Monday, October 20, 2008

2008 Wichita Marathon

I am so sorry Blogger but somehow I forgot about the craziness of life, work, and running somehow you got scooted to the bottom of my todo list and were lost in the never-ending page of tasks I must complete in the short 24 hours a day of life I I will get to the point....

We are going to pretend (wink-wink) like this is the day after the Wichita Marathon 2008 (like I never forgot) and I will share a bit about my 4th marathon with my 3rd PR:

It started off like any other race day; oatmeal, water, 5 trips to the bathroom, drive to the race start, and of course the nervous stomach. But it was different also; surrounded by family and friends, point to point race, and running marathon 1st time with Chanti ;-) (my savior, but I digress).

With 3 cars full of excited racers and a bunch of support crew members, we headed to Derby, KS to meet up with the other 265 racers for a beautiful day of running with the wind at our back (for most of the day). Tralaine, Andy, Angie, Brooke, Chanti, and 1st-timer Don, dressed in orange, stood out like pumpkins on the starting line as we waited for the gun.

At 8am, we were off. Of course Don, Tralaine, and Andy were out in front. In fact I think we saw them for about 1 block and then not again until we crossed paths in the dreaded McConnell AFB and then again at the finish. Angie, Chanti and I took up a good 8 min. 30 sec mile pace and entertained each other, and if you ask us, others around us, for a good 9 miles travleing the neighborhoods of Derby until we reached the south side of McConnell.

Upon entering the Air Force Base, at first I thought..."this isn't too bad, it's nice to be off the concrete and out of traffic" and then we had to make our first turn into the wind. By mile 13 (which was a PR 1/2 marathon time for Chanti) I realized that I was running low on fuel and I was hungry with only Gu to eat. Chanti kept me going and we had our first Gu at mile 14. We kept up the chatting, although it was more her than me, for a few more miles and then had to turn into the wind again only this time it was also on a bit of an uphill. And this is when you could say I hit a wall!!! As soon as I turned into the wind I just knew I was going to have to walk. I seemed to have no energy, was light-headed, and if I remember correctly, was a bit nauscious. I mentioned this to Chanti and she said what all great friends say "get behind me". I declined of course but she said it again and after saying "really?" did I get behind her and put my head down.

When we finally came out of the Air Force Base, I took a RR break and while resting in a port-a-john thought "only 7 more miles; I can do 7 more miles, right???" When we hit mile 22 and I almost threw up on the side of the road with family watching, I thought "I can make it 4 more miles". And when we finally hit mile 23, Chanti reminded me of my rule: You can always run a 5K! With her in front of me trying to talk me through it, telling me "we're doing great and we're having fun", and letting me walk a little every half mile, we made it to the end. I made sure that I ran the last mile and think I might have even sped up a bit.

The best part was we made it under our goal of 4 hours and 10 minutes finishing in 4:09:04 - that is a PR for thos of you that didn't know it. I bettered my time by 9 full minutes and got to cross the finish line with my training partner, running confidant, and one of the original members of the CRC.

So what did I learn....
1. Eat before you get hungry.
2. Breakfast should not be 1 1/2 hours before start time if you are used to eating 30 minutes before you start your training runs.
3. You can rest/hide in a port-a-poti
4. Doing a race close to home may not be the coolest way to select a marathon site but it does allow you to surround yourself with family and friends and have your own personal pit crews along the way.
5. I can run faster - Maybe faster long runs pay off in time
6. An awesome running partner is essential - take Chanti on next race whether 5K Marathon, or adventure race - She is the BOMB!

Congrats to:
Don Presson - 3:28 YOU ROCK!!!
Tralaine Benefiel - 3:43 Boston Qualifier again
Andy Benefiel - 3:43
Chanti Downey - 4:09 PR
Angie Benefiel - 4:12 And this was a training run for NYC

And a HUGE Thank You to our support crews:
Michael, Tanna, Calvin, Sharon, Diane, Alan, Jackie, Don's Brother, Jackie's friend, and Grandma Roberts