Grandma’s Marathon Race Recap

So much to recount from this my 13th marathon and it’s always easiest to start from the end.


Like how about a peaceful post-marathon water picnic overlooking Lake Superior? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Grandma’s Marathon 2014:

  • Temp: 50s, misty, foggy, breezy for middle miles; generally nice but almost chilly
  • Course: beautiful and relatively flat but with few rolling hills
  • My pace: 6:45,
  • Overall time: 2:56:34, my previous PR 2:57:27
  • Splits: 10k – 40:41, 13.1mi – 1:27:45, 20mi – 2:15:19, 25mi – 2:48:54
  • Shoes: Altra One^2 (The One Squared)
  • Pre-race fuel 4am: one Marathon Dreambake and half of a banana and water
  • Within a couple hours of the race: approx: 4 oz beet juice, 4 oz coconut water, lots of water and a couple swigs of coffee
  • Race fuel: 2 Ginsting Honey Stinger gels (miles 12 and 20) and water at almost every aid station
  • Place: 48th female

Two days post-marathon, and the only way to describe how I feel is, “Shamefully good.” I say shamefully good because I have been more sore from a 5k race than I am right now. Not that I think you should be laid up for a week after a marathon, but I want to finish feeling like I gave it just a little more than all I’ve got. That means being a little sore. With that said, I do feel pleased with the race considering how the couple of days leading up to it unfolded.

We took off for the Twin Cities on Wednesday evening to stay with my cousins there. En route, I became gravely ill. Okay, maybe not on my death bed, but sick. At first, I thought it was car-sickness. So we stopped, got some fresh air, and went on our merry way. But things didn’t improve. My stomach was churning, and I felt worse and worse with each minute. We stopped once for me to take care of business in a ditch. I didn’t puke, and thought I was feeling better. Back on the road, a few more miles passed and then the same feeling crept back in. I was dealing with it until, like lightning, the entire contents of my digestive system were all over the passenger seat floor of our Nissan.

The next few days were tough because I could not stomach much of anything and staying hydrated wasn’t easy. I was, however, so sweetly taken care of by my family and our hosts both in Minneapolis and then with friends north of Duluth. We mostly relaxed and enjoyed a little sight-seeing along the North Shore.

20140623-144742-53262675.jpgEven a little foot soaking.

20140623-144744-53264026.jpgThen pre-race Friday was ideal other than still not feeling quite one hundred per cent.

Mostly I kept off my legs. I even got the rolling pin treatment. Did I mention great hosts!?


Other than the guts, it couldn’t get much better. We even watched Flicka 3. So sweet! Seriously, my kind of movie in all ways.

Going to bed before the race, the thought of my traditional pre-race routine of waking up early to eat my marathon dreambakes made me queasy. I didn’t even set my alarm for this usual early feeding. Instead, I hoped that sleep would do me well and that I’d wake hungry or just get some much needed sleep. I woke up ravenous at 4am. So I was able to get in a very early “breakfast” and then get a little more rest.

The rest of our pre-race went smoothly and we were at the start area in good time.

Here I was warming up and shaking off any pre-race jitters.


I knew it could be an interesting marathon, but I was thankful to be feeling pretty chipper and ready to go.


We were off and running. The first eight or so miles felt wonderful. But around mile 10 – 15 I felt some cramping in my legs and even some twinges of lightheadedness. These all came and went but my pace suffered in the middle as I was trying to keep it together. By mile 18, I felt energized and I was getting my groove back. Knowing that there were only eight miles left, I just pressed on and tried to make up for lost time. I passed lots of people in the final 5k and finished hard. Finishing faster than my best and last marathon was satisfying. But I felt like I had made more than one minute’s worth of gains in fitness over the past couple of months of training since Carmel and it was only a one minute PR. This is also why I think I should feel a little more sore. But it is what it is.

Oh yes, and a word on the shoes, in case you’re into that sort of thing, I ran in The One^2 and loved them. They’re light, yet they give you some cushion. My feet feel the best that they’ve felt after a marathon. My two cents.

Anyway sorry for the gruesome details and for the strange recap. I hope you never experience a lead-up to a marathon quite like this, but if you do, I hope your race turns out as pleasantly as mine. It was definitely a memorable run. I’m so looking forward to more training and to see what’s next.

As always, thanks for reading and happy trails.

8 thoughts on “Grandma’s Marathon Race Recap

  1. Awesome! Makes me want to try the Altra’s out…maybe I’d make it past 9 miles without my knees/feet giving out.

  2. Congrats…and Jane said you were really sick. I have the picture on my wall of Jane and Craig when they ran Grandma’s about 20 years ago.


  3. Pingback: A run down of our 4th | Flexitarian Filly

  4. Pingback: The hoof | Flexitarian Filly

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