Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Calgary Marathon Recap - I am a Sub 4 Marathoner

So May 26, 2013 came and went, the day I ran the Calgary Marathon.

The week leading up to my marathon I had all kinds of emotions floating around, what if I don’t hit my goal, what if I hit my goal, what if I totally flake out and have to take a DNF, what if I don’t even start! My mind was driving me insane!!

Tuesday I woke up and had a really bad sore throat and cough and I was like oh my gosh this can’t be happening to me right now I cannot be getting sick. I spent the week willing myself to be better.

Saturday I went to bed and I surprisingly slept through the night, well after I managed to fall asleep because I think I spent a good two hours having a coughing attack.

Sunday morning I woke and I was nervous as heck. I was having trouble getting food into me and I could hardly tie my shoe laces because my hands kept shacking and I couldn't stop coughing. I made my way down to the start line and all that was going through my head was one foot in front of the other. I found the 3:30 pace bunny and I decided that if I could keep pace with him I would be make my time goal no problem. As the starting gun went off I said to myself “Tiara focus, this is just a run”! As we passed the first km mark I looked down to see my pace and thought to myself oh my gosh this pace bunny is going wayyyy too fast we are running a 7’48” mile. Everything was going great for me on the run until I hit the very first BIG hill and then things started going terribly wrong my left hamstring started cramping up and I was kicking myself for skipping water stations and I was having trouble breathing through my coughing fits! So I made the decision to stop running through the water stations and walk through them to get Gatorade into me instead of all over me. 

Upon coming up on the 10km mark I looked down at my watch and saw that I had slowed down a great deal and was now running an 8’12” and was not on target to hit my Boston Qualifying time rather I was about 2 minutes off from my target time. Instead of beating myself up I told myself that I still had 32 km’s to make up this time and to keep pushing forward. At the halfway point I looked at my time and I realized that I was 6 minutes off my Boston pace and this caused me to have a little bit of a break down, or a 5 minute cry session. I started crying right there in the middle of the race and almost decided to pull out because I was not going to hit my goal and then somewhere deep down my own voice was yelling at me “Tiara you have this, you are still on pace to run a sub 4 marathon and even better you are still going to set a personal best for yourself” I forced myself to keep running. As my body started to fatigue and as it wanted to give up I told myself keep running you will hit a water station in 3 km’s and you can walk through it but you have to keep running to the next water station.

As I entered Memorial drive my common lunch time running area I had 10km’s left to go and I said to myself “Tiara this is your area, this is where you need to own the race” I knew my legs were sore and I knew I wanted to stop running so I started biting my lip to focus the pain elsewhere and I kept pushing myself. I made it through Memorial and had 3km’s left to go when a TNT coach came up to me grabbed me by the hand and told me I was doing great, I started crying and said “I needed to finish 5 minutes ago to hit my time goal” he said "I know you did but you know what keep running because you are going to PB and that is the most important thing, today wasn’t your day but maybe tomorrow is, there is always another run”. 

As I entered my last two km’s I so badly wanted to just walk the rest of the way and someone from behind me came put her hand on my back and said “I have been chasing you almost the entire way, you are my motivation and my inspiration keep running because you are going to sub 4 this” and all of a sudden I hit a second wind and my legs wanted to move. As I entered the finishing shoot I saw my mom standing there waving at me and cheering me on and I knew I had the drive in me to do a sub 4. As I crossed the finish line I looked at my time and it read 3:57:55 and I was disappointed in myself for not hitting my BQ but also so proud of myself for finishing a marathon in under 4 hours.

As the results rolled in yesterday I realized that I had finished in the top 10 in my division and was even more proud of myself. Top 10 finish in my division is incredible.

One aspect of the Calgary Marathon I loved was that our name was wrote on our bibs so as we were running through the communities and people were out on their lawns cheering us on you would hear a random “Go Tiara” “You got this Tiara” “Run Strong Tiara” and hearing my name it would push me to push harder and faster!! It was great community support and it made me love Calgary even more.

Now it is time to refocus my goals and push to Boston Qualify in Edmonton on August 25. It’ll be my last chance to qualify for Boston for 2014 and I am even more determined now to hit this goal. I have the endurance I know I can run the 26.2 miles now it is time to work on maintaining my speed!

Do you have any advice for me as I start training for Edmonton? Have you qualified for Boston, if so what advice can you give me for race day? Or even for training?

Hope you continue joining me on this wonderful journey to Boston. 

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