Twin Cities Marathon 2008 Race Report

4:27:17. Not the 3:40 something I had hoped for. And I am disappointed, for sure. But I’m not mad, because I don’t think there is anything I could have done differently. It wasn’t my day. The cold and rain negatively affected my leg. I really feel like if that hadn’t happened, I could have done it.

So, here’s the full story.

Weather at the start was chilly. I think about 49 degrees. It had been raining, but stopped before the start. Not too bad. I thought I’d be ok in my tank and shorts, but I had Ryan and the kids take my pullover with them in case I needed it at mile 5 or 15, where they would be watching.

Lined up with the 3:40 pace group. Boy, was it a challenge to make my way through the crowds to the front of corral 2. 3 minutes after gun sounds, corral 2 is off. The pacer seems to be starting out fast. It was a challenge keeping up with him, because of the crowd and trying to avoid puddles. His first 3 miles were a bit fast, but it felt fine and I was happy that we would have some time banked for the hilly later miles.

Around mile 5 it started to rain. I saw Ryan and the kids (and mother-in-law Judy) too late to grab my jacket from them. But it didn’t seem like a big deal. WRONG. It started to down pour. Really. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t see out my sunglasses (I wear them even in cloudy/rainy weather b/c they are prescription and I need to see; I’m too much of a baby about my eyes to get contacts or laser surgery). I also couldn’t see my garmin – it was so covered in rain. I remember thinking “thank god, I’m with the pacer – I couldn’t even see to pace myself). The rain got worse and the wind picked up until at least mile 10. A guy next to me commented that he has run TCM for the past 21 years and this was the worst he’s ever seen. Others were saying the heat last year would have been preferable.

Mile 5.8 I thought my right foot issue might be starting. I forged ahead and stayed with the group because I knew there was chip timing mat at 10k and I wanted to be on pace for people tracking me on line. Glad I did – the foot issue didn’t develop. Just in my imagination. Still with the pace group.

Mile 7 I saw Adam, with his video camera. Maybe he has proof of how rainy it was becoming? Still on pace.

Mile 8 it is really really down pouring. And I am cold. And something happened with my right thigh. Not painful. But in a definite place – top of right thigh, inner side. It wasn’t enough to make me stop and quit. But it was a definite, “uh oh – what’s going on”. So I continued, but slowed a bit. Could still see the pacer. Thought maybe it was something with my right foot, but traveling up to my thigh (ok, I’m not thinking logically – but that’s what I thought). So, I decided to pull over to side and re-tie my shoe to see if that helped. It took me a good minute to tie my shoe. My hands were so cold and numb that it took 2 tries to do it. I kicked it in and tried to catch back up to the 3:40 pacer, but never saw him again.

I didn’t give up hope yet. I figured I could slowly make up ground and catch up to the group. That was my plan. My thigh didn’t like that plan. My splits tell the story. I got progressively slower, as my thigh started screaming at me to stop running/slow down.

Mile 11 and 13, I was looking for Adam because he thought he’d be watching there. Didn’t see him, which was fine with me because by then I was hurting, off pace, cold and a pretty sorry sight.

Mile 15 I saw Ryan, the kids, Judy, Ang (sister), Tara (niece) and Tom (brother). Their bright pink “Cindi Matt” sign was a welcome site – mostly because I knew they would have my jacket. I stopped and talked to Ryan and put my jacket on, then took off again. Wow – it felt sooooo much better to have the jacket. The legs weren’t better, but I was shivering less.

Mile 19 – I saw a porta potty with very short line, so I stopped to pee. Stretched the legs while I was waiting. Felt MUCH better after the stretch and potty break, so thought I would be able to pick things back up and salvage a sub-4. Wrong. GI issues hit at mile 20. Major. Like almost didn’t make it to a porta-potty and would have had a major problem if I hadn’t. Fun stuff. Talking with a friend afterwards about it, trying to figure out why that happens, I told her that it usually happens to me with speedy runs and then when I stop running. Well, my pace had slowed down so much, maybe my body thought I was done running?

Throughout these miles I got passed by the 3:50 pace group. Then the 4:00 pace group. Then the 4:10 pace group. Each time, I thought – oh, good, a group that I can keep up with. But they seemed like they were sprinting and I couldn’t even say with them for 30 seconds. How discouraging.

Mile 21 – 23. Slow. Irritating. Sooooo crowded with spectators around St. Thomas turn. The noise from them was deafening and I was pissed off and hurting and I wanted to tell them to be quiet. I refrained.

Mile 23ish – Sage gives a shout out to me. I told her “this sucks”.

Mile 24ish – I hear “is that Cindi Matt? Way to go” from Matt. Nice to see friendly faces, even if they are imaginary internet friends. The thigh was really really hurting by this time. Stopping to walk and massage my thigh. Then running/jogging again. I knew my family/friends would be at my parents condo just past mile 25 and I remember thinking, “please let me make it that far. Don’t let me collapse until after I’m past them.” Mile 24 took forever.

Just past mile 25 I can see all the bright pink signs and see my family/friends waiting. I felt so crappy physically, but happy mentally to see them. Mom, Dad, Ang, Tara, Tom, Ryan, Meg, Carter, Aunt Katie, Uncle Billy, friends Amy and Susie (who both rocked the TC 10 mile that morning, before the rain!). I high-fived them and moved on. Ryan jogged with me a block to see what was going on with my leg.
One more mile. I knew I could make it, but I knew part of it would be walking. I alternated stopping to massage my thigh, walk and run/jog. I was crying – in pain and disappointment and embarrassment. I hated that people on the sidelines were looking at me like I was a sad case. I hated hearing “c’mon Pink, hang in there, you can do it”. I know they were trying to help, but it made me feel like a loser. I wanted to be strong and be running the last mile, but I was walking/limping/crying. I saw my brother, Tom, who had come down from the North Shore to watch me cheering and taking pictures the last tenth of a mile. It was great to see him there!

So, I limped across the line in 4:27:17. I must have looked like shit because multiple medical personnel asked me if I was ok and if I needed to go to the med tent. Got my medal, some food and met up with the family, who had all walked down to meet me. We all went back to my parents and hung out for a bit. They got me a gift card to a salon/spa for massage. Awesome! I was feeling sore and sick (more GI issues), so we didn’t stay long. Thanks mom and dad for having everyone over to watch!

Aerobically, I felt fine. The 3:40 pace was fine through 8 miles. I definitely felt like I could have held it for much much longer. I never felt winded or super-challenged aerobically (although my the end at 12 minute miles, I guess that’s a given).

One of the things I’m most disappointed in is that I didn’t even have fun. Before the race I figured if I had a slow time, at least I would have fun. But the cold and the rain and my thigh pain/issues prevented even that. For the most part I couldn’t tell you what the scenery and crowds were like.

I do appreciate all of you who supported me during the race – in person and on line. It was nice to see friendly faces and to know that people were rooting for me.

My data:

10:12 avg pace

HR data is no good – the stupid thing kept slipping down around my waist. Why does it just do this during races, and not training runs. I will log the data in my running ahead log, but it’s not accurate. About mile 15 I let it completely slip around my waist and then took it off sometime after that.

1- 8:28 (7:42 pace – it was actually 1.1 miles)
2- 8:14
4-8;42 (long, actually 8:10 pace)
6-8 – 25:27 (Avg 8:24 – forgot to hit lap button – 3 times!; downpour distracted me)
12-13 – 20:06 (avg 9:58 – forgot to hit lap button again)
19-12:37 (porta potty stop – stretched while waiting; felt much better after)
20-10:29 (uh oh – last ½ of this mile got MAJOR GI distress)
21-12:57 (porta potty stop – SICK)
26-12:57 (stopping to massage leg, barely shuffling)
.2 – 2:49 (so discouraging to have to walk/stop massage/cry my last .2 miles)

So, that’s it. Disappointing in many, many ways. But, I am not discouraged because I know it was the circumstances. I know I have a better time, and a better day, in me. And I will try it again as soon as my body is able to.

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