Friday, February 29, 2008

2008 Austin Marathon Race Report


The race started out with a long bathroom line, and then jogging to the Rogue tent to try and find my running partners Amy and Robyn. No one was there, so I decided to head for the chute in hopes that I would find them during the start. So the race started kind of rough, like last year I didn’t feel like I was about to run a marathon. I heard the gun go off, and through a thick haze of gun powder we were off.

During the first half mile I was a little depressed that I hadn’t found Amy or Robyn, but then a little into the first mile I heard someone calling my name, and found them right behind me. I felt a lot better after that. The trek up Congress felt really good (besides the black lung I had contracted going over Congress), and my muscles were very loose. We made the turn on Lightsey, then over the small hump onto 1st street. At 1st street I felt my heart-rate skyrocket, and I started sweating a lot and got concerned. All of the taper runs were pretty bad after 3M, and I started to feel about as bad as I did the week before. I shed my throwaway tech shirt and gloves at that point and felt better. I caught up to Andrea and wished her good luck. I took my first GU at the Runtex waterstop at mile 5. I was pretty tired at that point, and figured that this was going to be a difficult marathon, but still tried to think happy thoughts.

My mantras were:

“You are strong, your body will stop lying soon”

“I feel great, you can do this”

“Think happy thoughts”

During 3M I had to make a pit stop which I preventing me from breaking 2 hours, and after that was nervous I would need to stop during the marathon. So I decided if I needed to go I would go early near Lyons golf course. On LAB I left Robyn and Amy and stopped, intending to catch up later (I would regret this later). I got out of the woods and couldn’t see Amy or Robyn at all. I made the turn onto Enfield, and realized I hadn’t taken my second GU, I kept thinking where the heck is the waterstop. I found a waterstop and took my second GU. I caught up to Robyn who told me Amy was just up ahead (or something like that). So I wished her my best and continued on. Running the 22 miler with them, most at MGP, was so easy that I felt that I needed to catch up to Amy. I saw Amy on some of the hills and felt I could catch up. I passed Matt, Amy’s husband, about half way up Exposition, who encouraged me not to take that from his wife. So I sped up, probably a little too fast over the hills. The hills were pretty much a blip (thanks to Karen).

I made it over Mopac, still within sight of my rabbit, and continued probably a little too fast. Great Northern then came up, and I just aimed for the overpass, and Foster. The turn onto Foster, into the sun which was brutal. It was getting a lot hotter then I expected it. I saw Amy Wolf, one of my coworkers, around Northcross mall, I think, and I think I said Hi. I also saw my mother-in-law and tried to pose for a picture. Unfortunately at this point, probably mile 17, I started to feel pretty bad. At mile 17 and 18 I started to take stock of what was working:

  1. I wasn’t dizzy.
  2. I could keep gu’s and water down which meant my electrolytes were ok.
  3. The pain in my right foot had gone away.

My main problems were energy and general depression. I told myself that I was just hitting the wall. I stopped believing my first mantra, and kept repeating my second one over and over again. At this point I just had an incredible erge to stop and go to sleep, but I made a deal with myself. I had to run, but I could walk longer through the waterstops. I was scared to start walking because I didn’t think I would start running again. I was aiming at the Rogue water stop and my friend Leslie at this point.

I got to the Rogue waterstop, and saw Amy right in front of me running with Dee. I got water, did my last gu, and tried to catch up to Amy. I tried to think of something witty, and started to calculate how many miles it took to catch up to her but it was hard. I finally caught up to her, then tried to run with her. She said something like “I’m starting to slow my pace”, and I told her that she wasn’t. I was worried that maybe she thought she was slowing because I caught up, but I think I was just going too fast. Amy then noticed Lorrie in the distance, and told me to prepare for the onslaught. I realized I was with Amy, and went “oh shit”. Lorrie then let it rip, yelling something about not stopping, or something. We ran together for a little bit, but she was going very strong at this point (even waving to other people) and I could barley hold the water cups. I then started to slow down, and didn’t have the energy to tell her I was slowing down. As she disappeared into the distance, I felt like I had given it everything I had. From 20 miles on I was in survival mode. All I wanted to do was stop running. The ending felt so far away, but I knew it would eventually come and feel really good. I got to the “Avenues” and stared at the ground as I told myself I wouldn’t count them down like I did last year. I got to Red River, and remembered that we would have to turn onto Duval soon. I got to the waterstop before the big hill and walked part way up the hill drinking water then started running again.

I got to Duval and told my self “all you have to do is fall down this hill”, so I just pointed everything forward and allowed gravity to get me down it. I got into campus and tried to just think of anything else besides running, I thought about the renovations to the stadium, about the sky. I got out of campus, then onto Trinity and saw “The Hill” on San Jacinto. I had been dreading that since I hit the wall, “how the hell was I going to get over this thing?”. I just stared at the ground and just let it happen. I kept thinking “Just get over this freaking thing, and it’s all over”. I got over the hill, then made the right turn onto 11th street, and saw cool shade and a head wind. It felt so good, and all of a sudden I felt tons better.

I saw all of the people and looked around trying to saver the moment. I was almost done, the finish line was in sight. I started looking for my parents, then felt the most incredible muscle paint I had ever felt in my right calf. My right leg stopped working and I nearly collapsed. I got back up, and my leg still wasn’t working and was in pain, so I started hopping. The crowd started to roar, and I got the adrenaline burst to get myself across the finish line. I WAS FINISHED!

I got my medal, and still dragging my leg made it into the chute. Luckily my leg cramp went away, and I started walking again. I saw Amy, Lorrie, and Mary at the finish line, and let out some sort of yell and I felt fantastic. My dad John met me at the gate with some concern, and I told him I was fine that it was just a muscle cramp.

I think Amy asked me what time I did and I looked down and saw 4:20. I had stopped my watch at the finish but hadn’t looked at it yet. I was thrilled, I thought I had lost a lot more time, and I had a 16 minute PR.

Later the second stage of my marathon began the recovery. I was able to eat soup at the marathon and a full meal at Spaghetti warehouse with Andrea and my family. I drank a Red Bull on the way home, cleaned up, and we were able to go to the post-marathon party that night, which I think was a tremendous accomplishment. I had 2 beers, then hit the wall and decided I needed to go back home, and my day was over.

Thanks to everyone who came out and cheered us on, I couldn’t have made it through without that support.

I missed a lot of mile markers but here are my splits from my Garmin

Mile 1: 10:19

Mile 2: 9:51

Mile 3,4: 9:12/mi

Mile 5,6: 9:17/mi

Mile 7: 9:26

Mile 8,9,10: 9:47/mi

Mile 11.12.13: 9:18/mi

Mile 14: 9:26

Mile 15: 9:28

Mile 16: 9:40

Mile 17: 9:31

Mile 18: 9:58 (Hit the wall HARD)

Mile 19: 9:34

Mile 20: 9:42

Mile 21: 9:43

Mile 22: 10:30

Mile 23: 10:51

Mile 24: 11:54

Mile 25: 11:09

Mile 26.2: 11:13/mi

Friday, September 7, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Austin Marathon 2007 Race Report

My marathon goal pace was 10:00/mi with a 4:22 time. My general strategy was to take it easy up Congress, take it easy through the exposition hills, and make it across Mopac feeling somewhat fresh. Then I would get back in pace, and try to pick it up in the end if I had it in me, or survive and make it through my first marathon if I didn’t.

I made it up congress pretty well, loved the crowd support after Lamar, and proceeded to the hills. After a brief pit stop on Lyons municipal golf course I started the hills. I got through the hills just fine, really no problems. I got across Mopac and felt very fresh, but with a blister on my left foot. It had recurred a couple of times this month, but it really came back after the hills. I had to stop twice before Great Northern to nurse it, which ate up a lot of time. The 4:30 group was gone, so I pretty much gave up trying to get 4:22 and wanted to make it through the race. No demons came out on Great Northern and my friend Steve took the rest of my cloths.

Then the problems began. I think I took too much gu too early, I took my 4th gu near Northcross, and it had a hard time going down. Once I got to Arroyo Seca I was having trouble keeping Powerade down. My 5th gu barely went down, and I felt like I was going to throw up. I proceeded to North Loop past the Cliff Shot zone, and had recurring bouts of nausea. I had a 6th gu, but was debating taking it and risk throwing up and possibly DNFing, or just rely on PowerAde. I decided to just rely on powerade from then on in. I figured out that if I sipped water and PowerAde, then it went down easier. By 46th street I was going light post to light post. I thought about nothing besides finding a landmark and running towards it. My body and mind was begging me to stop, but I stole one of Andrea’s mantras, and kept repeating “Just keep Running” to myself and played “Eye of the Tiger” over and over again on my shuffle. I did that all the way to the finish line.

I got to that big hill near Hancock golf course, and thought “If I am even considering doing Pikes Peak in August, then I have to run this hill”. So I didn’t walk at all and powered up the hill. From there to the finish was the longest part of the course. Even when I got onto Congress and could see the finish line, I still went from block to block. I cross the finishline and felt pretty good, no dizziness. I was able to get down 6 Tacitos at the Distance Challenge area, but after that my food intake was pretty limited. I was exhausted and whipped out the rest of the day, and was finally able to eat a full meal at around 9pm.

On Monday I felt very good, I had muscle aches of course but my energy level was pretty high. Today I’m feeling a lot better.

My finish time was 4:36:12 10:33/mi. I am very happy with my time, given that it got hot and I didn’t quit. I look forward to beating it next year.

Rough Splits, I forgot a couple mile markers and lapped early/late on some

Mile 1: 10:57

Mile 2: 10:15

Mile 3: 10:04

Mile 4: 10:01

Mile 5-6: 10:05/mi

Mile 7: 10:23

Mile 8-10: 10:26/mi

Mile 11-13: 10:07/mi

Mile 14-15: 10:14/mi

Mile 16: 10:33/mi

Mile 17: 10:00/mi

Mile 18-19: 10:04/mi

Mile 20: 10:12/mi

Mile 21:10:34/mi

Mile 22: 10:40/mi

Mile 23: 11:15/mi

Mile 24:10:49/mi

Mile 25: 11:28/mi

Mile 26:10:07/mi

Monday, January 29, 2007

3M Race Report 2006

Overall 3M went very well. My goal time was HMGP which was 2:04:00 9:27/mi. I decided to try a progressive pace run, starting slower at the beginning and speeding up so that I could practice not going out too fast. My mantra was "Not too fast" at the beginning and "Don't give in to the daemons" through the rest.

Mile 1-6 was spent weaving through and passing what seemed like an endless number of people. I thought I had started too far up but I was wrong. And with my goal time slipping away I was pretty frustrated, and felt like I was wasting too much energy getting blocked by tons of people.

Mile 7-10 was pretty difficult, I hadn't hit my pace by mile 7 (I didn’t hit my lap at the mile 6 marker until later, so I didn't know I had hit my pace for the first time). I didn't think I was going to hit my goal time, I was starting to slouch (started repeating Mantra #2) so I just figured I would run the rest of the race out.

Mile 10-finish: Once we turned onto Duval I saw the long downhill and decided to increase my pace. I figured it was all downhill, so I just went for it. I did the first and second mile pretty fast. At mile 11 I knew I was almost home, and had a lot left in the tank so decided to give it everything I had. I passed tons of people, and just kept increasing my speed. The only thing that hurt was a blister on my left foot, but otherwise everything felt great. By Mile 11 I looked at my pace band and saw that I was ahead of my goal time and that I was going to break it. I got to the 13 mile marker and started to get a little tired so I pulled it back once I knew I was going to break my time and crossed the finish line, looked at my watch, and saw that I was a minute and a half faster then my HMGP. That was about the happiest I have ever felt after a race (splits below).

Afterwards I felt great, stretched out and went to breakfast.

I am having one injury problem though that started a couple days before the race. The muscle inside my right calf and thigh is hurting. It is pretty difficult to explain without showing you, but it hurts a little when I stretch it a certain way, and some when I walk. Oddly enough it doesn't hurt at all when I run (I just did my 5 mile recovery run), and doesn't hurt more after I run. I can show Matt at the workout tomorrow evening and maybe he can explain it better. I may go get some ART work done on it, and maybe a message.

Mile 1: 9:59
Mile 2: 9:41
Mile 3: 9:32
Mile 4: 9:33
Mile 5: 9:16/mi missed mile marker 6
Mile 6: 9:29/mi
Mile 7: 9:29
Mile 8: 9:42
Mile 9: 9:22
Mile 10: 9:12
Mile 11: 9:14
Mile 12: 8:41
Mile 13: 8:12
Mile 13.1: 7:45/mi

Total Time: 2:02:36
Total Pace: 9:21/mi

Sunday, January 7, 2007

ARA 20 Mile Race Report

I had a pretty good race. I started out with the 4:30 pace group, not on purpose but because all the pace groups were bunched together at the start. I started to try and pass them, but they were actually doing a 9:30 pace, and even though my goal pace was 10 I didn’t want to fall behind them, so I kept up with them. I felt the first couple miles were too fast, a little under 10 each. I lost a lot of time on the first waterstop (they did learn to just dunk the cups in the powerade once I got there). The 4:30 pacer started doing a slower pace during the out and back, so I passed him and kept going. I made it up the hill and back just fine.

I was aiming at doing a strong 16 miles then falling back. I was pretty tired most of the race, but it was pretty easy to keep of the pace. I caught up with Sara Grahm in the tree tunnel, and ran with her for a little bit. She dropped back towards the end of the tree tunnel (maybe around 14) and I kept up my pace. I got to mile 16, and didn’t have too much left in the tank, but for some reason (possibly ill advised) decided to try and do my MGP the entire race. I got to the Phil and the start of the last hills, and felt pretty bad. I am proud of the fact that I kept running even through for a while through the hills I didn’t see a single person running. I passed a ton of people, and used my arms and legs (and a couple expletives) to get myself over the hills. I got back to crosspoint and really had to dig deep to keep myself from walking. I felt that if I walked then I would shutdown, but I was nervous that I would not be in good shape when I crossed the finish line. I got to Steve, he gave me some encouragement at 19, and pushed myself the final mile having not walked.

Sara then caught back up with me and we finished together.

My splits from my garmin are pretty off, since I didn’t see a lot of the mile markers and forgot to hit lap a couple of times. The splits from run-far show a very surprisingly steady pace. I did around 2 minutes slower then my MGP 20 miler time so I’m happy about that. So I feel pretty good that once I taper I should do pretty good. I felt very sore afterwards, and after an icebath I feel better. My acheles were acting up (I need to roll my calfs) but my knees were really bothering me too. It’s not a pain on the outside of the knee so I don’t think it’s IT band, but maybe they were just really sore.

Mile 1: 9:43
Mile 2-3: 10:01 maybe
Mile 4.03ish:
5ish: 9:51
Mile 6:
Mile 7:
Mile 8-9:
Mile 11: 10/mi
Mile 12,13,14: 9:55/mi
Mile 15: 9:54/mi
Mile 16,
17: 10:15/mi
Mile 18,19: 9:57/mi
20: 10:30/mi

Splits from Run-far:

10K: 1:02:38.40 10:05/M
15K: 1:33:52.95
20K: 2:04:53.35
25K: 2:36:17.40
20M: 3:21:51.95

Total Time: 3:21:51
Total Pace:

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Decker 20K Race Report

My goal for this race was to beat my last year's time, not get
injured, and just make this an easy run. Since I ran Decker last year
at a 12:17 pace I didn't think breaking that was going to be
difficult. I ran with Andrea and Suzi the entire time. About half way
through the race I had pain in my left and right achilies, right below
the calf. The pain continued until the end. I had some ART work done,
iced it, and today it feels OK. I plan on scheduling a message with
Ron this week. It hurts a little today, and was wondering if I should
do the 6 mile workout today or just do cross training. I'm also having
some minor achey knee pain every now and then.

My splits are the same as Andreas, but I cut and pasted them below:

Mile 1 - 11:12
Mile 2-3 - 23:40 (11:49)
Mile 4 - 11:40
Mile 5 - 11:55
Mile 6 - 11:20
Mile 7 - 10:49
Mile 8 - 10: 49
Mile 9 - 10:49
Mile 10 - 11:34
Mile 11 - 11:30
Mile 12 - 11:01
Last .4 - 4:48 (~10:39 pace)

Total time - 2:21:11 (11:23 pace)