George Washington’s Birthday Marathon
Running 26.2 miles
- 9:30 am, BG: 91
- 10:00 am, BG: 101, Start race
- 10:30 am, BG: 136,
- 11:00 am, BG: 117,
- 11:30 am, BG: 128,
- 12:00 pm, BG: 152,
- 12:30 pm, BG: 177,
- 1:00 pm, BG: 173,
- 1:30 pm, BG: 115,
- 2:00 pm, BG: 98,
- 2:30 pm, BG: 105, Finish race
- 3:00 pm, BG: 114, 30 Minutes Post Workout
Race day is finally here! After about three months of training, it has all come down to this! The George Washington’s Birthday Marathon is a 26.2 mile (the standard marathon distance) race that is located just outside of Washington DC. It’s put on by the DC Road Runner Club and consists of three loops through Greenbelt, Maryland and the U.S.D.A. Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The weather started overcast and in the high 30s and was sunny in the low 50s at the finish. Not too windy so it was a perfect day for a run!
I was feeling good this morning and took it out way too fast. Marty was cheering me on at mile 2, and looked surprised to see me so soon! Seeing him always gives me an extra pep in my step so I continued on at my quicker pace. I was around mile 3 by the time I realized I needed to take it down a notch so I wouldn’t bonk at the end. At this point I started micromanaging my pace and looking at my watch way too often. Around mile 7, I decided enough was enough; I was just going to enjoy my race and I pulled my sleeve over my watch so I wouldn’t be tempted to check it. Around mile 8, I saw Marty again and he ran with me for about a mile, just checking in and chatting.* The first loop ended around mile 9 and I went back out for “seconds”.
The second loop was just like the first, rolling hills and I was feeling pretty good, just cruising along. I saw Marty again just before the halfway point, mile 13.1. He gave me some gummies and I grabbed a clif gel from the aid station. It was starting to get warm so I took off my gloves and looked at my watch for the first time in a while. I realized that, if I could run about a 10 minute/mile pace the rest of the race, I would finish right around my post-T1 personal record (PR).** So, even though my goal wasn’t to PR this race, my competitive side kicked in and I picked up the pace.
I finished the second loop (mile 17) and went back out for “thirds”. By this time, I pretty much knew what I was in for the rest of the race and just tried to stay on pace. I saw Marty again just after mile 23 and was smiling ear to ear because I still felt strong. All I could think was, “Less than a 5k left, you can do a 5k!”. Then I hit the hill at mile 25, I managed to keep a decent pace but boy did that hurt at that point in the race! Finally, I saw the finish and Marty just ahead so I started sprinting. I managed to slow down enough to high five a couple of kids who were standing in the grass just before the finish line.*** In my opinion, you should have a little fun and not take things too seriously. If you’re not having fun with your runs/workouts/races, then what’s the point? I ended up finishing with a 4:28:30 chip time, my T1 PR this past October, was a 4:28:28. If I’m nothing else, at least I’m consistent!
BG management during the race:
So I’ll start by saying that I slept with my pump in automode the night before the race and woke up around 6:00am to a high BG. Since the race start was four hours out, I rage bolused to get it to come down and had some juice later to prevent going low. My sensor did show a SG of 65 but a finger stick showed I never went below 75. Around 9:30 am, I had a small amount of mixed nuts and turned on the temp target (reduced basal) on my pump. At 9:55 am, I had some more juice. Then between miles 4.5-7 I grazed on freeze dried bananas. I had enough that it held my BGs in a safe range until mile 19 when they started to drop quickly. At that point, I ate a pack of gummies (17g carbs). When my BG continued to drop, around mile 21, I had part of the gel (24 g carbs total) which I grazed on until I finished it at mile 23. My BG was starting to come back up around mile 24 and I knew that I had too many carbs for what I had left to run so I turned off the temp target (reduced basal) at mile 25. After the race, I monitored BGs carefully and did a few correction boluses before Marty went out for a post race dinner. My BG was above 180 (the highest being 186) for about 15 minutes, according to my sensor, during the race (because I over did the bananas a bit) and it never got lower than 95 so all in all, it was a pretty decent race for BG management, especially considering I wasn’t “counting carbs” until the end.
*I came into running as a social runner and have a tendency to strike up conversations with anyone who seems to be running my pace. This race was an exception because it was so small, most of the time, I was running completely alone.
** I’m still about 40 minutes off my pre-diagnosis PR of 3:47:40.
***Marty is a pretty serious runner and takes his races much more seriously than I do so I was promptly scolded (in a joking and loving way) for giving the kids high fives and chatting too much. Who knows, maybe I could have made up those two seconds. Either way, I was happy and enjoyed just being out there for the race.
*The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.