26 June 2012

Maritime Marathon

2:59:24.  I did it!

I had only run greater than 20 miles twice since the Fall 50 last October.  I only ran a total of 13 miles in a two week span in early May.  Recently, my goal pace (6:52) was feeling kind of tough.

I really didn't have any chance to break 3 hours, right?

Well, I couldn't help myself and I went for it.  My main thought the days leading up to the race was to "Get to 20 in decent shape."

So, I started by making sure to get to the halfway point in decent shape...even if that meant I was a bit behind on time.  I took in about 400 calories from the 15 minutes before the race started to the halfway point (in the form of 1 gel before the race and 300 calories of CarboPro in my handheld), and I was sure to stay ahead of the game on salt, so I took an SCap (300 mg salt) every 40 minutes. 

The course was flat and fast, on a bike path, and right next to Lake Michigan, so it was a bit breezy and cool.  The last couple miles before the 13.1 mile turnaound was on a limestone bike path through the woods, and it was beautiful! 

So, at 13.1, I was at 1:30:23 and in 6th place.  Not bad, I thought...but GET TO MILE 20 IN GOOD SHAPE!

Between 13 and 17 I took in another 300 calories of CarboPro, and really started to feel it!  While I noticed some 'cardiac drift' occurring with my heart rate, I still felt pretty strong and actually was noticing my pace was speeding up!

Finally, at Mile 20, I did some math and found I had to run a 41 minute 10k to break 3 hours.  Some urgency took over at that point, but I kept plugging away...running 6:35 miles at 20, 23, and 26--the fastest mile splits of the day!

What a feeling to come in to the finishing chute!   My arms went up, I closed my eyes, and smiled.  Finally, a Sub 3 marathon. 

While I said I'd be done with road marathons completely after breaking 3 hours...this was such a good event, I might make an exception next June.  But for now, my PR stands at 2:59:24, and it's off to the trails for the fall!


SteveQ said...

Congrats! To really be part of the club, sometime when you get asked what your marathon PR is, say "Oh... 2 something." You may find that now that you've broken this barrier it becomes easy to repeat - or perhaps that was the one perfect race. Either way, it's better than spending your life wondering, "What if...?"

Sue's Ramblings said...

Congrats!!!! I'm betting that you're already looking at the next road race to break the 2:55 or 2:50 threshold!

nwgdc said...

Thanks, Steve and Sue!
Steve -- In a weird way, I enjoyed answering that PR question with "3 hours and SEVEN seconds" and then waiting for the questioner to smile and ask about it. As much fun as that was, though, saying "2:59:24" is a lot more fun. I really like that idea, though, of simply saying 2 something.
I really feel like it was a milestone...I was smarter this time and took care of myself better than I ever have before. From pacing myself and not trying to pass people, to knowing when to take in calories and salt, and finally holding on at the end when it hurt, but I wasn't suffering. Then again, perhaps it WAS the perfect race. While I had always said as soon as I broke 3, I would be done with road marathons, I'm coming back to this one.
Sue -- You're spot on. 2:55 means something now, when it comes to Boston registration, and 2:50 evens out to a nice rounded-off 6:30 mile average. It's in my head already.
Thanks again!

Ace said...

congratuhmuhcations! The long wait just makes it that much sweeter right! Very happy for you, been pulling for this, well done, sir!

nwgdc said...

Thanks, Ace! Finally...I got that monkey off my back, and learned a LOT in the process. So much of those goals are mental. I used to train my 'mental' side by running long runs at a hard pace. Now it seems I've learned that quality matters more, and it's the mental approach DURING the race that is essential!