Last Rhode Scholar: Recap of The Great Flail

I spent 4 hours, 42 minutes yesterday earning the right to say this: I’m a marathoner! It’s still a little surreal that I did that – and that after 4 months of training, it’s already over – so maybe a brief recap will help it all sink in.

Pandering for cheers from spectators

Team Flail convened at my hotel room in the morning to get bibbed up and then head to the start line just a block away. I met up with Portia at the 10:00/mile group marker, where Amy C got a picture of us (scroll about halfway down this page). We had a few minutes to freak out and then it was time to go.

The first 18 miles were just plain solid. Portia & I held ourselves back to slow-pace the first 2, then settled into roughly 9:50 miles. About halfway, her knee started acting up & she pulled back but told me to go ahead. I kept running with a guy (John or Sean? Not sure) who had joined us, until he pulled back around mile 14.

I put in both earphones and settled in. But around mile 18, the effort started to feel harder. I hadn’t really planned what I would do in the latter parts of the race, but considered two options: keep running until I absolutely couldn’t, then struggle through whatever was left; or start conserving what I still had, and “enjoy” the end of the race. Since my plan has always been “one & done” with the marathoning, I went for the latter.

From Barrington Patch

I switched to 1 minute walk, 4 minute run in miles 18-20, then roughly half & half through those *%@!ing hills in miles 21-23, then mostly powerwalked 24-25. Weirdly, walking was actually more painful than running, so I got back up to a trot whenever I could. Just before the 26-mile marker, I ran and kept running as I turned the corner (waving to Leah & Annie who were cheering me on), where I saw the 5 ½ year-old bandit who jumped in and ran across the finish with me.

Official time: 4:42:21. Going into it, I thought 4:30 was the optimistic edge of doable, so I’ve got no problem with those extra 12 minutes. My Flailmates, on the other hand, put their wheels on yesterday. Now-three-time-marathoner Andrew PR’d with 3:47, Adam beat 4 with 3:54, and John (who, I’m not kidding, ran not more than 6 times total in the entirety of our training period) came in at 4:08.

It’s a good thing I’ve got finals to cram for, or else I’d go on forever about this. One final additional round of thanks before I shut my trap about all this running – thanks to our friends Annie, Amy, Alison, Joe, Leah, Pippi, David & Michele, who all witnessed and cheered us on in The Great Flail yesterday. We promise not to do anything this ridiculous again.


  1. Farah says:

    CONGRATULATIONS KAT!!!!!!!! :) Awesome Job! You put in a ton or work training for this and you should be proud!! :)

    Good luck with finals – they’ll be easy compared to your run :) See you on Wednesday!


  2. Katie says:

    Way to go! But “one & done”! What’s that all about? It does get easier with every training cycle (I swear). The marathon definitely isn’t my favorite distance, but I think one a year would be cool…Great job again! I’m so sore this time around I had to down the stairs on my butt this morning. ;)

    • eatingtheweek says:

      Thanks! Honestly, it’s not the marathon itself (which I weirdly enjoyed) but the training commitment. I’m willing to give up my limited free time to do it once, but not over and over. At least not until I’m out of grad school and working only 1 job!

      The soreness, holy crap. Definitely the worst on the second morning, but I’m hoping it turns the corner soon.

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