Saturday, May 23, 2009

Frederick Marathon Race Recap

Well I guess a good way to start off this blog is with a race recap. So I will recap my most recent Marathon, the Frederick Marathon. The Half Marathoners ran with the Marathoners for the first half of the course, so for the first half I was at about 12th place. I found out I was the 5th place Marathoner around Mile 4 when I saw my girlfriend's Dad cheering for me. Some marathoner running without his shirt passed me around mile 9. 10 Mile split: 1:01:00. Around Mile 11 I started moving pretty well, and passed 2 Marathoners who were right ahead of me for much of the beginning. At one point some kid running the half 10 years younger pulled up beside me, and I encouraged him along before dropping him around mile 11, he looked a lot like me when I was that age, he went on to finish a pretty respectable 1:21. I took a Powergel around mile 11, and I think I was right around 1:20:xx for the Half, and I felt fine.

After the first half, it started to rain. I knew the second half was going to be hilly. Now the real race began. I found out I was in 4th place after the Half Marathoners left. The guy without his shirt was still in front of me in 3rd. I barely saw him ahead of me as we made some turns near mile 14. 2nd and 3rd place definitely had some distance on me. It looked as if I had settled for 4th. Then around mile 16.5, the hills came. The hill looked ominous, but I felt confident I was able to handle it well given the hilly long runs I incorporated into my training, as well as the USA Cross Country Championships race I ran in back in February. The guy without his shirt, 3rd place was in sight, but still had distance on me, I could not see 2nd place. Around mile 17.5 I took a little bit of more GU, then stuck it back in my pocket in case I wanted more later. I knew I had enough fuel now though and probably didn't need any more gel. Didn't take any water, it was raining pretty good at this point.

Around mile 18, before the highest climb, to my surprise, it looked as if I had gained ground on 3rd place. I began to focus on reeling him in. Feeling strong on the hills, I caught 3rd place around Mile 20- 2:03:55. Then, around mile 21, I began to see 2nd place in sight. He was slowing down, I could catch him. I focused and caught him right around mile 22, where he was taking some water. I took no water, simply didn't want any.

Then, my shoe came untied. Oh great, I thought, now I'm screwed, it was raining quite a bit and there was no way my shoe would stay tied with all the wetness. So I kept going, my shoe somehow stayed on, don't asked me how it stayed on, I made a prayer that it would stay on and I could finish the race strong. Funny, I don't consider myself religious, but sometimes I do pray to a higher power for a miracle I guess. 2:20:00 in, I started to feel the pain, but I told myself only 20 min to go, my legs were strong. Mile 23-25 was a stretch, all alone, I could not see 1st place in sight. The runners going the opposite direction around their mile 16 started cheering for me when I was around 23. It was inspiring. I thanked them. Mile 25 split: 2:35:20.

I held onto my second place finish. My time was screwed up since I ended up running 1-2 minutes extra past the finish entrance due to an official's mistake. But at least I didn't lose my place. And my shoe held on. Picked up 400 bucks. I believe my time would have been around 2:43:xx without the extra distance I ran. I know my 26 mile split was something like 2:41:50. Average pace was 6:13 per mile. This race was very comparable to the one where I placed 6th and ran 2:38:48 at Virginia Beach, which was a completely flat course compared to this hilly one.

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