Sunday, February 28, 2010

Race Report: Gasparilla Marathon

My Marathon Maiden Voyage
We're marathoners! See more photos on Flickr.

Words cannot possibly describe how elated I am at having finished my first full marathon and that I met all my goals! Per my Garmin watch, I ran 26.3 miles in 5:22:08 @ 12:13 min/mile. How happy am I that I finished in under 5:30 even by the clock!? VERY! =D

Official stats:
  • chip: 05:22:33
  • clock: 05:27:55
  • overall: 1761 / 2087
  • gender: 672 / 855
  • age group: 114 / 142
Pacing Strategy 
I executed my pace strategy perfectly, running mostly negative splits, and it really paid off:
  • 13 min/mile average through mile 5
  • 12:30 min/mile average by mile 15
  • 12:15 min/mile average by mile 20
  • hang on for dear life and try to maintain that pace through the finish
I also switched up my run/walk intervals through out the race. I started with 1:1, then switched to 2:1 around mile 14, then 3:1 around mile 20 or 21. I felt good earlier on and was tempted to switch intervals sooner, but I knew I needed to save my energy for the end and it worked.

I fueled like clockwork, eating a regular gu every 3-4 miles and nothing but gu roctanes after the halfway point. I also drank water at ever other water stop or as needed. They advertised water stops every mile, but I think it was more like every 2 miles or so. Definitely not as good as BCM, but enough to make it work.

Running Solo through mile 24
I ran this race all by myself, which turned out better than I expected. When I first started, I worried how difficult it would be since I had never ran more than 10 miles alone. I was going to bring my ipod shuffle, but decided against it at the last minute because I wanted to take it all in. I passed some ladies from my Galloway on the course and chatted with other runners around me from time to time, so I was never truly alone, but was never with anyone for more than a few minutes. It was nice being able to run my own race at whatever pace and interval I wanted to, and not get swept away to start too fast or slow down.

Running with Dad
The best part of the race was when my dad joined me at mile 24 to run the last 2.2 miles with me--after he finished the half marathon in 02:19:51 2.5 hours earlier. I knew he'd be there, and it's what kept me going through the last few miles. Around mile 18, I started counting the miles until I'd see him. I was hurting by the time I saw him, but I was not about to quit. I was holding onto my 12:15 pace and I even shaved a second or two while running with him. We passed a water stop and he asked if I wanted water; I just groaned and said I just wanted to finish and kept going. LOL

Finishing it!
Just before mile 26, where Jason was meeting me, I had a walk break and I decided to walk until the mile marker then sprint to the finish. The mile marker never came, but I started jogging anyway because it hurt more to walk. I finally saw Jason as Dad ran ahead of me to get a pic as I crossed the finish line. Jason tried to run it in with me but his legs wouldn't cooperate -- he had finished the marathon an hour earlier in 4:14:23 and was hurting. It didn't matter. Seeing him was all I needed to give it all I had and cross the mat before the clock hit 5:28. I was elated that I had met my goal even by the clock, and I once again cried tears of joy.

What's Next?
I had a great time and I'm already addicted and looking for my next race. Tonight after we get back from our celebratory dinner at Texas de Brazil, I will apply for the NYC Marathon lottery and register for the Breast Cancer full marathon in 2011. But I'm itching to do something sooner, so I'll be looking for a 1/2 or full marathon in the coming months and also plan to do train for a 50K!

A HUGE thanks to everyone who has been following my progress and offering me encouragement the past few months. It's been a huge help and I am forever grateful.


MarathonChris said...

Wow...what a great race report and congrats on becoming a MARATHONER!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy you picked a race in my extended backyard where I could share the moment with you guys! I can't wait to see what type of athletic feat you impress me with next!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on a great race and a great race report. I'm thrilled for your success!

The Green Girl said...

Whoo hoo! Congratulations on running an awesome race. I am so proud of you.

Those times are impressive. All that training and planning really paid off!

Kitzzy said...

Chris, thanks! I can hardly believe it that I went from 0 to marathon in 2 years and I'm hooked :)

Sean, me too! It was great having you there at the finish. Thanks for the water and banana :)

hoodrunner, thanks!

Mary, it sure did. To all who say I over plan, I say =P Hee hee

Morgan said...

Great job! I love, love, loved this race! So sad they won't have it again next year! Congrats girl!!!

Kitzzy said...

@ Morgan, I KNOW! I'm just glad I got to run my marathon maiden voyage before it ended. I'll probably be back to do the 1/2 or 15k next year and run the full donna 26.2 instead.

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