Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Silly and case of the missing ipod

The big day has come and gone... The 2008 White Rock Marathon is over. It was September 28th when I started my marathon specific training. I used the same book that I used for my previous two marathons for training schedule. Let's visit that first.

I think it is important to recognize that the training program that you choose has an incredible affect on the outcome. Some programs are geared towards crossing the line and others speed and pace. The title of the book that I used for this marathon is "4 months to a 4 hour marathon"... and I thought that if I took the training schedule and replaced certain workouts with faster splits, that it would equal a faster marathon. If it said 2 minute splits, I did it in 1:45... if it said do a 10:30 pace for a long run, i did it a minute faster.

The result - another 4 hour marathon. So, props to the book, because it delivered 2 of my 3 marathons in roundabout four hour marathons (2006: 4 hr 09 min and 2008: 3 hr 57 min). This is not to say that I'm not happy with my performance. I did say my goal was a Sub 4 hour marathon. Goal accomplished.

Start - found myself somewhere close to the 3:40 pace team and stretched with a nice crowd of ipodders around me (we'll get to that in a moment). The wheelchair race was off 5 minutes before our start, then we did the National Anthem... and this year the Marines F-16 fighter jets timed the fly over PERFECTLY low and hard! it was emotional to say the least. No tears, but I got a frog in my throat. Marathons are a special day of effort and can get you choked up.

When the gun sounded, the cowboys and their horses lead the pro's out with their flags. That is always cool. I began pretty easy with no weaving in and out of other runners. I stayed put, for the most part. I did not want to waste energy weaving. I felt really comfortable though and my pace was around sub 9 min for a while. Got loose and tried to find a good pace.

ELBOWS & Ipods... blow...

If I had a dime for every time I had to say "Elbows" to a lad or lass that was waving them all over the dang place....well, I wouldn't have to sell any soap for awhile. If you look down next time you run and your elbows do not stay close to your ribs, you're wasting energy and making it hard for anyone to pass you.

Top that off with an Ipod in your ears so you can't hear that you are blocking. . . . let's just say it ruins the experience of Marathon. I could not believe how many people I saw running with ipods.... which lead me to tie that in with noticing the crowd being unusally quiet this year. I wore a really cool "talk dirty to" shirt with my name "Billy" on the front and back. Who wouldn't want to cheer for that? Few people apparently.... and I wager that it was due to thousands of runners wearing ipods so the crowd knew the runners won't hear them.

I'm not kidding, some groups of people on the side of the road felt like you were running through a ghost town. Erie feeling...

I felt great all the way around the course and settled into a 8:30 pace. . . . until I reached the north end of the lake. This is when we all got the first glipse of the next 6 or 7 miles. I popped 4 advils at mile 13 and charged forward to get behind the closest pack. I met two new buddies...Pat and Karie, who joined me in the search for people to draft in the breeze. We actually stayed together for the next 7 miles talking, drafting, and discussing all the worldly issues.

Katie and Momma Jan had already done a fantastic job of finding me at mile 7 and 12. YoYoMa was taking pictures while Katie was handing me gatorade and strawberry fig newtons...not a cookie, but fruit and cake. Oh yea, both of them were screaming loudly. Big motivator...

Like I have said to many peers already about the marathon, I think the wind blew me up big time. I held my pace after the lake, but when I hit Swiss Ave...there was little more that I could do. I saw my Katie and YoyoMa at around mile 21/22 and told them "I'm tired"...and I think that's all I said. My pace slowed and I ended up walking 5 times after mile 23 out of pure exhaustion, no sharp pain, just could not jog another step. I looked at my watch and did not let myself walk more than 60 seconds...otherwise I knew my legs would really start to shut down.

I was able to muster up the last .75 mile into the finish, but slowly...As I came into the finish area, there was a coned line about 40 yards from the finish line. The announcer was screaming about getting under 4 HOURS! (gun time). I had no idea Chase passed me right before the finish. It was really funny to find him afterward and he said,"I passed you with like 10 feet left"... Ha! We have it on video. Watch it attached to this post.

I had a blast with the whole event and glad I did it. Finish Chip Time: 3:57:09. Under my goal time of 4 hours. I think if I find a lighter wind marathon, I can do better. I think it is important to look to the future for the next event so that you can recognize that this particular event is not the end all, be all... there is always another race.
For me, I'm looking forward to the 15K at white rock on Jan.17 and the Cowtown Half Marathon. I'm proud of the entire Tri-ProSoap team this year at WR marathon, but I'm particularly proud of Brooke Rossman, who qualified for the Boston Marathon with a chip time of 3:40:49. Did we mention this was her first marathon EVER?

Big thanks to the supporters/pit crew of Katie and Jan Self (yoyoMa & team mom). I know that I could not have done it without you. Enjoy the video!

No comments: