Time: 3:19:40 (New PR by 4:13!!)
Place: 179/4722 (top 4%!) overall, 35/349 division
With "sort of" getting a new job on Monday and the HELLISH fear that I about missed the entire race, I was so busy that I
A Goal: 3:10. (Unicorns/rainbows) Start out slow & be on 3:10 pace by mile 9.
B Goal: 3:15.
C Goal: Sub 3:20
For those new to the blogger-roo, Here are my definitions of A, B, and C goals. As you might expect, I'm really glad I eeked out those last 20 seconds and got the sub 3:20!
My A goal is if everything works right, unicorns and rainbows collide into an orgasm inducing run. Something like this:
My C goal is the time that, if I don’t beat, I’ll be very disappointed in myself. Something like this lady:
My B goal is a goal that is somewhere between rainbow orgasms and total failure. Something like this:
Because of the date mixup, my flight wasn't scheduled to get in until 5:30pm the day before the race. Since I'm normally a planner and the expo closed at 7pm, this cut timelines VERY short. Like, Britney Spears mental breakdown haircut short. That made my stress meter go WAY up. Add that to a mechanical issue on one of my connections (read: rats chewing on wires, I assume) and I didn't get into town until 6:30. But, even though we were cutting it close, I pushed the fam to try to get there anyway - until we ran into THIS:
Traffic, loads and loads of traffic. The expo was on an island in Savannah which meant one road in and one road out. We waited on the bridge (which freaked out my wife - aided by me saying things like "did you feel that? I wonder if the bridge can hold all of these cars?") for 20 min or so and we were only 1/3 of the way there. Soooooo, since it was already 7:10pm, I had not ate dinner yet, and I had made arrangements to get my bib on race day I turned around and headed back to the hotel. This left me with NO expo loot. Hardly seems worth running.
We got to the hotel, I picked up some Subway (carb load?) and my son proceeded to get freaked out by his "baby cage" (pack and play / portable crib) and scream until 11pm. Uggggggggg.
On race morning, the alarm came early at 4:00am, but I got to the shuttle, got to the start and got my bib without too much incident. While I know that some people had issues with the shuttles, getting there early and being flexible allowed me little to no additional stress!
Miles 1-6.5: Yayyyyyyy, I'm racing!!! (7:25 pace overall)
Once I got my bib, went to the bathroom, and got settled into the coral everything sort of closed in on me. I get pretty tunnel visioned during races and this one was no exception. Because I was putting so much effort into this race, I hadn't raced a ton over the summer - not something that I think I'll do again. Racing is FUN! As I stood at the start and ran the first few miles with thousands of other people, I was reminded of this over and over again.
If you squint, you can see booty shorts
I stayed nearly on plan throughout these miles. The only exception being that I was having a hard time getting up to speed around mile 4 and 5. Running 7:20ish felt good, but running 7:10-7:15 felt HARD. Lesson #1 when marathon running - if it feels hard during the first half, you're running too fast! It was at the 6.5 mile mark that I decided that I would be racing for a sub 3:15. Honestly? I was OK with that.
Miles 6.5-13.1: Did I just barf? Maybe. Should I slow down? Nope. (7:23 pace overall)
The next few miles put us through some of the beautiful neighborhoods of Savannah. Forever when I think of this race, I will think of mossy trees and old houses that look like something barbie should live in:
The pink Corvette is parked around back
Also, I will think of barfing in my mouth. Around mile 7 or so, I had one of those burps that fills your mouth 1/3 full of whatever is sloshing around in your stomach. Just a gentile reminder from my body: "Hey asshole, you might think you're in charge of what we're doing, but just remember, I have the power to make this go very horrible very very fast". I decided that there wasn't a whole lot I could do, so I just put up with the barf-burps for the next few miles. No harm, but it was really screwing up my freshly brushed teeth. I tried not to talk to anyone for fear of chunks flying at them.
Miles 13.1-19: Left, right, left, right......... (7:24 pace overall)
After the split, I was 100% on auto-pilot. The balls of my feet (makes me giggle every time I think of it) were starting to get sore, but other than that it was all systems go! I saw my wife/son around mile 14 where they took this picture:
I had completely forgotten, but I had put on a custom bib on my back that a friend within the rock and roll org had made me:
Follow me! @TheBoringRunner
I received a few comments on it, and each time I was surprised. "OH! Right! Yeah! I forgot I put that on there.
Miles 20-Finish: OMG, this wind SUCKS (7:37 pace overall (8:20 pace for last 10k))
|Boooooo Truman Parkway!|
After 3 soul crushing, depressing miles, I realized that I had to run ~7:40 pace for the last 1.5 to get under 3:20. I had a new goal. Start running, and don't stop until the finish. I ran, I ran HARD. I grunted, people looked at me. To give you a sense of the type of pain I was in, here is a picture that my wife took at mile 25.5:
Fortunately, I was able to dig through what little my legs had left and get in JUST under the wire.
As I look back, I am really proud of my race. I have a rule that there is no complaining with any PR races. If you ran faster than you ever have before, then you did GREAT. Of course, I think that there are things that I could have done better because I really do feel that I could have ran 3:15 yesterday and 3:10 on a perfect day. Things not limited to:
- Not F'ing up the race day
- Getting more sleep the night before
- Having less stress the day before
- Attacking the downhills and pacing better during the wind (ie, slowing down vs trying to hold pace & walking)
So, basically just enough went wrong to make me want to continue running!! I honestly, 100% think that if I have a perfect race, what else is left to race for? It's only uphill from here!
Marathon watching is hard work :)