Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oooooh so close.

For those regular readers (yeah I know there's like 2 of you), you'll know that it is my (seemingly never-ending) quest to run a 5-hour marathon. Yes, I can run faster than the 11:20-something average pace needed to accomplish this feat (feet?), but not for 26+ miles. At least, not yet.

The race started off well. I got to the starting line with about 5 minutes to spare, just in time to hear them send off the wheelchair/handcart racers. I didn't have time to meet anyone that I knew was running in one of the two events that started when mine did (the half- or full-marathon), other than my neighbor. I basically had just enough time to turn on my garmin, take off my sweatshirt and warm-up pants and stuff them in a bag for later pickup, and that was it. They boomed the cannon, and 5 minutes later I crossed the starting line in the middle of the back of the pack.

Mile 1 - 10:44. I was trying to start off slow, slower than this.
Mile 2 - 11:09
Mile 3 - 10:52 - I started settling into a groove here, feeling pretty good.
Mile 4 - 10:40
Mile 5 - 10:45 - This is where the half marathoners split off for a bit while the marathoners make a loop of Sugarhouse Park. That's a hilly little loop, but nothing I couldn't handle at that point. I let 'er rip on the downhills and just tried to maintain form on the short but steep uphills. At this point the sun was still behind the clouds and it was a GORGEOUS morning.

Mile 6 - 11:08 - most of Sugarhouse park actually occurred during this mile.
Mile 7 - 11:15
Mile 8 - 11:02
Mile 9 - 11:19 - This is the area where I think I could have/should have gone a little faster
Mile 10 - 10:49
Mile 11 - 10:56
Mile 12 - 11:06
Mile 13 - 11:15

Halfway split: 2:28:05 (garmin) - should have known at this point that I wasn't likely to hit 5 hours, but I knew most of the hills were behind me.

Mile 14 - 10:50 - This is really very good because I saw the family just after the halfway point and stopped for hugs and kisses.
Mile 15 - 10:57
Mile 16 - 11:29 - Van Winkle is a long, boring place to run.
Mile 17 - 11:31
Mile 18 - 11:15 - I think these miles should have been a little faster too, but this is where I faced my first realy mental battle when I was trying to convince myself not to walk. I was leapfrogging a couple of Gallowalkers repeatedly, but eventually left most of them behind.
Mile 19 - 11:25
Mile 20 - 15:14 - This is where I saw the family again and stopped and talked for a few minutes. I don't know how the boost I got from that rest and the emotional lift of seeing everyone there compare to how I would have done if I hadn't stopped for so long (probably around 3 minutes... yeah, I know...)
Mile 21 - 11:42
Mile 22 - 12:00
Mile 23 - 13:00
Mile 24 - 12:07
Mile 25 - 12:45
Mile 26 - 12:32
Mile .18 (Garmin) - 3:12. My 2 girls ran in with me at the end... not that I would have been any faster without them there. I had nothing left.

Total time: 5:03:09 (Garmin). 5:03:13 chip. I'm pleased, but not satisfied. The sub-5 marathon is going to have to wait. But I know what I need to do to get there. At least I ran the whole thing, minus about 45-50 feet at one guy's impromtu aid station around mile 21-22.

All in all, I loved the Salt Lake Marathon. I seriously don't know what all the fuss is about (minus the flak about the organizer dude).

Organization - 8/10 (not enough food in the finish shoot when I got there, but at least there was still plenty of chocolate milk. Yum!)
Course - 7/10 -- that d*** hill they threw in going up State St. to South Temple this year really needs to go. Bad bad bad.
Medal - 8/10 -- Nice size, very attractive, but it doesn't have the year on the medal, just on the ribbon.
Crowd support - 7/10 -- Sparse in parts, but great at the end, and my wife and kids made it great at mile 14 and 20 as well. Also there were lots of residents that came out of their homes on the route to cheer on runners and put up impomptu aid stations.
My training - 6/10 -- I think I did pretty well, but a few more miles wouldn't hurt, and I need to do more long tempo runs / interval runs in the last couple of months. This is going to be key.


Anonymous said...

Nice report Zach. That hill on state street at the end was a beast, and I was only doing the half! You full marathoners must have been hating life. Overall it was a real fun race. The food was a little weak, but the medal was cool.


Jared L.

Julia said...

great report!! i remember that hill from last year, and i hated it too. that's a really tough course (my hubby ran the full last year) ... i hear the jaunt out to 6200 south and back is a nightmare!

congrats though. you had a great race. can't wait to do another myself. you've motivated me.

Christie said...

Congrats on a great race, and thanks for "de-blurking" on my blog.

blaine said...

Hi Zach. Great job on finishing and completing what you started. I ran the half and was probably somewhere within the 500 or so people crowded in your location. That last hill was not a welcome surprise. You didn't miss much on the snack...maybe a few more creamies or yogurt...did you get a banana? I hear those lasted a long time.