Grandma's Marathon Recap

Well, Grandma's was to be my replacement marathon for being sick right before Flying Pig and not being able to race. Coach Nichole and I decided to give it another shot since I was recovered quick after Pig and ready to race. I was lucky enough to find a last minute hotel and a friend wanting to share Friday night. After a week + pf tracking weather that looked perfect, tailwind, highs of 60, cloudy, it all changed!

We got up early to ride to the start. Since Grandma's is a point to point course they bus to the start. I waited in a nice long porta-potty line as I drank my UCAN and shed my top layer of clothes. It was lightly sprinkling and a little cool, perfect! After dropping my bag I weaved my way through the crowds to get between the 3:35 and 3:25 pacers (no 3:30 pacer). The DJ played "Let's Go Crazy" and I had a great feeling, I was ready. That is my song, not only am I a huge Prince fan but on the bus to Boston the year I PR'd that song was playing.
I can almost see the start from here!

Miles 1-5
Clouds are around, everything feels great! I am focusing on being smart. Try not to get caught up in the start excitement. My goal is to stick right around 8:00 pace. I was fluctuating 7:56-8:03. Feeling great, nice and easy! Then Mile 5 every cloud disappeared! and here is the sun, No!

Miles 6-12
Luckily there is still a slight breeze off of the lake. These are weird miles. Hot, then a nice breeze and the temp drops. Slow down, speed up, keep moving. This isn't too bad, yes it is hot but I've run in worse. Keep drinking and run through sprinklers and any infrequent patch of shade I can find. Paces 7:50-8:10s.

Miles 13-15
Lots of thoughts at this point! "If I'd run the half I'd be done!" Why does the half start so much earlier, I'd be done with a log run by this time of day. I even had a moment where I told Matt I had enough and didn't feel like running anymore. Again slowing the pace 8:19-8:37. I took my 2nd serving of UCAN knowing that this to me means I can't quit, I have committed to "running" the rest of this race, even though the runner drop zones were looking inviting! Mile 15 I looked around and almost all of the people I had been running with were slowing and now it was like a mass walking break!
Enjoy the view and have fun!

Miles 16-20
Survival mode, stop worrying about that PR which was long gone, stop focusing on a BQ, just finish and try to enjoy the day. I almost quit but then realized I would be teaching O to take the easy way out, we have been working on encouraging her to keep trying and pushing through when things can tough or aren't as fun as she hoped. Mom moment here but I realized quitting would only show her it is okay to give up. Paces again slowing 8:24-8:40, I actually stopped my Garmin to stop the frustration of watching the paces slow. Mentally I needed this gone. There was walking here, heck I even stop for pickles on the course!
Go Team Pickles! Love the sponge stuck in my sportsbra!

Miles 21-26.2
I have mentally accepted that this isn't my race, it is heating up even more. I am so hot, yuck! 90% humidity, this is thick! With all this I have somehow gotten my second wind. I am running again. I've got this! Thanks to my wonderful running friends are texting such encouragement through these miles and Apple watch for making it easy to read these. I've got my music, my friends great words, the fact that I am almost done and knowing Matt and O will be out watching. I am planning my future as a runner, what do I want? Maybe not the best time to think about all this!
Mile 25 I passed Matt and O on the course and O wanted to run with me, they cut ahead and planned to meet me just before Mile 26. The long loop around the ship and I was almost there. Mile 26 she grabbed my hand and we ran hand in hand through the finish line! I have no clue on my time, I have not looking and don't care. #32 is done and now I can focus on what is ahead.
The volunteers gave O my medal to put on my neck, then a 2nd volunteer put one on her neck saying they had plenty of extra, her smile made it all worth the struggle. She informed me she will keep it until we can run the whole race together.

This only reinforced that I am not a hot weather runner.
Find a marathon with an earlier start time.
Never again will I register for Grandma's! Maybe the half which starts 90 minutes earlier and gets the cooler weather, plus is more on my running schedule. The weather can so unpredictable and hot plus the huge hotel rates are crazy! 
My fueling was great, UCAN during and UCAN hydrate before was perfect. 
I need to continue to work on my mental game with running.

Who else raced last weekend? What are your weekend plans?


  1. I struggled with the heat in Grandma's in 2015 but I think it was worse this year.

    Way to go on not quitting and on taking the lessons forward with you!!

  2. We had such different experiences! I can't believe it. Our hotel rate was actually fairly inexpensive but we weren't in Canal Park, we were on the race course off the beaten path.

    I struggled with the heat but I had no goal time so I never stressed about trying to hold a specific pace. And I liked the start time because that means I could wake up on my normal schedule. :) Gone are the days when I would run at 5:30 am. I much prefer to start running around 7:30 these days!

  3. Oh, what a bummer! I actually was at Grandma's, too, but my experience was quite a bit different. The weather got to me (and I usually LOVE the warm temps), and I felt so exhausted at mile 18. But, I was running with a friend, and we just had a blast and made the best of it. We (actually it was her) came up with the mantra "marathons are dumb" and that made it a fun adventure as we poked fun at ourselves. I also ran Grandma's in 2015 (in the rain), and that was a fun experience as well (despite that weather). I think the course is beautiful and the event is well organized.

  4. I'm sorry this race was such a struggle for you. Congrats for finishing. I'm glad your daughter got to experience this with you.

  5. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post.


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