Mandy talks tribulations of marathon
April 22, 2008
Gia Mandy’s legs and mind simply were not on the same page Sunday.
So it was with much reluctance that the 29-year-old Glenshire resident called it quits after the 15th mile of the Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston.
“It was a total disappointment,” Mandy said Tuesday while driving back to Boston from Maine, where she and her family visited relatives.
“It was only the second race of my life I’ve ever dropped out of, so it was a really hard decision, especially being the Olympic Trials.”
While it was a tough call for Mandy to make, she feels it was the right decision. At least for her body’s sake.
“I did my best; I hung in there as long as I could. But I was falling off pace, so I felt it was too long of a distance to have that kind of wear and tear on my body when my performance was going downhill,” said Mandy, who was racing in only her second-ever marathon. “I’ve had enough injuries to listen to my body.”
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She wasn’t doing poorly, either, as Mandy was averaging 6:34 a mile when she dropped out. But she wasn’t getting any faster. At mile 4, Mandy was averaging 5:55. By mile 10 her pace had slowed to 6:08, then 6:10 by mile 12 and 6:30 at mile 14.
Mandy was in 50th place out of 161 runners when she threw in the towel.
“I sat in the first pack of girls at first. About 2 miles in they picked up the pace. I picked mine up, too, but I couldn’t run faster than a 6-minute mile,” she said. “I felt like I was running in glue. My body was just so tired.”
In Mandy’s first marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon in January “-in which she qualified for the trials with a sixth-place finish in 2:43:50 ” Mandy averaged 6:18 per mile overall. She was at 6 minutes the first half of the marathon before slowing to her target pace of about 6:08.
Sunday was a different story, as Mandy said her legs felt heavy from the starting gun. She thinks it had something to do with her 10- to 14-day taper, which may not have been enough time to allow her body to recover from the intense training leading up to the race.
“It was only my second marathon, so it was a lot of guesswork,” Mandy said.
To her surprise, she also became cold a couple minutes into the race. Although the temperature was 47 degrees ” a typical mark in Truckee this time of year ” Mandy said running in the shade of the city and over the windy Charles River gave her chills she could not shake.
Immediately after the race, she went straight to her hotel and soaked in the bathtub to warm her bones.
While she remains disappointed about the Marathon Trials, Mandy said she will not let her performance affect her future racing plans.
“Sunday was a rough day,” she said. “I don’t want to let that not-so-great day impact what I do in the future. I’ll totally go to the trials next time.”