Sunday, March 04, 2007

26.2 in 4:30

So this past sunday was the culmination of about 6 months worth of training. From the time I returned to the Bay Area in July and decided that I wanted to run a Marathon, to my first Half Marathon in October, to this Marathon in March....its been a long road. After 400 miles of running since last late october (probably closer to 600 if I add the training for my half-marathon, but I didn't keep track of mileage as meticulously as I do now...), this is an extremely satisfying culmination of all that hard work.

The blow by blow went like, this...I flew by the first 13 miles, getting a sub 2 hour time at the half marathon mark...felt good all the way to mile 17 or 18, and then just had to slow down. It felt like my heart was going to pop and decided to walk a minute or two per mile after that. Even before my body gave up, I had slowed down already, but not by too much, from a 6.6 to a 6.0 pace. But after mile 18, I think I was going at about a sub 6 pace. I maintained that pace all the way to the finish line.

I had an incredibly good kick for the last few hundred yards though, I kept telling myself, almost yelling "GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!" and I blew by about 10 or 15 folks, the cheering really kept me going and the people at the finish line was worried I was going to collapse, but did congratulate me for finishing. They were also surprised that I had such a strong finish for such a lousy time =p

This was an incredibly well organized and supported Marathon. I showed up at the finish line at 5:45, caught the bus to Calistoga that took about 45 minutes, took a leak, got some hydration and some extra Guu, and then at 7 promptly, we went. I started my clock at 7:01 because of the crowd in front of me and my official time was 4:31:44. The course was gorgeous, a little shivery in the 7 o'clock hour, warming up at 8 o'clock, got really comfy at 9 o'clock, then got uncomfortably warm at 10, but a great cloud cover came at around 10:30 and the last hour of my run was in relative shade and comfort.

I ran all the way with my Nano and could not use my Nike+ kit cause I lost the bluetooth portion that attached to my Nano. This was a race that I didn't really need it though, since I knew the start time AND the exact distance =).

Back to the marathon being organized, there was rest stops every 2 miles officially, but there were lots more in actuality, closer to 14 I counted. And yes, these were the ones that were official. At the 21 mile mark they actually had sorbet! That was great even though I'm not a sorbet person and only took one or two licks.

So although I'm 30 minutes later than my desired time, I'm still extremely happy that I finished and this 30 minutes only gives me more incentive to improve should I choose to run another one.

In retrospect, I should have done a practice run up to 23 miles a few times before the event, and I should have paced myself a lot better during the event. Towards the end of the training, I just did not have enough long runs under my belt, so that might explain why I'm just glad to have finished at the 4:30 mark (the lowest boundary of my desired time).

My stat line:
Bib Name Time Overall Place Gender Place Pace
1707 Sy Na 4:31:44 882 569 64 / Men 30 to 34 10:22/M

I also signed up for the San Jose Rock & Roll Marathon for October, right now i'm tentatively saying a time of 1:50! So at least I won't be hanging up those sneakers anytime soon!

Pics forthcoming! I want to see the pics of my incredible (for me anyway) finish! =)
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