Poignant Irrelevance

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

TCM '09

Well, what can I say. The marathon did not go as I had hoped.

Tapering went horribly because I kept resting my glutehammy and really cut back on mileage for 3 weeks leading up to the race. I got sick a few days before the race as well.

When you know you aren't feeling great, 'they' say to adjust your goals accordingly.

Did 'they' train hard all freakin summer? I knew no matter what, I was going for it. I promised myself I wasn't going to look back at the race and wonder what would have happened if I had really went for all the marbles. I'm always conservative...but not THIS time I told myself. I wanted the marathon of my life so badly.

Like I mentioned, things just didn't feel right even the morning of the marathon. I wasn't feeling very confident. But I stuck to my routine.

Weather was perfect too. I got dropped off at just the right time...waited a short time for the rest room, sat down inside the dome and collected my thoughts for a few minutes and then went to the starting line.

The very front of the 2nd corral starts with 3:30 or faster runners. So I was lined up at the very front of 8,000+ runners! The first corral was off (maybe couple hundred people?), and then they brought us up to the front of the starting line to wait for GO. Seriously, there was not a runner in front of me at the start of the marathon. HEHEHE. 8,000 people chasing us front runners down right from the gun baby! I just kept thinking, I put in all the training, I deserve to be here.

Of course, I started too fast. How could I not? I blew through the first mile in around 7:30 vs. my goal pace range of 7:57 - 8:00.

Mile 2, quick stop to empty the bladder, maybe took 20 seconds?

I felt like the wind for the first 5 miles. Doesn't everyone? This was my day baby. I tried to settle into a groove after that but I just couldn't find a comfort zone.

Regardless, my splits were pretty stead-eddy through 17, with a cumulative average of 7:54.

(Ignore mile 1 split here...innacurate due to tall buildings downtown...it was about 7:30. Mile 2 slower due to emptying of bladder).

Mile 18 in 8:24
Mile 19 in 8:35
Mile 20 in 9:14
and the rest of splits worsened.

Its like I had never run a marathon before, or I didn't know how to fuel myself to prevent a meltdown. But I had a good race last year, I thought I had it figured out.

If it weren't for my support crew, I might now have even finished. I felt so disappointed with another 6 miles left to run, knowing that my training over the summer would not pay off in proportion to my finishing time.

Its pretty hard to run miles 20 to the finish under those conditions. There is no joy or triumph. With 2 miles left, I quit looking at my garmin and told myself to just jog it home as steady as possible. I was going to finish this thing. If not for me, then for my support crew that cheered me on all summer long when I had to get out there every saturday morning to put in a 3+ hour run. And for cheering me on all day long with bright enthusiasm and encouragement out on the course. You guys are awesome, thanks for helping me push through when things got tough. Three cheers for my wife, sister, parents, and also my friend Shawn and his daugher for making it out to the race.

Here's the rest of the story:

Almost forgot to mention, I finished in 3:40:xx.


  • B, I am so sorry that things didn't go as planned. I know how much that hurts. This was still a PR, though, right? Congratulations on the steady-eddy 17 and then toughing it out for the finish. I haven't been commenting much, but have been reading, and you had such a great summer of training. It's really been awesome seeing how far you've come these last couple of years. Things will line up for you and you'll get that 3:30.

    By Anonymous MG, at 10:24 PM  

  • i know it's cliche, but that was still a great race!

    if you would have started slower, you would have probably finished better. would have felt much better at the end of the day, but probably only gained a couple of minutes at most. (e.g. an 8:20 pace the whole race is 3:38:29.) so while it sucks to slow down at the end of the race, and it feels bad, i'd still consider this outcome a great race.

    well done!

    By Blogger Danny, at 5:54 AM  

  • Looks to me like you slowed down where everyone slows down, the hills from River Road up to Snelling. The good news is that you left nothing on the table. Good for you.

    By Blogger Don, at 8:10 AM  

  • By the way, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you and your bride.

    By Blogger Don, at 8:12 AM  

  • hey brent, i'll echo mg here. you didn't blow the socks off the race, but you turned in a great time all the same. 3:40 is a big pr for you. just a couple years back you were struggling to finish 10k.

    here, let me put it in perspective. it took me four marathons in three years to break four hours. i didn't run sub 3:40 until my sixth marathon.

    i know the disappointment you feel when you don't hit that goal after training so hard, but it's the time and experience you're putting in now that will help you reach those goals in the future.

    rest up and put something short on the calendar soon.

    By Blogger jeff, at 10:37 AM  

  • Tough race Brent...but you still beat my marathon PR by 45 minutes!!!!! I'm sorry things didn't go as planned. 26.2 is still a long ways to run though. Congratulations.

    By Anonymous Audrey, at 7:27 PM  

  • Was it the race you wanted to run? No, and that sucks. But still, like everyone is saying, all things need perspective.

    You ran almost an HOUR faster than 3 years ago. A FULL HOUR FASTER. Wrap your head around that one.

    When you said to me at the end of 2005, those ill fated words, "You should try running." I never once realized how far you had yet to go. Or how far I would get to come with you. We both blogged at different times in 2006 how excited we were about 9 min pace half marathons.

    Are we a bit crazy? Arguable. Do we push ourselves too hard? Maybe. I want to run a 7:15 pace half marathon, you want to run a 3:30 marathon. Both can be done. This might not be our year to do either. You had so many things stacked against you, and look what you did. Imagine if the stars finally did align.

    I know you can hit that 3:30 mark.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 8:26 PM  

  • I'm just echoing what everyone else is saying, but to me it's fantastic that you entered a marathon, and wonderful that you finished a marathon! That's plenty impressive to me. Congratulations!

    Next time don't stop to pee. Wear a Depends or something.

    By Blogger Marla, at 4:37 PM  

  • Under 4 hours is a huge accomplishment! Congrats!

    By Anonymous april anne, at 10:46 PM  

  • I know you worked hard and didn't do as well as you wanted, but hey, you did good as far as I am concerned.

    By Blogger Two Steps at a Time, at 8:34 AM  

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