Monday, November 23, 2009

Philadelphia Marathon

The race time prediction calculators were all wrong.  I went out way to fast, toasted my quads by mile 14.  I was at the half at 1:35:13.  Even pace would have put me at 3:10:26.  But I ran an 11 minute POSITIVE split, to end up at 3:21:31.  And it wasn't fun, hurting all the way out to Manayunk and back.  I couldn't decide if it hurt less to run slower or faster.  I was living for the next Gatoraid and just thinking the only way to get this done is to get it done...

I was definitely fooled by the rest, by the taper effect, for the first half of the run.  I was throwing the dice out there that all the bike riding - the bulk of my training in the last four weeks since I broke my toe - would somehow let me really stick to my 3:10 goal, which I had formed when everything was humming along swimmingly up until that fateful 8K XC race one month ago.

So checkout my crazy splits, especially my erratic 18-26, that I took on my Timex Ironman Triathlon watch:
Miles 1-11 @ 1:19:32 = 7:14
12 @ 7:15
13 & 14 @ 14:56 = 7:28
15 @ 7:28
16 @ 7:50
17 @ 7:51
18 @ 7:44
19 @ 8:10
20 @ 7:57
21 & 22 @ 16:05 = 8:03
23 @ 9:01
24 @ 8:33
25 @ 8:42
26.2 @ 10:24 = 8:40

So I can tell you unequivically, that you can not train for a marathon by riding a bike a lot and running a little.  I was so glad when that one was over.  I was only a minute and a half slower than my personal conservative prediction from way before the race.  See, I know a lot more than those stupid calculators.  It would have been much less painful if I just ran splits for a 3:20 from the start.  Going out too fast led to my most embarrassing moment: getting passed by the guy in the tutu. (Thanks Liane P. via her Facebook album for the photo, right and below)

Other Philadelpha Marathon snippits:
  • Drove down to Philly on Saturday afternoon with Joel S., Steve R., Kyle S. and John D. after a morning of two soccer games for my daughter.  We saw NJ state troopers with shotguns trained on some vehicle they pulled over, with the entire northbound side closed.  Not a word about it in the Internet newspapers.  
  • The expo was OK, the tech shirt is cool and the goody bag itself is mesh instead of plastic, and contained a nice pair of tech fabric gloves.  
  • Fourteen of us RVRR and related people had a great family style dinner at some restaurant that seated us by walking us through the kitchen.
  • It was indeed a beautiful day.  Compare this day to last year's 25 degree weather!  The sun was out and it was in the lower to mid 50's with a bit of a breeze.  Wore a singlet, shorts and gloves.
  • Ran the first few miles with Bill Bosmann.  He was running in a jacket just to carry a cell phone, despite the beautiful weather.  He joked that it was no big deal, because he "was running so slowly anyway."  I couldn't keep up with him - at 59, he won the 55-59 age group at 2:54:30!
  • It was so great to have the support of other RVRR friends.  A group was in downtown Philly, another group was just after the Philly Zoo, others were along the Manayunk out & back, and at the finish.  Seeing them, high-fiving and the hugs were the best part of the event.
  • It was cool to see John D. when he was on his way out to the Manayunk turn around while I was on the way back, and for him to say, "I'm coming to get you!"  And he did.  He ran a great race, finishing in 3:15:05, negative splitting by 5 minutes.  That is how to run a marathon!
  • Afterwards, we spent some time drinking some beer and eating, when we could find some service, at a Philly Irish pub, Tir Na Nog, that was not ready for the crowd.

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