Monday, April 16, 2007

A problematic race and a shout-out!

Congrats to the all the finishers of the Boston Marathon! They faced some of the toughest conditions in recent history, but nothing gets a good runner down. John, a RW forumite who's also part of the Indy Mini thread, finished speedily in about 3:12. I think that is a bit off his dream goal, but given the headwinds I'm sure he's pleased with that. Unless I am mistaken, I believe that is a lifetime PR by 3:xx! Imagine, running a lifetime PR by three minutes on the tough Boston course in rains and a headwind.

I was also following the races of two fellow bloggers whose blogs I've been reading now for some time. GB is a wonderful person who has been super encouraging to me, not to mention a huge inspiration! I know she was worried about the weather and wanting very badly to PR and break 3:30. Well, she apparently did not resign herself to just finishing because she came through in 3:29!! She shattered her old PR by over 10 minutes. Insane! I am SO happy for her.

I've also become an avid reader of Dianna's blog. She too has been a huge inspiration to me. Her posts always remind me why running is such a great thing, and I love reading them. She finished in 3:33, which I believe is about a 2-minute PR. Yaaaaay!

There is so much inspiration to be found...

My own race was a little more problematic, I hate to say. The 15K on Saturday had temperatures of 39 degrees, wind, and a little rain. I got off to a good start (first mile split was 7:50), but around mile two my legs suddenly felt dead. I was surprised at that since I've taken it so easy this past week because of the quad pain. I slugged through and and actually started to feel quite a bit better. However, after the 3-mile mark or, I do not trust the posted mile marks, so my splits are suspect. The posted 3-mile mark came and went. After 27 seconds I hit a timing mat that I figured had to be the 5K mark, even 27 seconds for a 0.10 is too fast for me. So I knew something was up. I continued to hit my Garmin at each mile marker, but they felt like they were off. I was further confused when the 6-mile mark and the timing mat (which I had thought would denote the 10K mark) were in the same place. Later I found that the timing mats were for 3 and 6 miles. Weird, but whatever. So the posted 3-mile marker that I saw? Completely meaningless. It was probably 2.93 miles or something.

Around mile 6 my quad started to bother me again. Arrgh! It wasn't bad, so I kept going, although I pulled back the pace a little. I was also noticing that my Garmin and the suspect mile markers were off by about 0.20-0.30 miles! There will always be a discrepancy due to the way race courses are measured, but this seemed a little too much. Maybe it was because of the way I was running around puddles and taking turns very widely and cautiously to avoid slipping. And there were quite a lot of turns. I've heard no word that the race was long, so I suppose that will have to account for it.

The quad worsened a little, but I slogged home in 1:19:37, 8:33 pace (according to my Garmin I ran 9.3 in 1:17:04 or 8:18 pace, but I can't count it as a PR). Frustrating! The quad hurt (not badly) the rest of the day, but yesterday I could barely feel it and today and it feels good as new. I am taking at least two full days off of everything. I'll try it again tomorrow and see how it goes. I think if I can stay healthy for the mini, I still have a shot at breaking 1:50. The distance there is probably regulated a little more closely, and I can probably trust the mile markers a little more. Keeping fingers crossed for the quad!

The good news is, I was 7th in my division, which is pretty darn good for a largish race! I imagine a lot of people were scared away by the bad weather, but there were still 1000 people there. The weather wasn't even that bad once we got going.
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