Friday, December 4, 2015

Mission Possible, Amica Seattle Marathon - Take 2

The Amica Seattle Marathon is well known for being a hilly (climbing over 1000 feet), often cold and rainy (being the last weekend of November on the west coast), with diverse scenery (runners spend a good portion of the marathon on a highway and even run through a long I-90 highway tunnel and bridge (this year with black ice to boot!!), then meandering along the ocean, and finishing in the local Seattle (hilly) hood).  

It is a cruel marathon in that the big hills are in the last 6 miles, with one epic (but short) climb that starts out very steep then just levels up but keeps going.  I have done Boston Marathon, and heartbreak hill has nothing on the timing of that doozy.  But the energy of the volunteers (with hilarious signs)...

...along with a really well run race and huge race expo, keeps people coming back, including myself. This was my second time racing this marathon (this time I trained with much more direction).

The night before I sent the following email to the 34 athletes that I currently coach at UBC.  Being accountable to more than just yourself, is a huge belief of mine (which is part in parcel of this blog)

Hi team!
Sorry I could not be there today at the team christmas party to celebrate an awesome fall season behind us with a ton of potential moving into our spring season and beyond!  I am in Seattle this weekend running another marathon tomorrow at 8:15 am.
You all inspire me on a daily basis with your teamwork, work ethic and personal goals.  As you have noticed, I always ask you about what your goals are before your erg tests so you are accountable to more than just yourself to your personal goals.
For that same reason, my goal is to run under 3:35:00 tomorrow.
If you wish here is how to track my progress live, my bib# is 1482.  
Have fun tonight and see you next week!

I also published this on "pre-race gitters", which outlines my pre-race prep, and also kept me accountable to my goals.

When I was found myself deep in a hurt locker after going too fast (~ 30 seconds per mile faster for the first 10km than my goal pace) resulting in a huge cramp in my diaphragm; with 30km+ to go, I remembered that my athletes were watching (and whomever else) and owned up to my goal.  I focused on staying loose (advice from a fellow runner Natasha E), and doing everything possible to get rid of my cramp (pressing on the spot while exhaling deeply through my stomach), while ensure I replenished with electrolyte drink.  

Eventually, after about 3 unhappy km the cramp subsided and from that point forward I eased myself into an achievable rhythm sitting on a very consistent 8:00 mile pace (the pace at which I had trained).  I also received a text stating the my boyfriend had crossed the finish line of his first half marathon!! This fuelled me with happy chills and kept me in a positive and inspired headspace.  

I recall saying to myself "just get to the 35km mark and the rest will fall in place" and that I did.  The hills hit, but they did not hit me.  I got up a and over and reset, with a big exhale, after each one and I was able to really effortlessly push the downhills without cramping.  

I beat my goal by ~ 2 minutes running a 3:33:04 which is a new personal best for me.  
My Garmin data

I am feeling better than ever after a marathon after following a good recovery regime (see my new blog post and soon to be website for details on that).

Happy trails!!