Exercise! - ncuneo is a marathoner!

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03-20-2012, 06:39 PM
Sunday I became a Marathon Finisher! Here's the race report.

There was no corral for me since I had never done a full marathon before. It was really crowded and we made the dumb mistake of just hanging in the back. Once the race started it took us about 15 minutes to cross the start line and because we were so far back we were literally with some of the walkers and spent a ridiculous amount of time dodging and weaving...bad idea.

I manage to get separated from my brother-in-law almost instantly, probably within the first 1/2 mile. We had planned to run at least some of it together...I was kind of bummed, but was also kind of relieved since I always run solo and really wanted to just stay focused. So off I went. I had an extremely hard time meeting my goal pace in the first 4 miles, I was just running too fast, a mistake I commonly make...it was very difficult to hold myself back...this would probably hurt me later. At this point I popped in the headphones, I know I know, and blasted the music...I just needed it.

The first 5 miles went very quickly and I was very distracted trying to decide when to lose my jacket and if I wanted to stop at the porta potties. I usually always need to pee within the first 3 miles and sure enough I needed to pee, but the lines were stupid and I didn't need to pee that bad...so I decided to wait it out (I never did stop to pee).

Miles 5-13 were a little rough and I started to panic a little. My PF started acting up and I was feeling kinda tired. I think there were also some good hills around this point. But it is very odd for me to feel tired and anything but awesome at that point of a run...so I was very very concerned. I was also feeling concerned about my pace. I had a dream finish in my head and it was looking like that was not happening...so there was some disappointment setting in. Fortunately that was short lived and I remember what I was there for, just to FINISH! So around my 11 I started paying attention to the other runners, the crowds and sites and by mile 13 something changed.

At mile 13 my pace picked up a bit and I felt AMAZING! I think I also had a GU Roctane around this point and there was a nice decent. I had already had 2 regular GUs before, but I was also noticing that my legs were hurting quite a bit more than normal...but each time I took a GU it helped...I think I averaged a GU around every 45-60 mins...but I think I actually needed them closer to 30-45 mins...which doesn't make me happy because GU starts to sit in my stomach kind of heavy after about 4 of them so this will be something that needs a lot experimentation.

By mile 18 I was still feel pretty good, but my legs were hurting pretty bad. I started to walk through some of the water stations and starting running again was brutal!

The wall started approach around mile 19, but didn't fully hit until about 21.5 and then the throughts started creeping in. Why am I doing this? This f-ing sucks! I still have like 5 miles to go! This blows! What are you thinking, you want to do San Diego in 11 weeks! I had lots of thoughts of walking the rest of the way in, but I knew it was just a mental game and physically I could do it and I had made it too far to quit. I was also looking at where I was pace wise and even though I had slowed down my last goal of beating 4:45 was still in reach.

Once I hit mile 23 the pain was still bad, but the emotion that I only had 3.2 miles to go and the assistance of some oranges, bananas and a cliff shot made the pain subside a little and I was able to pick up the pace again.

Suprisingly tears did not come until mile 24 and the last 2.2 miles flew by with some pretty crazy winds from the west and I powered it home with a decent sprint for the last 1/2 mile. I hit the finish line and the water works started - 4:40:53, I did it!

Because of the maddness of the crowds, no one was there to meet me, but it didn't matter, I had FINISHED I was a marathoner and I reached one of my three goal times, the least favorite, but WHATEVER! I was on cloud 9! My legs felt like jello and hurt like ****, but it didn't matter (I'm kinda thinking in addition to more GUs I could have used more miles during training).

This entire experience, the training, the race and the friends I met along the way has been life changing...it sounds dumb, but I am a different runner now and more in love with running than ever.

I feel like I ran the best race I could. I may have made a few mistakes in the begining, there's room for improvement, but I know I gave my best performance.

After the race I felt great other than my legs. I had a ton of energy and was just elated. It was amazing! All the pain is evenly distributed, so I don't think I aggravated any injuries or created any new ones. May lose a few tonails, but nothing new there.

So if you made it to the end of this novel, Thank you! And if you're wondering what's next for me...stay tuned I need a few days for my legs to stop hurting...but I think an upgrade to San Diego in on the horizon and a goal of a sub 4:30!

03-20-2012, 06:56 PM
Wow!!!!! It made me cry to read it I am so happy and proud of you for following thorugh on your dreams and goals! You are a ROCKSTAR in my book YOU ARE AMAZING!

03-20-2012, 07:03 PM
That was a great story! Congrats and thanks for sharing. Makes me want to go out and ruuuuuuuuuuuuuun!

03-20-2012, 07:31 PM
Wow !!!! Thanks for the detailed story! I felt like I was right there with you! Congratulations!!!!! What a great job!!!!!!!!!!

03-20-2012, 08:52 PM
Congratulations!!!!! I loved your story of the race. Thanks for sharing with us!

03-20-2012, 11:49 PM
Ncuneo-I am very proud of you. I loved reading your story. I think the 4:40 is a terrific time. Especially for a first marathon! A lot of your story sounded in my head like my first marathon experience, but I am not good about putting my thoughts on paper. So, I relived my first through your words. I even could feel the cramping legs and the mental exhaustion as I read your account.

Isn't it an entirely different experience than a half marathon? So much more gut-wrenching and mental AND definitely not for the weak-minded!! LOL. It truly is much more mental than physical.

I compared it to having my first baby. At the tail end of my labor, I remember thinking "I am never doing this EVER again". Then, after they put him in my arms, I immediately thought "I could do this again"!! Same thing happened with my first marathon. I immediately started planning my next one. Sounds like the same thing has happened to you.

Non runners just don't get it!! HAHA.
Good for you girl! Again-SO PROUD OF YOU!!

03-21-2012, 12:03 AM
:woohoo::woohoo::woohoo: Great job!

03-21-2012, 11:11 AM
There are no words Ncueno :) ....... Well actually you found plenty ;)
But congratulations! Youve joined the club!
San Diego is very soon? I know youre riding a marathon high right now, and just want to do another and another and another. You figure you have to be able to do better, and i totally get that. Be very weary of burning out on running. It happend to me......I tried to do 3 marathons within about 5 months of each other. I say "tried" because the third one, i ended up doing the half, at literally the last second. At The turn off point for the half marathoners came up, and i was like "blegh, im over this", and i turned off and havent found my running since.
Give your body time to heal...... Id wait a few months at least before you commit to another, and start training again. You cant stay "Peaked" year long.... does that make sense? Professional athletes Dont do it either

I know, i know, im such a debbie downer.

This is your special time, and an incredible achievement. Crossing the finish line changes you. Youve done this and now you know you can do ANYTHING you put your mind too!

here is an excerpt from an article that addresses thie issues of running back-to back marathons

"Marathon pace goals: what are you trying to accomplish in the second race?If you race a second marathon in just a few weeks after the first, your fitness level is most likely the same, or close to the same, as it was in the first race. In other words, once you’ve recovered from the first race, you should run about the same time in the second race as the first. (Notwithstanding those differences in the race conditions and the race course itself that might make an impact on your time.)

So if you’re running a second race with the intent of going faster, you’ll need to plan time between the two races for additional training. You’ll also need to plan to taper before the second race to let that new training take effect. In other words, it is not a sound idea to plan to run two races in quick succession hoping to improve your times between the two. Again however, with advanced planning, you might be able to do this by conservatively pacing yourself in the first race and using that race as a training run for the second.

Marathon Longevity: what are your long-term goals?
One of the things that I notice as a coach is that new marathon runners simply want to run too many marathons in a short period of time. I see beginners that finish their first marathon and then run three, four, or five more marathons in the same year. This is tough on the body, the mind, and it may actually work to drive these runners out of the sport, rather than keep them in it for the long term.
Instead of trying to pack many races into a short period of time, it is often better to pick a few key races and focus on those. Most of the big races aren’t going anywhere, so don’t feel huge pressure to run all of the majors in your first couple of years.

I try to pick out one or two races for my personal training each year and focus on those. In addition, you might want to consider only repeating those marathons that you really enjoyed. I talk to a lot of marathon runners that have run the same marathon five or six times, but have never run another race. Variety is the spice of life my friends.

Planning out your schedule
My first recommendation is to look out at your calendar and make decisions about races well in advance. Try to look at the whole year, making sure that you’ve planned for training, tapering, recovering and then repeating that whole cycle again. Try to avoid “throwing in” races at the last minute, as they just get you off your cycle. Or, plan to add in some races along the way “just for fun” in which you have no time or performance goals – you’re just out there to train and have fun.

In terms of planning the time between marathons, here are some rough estimates that you might use to guide you. After your marathon, you should plan:
A) recovery period of 2-3 weeks
B) training period of 6-16 weeks
C) taper period of 2-3 weeks

Using these considerations, the minimum time between races would be ten weeks (about two and half months) and the maximum would be 22 weeks (or about five and a half months). These “feel” to my like good bookends to the spectrum, with 10 weeks being on the rushed side and 22 weeks being about the average that most people place between their marathons. (I would guess that most of the marathon runners that I interact with attempt about two major races per year.)

Remember to keep in mind the factors at the beginning of the article: in particular how trashed you are after that first race and how much improvement you want to see in the second. “More trashed” requires more time in the recovery period. “Greater improvement” may require more time in the interveening training period between the races." http://running-advice.com/blog/?p=242

03-21-2012, 07:45 PM
Thank you everyone! It really has been a life changing experience:)

Don't worry MK, I'm being smart I promise! Researching and recovering like a crazy person!

03-21-2012, 08:01 PM
As a runner want-to-be, I've been following your progress and love reading your update notes. CONGRATS, CONGRATS, CONGRATS.....:)

03-22-2012, 12:40 AM
Congratulations!!! You must feel amazing! :carrot: I loved reading your race report - thank you for sharing it with all of us!

03-22-2012, 11:15 AM
Congratulations!! That is a fantastic accomplishment. The race report was great too. It really helped me understand the mental process of a long run.

03-22-2012, 04:57 PM
Congratulations!! I have always had the greatest admiration for marathoners and marathon swimmers. You are amazing to have accomplished it.

03-22-2012, 06:51 PM
Ncueno you are awesomesauce!!!!!!!!!!