Friday, November 11, 2011

Two Cities Wrap-up

Believe it or not, my 2011 marathon season is officially over.  I managed to bookend 2011 with PR's in the first race of the year and the last race of the year.  Had some nasty little injuries in the middle, but overall it turned out pretty great.

So now I am reflecting on what my new PR means to me.  During the race, there were a few moments when I seriously started rethinking this whole, "Let's try to PR the marathon" deal.  I've gotten finishing marathons down pretty well and it can even be tons of fun.  But this racing a marathon?  You're spending a lot of time in an uncomfortable zone.  And even though a minute buffer is big, it is at the same time not a lot of time, either. I could work so hard for hours and lose it all to one or two bad miles.  It started seeming sort of ridiculous to be doing this.  I thought to myself a couple of times,  "If I go sub-4, I think I may stop trying to race marathons."

Do you know what was one of the first things out of my mouth when I saw Boyfriend after the race? I said, "I've got a faster one in me."  Blargh!

In a way I sort of dreaded going sub-4 because I feel like there is no other big goal out there for me.  Sub-4 was this shining beacon to work towards and I feel every other goal is sort of arbitrary.  There is of course the super shiny BQ! but my BQ time is still far from realistic for me.  But then I look back and realize that going sub-4:30 was once a stretch goal for me, too.  Remember when I wrote this?  Look how far I have come.

I still remember what the coach at Marathon Camp told me.  And I still do believe that I owe it to myself to see how fast I can get while my body will still let me do that.  I'm going to keep at it and tackle the next realistic goal and see where it takes me.  I've hit my "I'll die a happy runner goal," so everything after this is major icing on the cake.  I am adrift without a hard end-point goal, but I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, right?

Regarding Two Cities itself, it was a great race!  Very well organized and I loved how they separated the half and full races.  It would be nice if they had a BYOB (bring your own bottle) mentality where people were ready to help you fill-up with a pitcher, but that is my only big suggestion for them.  Kristin did an awesome write-up about the race that highlights some of the major points (the number of bathrooms was amazing!  I didn't wait at all just 15 minutes before the race start).  And a special shout-out to her for helping get my race packet.  Not having to pick it up race morning was a huge load off my mind.

The swag was plentiful but just meh, in my opinion.  Yay, for women cut shirts, but it is still too big.  The sweatshirt is unisex so useless in public for me.  I'd rather have one really nice souvenir than multiple useless ones.

Audrey ran the New York City Marathon the same day I ran Two Cities.  In fact, with the later NYC start we were actually running at the same time, too.  We were orange Balega sock twins on Sunday.  And we both ran marathons ending in X:57.  Coincidence?  I think not :)

I tweeted her this photo in the morning while I was getting ready.

And she sent this one back to me.

Many thanks to everyone for all the congratulations!!  When I first started running marathons I never, ever thought I would ever run a 3:XX marathon.  Being a runner is an amazing journey.


Alisa said...

Well, you did run a 3:XX marathon and I KNOW you have a faster one in you. I think your fight for it attitude and your training perseverance could totally get you beyond what you think is reasonable!

congrats again, you're definitely inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Don't get hurt now.

Isn't it amazing how "trainable" the human body is. Push it a little harder and pretty soon you are stronger there.

A said...

Pretty sure a BQ is next for you. :)

audgepodge said...

Yay, I love our matching sassy twin socks!!!

And yep, I think you have a faster one in you, too ;) said...

wow, it has been and incredible journey!!!! and i totally understand the feeling of achieving all you ever then only want just a little bit more :) i am so proud of you and how far you have come. i can't wait to read about your BQ. because you will get it. i can already feel it coming.

Chic Runner said...

You had a great race and I followed your training from the beginning and it was great to see you come from being hurt to such an amazing finish! :)

Kristin said...

Congratulations on your PR! It was no problem at all to get your bib for you. I just wish we would have connected at some point, but that just means we will have to run together soon! All your races are inspiring and I think you will find many running goals that will be fulfilling for you to reach for! xoxo