Route 66 Marathon Race Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Rob and I got back from visiting his sister's family in Arkansas on Tuesday night, so we spent Thanksgiving here in Maryland with my family. It was nice to not deal with all the traveling during the holiday like we usually do!

route 66 marathon race recap

Since Sunday's race I have sat down to write my recap a few times, got some words out, left it alone, and then came back to it later. I thought I would start out by sharing some "race logistics" and thoughts on the Route 66 Marathon event. 

-the expo was not too big, but had alot of good stuff. We got there right at 10 am on Saturday and had to wait in like for about 10 minutes to get our packets, because I think everyone else had the same idea.


-we stayed at the Hilton Double Tree, which was about .5 miles from the start line but 1.5 miles from the finish. There wasn't alot around the hotel, but we had a rental car so we were able to drive everywhere we needed to go (like out to dinner and to target to get water and stuff like that). 

pre race star

-It was a really cold start (27 degrees but felt like 21) but ended up being a really good temperature for running. It was in the high 30s for most of the race and sunny. The wind didn't pick up until the second half of the race, but that was my only complaint about the weather.


-the start line was well-organized with 4 corrals. The lines for the bathrooms were kind of long but moved quickly once it got closer to the start of the race. The race started right on time.

start line

-There were water stops every few miles. I had mentally noted when I wanted to take fuel (and matched that up with water stops) and they were spread out really well. 

-The crowd support was really great. Even when the marathon split off from the half-marathon there weren't too many places without cheering. 


-The hills were harder than I expected. I had read other race reviews and heard from other bloggers that it was hilly, but I did my best to train on hills. I still think I expected it to be flatter than it was, and my garmin map did make it look tougher than the map on the race website. 

elevation map

-The finish area was well organized and fun! After finishing there was a section to walk around, get your picture taken, grab water, etc before getting food. This area was only for runners. After getting food (bananas, oranges, granola bars, and pasta- which was something I had never seen at a race before!) we exited the "runners only" area. Then there were a few places to get beers, a massage tent, and a live band. 

post race area

Now, for more of a recap of my own experience in this race. 

Last week, I was feeling pretty calm about the race without as much of the usual nerves I get leading up to a race. Over the course of Friday and Saturday I started to get a bit more anxious, but I think an appropriate amount. After all, a moderate level of anxiety is needed to perform our best. 

Meanwhile, I had been spending alot of this time focusing on the mental strategies I would be used for this race. I had just finished reading The Runners Brain on my flight in, which was perfect timing leading up to the race. There were alot of helpful and practical strategies in there that I was able to work on. I did pretty well with focusing only on the things I could control- like fueling, clothes, and staying positive. 

compression socks

A little side-story: I have been eating oatmeal before all my long runs this training cycle. When I looked at the hotel website I thought that the room we booked had a microwave. Well, it didn’t, so the regular oats I had packed (measured out, along with a measuring cup to add water) weren’t gonna work. We ended up going to a grocery store on Saturday night to buy a 6 pack of instant oats (but I paid like $2 extra to get the organic kind that were literally just oats and nothing else).

Anyway, here are some more thoughts about how the race went for me:

-My goal was to run between an 8:20 and 8:25 pace for a 3:40 finish time. I ended up running a 3:41:46, at about an 8:27 pace. However, I did pretty well running off of effort and if it weren't for those extra .3 miles I ran (due to all the turns) my pace would have been 8:22 according to my Garmin. 


-I got alot of good advice leading up to the race that I carried with me throughout (from my coach, the book I had read, and all of you!) and when things started to get tough I was able to pull some of that to focus on. 


-I never "hit the wall" and I think I owe that to fueling early and often. I didn't carry water with me for this race, so relied on the water stops. As I said, there were plenty, and they also gave out nice big cups!

-The most challenging part of this race for me was the wind in the second half. There were certain miles where it just felt like I was running non-stop into the wind. I remember at mile 22 I had really wanted to start picking up the pace, but it was all I could do to run an 8:45 mile due to the wind. 


-For the last 2 miles I was able to push the pace to under 8 minute miles, although the wind still got the best of me at some points. I knew I had trained for a fast finish so I gave it everything I had. However, right around mile 25.5 there was this last hill that came out of nowhere and was very frustrating. finish

-The last .2 mile was a straightaway with crowd support all along the sides. Bart Yasso was standing in between the half-marathon/marathon sides cheering us on (at least I think it was him- I was pretty delirious at this point) but I ran past and he cheered me on and tapped me on the shoulder. 


-When I finished I remember my legs shaking and not knowing what to do. I walked as much as I could grabbed some water and a gatorade, and got my picture taken. I found a corner to stand in (I was scared to sit because I really didn't think I could ever get up). I made my way through the food and grabbed some snacks but was happy that I had checked a bag with a protein bar to eat when I was ready. 

after race

-I was also glad I packed some dry clothes to throw on because it was cold! I got a text around this time from Kristy (my coach) and then my sister. I was trying to track Rob but the app wasn’t working. Long story short- we didn't find each other and he eventually called me that he was back at the hotel (he didn't run with his phone). 

Well, that was longer than I anticipated! Thanks for sticking around if you actually read all of that:)  This was the perfect race to finish out the year...although I guess there is a small chance I do a short/fun race in December but it's not very likely. I am excited to get back to other workouts like yoga and more strength training over the next few weeks. I haven't even begun to think about my next big race, and I know I need a  good break from training!

-What is your ideal racing temperature?

-Have you dealt with wind during a race?

-Do you have any more races planned in 2015?


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53 thoughts on “Route 66 Marathon Race Recap

  1. Congrats again! The wind is the worst, isn't it? So awesome that you never hit the wall but I would have freaked without the microwave because I bring the oatmeal too! I think one race I heated it up down in the food area of the hotel, they had a microwave there. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend :) Oh, and I think you should come to NY in January to run the Fred Lebow half with Michele and me!
    meredith @ Cookie ChRUnicles recently posted...Thanksgiving Highlights & Next Week’s Meal PlanMy Profile

  2. Congrats congrats! You so have earned a solid race, and PR to boot! Chicago has a decent amount of wind, and it comes from all over. I remember at the end of the marathon this year that my legs weren't really sure if they wanted to continue cooperating,either, so like you, I just tried to stay upright! My ideal race temp is pretty much what Chicago was, maybe 5 or so degrees cooler through the day. But I'm weird. So 50-60s.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...Autumn Root Vegetable Salad With Maple Mustard Vinaigrette (Gluten Free, Vegan)My Profile

  3. Congrats again! The wind really is so tough to deal with during races, but your splits do not reflect that it was windy! My first half marathon had wind over the last 5 miles and slowed my finish time by a minute or two. That's so awesome that you never hit the wall - you ran such a strong race! My ideal racing temp is high 20s-40s, but with no wind. Hope you have a great holiday weekend!
    Laura @ This Runner's Recipes recently posted...Let Us Be ThankfulMy Profile

  4. It's always windy in Tulsa, especially along the river section! I make sure to tell people this race is hilly. Everybody seems to the notion it's flat. You did a fantastic job managing both of these!! It's one of my favorites because of the crowd support. Did you even see a car parked on the route? The city does an excellent job hosting this race in my opinion. Congratulations on your PR and posting this recap so I could live vicariously through you.
    HoHo Runs recently posted...Five Runfessions (November)My Profile

  5. What a strong pace despite the hills and wind! You were so well trained for this one. You definitely have a 3:40 in you... the wind can be really difficult. I hope you are still soaking in the PR!!!! :)

  6. Running into the wind is so tough. I don't mind running in the cold but wind makes it so much worse. I never know how many layers to wear because I do warm up, but how much I warm up depends on the race distance.
    Lesley recently posted...Pecan TassiesMy Profile

  7. Congrats on an amazing race! It seems like you kept the pace you were aiming for, and you were super consistent looking at that chart.

    My ideal temp is around 50 degrees for a race. Lower than that and my clothes choice starts to get tricky, higher and I overheat.
    Alyssa @ RenaissanceRunnerGirl recently posted...WIAW # 33My Profile

  8. I'm not really sure how you are able to be so smiley in all of your photos. I look homicidal in all of mine! I haaaate wind. Your temps looked alright, but that wind? NO THANK YOU. How do I handle wind in a race? I drop out. LOL like seriously. There's something so brutal about having the wind blow right in my face while I'm giving it my all. It's hard not to take it personally! You ran such a great race, so consistent and strong. I'm very proud of you, and I hope you have reveled in your victory!
    Suzy recently posted...December Never Felt So WrongMy Profile

  9. Yay Lisa!!!! A huge congrats to you!! You are so inspirational - being so patient with coming back from injury. Doing all the hard work with PT exercises, strength, core and everything you did to come back strong.
    It's been so fun to follow along on your journey, and although I haven't commented a lot these past few weeks, I do read and follow! I was totally rooting for you and I am so happy - you got a PR!!!! Yay!!
    The wind can be so brutal, right?! I think you held a very strong pace throughout. I always feel like if I sit down after a marathon, I may not get back up either! My ideal temps would be Late 40s to 50s I think. I have run in hotter marathons and it's just not fun. Anyway, so happy for you!!! :)
    Natalie recently posted...Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon: Day Three And Four!!My Profile

    1. Thank you so much!! I know you can relate to being patient and carefully coming back from are doing so awesome too! I really struggle with warm weather marathons, temps in the 30s-40s seem to work pretty well for me...although I definitely could have done without the wind!

  10. Congrats!!!! I'm super impressed with how you pushed through the wind and the hills. This is definitely a race to brag about!

    I don't think I could ever run in that type of cold. When it's in the 50s I find myself shivering even when running if I'm in a shaded area. My nose gets to cold that it sometimes gives me a headache. I am really in awe of all of your northern runners who keep at it all winter long!
    Kristina recently posted...Happy Thanksgiving Run Blog Community!My Profile

  11. Great job on the race! Sounds like it went really well for you! Traveling and race can be tricky for bringing foods and such. I now plan that the hotel as nothing and if they do, great since I've run into issues too. The cold weather is definitely good for races but it sure it hard at first until I warm up.
    Sheena @ Paws and Pavement recently posted...It’s Friday {day 19}My Profile

  12. Your Marathon pace was awesome! Congrats!!!! I am tackling my first EVER marathon in March 2016!!!! Nervously excited. Love reading blogs like yours!!! Inspires me! No, I am not as speedy, but love reading race reviews and tips!!!!

    Your race photos look great!!! I am baffled how other runners have such great running pics, and mine our not so pretty...LOL.... 😀

  13. Amber

    Congrats again on your PR! Weather in the 30s is a little too cold for me, I'd prefer to race in the mid to high 40s :)
    Pasta after a race...I've never heard of that either. I guess it might be appealing to some though since it's a pretty plain carb.
    I was thinking of reading The Runner's Brain - I'm glad you liked it and found it useful! Now I know it's worth the purchase 😉
    Nice job on the fast finish - it's so hard to do, but it's a great feeling to finish strong. I hope you're enjoying your recovery!

  14. Congrats again on an awesome race! Ideal temps to me would be around 40 degrees or so. But, I think I could handle colder if the wind wasn't bad. My half marathon last March in D.C. was cold, windy, and rainy and I think the hardest part of it all was the wind. No races planned for me until March and May of 2016!
    Jen B. recently posted...Thanksgiving & Weekend Wrap-Up!My Profile

  15. Congrats again! You really ran such a strong race! Wind is so tough, it's probably my least favorite weather to run through. That race is one I think about running every year because it would be reasonably close to me....but I've always suspected it was hillier than it looks online. And way to finish strong!
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted...NYC Marathon race recapMy Profile


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