Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rock and Roll Savannah Marathon Race Report!

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification. -Publilius Syrus (Maximus)

Time: 3:19:40 (New PR by 4:13!!)
Pace: 7:37/mile
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 completely forgot about pooping all week long wasn't able to post my pre-race goals.  Since the race is already ran, I considered sandbagging and saying something like "My one and only goal is to PR and run under 13 hours".  I'd be lying to myself, would get called out in the comments by people I told, and this blog wouldn't be an accurate history of my running.  So, if I were to post the REAL goals, they would have been this:

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!
It is often said that the marathon is a 20 mile run followed by a 10k race.  On Saturday, my 10K race was WINDY!  Probably my only beef on the day was that a lot of the 2nd half of the marathon was on a 4 lane divided hyway.  I didn't mind the lack of scenery (because everything was starting to look fuzzy), but because of the terrain, it turned it into a wind tunnel!  Winds were easily 20 mph right into my face during the hardest stretch of the race.  So, while I realize that some of this was "bonk", I saw my run times go from 7:20/mile to 8:00/mile to 8:00/mile with 90 seconds of walk break.  What the marathon bonk didn't break, the wind certainly did!  This will sound horrible (but I KNOW I'm not the only one who thinks this way), one of the few things that kept me going was getting passed by a ~65 year old man.  Screw being chicked, I think being geezered is waaaayyyyy worse.

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 :)

57 comments:

Pam said...

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!!! That's really awesome, Adam! You should be VERY proud of yourself. And the balls of your feet.

undeterrable said...

Congrats on the PR! From reading all the recaps, that sounds like a TOUGH race. Bridges and wind? No thank you.

I'm going to adopt the term geezered. At MCM, I was passed by a dude juggling. Part of me died inside.

Morgan said...

I know it wasn't the BQ you had hoped and trained for but damn if you aren't getting faster and faster every race! Congrats on the huge PR and keep at it Adam, you have that 3:10 in you and we all know it!

Also, I wonder if Savannah will think better of having the expo on the island next year. That traffic jam was ridiculous!

Morgan said...

P.S. I am so glad you still posted the rainbow pissing unicorn. It kills me every time.

Keelie Sheridan said...

YOU ARE A BEAST! Congrats! Know that I am inexpressibly grateful that that unicorn picture exists and is now a part of my consciousness.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Great pr!

At least you didn't get chicked by the older lady in your last picture right?

This was the inaugural race right for Savannah? I hope they work out the kinks next year.

Kate said...

Great race, Adam! I hate it when things feel unsettling around a big race. The barf burps are pretty nasty, too. You need to send Tom a case of beer for saving your ass on the whole day of race mixup, for sure. I know that, PR or not, the time wasn't what you were hoping for, but I'm consistently amazed by the speed you can maintain over a marathon when I couldn't hope to keep up that pace for more than 2 miles.

JojaJogger said...

You don't brush your teeth before training runs but you do brush before races? Perhaps you should try a race without brushing. Great job on the PR!

Jill said...

Oh man, that wind will knock you over and step on you a few thousand times! I will never run Tucson Marathon again because I endured gale-force headwinds for 17 ridiculous miles (still a PR, so I'm not complaining :))...I somethings go back and wonder what I could have done sans wind. So I fully get it! Nice job on the PR, Adam, you WILL get that 3:10...the perfect race is there waiting for you! Congratulations!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Good job on your PR, and not shitting your pants.

Jackalope said...

Adam, great run given all the craziness. I know exactly what that feels like, especially where kids and family obligations are concerned. Sometimes you have to just do the best that the conditions will allow.

I'm sure it can be a bit frustrating, but given the conditions, you smoked it.

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

Geezered! I love it!!! I always think that during triathlons, except it's worse cause they write your age on the back of your calf. It is AWFUL when someone goes flying by you and you see the number "72" or something equally disappointing. Geezered. Perfect!

Thomas said...

Congrats on the PR! Rolfe, IA is proud.

Running Librarian said...

great job on your PR! I was geezered by an old man in a backbrace my very first Cherry Blossom 10 miler! lol

bobbi said...

Congrats on your PR!!!!

Josh said...

Awesome job, like you said, A PR is PR is PR and means your training worked! Also the unicorn pissing rainbow is phenomenal.

MotherRunner said...

Congrats on your PR! Wind is such an ass-kicker - way to power through.

WannabeRunner said...

Adam, nice freaking job!!! I'm glad you're proud of this race - you totally should be!! Can't wait to see what the next one brings. :)

Brian said...

Congrats on the PR, Adam! Sounds like a great race under some adverse conditions.

X-Country2 said...

Woo for the PR! Everything I've read said that was a very tough windy course. Great job! (And as usual, you son is adorbs!!!)

James said...

Awesomeness on the PR. Way to go!

SlimKatie said...

CONGRATS on sub-3:20!! I almost died when I saw the screen shot of the woman on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?--is that for REAL?!

Your son is adorable!!

Wym said...

I cant believe you had a portion of the race on the hwy! That sucks. Savannah has enough windy flat shaded streets for everyone. FYI, Next year take the ferry to the expo. amazing run!

Tracy said...

I am no where near marathon running level (my current goal is to do a 10K), but even for us 5k'ers and sprint trialthetes, getting geezered...... or passed by an 8 year old......just sucks for race morale.

laurenruns.com said...

Great job! I don't mean to be rude, but it's good to hear that others aren't always perfect in the pre-race day preparations!
I'm glad to hear you PR'ed and have also taken some run-related lessons away from this too! I always love seeing your posts & perspectives on running!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Congrats on the PR! That's is fast - in fact, it's my next goal time. One I can but dream about, lol! What I'm going to say next is a compliment, but it might sound left handed. Sorry 'bout that. Just take it like a man. Scared yet???
Anyway...I think you are very fast in the marathon for someone for whom marathon is not their best distance. What I mean is...you can run a smoking fast 5k, proportionately faster than you run longer distances. You strike me as a speed guy - 5k, 10k - more than a marathon guy. Therefore - for you to run a 3:19 impresses me mightily. It just shows what oodles of miles and dedication will do for a fella!

Dina @ DinaRuns said...

That Unicorn picture is insanely funny. Lord the tail...

In one of my first 5K's a race walker passed me. That did a ton for my morale.

XLMIC said...

So I was going to say... never bring family and small children to away races where you are wanting to kick serious ass. But then you flashed that last picture. How could you EVER not want to have that cuteness around?

Great job, Adam. Really. And you did learn a ton, too. You will get that A goal before long. I know it.

Pat said...

Someday you'll be the geezer that is doing the passing. Congrats on a great race.

Val said...

Congrats! Sounds like you ran a great race. You could have easily 'given up' in the wind tunnel when you knew 3:15 was out but you bucked up and got a PR! I love what you said about never complaining about a PR race. Enjoy the moment, you'll have your 3:10 soon enough:)

constantcrosswind said...

Congrats on a great race! I am glad I didn't see you pooping on the side of the road, although on the Truman, I probably could have used the distraction. Great recap and photos...you filled in some holes for me where things were a (windy) blur.

The Unexpected Runner said...

I have been passed by pregnant chicks & guys pushing baby joggers....I'll take geezered any day! Congrats!!!!

Emily said...

Wooooot! I'm from Savannah and did the half -- the wind really was rough and I can't imagine how much worse it was for the full. And running on the Truman is a huge bummer, there are so many beautiful places the course could have gone. But congrats on a great race!

(and I love your definitions of A/B/C goals -- I may need to use them for the future :))

Laurie said...

1) Rock on. Your 26.2 pace is my barf-my-face-off-bleeding-lungs-curled-up-in-a-fetal-postion-at-the-finish 13.1 pace.
2) Is that a blue baseball mitt in your right hand in the pic toward the top of the post?
3) Was there half, too? Because there's a 89-year-old about to pass you in your finish line picture.
4) Your kid is cute.

Adrian said...

Oh my goodness, I had the best laugh at the rainbow Unicorn picture, and had to show it to my hubby who also cracked up! Thanks for making my night. Great job on making your c goal even if it wasn't your top goal but hey new pr!

Alma said...

Congratulations Adam - A PR is a PR, and glad you have fire to keep on going!

C2Iowa said...

Well done and congrats. Sorry the the last pic is the best!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Excellent work Adam!

Jamoosh said...

Congrats on the PR!

Knocking off four minutes is awesome.

Randy said...

Adam, great recap. The Unicorn orgasm photo is priceless.

I think I once thought that the legs and lungs are in charge of running a marathon. You are right...the GI Tract is in control, and it alone will let you know how fast you can run.

That wind must have been brutal...sorry that happened so late in the race.

Great advice on the no complaining after a PR...I'll pass that along to a certain Marine Marathon blogger I know...I wont name him.

Runners Fuel said...

Congrats on the PR!! For your next marathon will you be using the same training plan?

51feetunder said...

Sounds about right for a race report, if everything went perfectly this would have been a pretty boring post! Way to put your readers before your own ambitions Adam!

Tricia said...

I believe you had a child JUST so you could blame not meeting your goals on him. Thats low.

or genius.

Ok, its genius. Must start using that.

Katie said...

dude, congrats on the PR. as long as you cross the finish line in "straight to the medical tent" condition, you left it all out there. awesome. AWESOME.

Colin Hayes said...

Great report, Adam! Congrats on the PR. 3:10 better be quivering in "teen girl in a B slasher movie" fear.

As for the balls of your feet...you should get a pair of those steel balls that guys hang off the backs of their trucks and hang them from your ankle. Probably not during a marathon, though...

Nelly said...

Congrats on the PR - that is awesome!

Bummer about the race expo and all the pre race things not going well, I guess everything can't go perfect.

You definitely have that 3:10 in you!

Katy said...

congrats!! you did awesome.

Scallywag said...

Only on your blog could I be confronted my a unicorn ejaculating rainbows...

Amazing PR! You really are irritatingly fast.

Also loving the the B goal picture. My friends and I have a name for this move- its claled 'squirrelling' and symbolises excited fidgety mentality. Pretty surprised to see its an international thing. Someone should do a survey and see how wide spread this all is...

Carrie said...

Congrats! Awesome PR. Great recap. Your son worked so hard, adorable picture.

Indigo said...

I love your recap! Congrats again on such an awesome 26.2 Adam!

(are you wearing a bluetooth????)

Laura said...

Now that I know there are Barbie Dream Houses in Savannah, you can be assured of a place to stay if you want to come back another year and try again, since I will be buying one post-haste.

Glenn Jones said...

Outstanding Adam! Way to dig down deep.

Hope you had a chance to enjoy Savannah. I've been there once - it's kind of a neat city.

Jen said...

OMG seriously with that unicorn picture? Might be the funniest g-damn thing I've ever seen.

Good race loved reading the report. Congrats!

Denise said...

I hate getting geezered. (Plus, I am a chick so the whole chicked thing doesn't apply.) I am really slow, so when the race walking old ladies pass me, I get all kinds of negative.

Congrats on a new kicking PR! I ran my first half marathon last year and about 8 miles of it were on a narrow bike path above a wash with crazy winds blowing at our sides and I had to fight just to stay on the road, so forward motion was very slow. I can understand those frustrations just a little bit.

Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen said...

Congratulations, awesome race! I did Savannah too (not quite as fast) and I loved it and I loved reading your recap (mine was not at well-organized or coherent). I also love, love, love the picture of your son at the end :)

mikemilzz said...

Can't ask for much more than a PR. Given all the issues you had just to get to the starting line, I'd say this is a really good performance. If we could all be great on any given day, then it wouldn't be very exciting.

Racing is fun...PR'ing is fun...getting geezered is NOT fun...a man has to keep his dignity after all!

kilax said...

Congrats on the PR! It all worked out so well, even with the wrong day thing and the little sleep and the barf ups (hate those)! I wonder if they will change the course next year to take that second half off the highway.

Love the pic of Hayden!