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St. George Marathon

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Location:

Vestavia,AL,USA

Member Since:

May 31, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

Marathon Top 10 Finishes: 7 Bridges ('15), Utah Valley ('13), Salt Lake City ('08), Top of Utah ('07), and St. Louis ('04). Ran around the equator (24901.55) in 4,388 days.

Personal Records
Marathon 2:39 (SLC '08)
1/2 Marathon 1:12.30 (Provo River, aided '08)
10K 34:16 (Track, sea level '00)
10K 33:15 (Des 10K, aided '08)
8K 25:32 (Crack of Dawn, aided '13)
5K 16:44 (Track, sea level '00)
5K 16:07 (Running of the Leopards, aided '12)
 

Short-Term Running Goals:

NYC Marathon 2019

London Marathon 2020

And my largest challenge to date, raise $20,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my cancer survivorship...

https://pages.lls.org/tnt/al/london20/awende

Long-Term Running Goals:

Enjoy being a Masters Runner.

Get under 3 hours one more time...

Personal:

Grew up outside Chicago and joined the blog while I lived in Salt Lake City. Now living outside Birmingham. I am married with two daughters. Wife thinks I'm crazy for doing marathons. And yes I am crazy I'm a scientist for a living...

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 35.50 Year: 2123.25
RM 090416 Lifetime Miles: 135.71
Brooks Launch Gray #17 Lifetime Miles: 253.75
Brooks Launch Silver A #18 Lifetime Miles: 254.25
Brooks Launch Silver B #19 Lifetime Miles: 252.00
Saucony Rides Blue #23 Lifetime Miles: 252.25
Saucony Rides Black A #24 Lifetime Miles: 253.50
Saucony Rides Black B #25 Lifetime Miles: 254.25
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 76.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
10.0026.000.000.000.000.000.0036.00
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00

A whopping 5 hrs of sleep, then traveling most of the day. I was so dead tired after a long and productive meeting. I managed about an hour nap and then was able to visit with my grandparents some. They had spent the weekend entertaining Kaitlyn and Sandra…

Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00

Kaitlyn was sick again when I arrived home yesterday and I woke up with a sore throat. I had a very full day at work 8am-5pm and 7pm-9:30pm… I moved two experiments to next week so hopefully the rest of the week I can focus on getting sleep, getting healthy, and maybe running?

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.000.000.000.006.00

Well I did a little better in the sleep department, though my cold has me exhausted, and at least I made it out. I thought time off was supposed to “cure” all woes… I wasn’t thrilled with the run tonight but then again between the lack of sleep and travel related stress I’m not too surprised. Keeping my eye on Saturday for now and then after will focus on what to do next. I ran into BC and he seems ready to roll this weekend. Told him about my woes but I think he thought I said 80 mpw for four weeks not 80 mi in four weeks… Though I guess I did slightly more than that anyway (90 in three weeks). Mi 6-T3 Avg. 8:01

 

Asics DS-Trainer #2: 371 / / Asics DS-Trainer #3: 124 / / Saucony Rides #1: 445 / / Saucony Rides #2: 448 // Saucony Rides #3: 271 // Adidas Adistar (flats): 205 / / Adidas Adistar-2 (flats): 4 / /

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.000.000.000.004.00

Well I finally got my 8hrs of sleep. Thanks to those of you still checking up on me. I've noticed my visitor number has halved, oh well. Not too much fun hearing one complain about injuries. The good news is I'm coming to grips with the injury and will just focus on hard PT etc. The thing that amazes me the most is how quickly my life took a 180... The thing I have to remember is that things are still going well, just in a different part of my life. Look at the title and remember that balance can switch from time-to-time. After getting into work early this morning I left about an hour early and did a run with Kaitlyn to say hi to the geese. The whole way she was asking for seagulls and there was a single gull at the pond, lucky her. Mi 4-T3

Asics DS-Trainer #2: 371 / / Asics DS-Trainer #3: 128 / / Saucony Rides #1: 445 / / Saucony Rides #2: 448 // Saucony Rides #3: 271 // Adidas Adistar (flats): 205 / / Adidas Adistar-2 (flats): 4 / /

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00

Well to actually have a taper this week I needed an additional day off. Tried to see a PT on short notice but didn't get anything done. No big surprise there. Big plan now is to go out and see if I can be a pacer or not. Either way family vacation time...I just finished setting everything up for the trip down. I will probably not be able to update until Tues morning. Good Luck to everyone. So many have trained so hard and in the best way possible, injury free. I suspect we will have numerous PRs by about 9:10am Sat continuing on. Run smart, have FUN!, hope to see you on they way.

Back and into the thick of it. Unlike for many, St. George was a great experience for me all around. However, I have a lot to take care of this week both in work and in family stuff and will update as soon as possible. Sorry about the delay and I have already begun to peak at some other race entries but have three deadlines that must be met this week and my reward will be doing my race report and getting to read everyone elses'...

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00

Time to get ready.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
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Race: St. George Marathon (26.26 Miles) 02:47:28, Place overall: 33, Place in age division: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.0026.000.000.000.000.000.0026.00

Chapter 9

 

Human Limits

 

Preface

As is my usual tradition, marathon race reports are a time of reflection for me on my year in running and life in general. I’ve been struggling if I should even go to the start line. Now just 36-hrs to the gun I still don’t know the answer. I’m going, but not sure why and to what end. This year as a whole has been spectacular in almost every aspect of life. Yet I find myself being selfish and focusing on this single defeat. While typing I’m watching a replay of the ’08 Berlin Marathon. For the non-bloggers receiving this it was a significant race. It was run last weekend and Haile Gebreselassie broke his own world record and was the first human to run faster than 2 hours and 4 minutes for the marathon finishing in 2:03.59 or about 4 minutes and 44 seconds per mile. That pace is as fast as I’ve ever run a single mile. Therefore it is obvious that I am far from Human Limits; maybe “Personal Limits” is a better sub-title of this chapter. Well here it goes…

I kept the above just so people would know my mindset going into this race. Now one week later I’m finally sitting down and typing up my race report. I would like to thank all the bloggers that had more faith in me than I had in myself. I was so focused on my injury and what training I wasn’t doing that I forgot about all the months of hard work that came before. First, a brief comment about that training 13 of the approximate 15 weeks prior to my injury I was running more than 70 miles per week. This range 70-80 is normally where I have maxed out. This time however, 7 of those weeks were over 80 miles. Needless to say it is the best I have ever trained in my life. It was paying off as well. At 30 years old I was breaking all of my personal records. The biggest highlight being the 1 hr 12 min half marathon I ran about a week before the injury. I was on cloud nine and thought that all my running goals in life were going to be accomplished this year. Then my knee went. This isn’t a huge surprise in that when you try and redline to get to your limits you are bound to take one step too far.

That one extra step came on a downhill training mile in new shoes. Neither would have been bad on their own, but in typical Adam fashion it came on a week of high mileage and little sleep. My blog’s title is ‘A Balance’, but I still haven’t found out what my balance is. A friend of mine told me that I live my life on a razor’s edge and trying to balance on that is sometimes tough. In any case everything has worked out better than I would have predicted but I still have a long way to go before I decide what is next.

 

The Race

            With my change in plans I wanted to make this race more about family and others to help distract me from the pain in my knee and not attempting my 2:30. I took two approaches to this. First, we planned a very short family vacation around the weekend. Second, I hoped to pace Michelle Lowry to an Olympic Trials Qualifier (needed 2:46) our target of 2:44.

We headed down to St. George to be hosted by Ken and Paula, parents of our friends Brian and Shirley. They were nice enough to let all three of us crash at their house. Thank You!!! We ended up hitting the road after breakfast and got to the expo in time to drop of my elite water bottles (I sure wasn’t feeling elite at the time) and pick up my race number, 35. We stopped briefly to talk to Steve C. but he was swamped with costumers and we just headed out. After dinner I tried to get to sleep early for my 4:30am wake-up. I managed a decent amount of sleep for pre-race and Sandra dropped me off at the bus stop. As I got on the bus it started to rain and wouldn’t stop until 15 minutes after finishing the race… The whole ride up I distracted myself in conversation with the person next to me. He was running his 3rd St. George but his first in nearly a decade.

At the start the scene was surreal. People were huddled around the fires in plastic bags trying to stay warm and dry, neither of these approaches really worked and I was shivering slightly at the start. It was great to see all the bloggers in the holding pen. The surreal nature was in place as I was not sure if I was going to be able to run, which kept away the pre-race nerves. The main thing I was worried about was that I wouldn’t be able to help Michelle and just have to drop out, little did I know. After talking to many of the bloggers it was time to get started. The wind was blowing something fierce and the rain was not letting up but it was time to go. In an attempt to stay dry and warm as long as possible I was wearing the garbage bag to the start. Michelle lined up ahead and I told her not to worry that I would be along in a minute. The gun went off and to my left a few people went down. I later found out one of them was Kory as he passed me showing his battle scar of a bloody palm, not something you want at the beginning of 26 miles. This didn’t deter Kory and he still had a pretty good race.

Michelle was up ahead and I was already worried about keeping up. Despite three Aleve in my system I could feel tightness in my knee but no sharp pain so I just went for it. Michelle was rearing to go and I finally pulled alongside. The first mile was a bit fast but nothing too out of the ordinary with the adrenaline at the start of a race (1-6:20). We settled into a group of 4-6 people and just went with them trying to use them as windbreaks as best as possible. The next mile we compensated a little in the other direction but that was good so that things could get under control (2-6:35). The problem with that is that the others in the group didn’t like seeing that split and pushed. Not wanted to be left in the cold (literally) we went with them. This was probably an ok tactic but the splits were still not coming naturally and I was a little concerned that I was not providing support for Michelle. The next three miles were all within a few seconds of our goal splits but on the slightly fast end with the group and slight chatter (3-6:05, 4-6:04, and 5-6:09). In total those three miles were only 10 seconds off of pace. In fact at mile 6 we were ahead of pace. Under other conditions this probably would have been ok but since we were against the wind it was tougher than I would have liked.

The good news is that we still had company to work off of; the problem was that this company was probably hurting us more than helping by keeping us at a too fast pace. The other problem was that we could see the lead female and I think that the temptation of passing her was too great. The next two miles were both fast (6-5:55 and 7-6:03). At this point we were about 15 seconds under the total target time, not bad only about 2 seconds per mile. I reminded Michelle not to chase the ‘ponytail’, that we had a long race to go and to try and pass her at mile 20. She started laughing and I was afraid my “job as a pacer” was quickly going down the tubes. If I have her laughing and she gets a side stitch I would not forgive myself. Soon after this though, Michelle took her first potty break. This was actually a great move as it allowed the main group to move on so that we could assess pace more appropriately. I stopped and waited and we were off again. Somewhere in there we also got our first elite (the second) water stop and I had to stop to get my bottle. We also probably pushed a little too hard after the bathroom break as we hit the next mile in 8-7:26 which is only 6 seconds slower than target (including potty time = too fast). We got our heads clear and settled down. Took the next mile easy so as not to kill ourselves (9-6:48) and were moving again. At this point I was starting to feel my knee again and the thought crossed my mind to drop out at the half way mark. Also at this point I noticed Michelle’s breathing change and turned my entire focus to her. This helped me so much and I am so thankful that I was able to be part of her race. From this point on I was completely motivated by her and doing my best to help. The great part of this is that it allowed me to focus on running and not the weather or my knee.

Miles 10, 11, and 12 were a blur as I was not sure how to help or if I could help. I was regretting not more formally having a plan of attack. Having only run one previous time with Michelle and not knowing how to adjust for the weather I was playing it by ear and just going off of her body language. As she would fall back I would put my hand down for her to come up to, but not knowing if she knew this “trick” I didn’t stick with it. Turns out I should have as she does but hind sight is always 20:20. These miles were pretty even but a little slow from pace (10-6:41, 11-6:49, and 12-6:41). The next mile seemed to drag on but we survived it and even managed to pick up the pace a little with the downhill (13-6:35). At this point I had been thinking about dropping out and now I was thinking that I was feeling good. Not great, just better than I had ever felt at the half-way point of a marathon. I knew the second half had the majority of the downhill and even though the half split was slow for our target time I still thought we could do it.

The next few miles with the downhill and my “second wind” we started to move again. Michelle is a fighter and I was inspired by her strength. Also, around this point I could see the lead female way off in the distance and we were gaining on her. (14-6:29, 15-6:04, and 16-5:57). I was super psyched by these splits and Michelle really seemed like she was getting a second wind as well. Nature called a second time though so as we neared a port-a-pottie we made a super fast second stop. In the next two miles we came upon a port-a-pottie just to have it open and have the leader step out about 200 m or so ahead of us. I just kept thinking four more miles and we will take her. However, she was coming back faster and I think this helped fuel both of us (17-6:40 and 18-6:19). I also think at this time I started getting too excited. I knew Michelle was going to take the lead in the next 10-15 minutes and I was feeling so good that I wanted to stick with what I initially had told her and that was run ½ or to 20 if I could. I however, thought that I was going to be dropping out at either of those points and now just wanted to run my heart out for the last 10K to see what was left. Very strange feeling to have energy at the end of a marathon and I felt once Michelle was in the lead it was all her.

The next mile was a brutal climb but Michelle was a champ and powered through it (19-7:02). As my Garmin beeped 19 we passed the leader and it was now Michelle the lead female running near me. I’m not sure how much of an adrenaline boost it gave her but I was so happy to have witnessed it firsthand. At this point I didn’t know what to do with myself I was so jumpy and just rearing to go. I ended up sticking with Michelle for 2.5 more miles at which time she had a good 200-300 m lead on the next woman and wanted to do a quick VPB. I felt the end of a marathon is the racers and Michelle had shown beyond any doubt that she was a competitor and would rule the rest of the race. (20-6:24 and 21-6:11). So with her stop I took off to get the crowd ready. My goal was to finish strong and drum up as much support as I could for Michelle. The last 10K had a good number of people out cheering despite the weather and I made it my mission to let all of them know that the lead female was coming and that her name was Michelle. This helped distract me and I was having the most fun ever at this point in the marathon (22-6:22).

For the last miles I noticed despite my crazy cheering for Michelle that I was gaining on people and this completely fueled my competitive flames. I just took off and was having a ball (23-6:02). I had something to prove at this point and didn’t want my knee to rule me. I wanted to take charge and prove to myself that injury or no injury I’m a Runner (24-5:53 and 25-6:04). The last mile has two turns and I was feeling it but couldn’t believe what I was doing. Back at mile 22 the thought of still going for sub-2:45 was at the surface of my thoughts but I knew that wasn’t the case. So as I approached the finish I had a new plan to make this the family vacation weekend I wanted (26-5:59). As I approached the finish line I frantically searched the crowd for my wife and daughter. I finally saw Sandra’s umbrella and I think to everyone’s surprise I ran toward her and stopped. I asked her to get Kaitlyn out of her stroller and to hand her over to me. I put Kaitlyn on my shoulders and ran hard the last 100 m across the finish (0.26-1:50 or 7:02 pace with carrying Kaitlyn on my shoulders).

Final place 33rd overall. Final time 2:47.28 (with ~5 stops). Average HR 178, Max HR 195.

 

Wrap-up

            What next? I had done something I didn’t think possible with 6-wks of de-training. I now know I am capable of a 2:30, the only question is when. This gets back to the balance. Training at this level is difficult. It becomes selfish at times but to stay healthy you need to sleep properly which takes even more time away from the day. I know what I want to do and how to get there; the question is if it is next year or the year after. Part of the reason why this is a spectacular year is that my second daughter is due the second week of December and I know this will yet again shift the balance. However, after such a great year of hitting goals and making time for family and career I think that 2:30 will be sooner than later.

            After I finished I turned to wait for Michelle to see her finish in a spectacular 2nd at St. George! I was happy that I had been a part of her race and I hope I did more help than harm.

            The rest of day I took a nap and then we headed to Zion for our mini-vacation and belated anniversary celebration. We stayed at the Lodge and did a 1 mile hike that night. The next day Kaitlyn and I did two more hikes. I even ran some more carrying Kaitlyn as it is clear that she really enjoys this. It is amazing to think that I was running the day after a pretty quick marathon, much less doing it carrying my daughter. I think I am done with this injury and time to move on. There is still pain but obviously I can work through it.

            Thanks again for your continued support. To the bloggers, I promise to be back soon. I’ve started to read the race reports and drafted comments but am waiting till this is posted to put them down.

 

Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(8)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
10.0026.000.000.000.000.000.0036.00
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00Weight: 0.00
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