Ever since running my first marathon, I knew I wanted to run another one!
With all those miles under my belt, I thought for sure I would be able to clinch a Boston Qualifying time, but no such luck. I am bummed, but there were a lot of good things about the race!
A quick recap of the race:
Marathon #2 – Mayor’s Marathon (Anchorage, AK)
Official time: 3:44.02
Overall women: 21/524
Age group (25-29): 6/86
Mile 1 – 9:21
Mile 2 – 8:24
Mile 3 – 8:21
Mile 4 & 5 -16:31
Mile 6 – 8:33
Mile 7 – 8:39
Mile 8 – 8:17
Mile 9 – 8:22
Mile 10 – 8:36
Mile 11 – 9:02
Mile 12 – 8:23
Mile 13 – 8:52
Mile 14 – 9:19
Mile 15 – 8:38
Mile 16 – 7:42
Mile 17 – 8:52
Mile 18 – 8:19
Mile 19 – 8:18
Mile 20 – 8:25
Mile 21 – 8:18
Mile 22 – 8:09
Mile 23 – 8:19
Mile 24 – 8:21
Mile 25 – 8:33
Mile 26 – 9:22
Mile 0.2 – 1:59
. . . . . . .
Now the extended version starting with Saturday morning. . . .
5:30 a.m. Get up, shower, get ready
6:00 a.m. Eat breakfast, finish getting ready
6:45 a.m. Leave for the start of the race
7:10 a.m. Arrive at the start
I sat down and chilled for a while until it was time to line up.
I was pretty nervous but ready to run. I couldn’t have asked for better weather though! It was perfect running weather!
Craig stayed with me until it was time for me to line up. It was so nice to have him there this time. (He wasn’t able to see me run my first marathon.)
Then it was time to go, and we were off. . . .
The first few miles of the race were decent. I felt fine—my legs didn’t feel awesome, but I definitely wasn’t feeling any pain, tightness, or fatigue. I did my best to hold back on my pace because I did not want to start out too fast and then crash and burn later. (But maybe I started out too slow?? My first mile was 9:21!!))
At mile 7, we got to the Tank Trail which is a dirt road used by the military. The gravel was not fine gravel but instead consisted of “minature-sized boulders” as I like to call them.
This was one of my gripes about the course. I was constantly looking down during this time to make sure I wasn’t about to trip over a rock. A couple times I kind of lost my footing and stepped wrong.
I was actually really worried I was going to get a rock stuck in the bottom on my shoe because if you are familiar with Mizuno running shoes, they have a large crevice in the bottom of them (that’s just the design of the shoe), and I thought for sure a rock would get stuck in them, but thankfully that did not happen.
The miles were clicking away, and I was feeling good. By this time we were almost at mile 9.
Craig and my in-laws were there to give me my Gu and water.
Craig waiting for me to come.
We spent a total of 8 miles running on dirt roads and narrow hiking paths through the foothills of the mountains. The scenery was quite gorgeous and thankfully I did not see any moose or bears. . . .
only some impersonators.
Craig and his parents were there at mile 12 to cheer for me and give me fuel.
Still feeling good!
The miles on these trails got REALLY lonely. I felt like I was basically out running in the woods by myself.
I had to play a lot of mind games with myself during these miles.
“Okay, Michelle, just get to mile 13 and then you will be half done.”
“After mile 14, it is all downhill.”
“When you get to mile 16, you only have 10 (point 2) miles to go.”
“Mile 17 means you are down to the single digits (in terms of miles to go).”
During my first marathon, I started to get fatigued at mile 14, so when I got to mile 14 during this race, and I was still feeling good, I was very happy!
I honestly felt really strong through all these miles—even though my splits weren’t where I wanted them to be.
I saw my pit crew (Craig + in-laws) again at mile 17, and I took my second Gu at this point.
Now I was focused on getting to mile 20 and still feeling okay (because that’s where a lot of people hit the wall).
I told myself if I was still feeling good around mile 20, I would start to push the pace, otherwise I wasn’t going to be able to qualify for Boston. (I knew even at the half-way point it was going to be close.)
I worked so hard to pick up the pace, but my splits just wouldn’t drop down. I kept pushing myself and trying to get them to at least 8:00 minutes, but I was pretty tired by this point.
Craig met me at mile 22 and ran with me for a while.
I had half of a Gu, but I was so sick of them by that point, I couldn’t finish it.
Craig and I ran together for a while, and I told him I wasn’t going to make it, (I wasn’t going to qualify.) He told me I was doing awesome and then split off.
Craig met me just a couple more miles down the road and ran with me until mile 25.
It was great having him there. He encouraged me to keep going and just provided a little bit of distraction for me because I was feeling it in my feet, hips, and knees!
Awww. . . so cute. . . we are in stride together.
Mile 25 was the hardest mile, and I just wanted to be done!
There was a really steep hill at 25.5 that I nearly crawled up. I kept running, but it was brutal. (I had ran the hill during a training run, and it didn’t seem so bad, but throw it in at the end of a hard race and it was 10Xs worse.)
Finally, I got to mile 26 and ran down the track to the finish.
It felt so good to be done. I knew I had given it everything, which is a great feeling, even though I didn’t qualify for Boston. There is always next year, right?
Me and my mother-in-law, Kelly. Craig’s parents were a great support crew: taking pictures, giving me water/gatorade, and cheering for me!
My friend “Lazer” ran the half marathon and smashed her PR by more than 20 minutes. (I hope I got that right, Lazer?!?!)
A big hug from my biggest fan!
Thanks for all your support, Babe!
I’m still shooting for you, Boston!!