Stillwater Marathon

This was the inaugural year of this new race and it included a full/half marathon, 20 miler and 12K. Smaller race with about 2000 combined in all four races with about 500in the full. I tried training with the Pfitz 18/55 plan and things were going well until the stress reaction about 6 weeks ago which led to almost 4 weeks off and basically a 6 week taper. The lack of training changed the way I ran and changed my goals for the race. My plan was to enjoy the run, start slow and easy, run a smart race and have fun.

Early morning and up at 4am to eat and leave, we parked at the lot within walking distance to the start and made the wrong choice of following everyone in front of us who took the very long way to the start, about 40 minutes and a very long set of stairs later we were there. Took a quick Gu, hit the porta potty and headed to the start. I found the 4:00 pacer and lined up to prevent starting too fast. The start was really crowded with all the runners and spectators who thought they needed to stand in the start area. The race finally started about 15 minutes late, a little lack of organization. Perfect running weather, a little breeze, upper 40s at the start and upper 60s at the finish.

I started running and ended up a little in front of the 4:00 group, the pace leader was annoying, chanting and screaming nonstop and I knew I would want to smack him before the half mark if I stayed there. I continued running with two guys named Mike who also decided to pull ahead of the group, we chatted about our injuries and running goals etc. One had just run Boston and was doing an easy marathon with his friend who hadn't been able to run a marathon in 4 years because of injuries. I ran with them until about mile 10 when they decided to slow and walk the hills.

No mile splits as I didn't want to focus on pace, I ran with my Garmin, but had it set to HRM and distance, no pace. This really changed the way I ran and was nice to run what felt good instead of keeping pace.

Some observations from the course....
Mile 3 Passed an Assisted Living and a huge group of the seniors were outside watching the runners, there was also a radio playing KISS on the lawn, not sure if it belonged to them or not.
Mile 5 Saw a running friend.
Mile 13 first tough hill, long gradual incline.
Mile 15 Nearly attacked by 2 geese as they took off from the grass beside the course.
Mile 17-18 Through a neighborhood and a bunch of kids had set up their own water/candy/ice stops.
Mile 19-20 second tough hill, shorter, but steep incline- this is where I really started passing people.
Mile 21 Talked to a couple young guys running their first marathon, they were struggling and wanted to quit. I later saw them finish around 4:30

Splits: 1st 10K 54:11 13.1 mile: 1:54:31 20 mile: 2:57:12 2nd 10K: 54:49
Finish 3:52:01 8:51 pace
4th in AG 35th Woman 149th OA

Overall a pretty good course, a couple bigger hills, but pretty much rolling. Good crowd support for a small race and well organized once out on the course. I'll be back next year, watch out 30-34 women!

I felt the best I have ever felt during or after a marathon and ran smart for a change. Started slow and kept a pace that felt good, one where I was able to talk and felt that I wasn't really working. I walked at every water stop drank plenty of water and took Clif Blocks more often then normal, after the half started dumping a 2nd glass on my head/neck. I appreciated the crowd support saying I was looking good, nice job etc. because for once I actually felt the same way. When I crossed the finish line I realized how happy I was that I ran so well and felt great at the end of a marathon for once. A little boy, maybe 4 or 5 gave me my medal, he looked so excited to be there.

Grabbed water, fruit and salted nut rolls from the finish and headed back to watch Matt finish in 4:39:00, he had a tough race and leg cramps started around mile 20. Then we hit the real food and had pasta, bruschetta, and pie, yum. They also had hot dogs and meatballs for the runners. Nice spread! The post race food was a close 2nd to the pancake breakfast after the Du last fall. We started the not so long trek back to the car now that we knew the shorter way, but the way back meant walking up the long flight of stairs.


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