Hoka 10k 2018

Hoka 10k 2018

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Carmel Marathon

Let's get the goal stating out of the way. As I've been telling my running buddies, my forever goal (until it happens) is 3:37. Why such an odd number? Because it's 3 minutes faster than the time I need to qualify for Boston. For me, three minutes is a cushion comfortable enough for me to feel like I'll actually get to participate in the race (for those not familiar, my qualifying time is 3:40, but that doesn't mean I get to run the race. Because so many people qualify and want to run this race, you often have to qualify more than 2 minutes better than your actual qualifying time). Did I think I could run this time at Carmel? Maybe, maybe not. I was never totally confident, but I wasn't afraid of trying. With that being said, here were my ABC goals:
Goal A: 3:37 or better.
Goal B: Faster than my race at Little Rock (3:52)
Goal C: Sub 4.
Picture fun at the expo! [Amanda, ME]
 Amanda and I arrived to Carmel (suburb of Indianapolis) Friday afternoon and went straight to the expo. The expo is teeny tiny so we didn't really feel the need to explore. We just grabbed our bibs and race packets then headed to the hotel! Bonus: We stayed at the Renaissance, and they had a Starbucks that opened at 5:30 a.m.!!

We were pretty lame that evening. We checked in, rested a bit, went out to eat at Bub's Burgers, and came back to rest more! I think I laid down at 8 p.m. LOL. I like to live on the wild side.

Breakfast the next morning consisted of coffee, two hard boiled egg whites, a nutri grain cereal bar, and a pumping session (ugh...worst part of racing and breastfeeding). I just couldn't stomach the oatmeal. We got on the shuttle around 6:30 a.m. to head to the start line. I wasn't super nervous, but truly felt like an idiot for wanting to run a marathon.


A lot of people commented about how great the weather was going to be. Temperatures seemed like they would be great, but it was so windy out! I think it must have been cooler than predicted. It was supposed to be 43-ish and progress to 47 or 48; wind predicted to be 11-13 mph. Per my Garmin, it was 41 degrees with the average wind of 11 mph. I wish I knew what the wind was that last 10k...BRUTAL.

This race had 4 corrals, A-D. I was in B which started with the 3:30 group. They waited 90 seconds between the start of each corral. It seemed stupid on paper, but I think it actually worked out well because it looked a little tight at the beginning. This allowed everyone to have more space.

Mile 1 was so freaking cold. We arrived about 50 minutes before the start so my legs were freezing. Despite the wind, my body warmed up by the end of the second mile (I wore shorts, tank, and arm warmers). In hindsight, I probably would have preferred a t-shirt to keep my shoulders warm.

My goal was to run 8:15 miles. My body tends to move closer to the 8:07-8:12 range so I knew I would need to keep myself in check. I honestly tried really hard to keep on pace, but I completely failed. I just didn't want to go out too fast and not be able to finish.

I believe the website says this course is flat, but they lie. I like hills so I have no reason to be dramatic about hills, but this course was rolling with inclines. There were no significant hills, but there were definitely a lot of inclines. If my legs felt good, I think I would have liked this aspect of the course. Unfortunately, my legs never felt good! UGH. I have no idea why. I basically did the same taper I did for Little Rock. The only difference is that I didn't do a 5k the day before this one. My legs should have been more tired for Little Rock! The course included a mix of residential streets, main roads in the city, and bike trails.

The wind! Burrr!!!

As mentioned above, mile 1 was so, so cold. I was really paying attention to my watch to ensure I wasn't going too fast. I clocked in at [8:11]. I wasn't too hard on myself about it because it was pretty close to the goal pace. I just told myself to slow down a bit for mile 2. I think this mile had an incline followed by a decline where I caught myself going too fast. Mile 2 was [8:04]. UGH!! I cannot go this fast this early!

I could NOT get my dang body to feel that 8:15 pace, but I was very consistent the next 4 miles [8:09, 8:09, 8:09, 8:08]. We crossed our first stalker mat at 5 miles so I knew everyone would be getting my update. After 6 miles passed, I was still feeling tired which worried me because I typically feel warmed up somewhere between 6-8 miles.

I knew the next stalker mat would be at the half way point. I used that to motivate me to stay on pace for my BQ. I continued my quest to try to slow down a bit. I was all over the place during this section. Miles 7-13 were [8:11, 8:06, 8:14, 8:07, 8:10, 8:03, 8:19].  This was so inconsistent it makes me want to barf.

As I crossed the halfway point, I knew my goal of a BQ was not going to happen. My body was already breaking down. My half split was 1:47:25...65 seconds faster than intended. Was my body just tired today? Was it tired because I went out too fast? I have no idea. I just know I was feeling like complete crap.

At this point, things were not only physical, they were mental. I usually don't go mentally crazy until at least mile 20! After seeing my split for mile 14 [8:28], I decided that I was going to stop looking at my watch. I knew I couldn't change the way I felt physically, so I had to work on the mental part. That didn't change for several miles either! My next two miles were [8:35 and 8:56].

I had my mental breakdown around 15.5 miles and made my most dramatic move of the day. I got my phone out and went live on Facebook! LOL!! I let everyone know I wasn't going to make my goal but that I wasn't giving up on my race. I then texted Amanda and told her not to wait for me at the finish and to go back to the hotel because I had no clue when I would finish. In this moment, I honestly didn't think I could break 4 hours.

The next few miles are a blur. I was definitely at my worst. I continued not to look at my splits because I didn't want to know my reality. I decided I would just run the best I could until I reached the next stalker mat at mile 20. My miles leading up to that were [9:22, 9:13, 9:06, 9:06].

When I ran Little Rock and reached mile 20, I decided to look at my overall time and just add an hour. Surely I could run the last 10k in an hour. That gave me an idea of what to expect for my finish time. Since I hadn't been looking at my splits, I decided to do the same for this race. When I crossed the mat, I was at 2:49 and some change. This was the mental boost that I needed to make it through the last 10k. I still had a chance to break 4! What was even better is that I had a chance to beat my time from Little Rock!!

At this point, my body was in SO MUCH PAIN. My legs were so tight, and my back was killing me. Fortunately, I had experienced no cramping up to this point. It was all up to my mind. I felt I had no more physical energy to give. NOTHING LEFT. The only thing I was hanging onto was the fact that I could beat my Little Rock time and have a new second best marathon time.

Unfortunately this is when the race got pretty crappy regarding weather and course. The wind really started to pick up. We also entered the most boring part of the course (a couple miles of bike trail after hitting mile 21). It wasn't pretty trail...boring and lonely. Miles 21-23 were [9:02, 9:21, and...gasp...10:13]. WTF. I'm glad I wasn't looking at my watch. I would have flipped out. I didn't even have a 10+ minute mile at Little Rock!

After exiting the stupid trail, we entered the last 5k which was all city road. I'm not sure what came over me, but I was SO motivated at this point. I looked at my overall time to get an idea of how I might be able to finish. When I realized I was definitely beating my Little Rock time, I made it a point to try and beat it as much as I could.

I had negative splits for my next three miles! I think the last 5k was the roughest regarding wind. I kid you not, it was entirely into the wind. NO BREAK. I was so pissed that it just made me run faster. I kept seeing people stop to walk and they kept complaining about the wind. I wasn't going to let it stop me. If I couldn't BQ today, I was determined to get the best non-BQ time I could! Miles 24-26 were [9:08, 8:48, and 8:27]!!! What?! I was so proud when I looked back at that. In that last mile, we passed a sign that said "1/2 mile to the finish!" I just ran my ass off at that point. When I reached a quarter mile from the finish, I started cramping a bit. I'm sure I looked interesting going down the finish chute [last 0.30 miles at 7:37 pace]. I've never been so excited to look at my Garmin.

My official time:


Amanda and I jokingly commented that this was the shortest marathon we ever ran! My Garmin said 26.30 miles! That's pretty darn close!

When I finished, I hurt so bad! Not injury hurt, but I was so freaking tight. I couldn't tell if it hurt less to stand or sit. It all sucked! On top of that, I was involuntarily crapping my pants. I couldn't think about anything other than getting back to the hotel and taking a shower!

**Race nutrition: Gels- 15 minutes before start and miles 4, 9, 14, 19, 23;  Salt tabs- approx. 2 miles after every gel; Water- drank at every station.

Post-shower smile.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my performance. I knew a 3:37 was a lofty goal, but it wouldn't have settled well if I hadn't at least tried to get it. I also beat my Little Rock time by more than 6 minutes! I couldn't be happier with my progress since having Ruthie and healing from my fractures.

I KNOW I can BQ. I have no doubt about it happening. If I can run the freaking Flying Pig Marathon in 3:39:55 and feel good, I can BQ. I just need to stay patient, continue to work hard, and keep trying!

Thank you to all of my sweet friends and family members who sent me motivation and luck! You were all on my mind throughout the entire race. I didn't want to disappoint any of you!!

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