24 June 2013

Maritime Marathon Report

10 days out from this year's marathon, I ran my last real tough run.  It ended up being 10 miles with about 500 feet of elevation gain, and I managed a 6:43 pace.  I was very happy with that, especially the final 2 miles, which were uphill.  I managed to work the hills and run the flat parts fast enough to get my pace right around goal pace...6:52.

6:52 miles gets one a sub-3 hour marathon.  Last year, I finally broke 3 hours at my 25th marathon.  This year I decided to get after it again at the Manitowoc Maritime Marathon.  I was hoping to see 2:58 on the clock, and that last Thursday workout had my confidence building.

Another confidence booster was knowing that two other guys were hoping for similar times.  Jamie and Michael both wanted a sub-3 marathon and seemed fit enough to do it.  The three of us would be able to help each other along and keep a steady pace.

Then, there was the weather.  The forecast changed a bit (when doesn't it?), but always seemed to call for hot temperatures, and a wind out of the south.  I don't mind rain, and I've intentionally trained in the hottest part of the day almost every run to try and get used to the humidity, but the wind prediction bothered me.  A south wind means we would be running in to it for the second half of the run.

I was drinking some coffee on Saturday morning, waiting for the kiddos to wake up and checked the weather one more time.  8 mph wind out of the south.  70 degrees at 7 AM with a dew point of 68.  I was pretty sure that meant HUMID.  Oh well, I thought.  Follow this simple plan:
  • Just run the race. 
  • Get to the half way point in good shape (i.e. run based on heart rate).
  • Get to the REAL half way point--Mile 20--with something left for the final 10k. 
  • Embrace the pain and get it done.
Race morning arrived and I was on my way to the start line and noting that it was pretty hot.  Manitowoc is right on Lake Michigan, though, and the lake effect tends to drop the temperatures, and this held true.  

I planned on running close to a friend of mine, Jamie, who was also hoping to sneak under 3 hours, along with Michael, who had the same goal.

As we started out, it didn't take me long to realize that a sub-3 wasn't in the cards.  My heart rate was a touch high, my perceived exertion seemed a bit too much...and my pace was right around 7:00/mile, rather than 6:45/6:50.  Yet, I was in a similar position last year and managed to negative split, so I just kept telling myself to just GET to the halfway, and then GET to mile 20.

Jamie and I went through the half in 1:32, and I told him shortly after that how my outlook was changing.

From Mile 14-16 I reduced the 'perceived exertion' a bit...and oddly enough, didn't even SEE the mile markers for 14, 15, or 16!  I looked down at my watch and was surprised to see it read 16.21.  That was a bit of a boost to the spirits!

Miles 16-22 weren't too bad, but I could still feel my pace slowing...and then finally, at Mile 23, I had to walk.  That sucked.

But, I really didn't want to get passed at all.  While I admit to looking over my shoulder a bit more than usual, I also just kept telling myself that if I just RUN, I'll keep my position and I'll be done!

It was absolutely amazing to see my kids in those closing miles--and Estelle even wanted to run along with me!

Finally, I wrapped around the corner (I HATE the fact that the course has a 180 degree turn at Mile 26.1!)  and finished, and immediately downed 3 pints of chocolate milk.  Delish.  3:08.  Not bad.

Now, it's on to the trails in the fall, and I can't wait to get after it.  I am hoping to train for 8 hours per week--in the hopes that I run the Glacial Trail 50 miler in the fall and finish UNDER 8 hours.  That's a goal for the fall.

Garmin Connect Data

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