Sunday, May 20, 2012

Race #122: I am a Flying Pig!

Photo by Andrea Torgerson

Man, I am glad this is over! It was interesting to put myself through the test and see what I could do.

Overall Time:

Overall Pace:


Overall Place:
247 out of 4084
Age Division Place (35-39):
33 out of 347
Gender Place:
206 out of 2395

50:03 (pace 7:20, rank 135)
13.1 (First Half):
1:34:45 (pace 7:14, rank 134)
2:24:18 (pace 7:20, rank 131)
3:18:34 (pace 7:53, rank 235)
Second Half (13.2-26.2mi)
1:53:10 (pace 8:39)
Last Mile:

Splits (from Nike+):
MI 1 7:11  7'11"/mi
MI 2 14:05 6'54"/mi
MI21:16  7'11"/mi
MI28:19 7'03"/mi
MI35:20  7'02"/mi
MI42:03  6'43"/mi *Fastest
MI49:33  7'30"/mi
MI56:32  6'59"/mi
MI1:03:34  7'02"/mi
MI 10  1:10:35  7'01"/mi
MI 11  1:17:23  6'48"/mi
MI 12  1:24:26  7'04"/mi
MI 13  1:31:29  7'03"/mi
MI 14  1:38:27  6'58"/mi
MI 15  1:45:37  7'10"/mi
MI 16  1:52:38  7'01"/mi
MI 17  1:59:39  7'02"/mi 
MI 18  2:06:59  7'20"/mi *Wait for me pace group!
MI 19  2:14:19  7'20"/mi *Goodbye Boston!
MI 20  2:22:23  8'04"/mi
MI 21  2:30:48  8'25"/mi
MI 22  2:39:11  8'23"/mi *Cheered up by teammates Joe and Dan
MI 23  2:48:21  9'10"/mi
MI 24  2:58:13  9'52"/mi
MI 25  3:08:43  10'31"/mi *Waaaaaaaaah! Ouch Ouch Ouch!
MI 26  3:18:23  9'39"/mi

Up all night:
I did not sleep a wink the night before the race. I wish I were exaggerating. I would doze off and then suddenly re-awake, sometimes my heart was racing. I watched the clock waiting for 4:30 to roll around.

It's a shame that six months of training could have been ruined due to one night of insomnia. This is lame, but one culprit may be one square of dark chocolate consumed before I went to bed. I'm a lightweight when it comes to caffeine and I have had issues with this in the past.

But it was probably my nerves. I put too much pressure on myself. I've been stressed out with work leading into the event, and now the stress of the event really whooped me.

The Big Event:
It was really cool. The crowds were great, the race was well organized, and there was a super fun, festive atmosphere. I am really glad to have seen it from the inside. At one point were were running over the bridge back into Ohio just as the sun was rising. It was beautiful.

Pace Group:
So I jumped in the Ronker's 3:10 pace group. These guys are fantastic, the keep the crowds pumped and they keep us on target. They were like a metronome. They were taking it easy on the hills, but my heart rate was still rising into the 170s. Not good for endurance...

So they past 2 races I have started dumping water over my head in an attempt to cool myself down, hoping to keep the engine revving longer. It's called a "Landis-Douche," you create a cooler climate around yourself by dumping water on your head. Supposedly Floyd Landis thought of this while watching an episode of the Snorks during a Jack Daniels binge.

Hitting the Wall:
I think somewhere during the 18 mile the wheels came off! I did the first 18.6 miles around 2:12. I looked great, I was running, I was a competitor, I was Boston-bound. So there is a hill just outside my house, I was with the group on that short hill. Then I wasn't. The elevation distance is only 33 feet, but I guess that's like climbing a 3-story house. At one spot it touches 11%... Ugh, my "heartbreak hill" is right out my front door.

So I think I look okay through Mile 20ish. I conceded about 40 secs but at least I could see my pace group. Then it happened. I fell apart. I became a "jogger." And to top it off, I was Landis-douching like a maniac so I looked like a mess. I could hear at least one person audibly laugh at me per mile! It wasn't my imagination — I was running slow enough to make the eye-contact, see the laughter and see the knee-slap... I did the last 7.6 miles in about 1:16, at about a 10:00 pace. That still isn't bad, but I tacked on about 3 minutes extra per mile.  All the early miles flew by quickly, these last miles felt so drawn out and excrutiating. 

Among the Greats:
One cool aspect of running the marathon would be to see how I compare to some of my heroes:

Lance Armstrong, NYC, 2:46:43
Laurent Jalabert, NYC, 2:55:39
Chris Boardman, London, 3:19:27

Look out Boardman! I'll be gunning for you next time!

So I definitely carbo-loaded going into the event. When I am injured I tend to eat a lot of food, I feel like I am seeking the nutrients to heal me. So having 2 weeks of reduced athletic activity + overeating going into the event put a few pounds on my waistline. In March I was around 140 pounds. I think race day I was around 144-146... I wonder if dragging that extra weight around hindered my performance as well. But, I would rather have the extra weight than to by malnourished and bonky.

I have to admit this has been a bittersweet journey. I certainly love running and it is really cool to see how far you can go by your own propulsion. Although, I do prefer trail running. I think that my body is not totally suited for running, I have flat feet and one leg that is shorter. This makes for a lot of motion while I run and these distance events really wear on my body.

Personally I feel running is like organ meats. A bit of paté is quite nice, but I am not sure I was to sit down to a 5 lb. platter of fried calf livers and foie gras. The marathon was that 5 lb platter...

Going into the event a lot of wear-and-tear built up. Actually I am very worried about my knee, I hope the pain will go away with time. Because of these injuries I kind of wish I just focused on cycling and did not take on this challenge. (Editor's note: I began writing this the day after race, as of now I am feeling much better and the injuries are healed — although I feel like I am still lacking my punch that I had last year. Basically my legs are all slow-twitch muscles right now!).

I am still looking forward to doing some events in the future. I really dig the TOPO trail runs. I am definitely not planning to do another marathon or road running race anytime soon.

Since I began exercising I was felt a sense of accomplishment after an achievement or an event. Once completed, I see a higher summit, I seek a greater challenge. In my mind I saw the marathon as a stepping stone to a future Ironman. For once I feel like I can stop. I have tested myself and I feel like I have reached my limits. I love cycling and I am happy to focus on my passion!

This is soooo lame but despite all the trials and tribulations I wept like a little girl when I logged into Nike+ and I had a video message from Paula Radcliffe congratulating me on the accomplishment.

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