Monday, November 15, 2010

Rock and Roll San Antonio Marathon Race Report

Time: 3:35:32
Place: 389 out of 4530 Overall, 59 out of 335 AG
Pace: 8:14 / mile
Distance (via Garmin): 26.29 (Hooray tangents!)
Average Heart Rate: 186 BPM

We've all had those days where nothing seems to go right and you know that it isn't going to be good from the start.  Everything from spilled cereal, to a dog that won't go poo, to kids that won't get their butts in gear, combine to foreshadow a day that is going to be a struggle to get through.  Unfortunately, while nothing foreshadowed my crappy day, Sunday was one of those days for me.

The Day Before the Race:
Since I actually like spending time in the house that I am paying a mortgage on, instead of flying directly from San Jose to San Antonio and back, I made a "pit stop" home in Phoenix on Thursday-Saturday.  The downtime was incredible.  However, that meant that I flew out the day before the race and didn't land until 1pm on Saturday.  So, as soon as I landed I made a Bee-line to the expo and picked up my loot.

What loot you ask?  My Rock Legend medal for running 7 Rock and Roll events for the year!  I started planning this year over 18 months ago and it was awesome to finally feel the 3lbs in my hands.  Worth all of the sweat and frequent flyer miles.  Read more about the Heavy Medals series on the Rock and Roll website.

Here is the medal next to my race medal (click to enlarge).  The Rock Legend medal is easily twice as thick and three times as long (that's what she said) as my normal race medal - which is pretty good sized itself.

The competitor group didn't disappoint at the expo and had both Frank Shorter and Meb Keflezighi giving tips to success.  I hung out and waited for Tricia from endurance is only physical to pick me up to go to dinner.  Since my wife wasn't able to make the trip (for the first time ever) and I didn't have anyone cheering for me, Tricia let me hang out with her family for the weekend.  It was really nice to have somewhere to go and people to see.  I TRIED to keep my off-color jokes to a minimum.

One of the highlights of the expo was a "Hell Run" booth that featured two guys dressed up like KISS.  I'm not sure what KISS has to do with Hell, but apparently you have to wear a LOT of makeup for both.  A Hell Run is more of an obstacle course that combines a 5K with boot camp, fire, and mud.  Of course, I had to get my picture taken with them.  Although, I will say that I was a bit disappointed by the tongue representation by the KISS dudes.  Poor showing on their part, Age Group award for me!

I'll let you be the judge on who is the best KISS stand-in
How is it that my tongue is easily twice as long as his?


Finally, just before heading to bed I attended a little blogger meetup hosted by the previously mentioned Tricia from Endurance is Only Physical.  She is the mega blogger and now marathoner who actually got to interview Meb!

Also in attendance at dinner were Leah, Crystal, and Dawn.  Unfortunately, because I was put in the spot where I would bother the least number of people the table was so big I didn't get to chat with everyone as much as I would like.


Race Day:
I would like to say that I am 100% calm cool and collected on race day.  This being my 11th marathon, it should be rather routine, right?  Wrong.  I'm a ball of nervous.  For example, when I put my heart rate strap on it showed my heart rate at 125 beats per minute.  Oppsies!  Since I was flying solo and didn't have anyone to share my excitement with, I tried to capture it via picture.  In my head, I had envisioned a picture like this:

However, since I was by myself and had to set the camera timer, these are what I ended up with.  For me, hotel room loneliness is not crying over a pint of ice cream, it is poorly timed, self shot pictures.  (Note that I was jumping in my room at 5am.  I'll bet the people below me LOVED that.  Funny, just thought of that right now....)

Opps, jumped too soon
(Still happy though - with ripped leg muscles)

Hmmm, didn't even jump for this one

Ahh yes, jumped, but too high
(This is when I just gave up)

After I took all the pictures I could handle in the hotel room, I made it down to the starting line, got to my starting coral and got to running!

Miles 1-5: Pace~7:30
The race started just like any other.  Each coral was let off around 60 seconds after one another which meant that I crossed the starting line only a minute after the gun.  Little did I know how important this would turn out to be.  The reason? A TRAIN!!!  I remember crossing over a set of train tracks just after the start because they had them spray painted bright green.  A great idea.  The course turned and we ran along the train tracks for a mile or two.  However, no sooner did I turn I heard the familiar whistle of an approaching train.  Yep, an UNSCHEDULED train stopped the race dead in its tracks.  Everyone who was in corals 1-4 was fine and past it, people in corals 5-8 were held up waiting at the train tracks, and the people in corals 9-30 weren't able to cross the start until it had passed.  No word if the Boxcar Children were spotted.

I feel a bit bad for the Rock and Roll marathon people because they're probably going to take a lot of heat for the train.  I suspect that since it was an unscheduled train there wasn't a lot they could do about it.  I mean, it isn't like they could have asked the train company "do you have any trains scheduled?  No? Ok, but do you have any UNscheduled trains......scheduled?"

Miles 5-15: Pace ~7:30
By mile 4 I knew something was up.  I normally warm up over the course of 3 miles or so and running becomes rather fluid.  That was NOT happening.  My legs felt heavy, I was tired, and my cold was prohibiting me from taking deep breaths.  By mile 5 thoughts of doubt started creeping into my head.  I started to doubt if I had it in me to run at that speed for another 2:40.  That is when things started to go downhill very quickly.

Running is an endurance event, but if I learned one thing from this race it was that I really need to practice training my mind - not my lungs.  I have the lungs to complete a 3:15 marathon, but right now my mind seems to be set on 3:25.  It is a bit too soon to say how this will effect my training going forward, but it WILL be taken into account.

Miles 15-26.2: Pace ~8:30
The last 10 or so miles were a slugfest.  I had used all of my energy, plain and simple.  I don't think that I went out too fast (because I ran 22 miles at that same pace in Denver) I think that a lot of little things just sucked the life out of me.

In fact, when the course crossed and I saw Tricia and her husband at mile 20, she later remarked that I "didn't look very good".  That means that I must have looked a lot better than I felt, because I felt like death.  I ran/walked to the finish to what only can be described as a place called "Suck-Ville".

While my Heart Rate is high, it really recovers quickly when I walk


Finally finished.  Ugg

Since I wasn't feeling 100% at the end of the race, I txt'd Tricia's husband and told him I was going to take a quick shower.  I needed to get into clothes that didn't smell of Sweat, Cytomax, and failure.  I made the <1 mile walk to the hotel, showered and headed back to congratulate the new marathoners, Tricia and her husband.  I met up with them at the family meet up zone and celebrated with 64 calories of delicious beer.

Marathoners!  Funny how we all matched

My first beer in over a week.  Shortly after this picture was taken I stripped down naked and ran around singing "It's Raining Men".  At least that is what the police report said.

So, what now?  That is a very good question.  I have a 10K planned on Thanksgiving but after that everything is very up in the air.  I'm going to take some time off from actual racing (not running) and let my body recover completely.  I was feeling pretty worn down towards the end of this training cycle which may or may not have led to my implosion on the course this past weekend.

Thanks to everyone for your support.  I honestly did think of my blog while running.  While most of the thoughts were something like "Awww crap, how am I going to explain this!?" I know that I couldn't be half where I am today without everyone's support.

48 comments:

Jamoosh said...

I guess this makes you legen...

...wait for it...

...dary!

Courtney said...

Congrats on another marathon completion! I know you are disappointed but its still more than I have done. :)

C2Iowa said...

Another performance to be proud of Adam -- the race I mean; still waiting for the police pics to comment on the "raining men" thing.

I will be interested to see how you approach your training regarding the mental game.

Chad said...

Don't believe everything you read in the police report. Those bastards always make stuff up about me.

But seriously, you need to stop taking photos with attractive people. Tricia and her husband make you look like Golem.

Jill said...

I want to know how many times you tried timing your jump off the couch.

Sorry you felt sucky, but I bet the beer was delicious.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Sorry to hear the results. That is what keeps us trying. Why was your HR so high? I would expect more around mid to high 140's at that pace. (basing this on your miles this year being just a bit under mine.)

Ace said...

Do those posers in black and white makeup have a Rock Legend medal? I don't think so. Well done.

Runners Fuel said...

Love the bigger medal! Congrats!

Evolving Through Running said...

Made it through despite some dissention from your mind and body - no small accomplishment. Your race schedule is truly impressive.

I thought I was being original with the post-race streaking and Weather Girls celebration. I feel like such a fraud. Back to the drawing board.

TRI-james said...

That beer is the worst thing about the Rock and Roll series.

Congrats on the hardware.

Teamarcia said...

it had to be all that pre-race jumping that did you in. I still have room on the Runnbatical Express if you're interested!

Luke said...

Great Job! Even on your sucksville day i want to be you when I grow up.

funderson said...

Take the last train to Suck-ville....
Sucky as it may have been that big-honking medal is awesome!

ShutUpandRun said...

Well, shit. A marathon is still a marathon, I'm just sorry you felt like crap. Some days go that way, but this doesn't definte you as a runner (you already knew that tho). Nice job getting it done. I guess you need to start running at altitude all the time.

kilax said...

Congrats on the race! I'm sorry you weren't feeling well. I still think you did great!

I can't believe there was a train! I am happy you missed it :)

I think it's funny you made Tricia and her husband's numbers unreadable :)

Maybe you just have an exceptionally long tongue?

I hate when I am at the end of a table and feel like I am missing out on all of the action!

Barefoot Neil Z said...

I think I'm supposed to say something like this:

100% of the runs we don't start are failures, or, Just think, you are ahead of everyone who stayed at home on the couch today.

Does that help?

btw, that giant medal is pretty fricking cool.

Barefoot Neil Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psyche said...

omg...I am so freaking entertained by you!!!

I'll trade you one BMF wallet for one Rock Legend Medal...

Lisa said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you felt so crappy through the race. That sucks but you still finished, and with a time that most people would be incredibly thrilled about (not that that really helps you out any, but still). Sounds like you had fun with Tricia and everyone else there! Hope you're feeling better soon!

Pam said...

My, what a big medal you have! Seriously, Flava Flave would be proud.

RunnuRMark said...

"it was awesome to finally feel the 3lbs in my hands" - that's what YOU said. In case you haven't figured it out, I fully expect the off-color jokes to be at a maximum on Sunday.

Bummer about the race. But looking on the bright side, you ran SEVEN frickin marathons in a year! That's just pretty awesome. Maybe if we're both feeling up to it we can partake in a little "recovery run" action this weekend.

Shawn said...

I am sitting in a Starbucks right now and was giggling at the jumping pictures..then you hit me with the raining men comment...near put my decaf caramel expresso treat thru my nose. You finished, you should be proud and you just made my day....rock on boring man!!!!

Kevin Westbrook said...

Your suckville is my life long dream. Great job!

Tricia said...

I totally agree with Chad: that Tricia girl is hot

I'm pretty sure you doctored that 1st post race picture beyond blurred race numbers. First off, you appear to be a few inches TALLER than me and we both know that's not right. And secondly, I seem to be grabbing your ass. And while I was slightly disoriented and freezing to death I'm almost positive that didn't happen. Get a little carried away with photoshop? ;)

Suzanad said...

It's so awesome seeing pics of you with Tricia!! It's so cool how my favourite two people from blog-land MET EACH OTHER IN RL! :)

I'm sorry the race wasn't all you hoped it would be. Perhaps there will be rainbow unicorns next year? :)

Adrienne said...

Sorry your were disappointed with your results. Your still a HeMan in my view because your Racing let alone running schedule is quite impressive.

Loved the jumping off the couch photos, glad you can entertain yourself.

Her Name is Rio said...

Wow that legend medal is HUGE! (and a nice start off for the TWSS jokes!) Seriously, congratulations- you've run your butt off this year - and you ran a frickin marathon while sick! *high five* now enjoy some well deserved rest!

Alma said...

Sorry the race didn't go as planned but you really had an amazing season. Congratulations and enjoy your time off!

Johann said...

Nothing wrong with 3:35:32, well done! PR's usually just happen. If you don't plan or try for a PR you will get it when least expected. That's how it works for me anyway. Great report and pics, thanks!

The Sean said...

You kept moving forward Adam. Likely you are just worn out- lots of racing and PRs this fall. You just killed your last race, tough to double up that way. And anyhow- you kept your sense of humor, that's important.

Go here: http://www.amazon.com/Running-Within-Mastering-Body-Mind-Spirit-Connection/dp/0880118326

Laura said...

The jumping pics...hypnotic.
Congrats on the race even if it was rough.

Crystal said...

hey- it was great to meet you. Congrats on the huge medal and another marathon under your belt!

Yeah... that train. I got there right as the train was approaching. I stood there for seriously 5 minutes. Talk about all the ridiculous mind games I was playing with myself. I finished- but I feel very defeated because I felt like I needed to make up time and I was running sub 8min miles and by 13.1 I knew I overdid it. I felt pain I've never felt before during a marathon or in training. Totally my own fault. Bah!

On that happy note- congrats :-)

Nitmos said...

Welcome to my world. A less than stellar race always follows a great one. Maybe you exhausted too much energy in pre-race photography?

Glenn Jones said...

Okay Adam. You've been doing this way too long if 3:30 is a fail. Way to go buddy! Just think - you did that with a cold. Amazing.

Razz said...

" it was awesome to finally feel the 3lbs in my hands." - TWSS!!!

So are you the mayor of both Suckville AND Awesometown? Have they been annexed? I'm confused

track coach and adorable wife said...

Sorry it was suckville for you. For everyone else, that is a great time! Hope you had some fun, and the bling is sweet! Umm, you'll get em next time tiger!

Morgan said...

Can I borrow your bad day so I can BQ at Cleveland? But seriously, I know it wasn't everything you wanted it to be but you still got to hang out in Awesomeville for a good chunk of it and that's gotta count for something right?!?!

racing dawn said...

Love the race report! It was great to meet but I felt the same as you, we needed a round table or something...didn't even get to visit with you all down at the other end of the table! I still haven't posted yet cause I've yet to find a way to talk about the race in a positve light. Aaahh, I'd for sure take a 3:35! Congrats on the finish! Are you doing RNR Las Vegas?

aron said...

another fast marathon finish on the books! keep them coming :)

Kelley said...

Loved reading your race report. You made me laugh.
I am curious about this whole marathon thing as I am attempting my first this January.

Matty B. said...

Well done. You still got a really solid time for that death feeling that you mentioned.

I heard about the train; I've not been impressed with the organization at all the two times that I ran San Antonio, but I didn't want to tell you to negatively influence your race.

Congrats.

Christina said...

Nice to see your human and not a stud all the time.

It's all about the medals.

Running Diva Mom said...

i don't know how many times I laughed reading thie recap. great job! that medal rocks, too! be proud.

Quix (Leah) said...

Sorry you had a yucky race day, it was good to meet you briefly even though we were WAY WAY on the other side of the table. Your blog is hilarious, can't wait to read more. :) Good luck on your Thanksgiving 10k, I have a 5 miler that day too. :)

Chris K said...

How awesome and cute is Tricia?! So Adam, how are you gonna train for your brain for 3:15? Hypnosis? Seriously. Any ideas? Sorry you missed your goal, 3:35 is nothing to sneeze at.

Jeri said...

great job on the marathon. I must point out that perhaps you didn't feel super steallar b/c of your lack of BOOZE the week before the race. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

If you could e-mail me with a few suggestions on just how you made your blog look this excellent, I would be grateful.

Leslie@MommysGoingForARun said...

I've been looking to see if other bloggers got caught in the infamous train. I sure did (corral 7). But I will say, they did a good job correcting time, and it seemed fair (compared 1st 5K time to 2nd 5K time and subtracted the difference off overall time... or something smart like that).