Yesterday was the BEST day!  Not only was I ABLE to run my 4th marathon but I was able to break my 4:19/20 curse (the past 2 marathons) with a new PR of 4:10.  The BEST part of the race was sharing it with my husband, kids & an awesome group of friends!  My friends Carla & Natalie ran their first marathon & Natalie's Dad, Craig, ran his 25th!  Carla qualified for Boston on her first-ever marathon so that was the icing on the cake for the day!   I had the privilege of being able to keep up with Natalie and her Dad for the first 11 miles & what an amazing thing to see a father, daughter & son (Brett, Natalie's brother ran his first 1/2) running together---& we can't forget Natalie's husband Devin who was waaaaaaaaaaaaay up front blowing us all away!!  My mgr at work, LuAnne, & Carla's friend, Daniel, both ran their first races...the 10k and most likely got "the bug" & will pursue their next goals as well!  I'm so proud of and happy for all of my friends' accomplishments!  The weather was pristine...upper 50's to start & upper 60's at the finish with a nice (but sometimes annoying) wind that kept us cool & our bodies comfortable.  The sun was shining, the 6-7 miles of lake views lent a scenic distraction from all the concrete & traffic. The downhills of the second half were a welcome relief from the long uphills that were in the first-half (and how I managed to get separated from Natalie & Craig...because I am a hill-whimp...hate them!)

As for me, I am excited to say that my time at 1/2 split was exactly what I RACED my 1/2 marathon I did just 2 weeks ago (1:58)!  That was a struggle 2 weeks ago to pull that time at the Cap City but had I just been doing the 1/2 yesterday, I think I would have killed it because I totally could have gone faster that first 1/2 but I had to hold back otherwise I would have konked out for the second half which is the mistake I've made the last 2 marathons.  My Garmin battery was dead so I wasn't able to use it so Natalie kept me informed of our pace that first 11 so I knew the 1/2 split was going to be decent. Now, a marathon wouldn't be a complete without the funny stories of things that ALWAYS seem to happen to me during one of them so here we go...

We are trucking along and about mile 2, I step in a pothole and turn my ankle!  NOT a good thing that early into the race but thankfully it bounced back with very little discomfort and after about 1/2 mile, it felt fine.  At mile 3, I grab a powerade cup and attempt to be like all the other "cool" runners who seem to have no problem drinking while running and of course, I literally aspirated mine!  So, I'm running & choking and yellow powerade is running out of my nose...not kidding.  So I blow and snort & gag for about 1/2 mile & finally get myself pulled back together from the near electrolyte drowning episode.  I then decide it's time for a powerade gummie chew.  I pop that in my mouth and am gnawing away at this thing when I decide to choke on it and a piece gets stuck in my nose!  It won't go down and I can't blow it out so for another 1/2 mile, I'm miserable and I'm sure everyone around me by now thinks I'm dying!  By mile 4, I was back to normal!  Miles 8-15 were along the Lake Erie shoreline & had some long, uphill climbs along with a headwind & some rougher roads that made staying on pace a bit of a challenge.  The last 10 miles were pretty flat with some very nice, long downhills.  I hit my usual wall around 20 but for some reason this time, didn't run out of steam or slow down as much as I normally do.  I felt strong and finished without wanting to die (well, not really, but it was better than the last 3 marathons!)   I did stop & stretch & massage my achy knees 3-4 times during that second half so I lost 3-4 good minutes there but all in all I am very pleased with my finish and look forward to getting rid of that last 10 minutes this fall when I return to do my 3rd Columbus Marathon and hopefully can achieve a 4:00 finish that I can use to run Boston 2012.  For 2011 I still need that "most likely unattainable" 3:50.  As long as I keep getting faster and stronger with age, I have no regrets or disappointments here!

10k: 55:05 (pace 8:51)

half: 1:58 (9:03)

30k (18.6 miles): 2:54:17 (9:22)


1097/2310 overall

281/1099 females

40/111 in age division