Monday, November 8, 2010

Healthy Huntington Marathon Race report


This past weekend I took a little 4 hour drive to Huntington West Virginia to do their marathon. My co-worker Wendy who is from WV asked if I wanted to tag along with her for the weekend. She had actually ran the race before and graduated from Marshall University. Wendy is on the 50 state quest as well, but she already had WV, so she was just there to run it for fun and help me with my pace. I was happy to have her as she is very good talker and we chatted happily for the first 22 miles and once the pain really set in, she knew I needed time alone in my head!

Overall I would give this race a C+.
A few pros:
· It’s in Nov, so I could train after summer’s hottest days were done,
· Swag – you got an awesome zip up fleece as your swag
· Small crowd- only 500 people ran the marathon (1000 in the half) so the start wasn’t too congested
· Course details - the course was very well marked and had enough porta potties and water stops.

On to the cons:

· Course - well there really isn’t much to see. The Marshall campus is nice, and there is a pretty park you run through twice, but aside from that you are just running up and down rundown city streets.
· Street Crowd - There is no crowd support to speak of and some of the areas were just downright dirty and desolate. Huntington is a small town that has seen better days. I knew this going into the race though and just wanted to do it to mark WV off my states list.

The race started at 7 am and boy was it cold. I wore some thin pants, a tank top with sports bra built in, a zip up pullover and my favorite vest along with throw away gloves and an ear band. I was dressed perfectly for the start, but by mile 18 was really wanting to ditch my vest, but it’s my fav and I wasn’t going to throw it away. You start in the street that is part of the campus and then you work your way past fast food restaurant and other city scenes. There was no timing mat at the start, so everyone had the same start time. However, Wendy and I were not very far back, we were probably 45 seconds back in the pack. It was such a small race it was humorous to see how close together the pace signs were. The crowd broke up by mile 1 and I was able to keep my pace below a 9 min mile for the first 3 miles. We hit the 5K mark a hair under 27 mins and I made the conscious decision to pull back a little. My game plan was to keep my pace consistently below 9:15 until mile 20 b/c I knew at 20 I would slow down and I was hoping for an overall pace of 9:30. I was almost able to do that, my overall pace was 9:33. I don’t think I had any miles that went over the 10 min pace. Because it was such a small race, we were able to chat with various people and we ran around the same faces the whole race. As I said there was a nice break from the streets when you ran through a park on a dirt/crushed limestone trail, but that only amounted to about 4 miles overall. You also ran along the water for about a half mile twice. Other than that it was just dirty house and at one point an old amusement park! I had to stop for the port potty at mile 10, but just to pee! I made it through this whole race without stomach issues and I cannot tell you what a big thing that is for me. Usually I am wrecked by stomach pangs and portapotty stops. After that stop I was good the whole race. I ate some sports beans, some shot blocks, a clif kids bar and one GU and it was the perfect combo. I will be repeating it at Delaware in a few weeks. I felt pretty good up until mile 16, then the doubt and pain started creeping in. I’ve been having some issues with my feet and my right leg and they really started to hurt at this point. I was just chugging along praying for mile 20. At mile 20 I always get a sense of relief, this is almost over, even though I really have like another hour to go! But something about mile 20 makes me very happy. By 20 I was hurting, but not too bad, things didn’t really get desperate for me until mile 23. Every step after 23 really hurt and it was a mental game to just get it done. I knew I could do a 5K, I knew I could push and not let my pace drop too badly. I really wish I could have dug a little deeper at the end, but I was done. You finish in the Marshall stadium and that was great, except that you have to run down a steep short hill to get onto the field and it hurt after 26 miles. Wendy and I both pretty much stopped and walked down it. Official results aren’t up yet, but my clock time was 4:11:31 and my Garmin was 4:10:55. So, somewhere in between there.

Up next is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I am looking forward to it and really think I can run under a 4:10 for it, as long as it doesn’t get too windy.

3 comments:

Organic Warrior said...

Wow-very impressive! I can't even fathom running that long!

KimZ said...

Congrats on checking off West Virginia from the list! :-)

allanjel said...

Nice job killer! The sub-4 marker is definitely gonna fall for you.

About Me

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Mnowac
distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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