Monday, October 27, 2008


I decided to run the Marathon on Friday night after doing 2 miles on the treadmill at race pace. I didn’t really hurt that much more to breathe running than just sitting on the couch. Sometimes you just gotta say “What the F… Joel”

I woke up well before by 3 am alarm. This is the weekend that my cool alarm clock changes the time to daylight saving for me. Too bad there’s no way to turn that feature off, so I knew I had to sleep lightly. I made it to the start with plenty of time.

While hanging out chatting I realized that my memory of this course from 2 years ago was pretty inaccurate. I thought we had a tail wind for the last 8 miles but it’s the opposite. I tough headwind! Cr*p! I needed a race plan quick. I was going to try and run even splits the entire way but I don’t think I could have done that today. I figured the best way to try and get my 7 minute PR-BQ was to “bank” a few minutes in the beginning. I know it’s not a very good strategy but it’s all I had.

It was cold at the start but I went with just shorts, a singlet, a hat, and a pair of gloves. I also had a water bottle because I don’t like other people deciding when I can drink. I felt good at the start, 2 Advil during my warm up helped with that. I quickly fell into a pack of strangers running around 7:10 pace. I had my watch set up so I could see my pace, lap pace, and overall pace. I had to keep overall pace faster than 7:40 but I wanted to hold at 7:30 or faster for as long as I could. I didn’t know anybody around me and talking made my ribs hurt more so I just put my ear plugs in and listened to some AC/DC.

The first 10k (actually 6 miles for all 10k splits) went by in 42:55 and soon after that I could tell the wind had started already. About a mile later I hit Bridge #2 and turned into the wind. For the next 4 miles I worked hard at keeping a good pace. I had nobody around to break the wind. I tried to tuck in behind a fast girl but being about 4 ½ feet tall she didn’t break much wind. It seemed like forever but the turn around at 12.5 miles finally came and I relaxed a little, lengthened my stride, and started to think this thing was actually possible after not running all week.

The second 10k took 43:30 and the ½ marathon split was just over 1:34. I tried to conserve a little energy in the back stretch while I had the wind at my back but I don’t think it worked. As soon as I hit Bridge #3 and that headwind my pace died. I stayed positive by telling myself the wind would be less on the other side with a few tree the slow it down.

The third 10k was 44:33, and then the wind came…
What can I say about the last 8 miles of this race? They are tough and you better save something or every time someone passes you, you’ll fell like you’re going backwards. I had some really bad cramps in my calf. It was cool so I probably didn’t drink enough and didn’t take enough salt. I had to stop 3 times to stretch and in doing so I was passed by 3 or 4 runners who all looked strong. I only managed to pass 2 regular starters during this stretch.

The forth 10k was a snails pace of 48:24. I had no idea what my time was all day, (until I hit 20 miles) all I knew was that my pace had been better than 7:40. There was a volunteer calling out times, he said 2:26. Some quick math in my head and I knew I had it (I had 54 minutes to go 6 miles, that’s 9 minutes per mile). I think that cost me some time. And then at 23 miles I figured I could do 10 minute miles and still finish in 3:20, that brought a smile to my face. If I hadn’t known I may have pushed harder in those last few miles.

I finished in 3:18:22, a 9:19 PR and 2:37 faster than I needed to qualify for the Boston Marathon. As soon as I finished I flopped onto the grass cramping badly. After a few minutes I made my way to the car and called Jenn to let her know I didn’t puncture a lung or anything. I knew she was worried and I could hear the relief in her voice. I’m sure if she’d had been in town she would have talked me out of going.

I did see my Doctor on Monday and there is an “issue” with my 8th and 9th ribs. As soon as the labs come back I’ll know how bad it really is. The worse case scenario is that they are cracked but only a very minor way, like a stress fracture.

Suunto says: (in minutes per mile)
1. 6:56,
2. 7:10, bridge #1
3. 7:13,
4. 7:06,
5. 7:19,
6. 7:07,
7. 7:08,
8. 7:12, bridge #2
9. 7:17, start of a headwind
10. 7:17,
11. 7:22,
12.7:13, start of the only tailwind
13. 7:13,
14. 7:27,
15. 7:22,
16. 7:32, bridge #3
17. 7:24, start of a headwind
18. 7:35,
19. 7:37,
20. 7:41,
21. 7:52,
22. 8:05, cramping started
23. 8:21,
24. 8:48, stopped twice to stretch cramping calf, bridge #4
25. 8:32, stopped once to stretch cramping calf
26. 8:08,
.2 2:19