Monday, November 14, 2011

Taber conquers the Hartford Marathon

Hello blogosphere. I have missed you : ) 
Things have been a little crazy but they're starting to settle down so prepare yourself for a picture overload as I crank out the posts over the next few days to get caught up. 

First up: Taber the dominator kills the Hartford Marathon.

 Hartford is just a 2 hour drive from us so the night before the big race we drove down to get settled in. The city was bustling with marathon fever and it was fun to see signs everywhere welcoming the runners.

 We hit the expo and Taber picked up his bib number and timing chip.
 He looks so excited : )

One of the booths was giving out Larabar samples. They had a sign that said, "Just take two please" But when Taber told them he worked for General Mills (GMills owns Larabar) The lady gave him this giant bag with at least 100 bars. SCORE!

The kids did great at the expo, they scored free glasses and suckered Daddy into buying them some sporty little headbands. : )

 After the expo we went over to the park for the Pasta feed so Taber could get in a good carb load before race day. 

Then it was back to the hotel to attempt to get some rest. Attempt definitely being the key word here. We were all crammed in one small room with Cam in his pack and play and the girls on a blow up bed that wouldn't stay inflated. They replaced it around 9pm and then had to come in again at 3am to fill the replacement back up with air.  Also our toilet flooded and maintenance had to come up and deal with that. It was a rough night but with pre-race nerves I'm not sure how much Taber would've slept anyway.

Despite the lack of sleep Taber was up early and ready to roll. We were only a 5 minute walk to the starting line so he hung out and stayed warm until the last minute.

This is the view of the start and finish line from our hotel room. Once we sent Taber on his way we hunkered down in the room and alternated between watching the live broadcast on TV and watching out the window. 

I had signed up to receive text message alerts when Taber hit the 10K, half marathon, and 20 mile mark so I would have an idea of where he was. For some reason I never got the text for the 10K and I was freaking out wondering what had happened to him and if he was okay! Luckily I got the half marathon update an hour and 49 minutes into the race and after that I was able to calm down knowing that he was okay and cruising at an awesome pace.

I was very grateful for the hotel room to corral the kids and keep them entertained. Especially because it was chilly and very windy that day.

Before long I received a text that Taber had crossed the 20 mile mark in 2:51:05. That was my cue to load up the troops and head down to the finish line with our cow bells and posters.

We met up with our my friend Darby whose husband was also running it and anxiously kept our eyes out for our runners.

Soon we saw Taber coming around the corner. He was well under his goal of sub 4 hours and crossed the finish line in 3:54:00.  Here are his thoughts he posted on Runkeeper after it was over:

 "Wow what an experience. New PR by a good 45 minutes. Going into the marathon my main goal was to break 4 hours and I'm happy to see my time starting with a "3" in front of it. I felt like I might be able to push for a 3:40-3:45 so I decided to start the race with the 3:40 pace group. I couldn't find the 3:40 pace group so I just started off on my own. Mile 1 felt great. Found the 3:40 pace group at mile 2 and decided to hang with them. This was probably my biggest mistake because the pace group was running a very fast 1st half to bank a lot of time for the 2nd half. I clocked a ridiculous fast mile 2 and 3 (7:42 and 7:48 pace) before I realized that this group was not the right pace for me. Once I clocked 8:03 for mile 4 I knew I was going to be hurting later in the race. I started to let up and eventually settled into my own groove of 8:20-35 splits. I took a gu after mile 8, 17 and then again around mile 22. Those fast miles early on really wore on me during the last 6 miles. I ended up getting through the first 18-20 miles at a decent clip, but the last 6 miles I hit a wall. At that point I was glad I had banked enough time to start running 9-10+ min/miles because that's all I had in me. The last 4 miles were especially tough with the wind (20-30mph) coming head on. I finished at 3:54 and was spent! It was so awesome having the family there to catch me. The marathon was put on really well and had a ton of water stops. Also the finish shoot was really impressive and there was a ton of loud screaming fans. Overall a huge success and a very memorable weekend with the fam."

It took awhile to find him after he finished but when we finally did we made sure to let him know how proud we were.

Marathon Dad!

We took some pics and then dropped him off at the massage tent.

While we were waiting for him to get his massage the girls kept themselves entertained by digging up an impressive collection of earth worms. I know it's disgusting but it kept them busy so I wasn't about to stop them.

When it was all over we took our runner boy to Five Guys for a victory burger.  
I guess spectating a marathon is almost as exhausting as running one if you're a 3 year old.
 Brinley literally stayed passed out through the entire meal. 

We're very proud of our Marathon man for training so hard and pushing past the pain to reach his goal on race day. He really is such a great example to our kids and a huge inspiration to me. WTG Taber!!


Cameron and Wendy said...

Wow! That is an impressive time! Way to go Taber! And that sounds like a great set-up...hotel room with a view of the race?? Text alerts?? Totally awesome! I can't believe Brinley just passed out at 5 Guys. She must have been super tired to pass up on of those burgers!

Sistahood said...

I know I've already said it a million times....but CONGRATS, TABER!! Loved al the pictures! And who knew your girls were so into earthworms?? Ewww...also loved the shot of Cam covering his ears with his hands. So funny!

Joanne said...

Congrats to Taber for being so speedy! I love how you were all there to support him and cheer him on - you guys are such good examples to your kids. I bet they'll always have good memories of going to races. Love the picture of them all cozy on the hotel bed together, and also Brinley zonked out at Five Guys. Also love that your girls made a worm collection - so funny!

Tau said...

Taber...bro u r da man. Can't imagine running a marathon. It boggles my mind. The city looked awesome and made me miss the east coast. That's it you guys inspired me. I gonna run a 10k before the end of the year ;)

Brinn said...

wahoo! We are going to have to look into this one for next year! Great job Taber!