Poignant Irrelevance

Monday, October 06, 2008

a few more observations

i misspoke earlier. i ran the first half in 1:56:12, and the second half in 1:57:59-- a difference of 1:47!

here are my cumulative splits through:
5k: 9:07 (mile 1 in 9:55 / a bit crowded / quick bathroom stop)
10k: 8:54
half: 8:52
30k: 8:52
20 miles: 8:52
finish: 8:56

my garmin says i ran around 26.6 miles (8:48 pace). bummer. i don't know how to follow the shortest path, they should have a yellow line or something. i suppose everyone would bunch up around it though.

things i consumed:
-1 small banana around 6:20AM and 1/2 a cliff bar around 7AM

during race (started at 8AM):

-4 gu all exactly when i had planned: at roughly 5 miles, 11 miles, 17 miles, and 22 miles.
-between 0.5 to 1 cup of powerade and 0.5 to 1 cup of water every 2 miles starting at mile 7 (excluding the gu miles). right here i need to thank jeff for taking the time to write a lengthy email explaining the importance of proper nutrition during the race. his email/advice was one of the main reasons i was able to finish strong this year. thank you so much jeff, you da man!!
-2 orange slices
-i saw some kid handing out starbursts candy somewhere along the river road but i couldn't get over in time (i almost went back hehe).

handouts at the finish included banana, fun-sized nut roll candy (i took 3), and a small bag of chips.

later, at home:

sub (turkey) sandwich with small bag of chips
1/2 cookie
some licorice bites


3 slices of pizza
2 cliff bars
1 handful of nut mix w/chocolates
more licorice bites

the race
the temperature in the early going was in the high 40's, and probably ended somewhere in the mid-50's. it rained steady (hard?) between miles 2 and 9, plus we had some cold wind gusts along those miles near the lakes. it was a little chilly. ahhh, finally some cool marathon-day weather. it continued to sprinkle until around mile 14 or 15, from what i remember.

during the windy, crazy rain, i kept thinking to myself: this is all a mental challenge and will not deteriorate from my performance. i'm built for this crappy weather. i've run for hours in the rain before, i've run in snowy, sub-zero mn winters outside, man i am built for this crap baby!!

have you ever heard a couple hundred wet soggy shoes squishing and squashing all around you for 2 hours? it sounds like a hundred giant sponges on the streets *squish* *squish* squish* *squish* *SPLASH!* heh heh.

the runners around me seemed pretty miserable. body language sucked. people started grumbling. i witnessed a girl turn to her running partner (between mile 1 and 2) to say she wasn't going to make it because she felt dizzy. between miles 8 and 9, some girl started talking to me, "i don't even know why i tried to avoid that puddle!" i responded, "yeah it's not like we are getting any drier". she kept talking, and talking, and talking. i passed her without saying anything else.

whenever there was a tight section of the course during the first half, i'd always tuck behind someone going about my pace, to conserve energy. i never made efforts to zig and zag around people in the early miles. major props here go out to a guy named kirk that wrote a TCM mile by mile strategy guide in a recent MDRA issue. his basic message was to keep calm and let people pass you in certain areas. i cannot express the importance of his article for me.

i kept waiting. waiting. waiting. waiting for the big wall of bricks to smack me right in the face. in every single previous marathon, i broke down around mile 18.

mile 18 passed. i kept my pace controlled and waited. hmmm, i was still running.
mile 19, waiting.
mile 20, waiting.

i told myself, just get to mile 22 then take your last gu. after that i only needed to get to mile 25 and then it was all downhill, i told myself. i kept running. and running.

between miles 24 and 25, a tear-filled mother ran up along side her daughter (who happened to by running right next to me on my left side). she told her daughter that she was "AMAZING" and that people were going crazy up ahead, and that she only had to go 2 more miles. she was so proud of her daughter. have i mentioned i feel like i'm getting a little more emotional in my old age? geez. i almost lost it at that point.

i did not let myself even think about a 4-hour marathon until i came up to the 25-mile marker. the clock read 3:47. finally, i said aloud to myself, I DID IT!!!!!!!! I AM GOING TO DO IT!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!

rumbling down the hill toward the crowd-filled finish line, i heard the race announcer say something like, "give a big hand to these runners, they are going to finish in under 4 hours!"

I DID IT!!!!!

wow it felt amazing.

special thanks goes out to my personal cheering sections. they braved the cold, wet weather to see me and cheer me on. my dad was around miles 12 and 23; mom/sister/fiance at 16, ~21(i think?), and the finish. i looked forward to seeing them at each section! it was awesome. my sister was going crazy with her clapper, my fiance was yelling and even stepped into the race to hand me one of my last gu's (as planned), and i gave my mom a high-five around mile 16. i saw my soon to be brother-in-law and sister-in-law on summit ave yelling and cheering for me, right before mile 22 (or right after?). each time i saw my dad, he was yelling and telling me that i was doing great with my pace. thanks guys, you rock. i could not complete the marathons without your support during training, and especially on race day.

i had alberto sign my race bib at the expo. even with all the crazy rain, it remained in tact. one of my uncles died of a heart attack earlier this year. he was a really good man. some say i remind them of him. when the going was tough, i looked down at my bib at the signature. i thought of my uncle. i kept pressing on and tried my best to never let up.


  • That's pretty darn awesome! Way to go and a big congrats! Great photo too.

    By Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick, at 10:38 PM  

  • I think you have the sub-4 marathon pretty well figured out, congratulations!

    By Blogger Jack, at 12:51 AM  

  • i'm really proud of you!! you are quite the runner these days! congratulations!

    By Anonymous Audrey, at 9:59 PM  

  • You really ran close to the perfect race! A 1:47 split difference is amazing. Congratulations!

    And since I'm so slow to catch up, you're a married man now - congratulations and best wishes to you both!

    By Blogger mg, at 9:26 PM  

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