Sunday, December 2, 2012


Yes, this is Seattle in late November :)

The Star spangled Banner began and it was time to focus, all the training lead up to that moment.  I was  physically ready, mentally ready, I had a plan and I was going to go for it.
The Race:
1-7:22  I started with the 3:15 pace group which was my plan.  I intended to stick with the pace group through 1/2 way and then access how things were going
2-6:29 A lot of downhill in this mile.  The pacers were trying to bank a little time in the first 1/2 to account for the hills in the 2nd half.  Feeling good.
3-7:17 Started chatting with a fellow New York orphan who was running her first marathon
4-8:18 At least half of this mile was in a tunnel where my watch lost reception.  I had pulled ahead of the pace group and was trying to slow up a little bit so they would catch up with me.  I was feeling so good but I also did not want to go out too fast.  Started out on the floating bridge.
5-6:03 Obviously my watch was trying to figure things out :)  I think averaging miles 4&5 would be an accurate pace, I was probably running around 7:10 for both miles.
6-7:23  I was really trying to slow down.  I wanted to stick to my plan and I was not, I was feeling too good though.  Turnaround on bridge and headed back.  I slowed almost to a stop through the water station again hoping the pace group and Tyler would catch me.  I saw Tyler and she was a little ahead of the pace group
7-7:30  Just running really easy at this point.  It was here that I made the decision that around mile 9 where my husband was going to be with my banana that I would stop and let the group catch up.  I know it seems crazy but I really did not want to blow up and kick myself for not sticking to my plan.
8-7:25 Coming to the end of the bridge and getting ready to turn onto the path, I was looking forward to seeing my husband and getting my banana.
9-7:27 So happy to see my sweet husband who was holding a neon yellow sign :)

Literally stopped waiting for the pace group and my teammate Tyler
10-7:06 Chatted with Tyler for a second, I was feeling great, she was not.  This made me sad but I was again pulling away from the pace group.  It was strange but it was harder for me to run slower.  I decided to just go with it and pray that I did not hit the wall.
11-7:17 I was running very easy and relaxed.  There was no doubt or fear.  I was enjoying the foggy morning.  It was a bit chilly but it was really beautiful.  We were running right by Lake Washington.  i was so grateful that it was not raining or windy! 
12-7:15 I was enjoying chatting with a few people around me. Pretty uneventful.  I was in the middle part and still feeling great.  
13-7:18  I was staying committed to my fueling plan.  I took 4 Honey Stinger chews here.  I will also mention that I was taking fluid at every aid station (every 2 miles)  I would alternate gatorade and water.  I did not drink a lot but I was getting something.  
Half marathon split 1:35:27
14-7:13 The next few miles flew by.  Miles 8-17 were a loop out and around a park and back.  It helped that there were runners going the other way, anything to distract the mind.  Looking forward to mile 17 where I would again see my husband and Tylers friend Nick.  I had no idea where she was at this point and was hoping that they had some info.
17-7:19 I was so happy to see Mike and Nick.  I got my 1/2 banana and a sip of gatorade and was off again.  I was also happy to see that Nick was dressed to run.  He planned on running 3 miles with Tyler and I was glad that she was going to have company.  They told me she was not that far behind me. It really helped knowing that I would be seeing Mike along the course.  It helped to break things up.  
18-7:35 Just running.  A few little hills
19-7:22 I knew the hills were coming and I was still feeling good.  Trying to concentrate on staying relaxed.  the ball of my right foot was starting to burn a little.
20-7:39 oh yes the hills were starting.  There was a pretty good hill in this mile.  according to the plan I took 3 more chews and kept on pushing.
21-7:54 Big hills!!!  The worst hill was really steep.  I train on hills a lot so while they slowed my pace I was passing so many people.  I felt strong and in control.
22-7:25 After climbing there was a good hill which offered some rest.  I went on cruise control for a bit.  I was looking for my teammates Brittney and Nicole who had driven up from Portland that morning.  They were going to be there to run Tyler and I in.  They said they would be between 22 and 23.
23-7:51 This mile was in a beautiful hilly park.  Running through tall green trees and looking for my teammates.  I knew that if I could just make it to them i was going to be ok.  They were right before mile 23 screaming for me :)  Nicole jumped in and ran with me.  It was so nice to have company!!  I had really been on my own since the beginning.  She had a banana and gatorade for me.
24-7:25  I was grateful that Nicole knew that there was some relief from the hills coming.  I did not really feel like fueling but I forced myself to eat some banana and drink some water.  Nicole was so positive and was helping me focus.
25-7:10 I knew that I was in the top 10 women and I was able to pass 2 women in this mile.  I was tired and my calf was aching but somehow I was pushing hard.  I have never felt so good at the end of a race.  I started to tear up a couple times because i knew that I was going to accomplish my goal but I knew i needed to stay focused for a little while longer.
26-7:02 What?  For the last mile :)  There was a long hill to the finish and I was talking out loud at the hill.  Nicole was so helpful on this hill.  
.2--???  I turned the corner into the stadium and pushed as hard as I could.  It felt amazing.  I could see the clock and sprinted to cross before it turned to 3:13.   of course I for got to stop my watch immediately, I was too busy being in shock.  I was so happy and of course emotional.  It felt amazing!  All the hard work had finally paid off.  Everything came together and i was so grateful because it does not always go according to plan.
3:12:55  9th overall female, 2nd in age group
I got my medal and heating sheet and turned to wait for Tyler thinking that she would be coming in soon.  The 3:15 pacers came through and I immediately asked them where she was.  They told me that she had dropped from them around mile 13.  I knew then that it might be  awhile but was hopeful that she could still be coming soon.  I stood there until the clock hit 3:32 and then went to get some water and find Mike.  I spotted him and he told me that Tyler was struggling.  I felt so bad, after New York we both needed to have good races.  
So many miles together, love her!
  I saw her come through the finish and went to give her a hug.  It was emotional and she was so sweet and excited for me.  My heart broke for her!  I love that girl! 
This race was amazing for me!  I finally ran the race that I trained for.  I figured out how to fuel, that is huge for me!I am itching to run another one, I know I can run it faster.  I felt like I had some left in the tank but I am so grateful that I ran a smart race. 
My coach says 3:00 by 40 :)  I turn 37 on Wednesday.  We will see what the future holds, for now I am happy!! 
A new PR, so happy!!

Done :)

Final push

My support crew 
Rocking the argyle recovery socks on the drive home


  1. Fantastic race Stephanie! You are going to crush a 3:00 hour marathon well before you turn 40. So proud of you because I know how incredibly hard you have worked for this. Have you thought about your next marathon?

  2. congrats! you look awesome! saw nicoles fb posting and was so happy for you! good things will always come to those who work for it ;) and you my dear worked!

  3. You are amazing! Congratulations on the awesome race PR!

  4. Congratulations!!! What a great race -- I love that you were tearing up at mile 25. It is such an amazing feeling to have put in all the hard work and be fortunate to have it all come together in a perfect race! That is what gives you the motivation to do another one. :)

    So happy that your NYC marathon story had a happy ending after all!

  5. Amazing! What a rush to have it all come together :)

  6. Yay Stephanie!!!!! I love this lost and am so excited for you and proud of you. GREAT JOB!! Congrats and hugs! I hope you are still celebrating. :)

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  8. I love this race report!! You ran so confidently and determined. I am especially impressed by those last 2 miles. I would have LOVED to have had those as my miles 25 & 26 on Saturday when I ran in Memphis! No doubt you will definitely be seeing a low 3 hr. marathon in 2013. Way to go!!

  9. Wow! The beginning of your report I was just in awe. You had to force yourself to slow down?! That takes a lot of strength and dedication to stick to the plan especially when you are feeling so good. Amazing time. Congrats!

  10. You are so speedy, great job :) I'm so glad you had such a great race after the whole New York fiasco. Great job!!

  11. I just stumbled upon your blog and I loved reading your recap. Congrats! It sounds like you ran the race perfectly!!!