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Five Points of Life Marathon 2014 - Race Report

  • Monday, March 03 2014 @ 02:06 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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I finished my second marathon! I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 3:39:49.

Photo by BB Action Photography

This was my first Five Points of Life Marathon. My previous marathon was Jacksonville Bank Marathon which was a completely different bodily experience. Read *that* story if you want to hear about the full body cramp.

This race was not nearly as dramatic. I knew that I was not in marathon racing shape but I still wanted to get another race at this distance under my belt. After running a 50k in October, I ended up taking a lot off time off and dealing with a foot issue that kept me from training very much. I can say that it is hard to run a marathon when averaging less than 20 miles per week during training.

It was cold at the race start. I went out fairly easy, trying to warm up a bit. I was trying to be very cautious about the pace and my breathing (remembering my past marathon experience). After the first mile I found the 3:30 pace group and decided to stick with them. This would have had me finishing just a little slower than my previous marathon, but hopefully without the muscle cramps! We should have been hitting around 8 minutes per mile. We kept coming through mile after mile ahead of pace. First it was 20 seconds, then 10 seconds, then 20 seconds again. I gave up on our pacer when we came through over 30 seconds ahead of pace.

I think I paid a price for the early pacing issues since my legs started revolting by the half marathon mark. The temperature was warming up by this point and I shed the last of my cold weather gear. Prior to the race I had figured out where I would drop my jacket, hat, and gloves. This is just one of the perks of running a hometown race. And it would have worked out great if I hadn't dropped my hat in the middle of the road on 16th Ave. (I feared the worst for my poor lost hat but did eventually get it back later in the week from a local runner. Gainesville has a great running community!)

I never had any real cramping but when I tried pushing the pace at all my legs started to feel like they were headed that way. So I just kept the legs moving along at a steady pace. Breathing was never an issue since I could never get myself moving fast enough to impact it.

On the long stretch of Williston Road I started getting discouraged because I kept missing the mile markers. From mile 16 - 20 I just didn't know how much race was left and the course was now in the full Florida sunshine. Note to self, the mile markers are on these huge flags sticking up in the air that are hard to miss! Thankfully, along came a woman named Nina from Wyoming who asked if we could run together. She was trying to get her BQ (Boston Qualifying time). She said it would be easier if we worked together which of course is true. This payed off for both of us. Now that I had a running partner and a mission, I was able to keep the legs going and keep on the needed pace for Nina's BQ. She earned her BQ by 10 seconds!

My own race was not spectacular in any way, but I feel really good that I was able to help someone get their BQ. Nina was also the Female Masters winner. Here is a picture of us after the finish:

Photo via Five Points of Life

I wore my Merrell Bare Access 2 shoes, pictured here with the race t-shirt and my finisher medal.

There are glimpses of me in the video footage near the start...

I am looking forward to running some shorter races over the next few months.

Five Points of Life Marathon was held on Feb. 16, 2014. Race Results are posted:
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