LITTLE ROCK MARATHON – LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
March 3, 2013
Temperature at the start of the race: 27°F at the start of the race and warmed up to about 47°F by the time we finished the race.
Distance: Advertised as 26.2 miles, but was actually 26.5 miles
Terrain: A combination of rolling hills, flat areas and one long, gradual climb (approximately 3 miles long)
Place in my age group: 18 out of 179 women (top 10%)
Place among all women: 96 out of 1150 (top 8%)
Place overall: 427 out of 2446 (top 17.5%)
Post Race Grub: There was a good spread of food after this race!!
The race from my perspective:
At the start of the race, I was very unsure about what to wear. I knew it would warm up throughout the race, since the temperature was to climb throughout the day, but I also didn’t want to freeze standing around down at the start area. I decided to go with lightweight capri pants, a long sleeved Under Armor shirt with an additional long sleeve moisture wicking shirt on top, a moisture wicking stocking cap and gloves. I was cold at the start, but knew I would warm up once I got moving.
By the time the gun went off, I was so happy to start moving and get the opportunity to warm up!! Tonja, Adam and I started off at a pace that felt really comfortable, but was a little faster than we were intending. We reached the first mile at an 8:43 pace. Our goal was to run an average pace of 9:00 overall. We were ahead of schedule, but knew we had a LONG way to go. We decided to “slow down,” but that didn’t work so well…Mile 2 was an 8:40 pace, mile 3 was an 8:36 pace, mile 4 was an 8:40 pace, mile 5 was a 9:05 pace…FINALLY we had slowed down to a pace that was closer to our goal!! Apparently that wasn’t our “happy pace” however…mile 6 was an 8:47 pace, mile 7 was an 8:56 pace (this was where we separated from Tonja…she was running the 1/2 marathon and Adam and I were running the full marathon), mile 8 was an 8:47 pace, mile 9 was an 8:40 pace, mile 10 was an 8:54 pace, mile 11 was an 8:57 pace, mile 12 was an 8:10 pace. At this point, I was starting to heat up, so I shed my long sleeve moisture wicking top and threw it on the side of the road next to a trash can. Mile 13 was an 8:55 pace and then…Here comes the LONG, GRADUAL HILL…Mile 14 was a 9:04 pace, mile 15 was a 9:19 pace, mile 16 was a 9:09 pace, mile 17…finally we reached the TOP of the hill and it was time for the descent, which was STEEP and relatively short compared to the climb. Mile 17 was an 8:50 pace, mile 18 was an 8:29 pace, mile 19 was a 9:11 pace…I was starting to mentally check out at this point. Thankfully Adam was there to pull me forward and keep me focused on our goal!! Mile 20 was a 9:02 pace, mile 21 was an 8:55 pace, mile 22 was an 8:54 pace, mile 23 was an 8:59 pace…we decided to slow down a bit for the next mile to ensure that we had enough in the tank to finish strong. Good thing we did, because we didn’t realize there were still a few hills to come. Mile 24 was a 9:46 pace, mile 25 was a 9:25 pace, mile 26 was a 9:13 pace and the last 1/2 mile was an 8:23 pace…
YES…you read that correctly. This race was NOT the official 26.2 miles that was advertised. Instead, it was 26.5 miles long. Our official finish time was 3:57:13 for the 26.5 miles. Our finish time at the 26.2 mile mark was 3:54:05. This is my second fastest marathon finish time. Thanks Adam for pushing me and keeping me mentally focused on our goal throughout the race!!
When we crossed the finish line, we got a ridiculously LARGE and HEAVY medal. These medals were about the size of our heads!! This is the most “bling” I have EVER gotten at a race!!