I am running the Nike Women's Marathon on October 18th. That will be my second marathon of the year (my first was New Jersey in May, which took me 4 hours 10 minutes and 53 seconds to complete...of which it rained 4 hours 9 minutes and 53 seconds) and I have to say, I'm not as excited about the prospect of running 4 MORE marathons before next May. Now, I'm not as hardcore like Laura (but, yes, I am jealous of her marathon confidence...seriously? A marathon on consecutive weekends?!), but I would really like to run a faster marathon. Preferably sub-4 hours. I don't know if the hills of San Francisco are conducive to running a faster marathon but maybe if I train harder and actually did some hill work, speedwork, and long runs (instead of doing one 18 mile run 3 weeks before the marathon and deciding that was enough).
In other news, yes I did the New Jersey Marathon on May 3rd. It was amazing and I almost cried as I crossed the finish line but I was running so fast that it kind of hindered my ability to breathe so I immediately stopped (crying, not running). My hips had started hurting around mile 18 but after mile 21 I just kind of got used to the stiffness in my lower body. The funniest part was, I was running for 4 hours, in the pouring rain, and the second I crossed the finish line and stopped running, I could barely stand up let alone walk. I basically had to limp to the hotel to get my clothes, and couldn't even change into dry clothes without sitting on the bathroom floor (gross I know).
Meanwhile, among running faster, I also need to be a friendlier marathoner. I had started running with the 4:15 pace group, but it felt too slow for me, so after a few warmup miles I took off ahead of them at a more comfortable pace. I was kind of drafting this girl in shorts (although when you're running at an 8:30 pace I don't know if it's considered drafting. More like "plodding behind"). We ended up running side by side starting at mile 5, though we didn't start talking until after the 13th mile, where all the half marathoners peeled off to the finish and left us lonely marathoners to run it out for another 13 miles (note to others considering running a double loop marathon: when 85% of the field finishes when you're only halfway, it sort of kills your morale.) We chatted a little bit, and I'm not going to lie, I mostly run solo, but it was actually nice to have someone to run with for a couple hours. Anyway, Sarah had some knee issues around Mile 19 so she slowed to a walk and while I wanted to stay with her, I wanted to finish as fast as possible, so I waved goodbye and finished the next 7 miles by myself.
All in all, it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to do another one. The fans were amazing and, despite the rain, we had people sitting outside their houses banging drums, highfiving and cheering us the whole time. I think for Nike Women, I'm going to start with the 4:00 pace group and see if I can keep it there. I'm also thinking about running the MVP Healthcare Marathon in Rochester (where I'm from), but it's a month before Nike Women and I don't know if I can recover in time (since after my last marathon I took a week off and then contracted pneumonia. Nice.). I ran the half last year and the course is a bit hilly, but the fans are great, the post race food is amazing, and it runs through my hometown so it would probably be really fun. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Sidenote: I promise to be a better blogger. Promise promise promise.