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    BOILHAM   34,552
30,000-39,999 SparkPoints

Better Than Expected - A Race Report

Monday, February 03, 2014

Tallahassee is about a 4 hour drive from home near Orlando, which got us there about 3PM on Saturday. Tallahassee Marathon has a small expo, in the Ballroom at the Doubletree Hilton, and there I picked up my packet.

We didn't stay at the Hilton, we stayed nearer the race start at the University Inns and Suites which was very comfortable and saved me some of my retirement funds.

My alarm went off on time, after a restless nights sleep. For some reason I'd woken up several times. Maybe because I'm so used to sleeping in my RV the night before my races. But, it was adequate and I felt fine on raceday morning. Ate my oatmeal and banana with a cup of coffee as usual. Got dressed and was ready to go.

The location at FSU has so much parking. We parked right at the starting line. Found my corral which was way in the back of the pack. I chose the 10:30 and slower. I had printed out a wristband pacer, which was for 4:45 - faster than I anticipated, but allowed me an extra 5 minutes for the second half, since like most of us, I run the second half slower than the first. I figured on around 4:50 for a final time.

It was cool and humid that morning. The temp was forecast to rise to 77 later in the day, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't be that warm by the time I finished. I lucked out, because it stayed overcast most of the race, we even had a light mist for the first several miles. Excellent running weather.

We started off and even though I was in the back of the pack, it bottle necked a little. No problem for me. I stop running and walk fast enough to keep up with the pack and save my legs for later. It's a good trick, much better than almost running in place like I see so many folks doing. So, my first mile was slower than pace, but not much. I felt good and ran along.

As the miles passed I could see I was running too fast, but I felt great. I was still running within the half marathoners and marathoners, the HMers cut off around mile 7 or so. I was thinking I maybe should slow down, but I decided to continue, I gambled that I'd done enough long runs to know how I should or shouldn't feel - I decided my 3 days of rest was just paying it's dividends, so I kept running just above 4:45 pace.

There was more crowd support compared to last year, too. Even though this race is considered more solitary than some, there was adequate crowd support to keep me going. The police and crossing guards were right in there cheering, too. Was a great place to run. So much GU. Gatorade and water. Every 2 miles there was nutrition, very well done and the support staff was awesome, so much enthusiasm.

Around mile 12, for the first time, I felt a little tired. I made a note of that, and decided I was just in need of nutrition. I took a GU and a caffeine strip. I use the kind which are supposed to melt on the roof of your mouth, but they never work that way, they stick to the foil, LOL. Whether it was the nutrition or the caffeine, I felt fine in a minute. I never felt tired again, that is, until the very last mile.

I ran across the half marathon mat, and it said 2:16 which was 6 minutes too fast, but I still felt great.

Around mile 21 I felt the slightest twinge in my left thigh. The signs of a cramp developing. I stopped and stretched, and once I continued running I could still feel it. I rubbed the back of my leg as I ran. Some very nice lady ran up to me. We'd been trading positions for several miles so she 'knew' me, even though we hadn't spoken to each other. She asked if I was ok and I explained what was going on. She offered me an ibuprofen which I accepted. I had none of my own. She rummaged around in her ziplock bag and fished one out. I popped it in my mouth thanked her profusely, and we both took off. Thank you random lady, for your kindness. That NSAID did the trick and my muscle twinge went away. Still, I backed off on my pace a bit.

The final mile is slightly uphill, and I remembered it from last year. I'm pretty beat by now, and I have to walk a lot more than I had been. But, I was way ahead of my 4:45 pace, I knew I would PR and have a great finish time, so no problem taking it very easy on the last mile. I saved some energy to make the 385 yard trek around the running track on my way to the finish line. The announcer called out my name and hometown, cool. And I looked up at the clock, 4:40:something. A new PR!

The awards guy was already handing out awards but my AG had not been posted yet, we're too slow, and our winners were not in and posted yet. So he handed awards out to the younger faster runners first. Eventually got around to us, and the fastest runner in my AG had won great grandmasters, freeing up a spot for the next three in line. Lucky for me, because I was 4th place, now bumped up to 3rd place in our AG. Woohoo!! Another marathon AG award, my second 3rd place.

This is a handmade cup with my award printed on it.

I hand't planned on doing so well but it was a flat course, near perfect weather, the perfect storm in racing. Givng me a nearly 14 minute better time than my prior PR. Final time 4:39:48.

Before I sign off, I must admit. I thought about Sparkpeople and my many Spark Friends throughout this entire race. Spark People works! I was encouraged by you all - all through the race. I wanted to do well and finish uninjured and you all helped me do that. Thank you so much.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
STRIVER57 2/22/2014 4:02PM

    yay, you!!!
very impressive. and great blog!

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SPEEDYDOG 2/11/2014 7:04AM

    Hi Vic,

Thanks for the wonderful race report. Congratulations on your strong finish. I have always enjoyed the camaraderie among runners. The kind random lady that stopped for you is a great example of the bond between runners.

Your description of your experience made me feel that I was running along side you. I can also feel the quietness of the morning when you rolled out of bed.

Great job on your PR and trip to the podium. Well done, my friend!

Thanks, Bruce


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STRIVERONE 2/8/2014 12:34AM

    Don't know how I missed your report, but belated congratulations and thanks for the inspiration.

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WOW1966 2/7/2014 4:54PM

    WOW! A great new PR!!

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LEANJEAN6 2/5/2014 6:25PM

    so interesting to hear about your race-----Good for you!-Lynda

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LISAINMS 2/5/2014 5:43PM

    Congratulations! It was all of that cross training you have been doing!

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CRYSBROWN1 2/5/2014 4:44PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Thank you for sharing the pics, even though you ran a marathon I must say you looked really HAPPY (even afterwards!) Great job on the PR and AG award too!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 2/5/2014 11:23AM

    You are always such an inspiration to me, glad to see you are still at it. Congrats on the PR and AG award. You Rock. I'm still a Vic's Chick.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 2/5/2014 8:45AM

    Wow! You did great! I am so happy for you!

You had great weather and trained perfectly for this marathon. It all paid off!

You are going to rock that triathlon!!

emoticon emoticon

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SMITTY4RL 2/4/2014 7:46PM

    So cool, Vic! Glad you had a good run and the pics are great!

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RUN4FOOD 2/4/2014 6:32PM

    WOW! Well done.
Your marathons just keep getting better and better.

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MWWENSIN 2/4/2014 5:53PM

    Great job a PR and age group award and a great tine.

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MBTEPP 2/4/2014 10:13AM

    emoticon on an emoticon race! emoticon

I swear by the taper! It is like storing your energy to use for the big event. Nice job on the 3 days off!

It was a perfect storm! Many more!! Congratulations on PR and 3rd place!


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MBSHAZZER 2/4/2014 9:27AM

    Congratulations!!!! Sounds like a really perfect day for you, from start to finish. So glad you had a PR and a fun and enjoyable race. And a BIG well done on your AG award!!!

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SEABREEZE65 2/4/2014 3:22AM

    I really enjoyed reading your report. Such a strong runner!!! Good for you. Congratulations on finishing another marathon and also on your PR.


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    emoticon and congrats on your new PR!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/3/2014 10:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NWFL59 2/3/2014 8:22PM

    Thanks for posting such an excellent account of your recent race! Very enjoyable to read about your progress and feelings along the course and to read that you have a new PR! WooHoo! That's terrific! Hope you are recovering well and have no lasting ill affect from such a long duration run. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WONDERWOMAN 2/3/2014 8:03PM

    Great job. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED reading the report. This is a race (HM) I have on my bucket list. Don't you just love when a Master is in our age group and manage to bump us few older folks up - works great in the smaller races.

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BLUENOSE63 2/3/2014 7:41PM

  Yes the tricks of the trade do work! 3 days rest was exactly what you needed! Now that random lady was your race fairy...everyone has one and yours had ibuprofen...yeah! Also you start of the race is exactly what I do ....walk fast and save the legs!

Excellent time! Wish I could run that fast in my tris!


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MASRITE 2/3/2014 7:24PM

    YEAH!!! So glad you felt good and you had an amazing race!! You are an inspiration. Just love reading about your races. Now, take a rest and get ready for your triathlon!! You're going to smoke it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 2/3/2014 6:30PM

    You are AMAZING. What a race - great job. So inspirational!!!

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RAINEMARIE214 2/3/2014 5:12PM

    Congrats on a great race and a new PR!!!

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DLDMIL 2/3/2014 4:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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    Congrats to you!!!

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DALID414 2/3/2014 2:28PM

    emoticon awesome job!!

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JACKIE542 2/3/2014 1:55PM

    You inspire me so much, great race!! You always look so great in the end pictures too!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUTTERFLY-1976 2/3/2014 1:40PM

    Congrats on the PR & AG award!!

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MARGARITTM 2/3/2014 1:25PM

    thanks for the tip on walking instead of running - when you can't run anyways.

Interesting on the ibuprofen DURING a race ....dunno how I feel about that. but if it works why not.

Congrats on your PR....... and getting in the hardware!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 2/3/2014 1:18PM

    Fantastic results! emoticon emoticon

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JODROX 2/3/2014 1:05PM

    What a fantastic story and a fantastic run! You. Are. Awesome!

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COOP9002 2/3/2014 12:08PM

    Awesome job! Congrats on your race and accomplishment.

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LEWILL1982 2/3/2014 11:37AM

    Congratulations! I was thinking about you as you were running, I'd been stalking your page for a race update. It's amazing how Spark gets in your head like it does!

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ONMYMEDS 2/3/2014 11:36AM

    Great job!!

emoticon emoticon

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WILEE323 2/3/2014 11:10AM

    Great race! Congrats!

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STEPHM-ARATHON 2/3/2014 11:02AM

    Congrats on your race! The walking rather than running in place is a good tip - thanks! I always get over anxious at the beginning of a race, just like so many. It does seem silly to run when you're not going anywhere now that I think of it though.

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NATPLUMMER 2/3/2014 10:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 2/3/2014 10:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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