BI-LO Marathon Myrtle Beach, 2012 – Recap
Well to say the least I was very nervous and anxious about this one. After walking around a lot on Friday and not exactly eating the best Friday night. I was starting to freak out a little bit more. Before bed I was feeling some knee pain and my legs were just kind of tired overall. I thought ‘Oh well, there is nothing I can do about this now, and I can’t change anything I’ve done over the past few weeks so it’s take it or leave it, and just DO it’. I knew running this race would be the confidence booster that I need right now to get things back on track for me and have me feeling awesome again. But I knew it could go the other way as well. What if… I DNF’ed!!!? Or hurt myself further, or had to walk, or got a bad time?? All these things running through my head. Marathon’s are truly a ‘mental mind fuck’.
Waking up at 4:45am that morning, I felt some hip tightness, my piriformis hurt and my right foot felt a little off. I decided to skip the oatmeal since I ate so much the night before and just took a caffeinated Stinger. Got ready, and wondered if this was really happening right now. I had dreams the night before about going trail running with a bunch of spectators cheering me on. Hopefully that was a good sign. And I actually got a decent sleep (for me). It is what it is at this point… I needed to own up, pull myself together and do it!
Ready… met up with Whit and Bill in the lobby and we were off to the start. Being goofy and skipping/jogging to the start (Bill was, not me). I definitely was starting to feel the excitement building!
Perfect timing, just enough to do a little stretching, jump in our corrals (which there weren’t really any), and stand in line for the bathroom. Since this was a pretty small race they just had a few flags set up with pacing times and where everyone could start. Half and Full Marathoners all started together. Walking around finding my spot I definitely felt proud to be wearing the Full Marathon, yellow bib. Waiting in line I was chatting with some tall dude probably in his late 50’s, who had run this race 47 times!! He was like “ya’ll tryin to get a sub 4”. I said “we’ll see”. We told each other good luck and we were off.
It’s definitely hard to hold back at the beginning of the race. Especially when starting with Half Marathoners because everyone heads out really fast and you feel like you are going super slow. It’s all about pacing though and you have to remind yourself how far you have yet to go. I felt decent the first few miles, which worried me a little bit since they normally are crap. I was pacing at 8:30ish, which was faster than I had planned. But I went with it. Looked for Whit and T-Lo at mile 1 but must have missed them. Too bad because I was about to pass off my camera since all my pics were coming out like this…
There were a few out and back parts of this run and the first one came up so I started looking for Bill. We passed each other ‘looking good Bill!!!’, gave a shout out, and kept going. Not really sure why I forgot to take a pic for him. It’s fun and also a little tough to see the other people coming back already. One more reminder… it’s YOUR race, no one elses.
The airport was around mile 6ish? (Bill, confirm). The sun was rising and had some great shots. Looking all around, could see runners ahead of me up at a turn. To my left the people at the front of the pack way ahead. Gorgeous views, running, pushing ahead – this is what it’s all about.
I kept my I-pod off until around 7 miles, just so I could really enjoy the run and have something to look forward to later on. I felt really good, some knee and ITB pain creeping up around the 6/7’s, but that is typical and wasn’t anything to be alarmed about. Starting listening to some good tunes and mile 10 seemed to come up quick. I knew I’d be seeing W&T at mile 11 so I started looking out for them and planned to stop, stretch, say hi and drop off my camera. They were super psyched to see me and hear that I felt good, but thought I was weird for stopping. I know if I stretch out sometimes or walk through water stops that I’ll run faster and more efficient when I start back up again so to me it is worth 30 seconds or so to stop if I’m gaining extra time and energy at the end. Either way I forgot to leave my camera anyway…
So I said bye and after seeing Whit and T-Bizzle at mile 11, I knew I had this race. I didn’t say anything about my time goal but at that point felt really good (despite still having 15 miles to go), and knew I would most likely break 4 if I kept up my pace the way I was heading. I was also about to start the ‘real’ part of the race. The – ‘true dirt, hardcore, grit, take it or leave it, love it/hate it, push your limits, feel the pain, sweat, every muscle you own, every thread of perseverance you have, you against the miles’. Ok so I’m being a little dramatic, but I like the second half of the race better and when we split off from the Halfers I started to get really excited and feel the marathon love.
I ended up not taking too many more pics at the end. I had a great time just enjoying the miles and the scenery. Surprisingly there were a decent amount of spectators after the half mark, which I wasn’t expecting. My one and only bathroom stop was around mile 16 I think. They had porto’s every few miles or so. Usually just one or two together. I didn’t feel like I had to go at all until then, which is nice because sometimes that can take a while, be annoying and waste time. The ones I picked were right on the beach, I ran in… no line, I even scored TP.
Running behind a legit Irish Goat for a while. Yes, that is actually how his race bib was registered. He was wearing the 5 fingered sneaks and running in a goat hat and silver race shorts. Makes me really want to do something creative one of these times. I asked him if I could take my pic with him. He smiled, and I’m sure thought I was a weirdo.
Right after the goat sighting, I was feeling really good and stepping it up. This was around 16/17. Then I noticed a runner collapsed, and a few others standing around him checking his pulse. Some people ran ahead and were waving down the EMT. Heard the ambulance sirens… and saw help on the way. 17.5 I decided there was no need to push it… I’d finish, and nothing is worth jeopardizing your health. Although ask me that question at mile 25 and I’ll tell you a different story. Later we did find out that the runner suffered from cardiac arrest and had to get rushed to the hospital… very serious and very scary.
Can’t even remember what mile this was but, Jake – I took this one for you, buddy!! Notice the Shoney’s in the background.
Miles 24/25 I was running with some Team in Training pacers. They were pacing for a 4:00 finish, but said they were ahead a little bit. I saw them throughout most of the race, on and off. But it was nice and encouraging to be finishing up the last few miles with them. One of the things that I love about marathons is that you meet a lot of people and can talk to random people along the way. I ran mile 22ish with some dude, and we were saying how it’s just a training run from here on out. That’s all we had left… just a few more. I met a VA state trooper, who I kept seeing along the course as well and we shared a few stories. Although apparently people don’t really like to chat it up during the end and I was getting some annoyed looks.
Mile 23 I saw a street sign and it was named ‘Wildwood Rd’ , I’d like to think of that as a little sign from Harv. Knew I could keep on going after that. My fav part of the race was towards the end on a little path, nice and shaded, breezy and perfect to push the limits. Lots of thinking done back here.
Rounding up the last mile, I think I crossed the 26 point and saw T-Bomb walking. Totally not seeing me or ready since I was way early. No energy to yell but luckily he turned around and was shocked to see me. I was like… ‘I KNOW! SUB 4, baby’, threw my sweaty camera to him and kept running. Then I saw Whit, Bill, Brooke and Wes. Bill’s voice was booming all the way into the chute. ‘Go, go, go!!!’. Amazing to have such awesome friends there supporting me. Having people cheer you on, especially at the end makes it all that much sweeter.
The part of the marathon that you think about on all your training runs and picture over and over again in your head has to be the end, the chute with all the spectators yelling your name. Seconds and feet from the finish, and crossing that line. I got the honor of rolling through the finish line with one of the wheelchair guys who I was talking with along the way. We told each other we were doing a great job and it was fun to cross the line with him. Booking it to the end, knowing I had time to spare hearing my name and the fact that I was doing a great job was an amazing feeling. THAT is what makes all the training worth it. THAT feeling crossing the finish line, finishing and knowing how much you rocked it! I wish I could harness that and feel that every morning when I woke up, or just every day.
Either way… I finished up, got my medal and made my way over to the water. Saw Whit first and was so psyched that I had friends there with me at the end to enjoy! And we ALL had a lot to feel accomplished about.
I normally don’t like to do splits for a race because the Garm always seems to be off. But every time I passed the mile markers I got a ‘beep’ for a while. So I think this time it was fairly accurate.
26.39 – (per Garmin) 3:56:08 – 9:28, 8:49, 8:32, 8:34, 8:51, 8:46, 8:42, 9:42, 8:26, 8:45, 8:49, 9:15, 8:37, 8:40, 9:47, 10:15, 8:45, 8:41, 9:00, 8:46, 9:18, 8:47, 9:12, 9:11, 8:56, 8:29 – 7:56
26.2 – (per PrecisionRace.com) 3:55:47 – Splittime1 – 57:12 Splittime2 – 1:56:37