Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cowtown Marathon 2011

So I ran a 3:46, which is a PR (personal record).  I should be happy, right?  I'd be happier if I didn't fall apart for the last five miles.  Still, its progress, and that's good. Here's my race report:

Paula and I drove into Dallas on Friday night to stay with her parents.  We spent Saturday picking up our packets, making our respective marathon mixes, and drinking plenty of water.  A pleasant pasta dinner with the family and a last minute check and we were ready for the morning.

I woke up at 4, ate some peanut butter toast, yogurt, a banana and some OJ.  We hit the bathroom and left at about 5:40.  Arriving around 6:10, we found an easy parking spot and walked to the starting line.

Paula and I recorded our thoughts on the race about 15 minutes from the start.  Here's mine:

As for the race itself . . . we started about 10 minutes late.  The weather was pleasant.  Overcast, humid and warm with a southerly wind.  The start was unsurprisingly crowded.  Initially, my plan was to hang with the 3:30 pacer.  I never saw him.  I did see the 3:35 pacer, who was rocking a 7:40-7:50min/mi pace (entirely too fast).  I was so focused on running at an 8 minute pace and staying with the pacer, that my heart rate got out of control.  I didn't understand why it was so high.

For the first few miles, I felt good.  I plugged in the latest podcast from Zen and the Art of Triathlon and just enjoyed the sights.  We made it out to the Stockyards, where I saw Paula's parents.  I gave them a drive-by hug and kept moving on. Again, I was feeling good, albeit with a high heart rate.  At mile 9 there was a long uphill, but nothing unmanageable.  I don't really remember much for the next few miles.  Once the half-marathoners split off, there was quite a lot of space to run in.  I settled in, passed the 3:35 pacer and felt good.  I clicked off a bunch of 8:00-8:10 miles.  I felt some soreness in my knees and hamstrings, but that's marathon running right?

Come mile 18-19, I just wanted to make it to mile 20.  I made it, but not much further.  My pace dropped off sharply.  I couldn't power my legs how I wanted to.  I'm pretty sure I walked a few aid stations and some sections before mile 24.  My mantra was just to keep my legs moving and make it to the next mile marker.  At mile 24, I was walking a bit more.  I couldn't get motivated to push it for the last two miles, mile, or .2 miles.  Oh well, I figured.  The 3:35 pacer long left me.  I saw the 3:40 pacer drift by.  At the finish, I followed the 3:45 pacer in.  After the race, I met up with the family.  It was great to have them out there in support.  Paula did great, improving her half-marathon time by 20 minutes! Awesome!  We went out and ate some food, cleaned up, and hopped in the car for the 3.5hr drive home. 

Overall, not a terrible showing, but I wanted to hit 3:40 at least.  I need to learn how to keep it together over the last few miles.  I figure it means paying closer attention to my heart rate and upping mileage during training, which shouldn't be a problem for next year.  Here is a video I shot with some other thoughts on the race: 

Up next, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on May 1, 2011.  

Until then, I'll savor the Cowtown experience.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cowtown Marathon is a go

Paula and I are set to travel to Ft. Worth this weekend and run the Cowtown Marathon and Half-Marathon.  It'll be my third marathon, and I'm hoping my training will carry me to a substantial personal record.  All I have to do is run 8min/mi and not quit when it gets tough.  Easy, right?!

Here's a video from my last training run:

(Sorry for the wind noise)

In case you want to track us, here's a link to do so:

Here's hoping for a postitive race report as the next post . . .

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Getting a little worried

The winter weather in Oklahoma City is getting me a little worried about my marathon training.  This week was supposed to be my biggest week of training for the Cowtown Marathon at the end of February.  I haven't been able to run outside because of the roads, and the Y was closed two days of this week (and had restricted hours on other days).  Weathermen are calling for more snow and cold temps next week.  I hopped on the bike trainer a few times during the week, but I'm not sure its enough.  Today I'm going to put in around 15 miles on the treadmill in the AM and some time on the trainer in the P.M. I'll put some more miles in tomorrow, and possibly Monday.

I'm worried because this week has reminded of my first ever long training run.  It was back in February of 2005 in preparation for my first marathon - L.A.  I lived at a BIA school and had a co-worker drop me off 20 miles from the school.  As I started running back, a snowstorm moved in.  I became so cold and wet that I stopped at the laundrymat six miles from the school to warm my hands up.  A Navajo woman took pity on me and offered me a ride back.  As a result, I didn't get my necessary training run in.  My L.A. time suffered. 

I'm a much different runner than I was in 2005.  But the worry remains - if I don't get these runs in, how will I do on raceday?  How much of it is mental, and how much is physiological?  I suppose all I can do is run as much as I can until its time to taper.   The problem is that I really don't like the treadmill, or the basic cable programs that accompany it. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snow Storm

We got a snow storm last night. No work for two days. And since I'm soft, no running or biking in 10 degree weather with 15-20 mph winds.
My Dog needed a walk.
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