Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Las vegas marathon- race report

day before
we drove to vegas (well, james drove while i asked him questions from the new travel trivial pursuit i picked up.). i wore my compression tights and brought the marathon stick along to stay loose :). we arrived about 5 hours later and made the quick change for a 2-mile jog to shake out the legs. too many stoplights, people and crazy taxi drivers. probably should have hit the treadmill.

next was the expo, and over the next few hours we did way too much walking through smoky casinos. i hadn't decided on my pre-race meal yet (dummy) but knew a lot of the things i didn't want which made restaurant selection difficult. after lots of wasted time walking around, we ended up at the buffet becuase i knew they would have salad and carved turkey- which is what we eat on a regular basis. i know "they" say to lay off the fiber the day before the race, but if i were to do this, i'm pretty sure things wouldn't go "as planned" on race day. so i filled up on fiber as usual. after salad, turns out, our buffet had nonfat frozen yogurt! i must be able to sniff the stuff out...so i certainly didn't miss out on carbo loading.then, my "nothing new on race night" meal kind of flew out the window when i saw the dessert bar...ooops....i had to "test" like 6 desserts. but i only had a bite or two of each... stilll...bad idea, i know. aside from the dessert debaucle, we only ate a plate of food each, we're not huge on stuffing it in pre-race. we left the buffet and headed to bed after a soak in the jacuzzi (also probably not the best idea...what was i thinking?).

race day
wake up call at 4 am for a 6:07 start. i got started on the coffee, peanut butter powerbar and facebooking STAT. i got dressed in a haze, and kept my lucky bedhead intact...the race outfit was a zoot top, new lululemon run shorts, sexy pink compression socks (thank you, katya!!!), and a pink visor. we threw on some sweats to jog the mile+ to the start. it was NOT cold and i ditched the arm warmers before the start and just kept on my camo kids gloves from target. i had been expecting cold and the air was comfortable, still, dry and like high 40's maybe? right before the start, i finally ran into FatDad and gunner. uh....he's the skinniest fat dad i've ever seen! we got in the corrals and felipe and i decided to start together so we chatted and i gave one last hug and kiss to james who was running the half. (warning: keeping it real moment just ahead). there were about 5 minutes to the start when i realized i really had to pee. i'm not going to go into detail here, but let's just say that when the gun goes off, people are more concerned about moving forward and hooting and holleing at the start of a marathon, than what's going on with the the bed-head chick in the polka-dot shorts. at least that's what i told myslef.. sorry, felipe! but its funny. and true. and i felt better and it wasn't like A LOT, just a bit and it was all water i had just drank anyhow, right?. in the commotion, i f'ed up my garmin though, so i missed my first mile and had to restart it. no big deal. there were cool fireworks at the start and 15,000 people (half and full) running in the dark down the Las Vegas strip was pretty awesome. a good moment.

the beginning
my goal in the first part of the race was to not blow it and go out too fast. i really stuck to my paces and tried to keep the miles over 7 minutes. around miles 7-9 there were 5 or so women ahead of me and slowly i passed each of them, chatting, of course, along the way. mile 10, i started to feel warmed up. things were feeling pretty comfortable and i took water at each mile/aid station, one big gulp each mile. at mile 7.5, i ate 3 margarita clif bloks.

the miles really all blend together and what i mostly remember was how completely FLAT the whole thing was. you'd think the california coast is flat if you run along the ocean, but it's got nothing on the vegas course flatness. this was an awesome surprise. the leg turnover seemed automatic and i just kept realizing how fine i felt. i had trained for this! i did have two pretty strong side stitches- each lasted about 5-10 minutes, but i get them a lot and know they are run-through-able.

the middle
when i got to 13.1, i saw the clock was 1:33...right on track. i kept the pace steady the next mile or so, and then made the executive decision to kick it up a bit and go comfortably harder. ate 3 more bloks (cola!) at mile 14.5 and deicided to take a gel at mile 20. in my head, i knew 14.5 to 20 were where it was going to get hard, but i broke it down in my head (okay, get to 18...and if you hit the wall, well...run through the wall...) by the time i got to mile 20, my new mantra was "the wall is for wussies" (but it wasn't really "wussies" in my head). i found a man around mile 14 and talked to him a little. enrique had done 20 marathons and this was his first time in vegas. i figured he'd done so many he probably wouldn't blow it :) so i decided i'd stick with him. we ended up running the whole last half of the race side-by-side. when i reached mile 20, it was a double latte powergel to get me to the finish. in my head, i just wanted to stay strong to mile 22 becuase that's the point of no return in a marathon, right? i also remember thinking how much i wanted to keep going and not stop becuase that was the fastest way to get to the finish!

the end
at mile 18, i passed a woman walking. soon after that, people started telling me i was in third place. i didn't give it any thought becuase i assumed they were wrong. or it didn't really matter. i just realized mostly that i was running my race and i was going to be fine, my left quad felt injected with cement and at one point my hip like flew out of whack/socket, something crazy like out of body but it was for two steps and i just kept going and it was fine. honestly, i just kept waiting to feel worse, or bonk, or have to really fight, but i never hit a really low point. at least not that i can recall right now. i kept my form solid and reminded myself to use my core to stay in check. i drank water consistently (NO gatorade) and took in 300 calories total over the race from 6 bloks/1 gel

at mile 22, i was ready to be done, but having fun. there was a sweet downhill and i got my first glimpses of the Mandalay Bay/finish in the distance.

miles 24-26 were totally the worst. we wrapped around back to the overlap with the half marathon course and had a couple miles of false flat combined with dodging thousands of walkers. still finishing the half marathon..i could feel Enrique starting to fade, so i focused on staying strong for our "team" and leading (it was my turn, he had led me for so long!). the walker situation was kind of annoying and definitely slowed the pace (well, that and that i must have been getting tired). in the last .1, i started to feel barfy becuase i was pushing the pace. i threw off my kids gloves at mile 25.5 becuase i didn't want them in the pictures? (must have been loopy, that's a really odd thing to do..). i crossed the finish line in 3:03:19, and they annonced that i was the third place woman.

james found me pretty quick and i was so happy to find out that he was 5th (now 4th, someone got DQ'd) in the half marathon and ran a blazin 1:13:50.

he best feeling at the finish was "surprising" james. i knew he thought i would make my goal, and maybe run 3:07. but he didn't think i'd make it in 4 minutes earlier and be 3rd! i think i was more excited that i had impressed him than impressed myself.

i also realized i was freezing and changed quickly in the port o potty. i almost got stuck in there becuase my calf seized up and i couldn't stand. i opened the door and called to james for help, laughing my ass off- it was quite a sight. we then walked back and watched some other friends finish and then headed back to the hotel for a hot shower....and then the fun began...brunch with the breakaway crew, room service and asleep before 9 :). we had plans to meet up with the candians (gunner and FatDad) but i didn't quite make it to dinner time- i was so "tired". i'm bummed about that!

a post-race photo essay:


after brunch, "hitting the wall"

"the aftermath"

this all has me thinking...i should rename my blog, "the long road to dessert"
as for the marathon...mission accomplished. i ended up negative splitting the race by about 3 minutes...first half in 1:33, second half in 1:30. i know 3:03 doesn't usually podium at a marathon, but i guess i got lucky (it was vegas after all!)

here are the splits:
#1 mile is missing, then 7:08, 6:58, 7:04, 7:06, 7:03, 7:03, 7:02, 7:01, 7:00, 7:04, 7:11, 7:03, 7:08, 6:57, 6:55, 6:54, 6:59, 6:48, 6:53, 6:46, 6:45, 6:31, 6:32, 6:51, 6:54, last .2 at 6:50 pace

no future plans for another. i am proud that i worked hard (when i really didn't want to- poor james..he had to hear it) and accomplished my goal. and now i'm ready to chill and become a gym rat.

i have a lot of thanking to do, especially to mr. tim and mr. james, but i'll save that for the next post. i never could have come close to my goal without either of them, but this post is getting a little long and out of hand. so next time.


GZ said...

Dang - look at those 6:30s in the closing miles. Well done. Awesome execution.

If you come to PPA next year, I promise it won't be flat.

Sherry said...

I've been eagerly awaiting your post-race report and it certainly didn't disappoint. You are amazing, girl! Wow... just WOW! I'm so happy for you. You really did an amazing job. LOVED the photos... and the socks!

runninggunner said...

Congrats on a great race Beth. 3rd place was very impressive.

Too bad we missed you later but was good to meet you briefly in the morning.

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

You are a true champion! Congrats!
That time for a first-time marathon is amazing!

Charisa said...

Awesome race - congrats!! Enjoy some rest :). On the bike commuting - yes, I shower at work (well, 3 bldgs over from where I work - it took me 2 yrs to find that shower! haha!)

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Great Job Beth - congratulations!!! I rode with Shannon on Sunday and she was SUPER excited about your race - fantastic job! I am SO IMPRESSED with how even your splits are, really really incredible! Great recap and I LOVE the dessert pics. :)

Shan said...

Wow wow wow - so impressed!! Now I know I have to go out and get those lulu's to wear running... :)

Congrats on a stellar season, girl!!

Sarah said...

YEAAAAAAAAAAH! I am *so* proud of you, Beth. You really worked SO hard for this race and you prepped and were so consistent and dedicated. It really all paid off.

Girl, you rock. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Enjoy the off time - it is well-deserved. :)


Pedal Circles said...

Congrats! That's awesome.

triguyjt said...

wow negative split..and you just smoked it..beth!!

3:03 is tremendous and you weren't even one of those "wall wussies"...LOL!!!

congratulations....3rd place and james time for the half is simply amazing...the two of you are studs...

FatDad said...

"Tired". I hear that. Woke up at 3:30AM still wearing my clothes. Oops.
We'll have to make plans to meet up at another race. Oregon is about half way isn't it?

Lucho said...

Nice work Beth.. when you're ready to qualify for the 2012 Olympic trials you know where to find me. Seriously..

Kim said...

Wow! Way to go! Just caught your blog from RR and I have to say 3:03 is awesome and you seemed to have a great attitude/strategy while doing it!!!

rr said...

I was waiting for this RR! I loved it.. you ran such a perfect race. I've said it a billion times, but I'm blown away.

I said never again after my first - that was 10 marathons and three years ago ;) You're a natural! I want to run Vegas next year!

Maggs said...

Love the report. I love that you took off your gloves. I ditched stuff right before the finish of IMAZ and Kona so I could have a 'clean' picture. Not something I planned on doing, but did it both times not really thinking about it. I know I was loopy.

Congrats again. Hope you're recovering! And eating a lot of Fro Yo, not just once a week.

MJ said...

Way to go... the training obviously paid off in spades with the negative split and wicked time. Can't believe that was your first marathon and so fast!

Great job!

Frayed Laces said...

Be glad you didn't drink the gatorade. Two of our runners (who have each run at least 50 marathons) ended up puking midrace from it. I think the concentration was off.
And I wanted to slap those halfers. Did you know they took all the mylar blankets so there were none left for us?

Katya said...

OMG!!!! you are AMAZING! If I ever decide to run a mary, I am going to need to "borrow back" those socks; ) jk

kerrie said...

alright, well, we all know how i feel about recycled pics, lol, but i'll let you get away with it cause you look hot.
and yeah, you are doing another one - you had way to much left at the end and you do have to run under 3:00.
when are you starting your 2012 trials prep??

TRI-ROB said...

B-dawg! Man. You constantly impress me with your athletic prowess and fabulous hair. Good on ya girly!


GoBigGreen said...

Congrats to both of you. What a day!
I hope your "winter" training allows for more great recipes on the Vo2 blog ( I am making the turkey burgers this weekend! cant wait!)
And a happy holiday to you both.

Zach said...

Great race! Congrats on the 3rd place finish and awesome time. I agree with Kerrie; you were way to close to 3:00:00 to call it quits now - next time you could easily go sub 3.

Eileen Swanson said...

WOW, CONGRATS!! Nicely done. Love the pics....

Kelly B. said...

Hi there!! THIS was a good post!! I loved the "lucky bedhead"!! Awesome! And way to go on a super race! Holy smokin fast!!

Rachel said...

Wow!!! 3rd place on your first marathon? Beth, you are AMAZING! I'm super impressed. You rock!

Brett said...

After your pee story, I thought of these two things:
Runners, Yeah We're Different
and Paula stopping to pee while leading the Marathon.

Loved GZs comments about "If you come to PPA next year, I promise it won't be flat." HA!

You know, if an 11% incline for 13+ miles bother you, just sign up for the Marathon and unwind yourself by also coming back down.

Nikee Pomper said...

You CRUSHED it! Great Job last weekend. I hope you've been relaxing and treating yourself to Fro Yo.
Yes, I am planning on tagging along on Rachel's ride tomorrow. You?
Are you going to the Ironman Viewing Thing tomorrow?
We should get together with some of the girls soon!!!

D said...

GREAT RR! You did such an amazing job out there you sandbagger :P hehe

Greyson Scott said...

you did awesome!!!! Can't wait to see you x-mas style!!!

DW & KC said...

Congrats to you and James. What a great race. You are FAST and your race outfit rocks!!!

LaurenJenelle said...

Beth - loving catching up on the blog. I swear so many of us in training are obsessed with dessert. It's usually at the end of my road, too!

BreeWee said...

WONDERWOMAN! LOve it, finally caught up with you on blog land and your life is beautiful, way to run and top off the season. ENJOY the holidays!

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