Finally synched up my Tom Tom watch with the My Sports program on my computer! Once upon a time I was ruled by numbers when it came to my running, now I’m lucky when I remember how many miles I’ve ran that week. In 2015 I plan on finding a happy medium between tracking and not tracking numbers.

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Here is my very belated recap, now that I have our “numbers.”

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Honolulu Marathon was one of the most interesting races I have ever run. If you asked me post race if I would ever run this race again the answer was a FIRM no. Now that almost a month has passed, I can say I would run it again, but only because it is Hawaii – not because I thought the race was organized, or because the expo was good, or because the race swag is worth mentioning, or that even the course was great — it was none of those things in my opinion. What the entire experience did make me do, is appreciate Rock N Roll, and other local races even more. There is something to be said about how a race is run.

Danielle and I lined up with 31,000 of our closest running friends at the start line. There were no real corals and you just placed yourself where ever you saw was fit.

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The honor system is a disaster when it comes to races because invariably people that are walking or run/walking the entire race line up with the sub 3 hour marathoners and create a back up from the first mile on. This race was no different. Danielle and I lined up around the 4 hour mark. My prediction for her was that she was capable of running a 4 hour marathon but because of all the travel and time adjustment she would likely run a 4:20.

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I didn’t want to place ourselves further up because I really wanted her to focus on starting out slow and working into a faster pace if she felt she could.

Start line fireworks: These were cool and a nice added touch since we were starting in the dark

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When we started it was raining and very crowded. I’m not someone who gets claustrophobic but I was very uncomfortable with how jammed in we were. It was near impossible to get into a groove. We hit the first mile in 10:45 and both of us were shocked. There is starting out slow and there is starting out uncomfortable. Mile 2 was a little bit better at a 10:08 but even if we wanted to move faster, there was just no way around the crowds and puddles of water – we just decided to settle in and deal with it.

Mile 3 we hit in a 9:08 and basically decided not to pay attention to pace much from that point. We ran on how Danielle felt and what the course would allow us to do.

Honolulu Marathon

It rained the ENTIRE race, with large wind gusts for portions. I had been so worried about being hot during the race that it never occurred to me that we would have to deal with other weather for 26.2 miles. I carried my sunglasses and phone for the entire race {learned the hard way to bring throw-away sunglasses rather than Ray-Bans}.

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The race was MUCH hillier than either of us expected and really threw both of us for a loop. I’m fairly certain that anything that I say about the race, the course, the organization will come across as complaining…..so I will just talk about the awesome parts….

Honolulu Marathon Elevation

I ran next to Danille for four plus hours and we talked the entire time. I have never run an entire marathon with someone before and it was an experience I will not soon forget. We talked about everything under the sun {or no sun and rain as it was}. Running bonds people. I am not exaggerating when I say I love this girl now. We laughed, we wanted to cry, we had what I would consider fun for 26.2 semi miserable miles. I am very proud of her determination in less than stellar conditions.

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Back when I was picking my cadet for the 26 Strong Program Saucony asked me if I would pick my cadet by hosting a contest for lack of a better word, on my blog. I said sure! If I had wanted to run a marathon with a friend, I could do that any day – so the thought of running with someone new and different sounded appealing. There were some amazing comments left on my blog and I struggled to pick who I felt should get the opportunity to run with Saucony. I went back to Saucony and asked if they wanted to read through and pick a cadet for me because I was struggling with who to pick. They came back to me and said that I was the person who was going to be in contact with this person all year. sharing a hotel room at events etc. and that they really wanted me to pick who I felt comfortable with. So I slept on the decision….

In the end, I wanted someone I knew…and I was lucky that Danielle, a girl I went to high school with commented. I had no clue she wanted to run a marathon and she said to me she didn’t really think I would pick her because she didn’t have a compelling reason other than she wanted 2014 to be the year she ran a marathon BUT something about picking her felt right. If I had not had an open blog post with comments, I would have never had know her goal and we would have never have reconnected.

I knew that she was an athlete and would be able to handle the training without getting injured. I trusted that I could virtually train her and be able to count on her to complete the miles. Some of the other coaches were lucky enough to have their cadets live close to them. Danielle lives in Florida, so I knew there was no way we were going to be able to run together before Honolulu Marathon.

Looking back, I’m really thankful I went with my gut and picked her. She has helped me grow this past year, probably more so than I helped her with her running. It’s nice coaching someone who inspires you, someone who does the work, trusts you and truly listens to what you have to say to them.

 

Going in to this race Danielle said this was one and done for her with the marathon…..post race I heard her say – yeah I think I’d do another….those are words that make my heart sing…..

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Here is our split breakdown. After mile 16 we started taking walk/bathroom breaks as needed.

  • mile 1 – 10:45
  • mile 2 – 10:08
  • mile 3 – 9:09
  • mile 4 – 9:13
  • mile 5 – 9:25
  • mile 6 – 9:09
  • mile 7 – 9:17
  • mile 8 – 9:46
  • mile 9 – 9:53
  • mile 10 – 9:06
  • mile 11 – 8:59
  • mile 12 – 9:00
  • mile 13 – 9:20
  • mile 14 – 9:20
  • mile 15 – 9:41
  • mile 16 – 10:44
  • mile 17 – 9:20
  • mile 18 -10:16
  • mile 19 – 9:41
  • mile 20 – 9:44
  • mile 21 – 10:16
  • mile 22 – 9:57
  • mile 23 – 10:36
  • mile 24 – 12:31
  • mile 25 – 11:49
  • mile 26 –  9:38

The Tom Tom watch was still new to me at the time, so I didn’t stop it properly when we crossed. Danielle finished in 4:21 – I may have been pushing her as hard as I could in the last little bit to get her as close to 4:20 as possible. She kept saying oh we have 20 minutes to run 1 mile and I would respond – we have 10 minutes to run 1 mile :) – I wanted to get her as close to that 4:20 goal as possible. I know what it’s like to be in pain and say that it doesn’t matter if you are 10 minutes off your goal and then to look back in hindsight and wonder if you gave it your all. Danielle left it all out on the course, she gave it her everything that day.

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The entire weekend was extremely special – I can’t thank Saucony and Competitor enough for putting this program together, asking me to be a part of it, letting me pick a cadet I truly wanted to train, and for putting us on the cover of Competitor Magazine {the icing on the cake}. The memories we made that weekend will last a lifetime.

Competitor Cover 3

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Comments

  1. AWESOME!!!!! The whole experience sounds so amazing! I love that by doing this project they are finding ways to motivate new and veteran runners alike!!!! Great job!

  2. This is so neat — what an amazing experience! I would love to run the Honolulu Marathon some day.

  3. It sounds like running this course in particular is something you just have to do for fun with no goals in mind. I’ve run plenty of races where I spend the first couple miles weaving around people who belonged in the back. It sucks but I think that’s probably reality for most races. It’s really only the BIG ones that can truly do something about that. I’m glad you had such a great time reconnecting with your friend.

  4. mile 24 gets me in the lady eggs every time. good on you and your friend, though! Any race sans blocked areas makes me twitchy.

  5. That sounds like a race that would be a fun EXPERIENCE, but certainly not a PR day. Great job running with your cadet to a successful marathon finish!

  6. Great and inspiring story!

  7. YES it was a great experience :) not one for someone who was going for a crazy PR…unless of course I was an elite then I would certainly run it again – haha – the purse $ was pretty good!! I think it was 40K for first!

  8. It sounds like you had a great time!! :)

  9. Love this recap. If I had you as a trainer / coach I could possibly be persuaded to run another one… maybe lol

I love a good comment!

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