like you did pretty darn awesome despite the weird weather. I’ve had my issues chasing down pacers too, it really is mentally upsetting seeing a pacer you planned to keep up with disappear into the distance! I can’t wait to hear about your strategy and next race! Reading this is giving me a serious itch to find my next marathon πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, girl!!! It was SUCH weird weather, although what could I really expect for a June marathon! The pacer thing did screw with me mentally. Lesson learned!!! I think you need a fall marathon in your life πŸ˜‰

  23. I really enjoyed reading this. I agree with you about driving the course…looks can be deceiving. I did this with my Gettysburg 5k and what seemed like gentle rolling hills (almost flat) turned out to be a little more than I was expecting (hills on turns). I’ll never be a long-distance runner but I do enjoy reading about others accomplishments. πŸ™‚

  24. It’s hard to stay positive on days like that. Definitely not ideal conditions for running a marathon, but you stayed strong and you finished, and that’s what matters.

  25. Hey – just chiming in (belatedly). I just found your blog. Anyways, I ran Grandma’s also, and also had a disappointing race. Glad to read it wasn’t just me. πŸ™‚ Good luck in your fall races!

    1. Thanks for reading! Ugh, Grandmas…I wanted so badly to run somewhere in the neighborhood of my PR (3:06). My goal was 3:05 – someday I want to break 3, but I need to get back to where I was in 2014 before I can even think of those numbers! I’d been working with a coach all year that was just not a good fit, and I had spent all year battling Achilles tendinitis! I ran 3:14 in Boston, so I thought “Grandma’s is easier, I’m less injured now, I’m going for it”. I was so disappointed! I had much higher expectations for that course. I’m going to read your post now! My friend Katlyn had a rough time too – she’s a 3:13 marathoner and did something like 3:24. Just an all around rough day! I hope you have a great fall!

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