I always offer my athletes the opportunity to complete "Race Performance Journals" after each race as a way to learn from their experience. I encourage them to review their prior journals before their next race to remind them of their impressions and help them to prepare for the upcoming event.
I complete my own journals (and sometimes I share them with my athletes), but I also write and post my race reports which function the same way for me.
Often I ask my athletes if they would like to share their own race reports on my blog too. I This Creating Momentum Athlete Spotlight is just one way I celebrate the success and learning experience of those who work so hard with me chasing their dreams.
Below you will find an amazing race report written by Rene. She had suffered a major life-threatening illness at the end of 2018. It was sudden, shocking, and scary. I was scared for her! But she was able to get back up, recover well, come back strong, and is now setting new lifetime personal bests! I could NOT be more proud of her.
Here is her Steamtown 2019 Race Report sharing her PR experience! Enjoy!
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect race morning. I woke stiff as I've been quite stiff lately. Tight calves and achilles as well as rocks that have built around my trocanters along with annoying glute knots have been rather annoying to say the least. But despite all of that, I'm not in PAIN. Thank God for the massage I got on Friday. I'd be much worse if I hadn't gone for one.
The weather is perfectly perfect. Holy cow is the moon bright! Chris and I hop in the car and head for the bus location. We find a perfect parking space, hop out of the car and walk to the buses just ahead of us. Chris hugs me, reassures me that I'm going to do great and kisses me goodbye. I hop on the bus. Yes! The front seat just behind the driver is open! I get carsick so this is a big deal. I leave space for another passenger to sit with me. A man from Ireland sits down. His name is Manny. We chat a bit and I learn that he is running for his son who has Chrone's disease. I share my story as well. We speak of our partners, children and races we've ran. I hydrate at the 6 o'clock hour and then eat part of my breakfast just after.
We arrive at the high school where we are greeted by a ton of amazing, and very energetic, highschool students. They cheer for us as we walk up the sidewalk and into the school. Manny and I wish each other a great race and part ways for our own preperation. I finish the second part of my breakfast. Fueling done. To the porto lav I go! Ah that's better. Man I had to pee. Good. I'm hydrated. I loosen up with a jog and dynamic stretching. Porto lav again. Again, I'm hydrated. Good. I chat with a fella that Chris and I had seen during dinner last night. I think his name is Ben. I'm terrible with names. This will be his 139th marathon. Holy crap! He's a seasoned chap, older than I. Perhaps in his later 60's. He's super friendly and I love his New York accent. It is now 7:40 and the race begins at 8 so I bid my new friend good luck and farewell and head to the start line. Hmmm...more porto lavs. The line is short. In I go for the last time!
Now to the start line area. I'm sad here at the start line. I ran this race in 2016 and spoke to my grandfather right before the race. I asked him to read Isaiah 40:31. He did and he prayed for me. I wasn't able to speak to him this time. He gets tired quickly and isn't always able to keep his breath. I didn't want to make him sad because of my need. God is amazing! A pastor prayed over us runners before the race and he recited Isaiah 40:31! Tears well up in my eyes. Pull it together Ré. You can cry after the race. Ahhhhhh I'm warm but I need to de-layer. My dad gave me an old long sleeve shirt that I could toss before the race. He must've worn this to work. It smells like a machine shop mixed with Snuggle lol. I take it off, give it a kiss, pay thanks to my dad and toss it aside. I head to the front, second row, behind some crazy serious looking runners. BOOM! The cannon sounds and we take off running!
Don't get caught up in the hype of the downhills Ré. Hmmm hill hype. That's funny. Focus. Stay between 7:30 and 7:50 for the first half, then hold for the second half. Folks are passing me but that's ok. I'm focused. I've got it. Mile 1 in 7:23. A little fast so let's slow it down a bit. Mile 2, 3 and 4 within range, low 7:30's. Oh hi! We've been next to each other for a bit. I introduce myself to my new race buddy. Her name is Molly. She's in my age group and making a comeback just like me! She hasn't run a marathon since 2013. She's been busy having children and being an awesome wife and momma. She's doing great! I tell her my comeback story. We chat comfortably for a bit and I realize I'm flying. Crap! Mile 5 at 7:14. SLOW DOWN! I tell my new friend that I need to slow my pace and I'll see her later or after the race. I run miles 6-22 within range, low 7:30's except for 3 miles that were just below 7:30 and 3 miles that were in the 7:40's. Good job Ré! You've got this! You'll definitely get the 3:22. Maybe even a PR today!
Mile 23. Crap...the last leg of this race sucks! I forgot how much it sucks! The uphill miles begin here. Mile 23 in 7:56. Stupid hill. Mile 24 in 8:21. What in the name of all things evil is this?! This is the worst uphill ever! My legs are going to fall off and my soul is going to fly out of the spaces where my legs used to be. Hold it together Ré! You can do anything for 17 more minutes. Mile 25 in 8:01. Ha! Take that you stupid hill! Oh come on! Mile 26. You suck too! 8:19 for mile 26. Once I get to the top of the hill, which is almost at the end of mile 26, I push with all I have. I push with everything I have left in the tank. I see the clock. My PR is 3:20:50. I can beat it! Run! Just run!
I cross the finish line, smile and all! 3:20:43 gun time, 3:20:42 chip time! A new PR! I can't believe it!
Shannon McGinn, MS, MA, JD, EdS. is the owner of Shannon McGinn Creating Momentum, LLC.