Finally! I broke 3 hours and 10 minutes while running 26.2 miles. And it wasn’t at all what I thought it’d be like.
Seven days ago I decided to sign up for the Omaha Marathon. I didn’t really tell anyone because I didn’t really have a goal in mind and wanted to keep it that way. I had previously attempted to break 3:10 only to come up short by 90 some seconds.
The Omaha Marathon had been on my to-do list for awhile and the timing seemed perfect. Michelle and I were already going to be halfway across the state, so why not? We got to Omaha the night before and picked up my race number at the expo. I was expecting a large crowd, but it turned out to be small and maybe five vendors set up in a small hotel conference room. Clearly, this marathon was smaller than I thought. Before heading back to the hotel, we picked up a veggie pizza (the perfect pre-race meal!) before resting up. Pizza is good for loading up on carbs, but bad because it’s also loaded with sodium. Race morning, I woke up feeling dehydrated and decide to drink a multiple cups of water to rehydrate before the start. Bad idea…I thought two hours would be enough time, but nope, I had to stop and use the portable restrooms along the course three times during the first half of the run. To make matters worse, my stomach wasn’t feeling the best and my iPod was out of battery. I hit the 12 mile mark feeling nothing but sorry for myself.
Then, out of nowhere, a 180. My stomach issues went away, I no longer had the urge to pee, and I had completely forgotten about music. I was getting into the zone and losing myself in the rhythm of running.
The second half of the race was completely different. I felt refreshed, was passing other runners and enjoying my newfound energy. At one point during miles 14 though 18, I remember thinking, “just concentrate on breathing.” It must have worked, because I held it together and by the time I reach the hill at 19, I was ready to pick it up. Four years ago, my younger self would have charged up the incline, but not this time. I knew what those side cramps felt like. Instead, I gradually ran up and even slowed down a bit. By mile 23, I knew I could get under my goal. I even did the math twice to double check. Other runners around me were really starting to fade now but I was starting to go faster. My long, hot summer hill runs were paying off in dividends! The last mile fly by and when I turned the corner for the finish, I saw the clock and realized I finally made it.
- The first 3 miles took 23:43 (7:54 pace)
- Overall pace for the Marathon was 7:13/ mile
- Mile 25 was 6:50
- Mile 26 was 6:14!
- At the halfway point I was 80 out of 626
- At the finish I was 17 out of 626