Year recap (brief)
has not been three years between marathons like last time. In fact it has only
been about 9 months. Those months have been packed though. The year ended with
some additional job hunting but in the end the decision stayed the same and we
are heading to Birmingham, Alabama later this month. As part of a closer on our
life chapter of living in Utah we have been trying to do as much as possible.
We have been Moab, to the Grand Canyon, up most of the local canyons, and
overall just trying to see as many of our friends as we can. We also made a
trip to our new hometown found a home and schools for the girls, all and all a
very productive year. My capstone to the running scene is the race this chapter
is devoted to. As a prelude I also did an 8K last weekend in which I not only
broke my 2000, 8K record I also broke my 5K record. According to the
TrailRunner analysis of my Garmin file the first 5K was 16:00 even… This was a
huge confidence boost for today’s race but definitely jacked up my calves a
little. So here is the story of my ’13 marathon, number twelve on my list. As
is my usual tradition, marathon race reports are a time of reflection for me on
my year in running and life in general. As noted above this year’s life side of
things has been crazy. I have been able to maintain some sort of a balance
between family, work, and running but it was definitely harder this year than
any other. Even with that being said I managed 1073 miles before my final taper
week. This puts the race at the 5th highest pre-race mileage. I did
also however do the least workouts, structured or otherwise. In fact the 8K
above was really my only hard workout. So I was iffy about the expectations.
weekend started off great. My family was able to join me as Logan was kind
enough to find a place that we could all stay at. So after work on Friday we
headed down. We picked up Fazoli’s on the way. This was a Knox College CC
tradition so it was nice to relive that. Steve H. and his family also joined us
for dinner that was a nice treat. One of the fun parts about this race is we
put together a four person team. Works that they totaled all of our times and
lowest total time wins. Walter rounded out the 4th spot but did not make
the dinner. Steve was great and had jerseys made up for us. Our team name was
the Flying Squirrels. For those of you who know me, you know I have an
obsession with squirrels. Part of this is related to a number of additional
Knox related squirrel incidents. Including one cross-country work out that a
squirrel ran up and down one of my teammates like he was a tree. After dinner
we went to the expo to get our numbers, ran into Sasha for a moment, and then
back to the house for a little R&R. Logan and I played a number of rounds
of pool over a very nice conversation and then off to bed. The 3 AM rise to
catch the bus was not something I was looking forward to. However, between the
tiring week and everything else going on I was out like a log. The 5 or so hours
of sleep have become normal for me so when my alarm went off it was not too bad
to get up. Steve picked us up and took us to the bus stop and we were on our
Saw a number of
people at the start including James and finally Walter. Then it was quickly
time to get going. Again I didn’t know what I could do. With my training I
could have respected a 2:50. I thought a 2:45 was most reasonable and that if
the stars aligned 2:40 could be in reach.
weather was ok for a marathon, it was cool but could have been colder. One of
the few canyon races I was not shivering at the start and that was nice but a
concern for things to come. The start felt smooth and just went out on my own
for about the first six or seven miles. There were two guys with headphones on
shooting for a 2:50 that I chatted to very briefly. They passed me and then I
passed them back. My right calf was feeling tight, likely from the craziness of
the weekend before. My left heal has also been bugging me for about a month now
but it was holding together. Around this time Steve came up and passed me. Then
we hit the hills and we stuck together. It was a lifesaver to have him to run
with during this stretch. It is much harder than the elevation map leads you to
believe. I know others have warned about it but sometimes you need to
experience something. Steve shared some of his drink with me around the halfway
mark. Then when he asked what we were at the half and I told him 1:20 a new
fire was lit in him and I just couldn’t muster it. I stuck with him maybe until
mile 14/15 but then gradually lost touch. Running on my own was fine and Steve
was still in reach and though he was putting ground on me it was at a pace that
was motivating not demoralizing and I used him to pull me as much as I could
muster. By mile 20 I was really feeling it but knew I could make it through to
the end. I also knew I was sitting in 7 or 8 and really wanted a top ten spot
so there was no way I was letting up. Somehow I completely missed Bridal Falls,
a shame because I like to look at it but then I was at the mouth of the canyon
and starting to pass the half marathoners. This was really good this time. For
the most part they were all to the left and the water stops were big enough
that the halfers did not get in the way and having them cheer for me really
helped. With about 5K to go I could see that Steve was almost out of site and
passing Walter. I also started playing mind games with myself that the halfers
were in the full and about to pass me to keep me moving. With about 2 miles to
go I could see that I would likely catch Walter and used him to pull me along.
At the mile 25 water stop Walter got some water and that is when I passed him
to move into 7 place. Now the finish line was in sight and I knew my family was
there waiting so I just gave it all I had and crossed the line.
met up with the rest of the team. It was awesome we had Logan in 4th,
Steve in 6th, me in 7th, and Walter in 8th. Still
a bit off of the Jeff, Paul, etc. team of years past but still a very solid
victory. Plus it was just great to have them out there to work off of and with.
A whirlpool company was kind enough to have two tubs set-up with ice-cold
water. So I did two 10-minute sessions in there and then waited for the awards.
Logan and Walter both took home nice checks and we all took home plaques.
Afterwards we headed back to the house, after a brief adventure I caused we
said our goodbyes and drove back to Salt Lake. Overall, it was a great weekend.
The camaraderie and race both exceeded my expectations. My 2:44 beat my goal
time and though a PR is always nice considering everything that has gone on the
last nine months I’m really happy to have done this. I just edged out my ’12
TOU time so this race now sits as my 3rd fastest marathon.
Consistency is my key… I could not have asked for a better farewell to Utah.
First half 1:21:00
Second half 1:23:22
2 minutes and 22 seconds
difference is not too shabby.
2:44:26 at 26.35 miles
Overall 7th place and
2nd in division.
Going off of the course tool, 12
splits were slower than 2:45 pace and 14 were faster.
My fastest mile was mile 1 at
5:55 and my slowest mile was mile 9 at 6:39.
I am super happy with the
consistency of my splits with only a 44 second spread!