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.