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St. George Marathon (Read 747 times)

    Ran the St. George Marathon on the 7th, which turned out to be a beautiful day. Getting into St. George (UT) on the 6th, I wasn’t sure what the day would be like. On the 6th, it poured, and poured, and poured. All day long. The weather report said it was to be dry and partly cloudy on Saturday, with just a small chance of showers. But, you didn’t know until you got up the next morning. I would have run no matter what, but running that far in the rain isn’t something I really wanted to do. I suppose a 5K or 10K in the rain might be all right, but the thought of running 26.2 miles in the rain –not for me. So, up at 3:30 Saturday morning (2:30 Nevada time, so I was already losing an hour of sleep Sleepy), and on the bus to the start by 4:15. I do recall thinking on the bus ride to the start that it was a long ride, and I’d have to run all the way back. Actually, I think that on every marathon bus ride. Well, the sky was clear—not a cloud in sight, and about 40 at the start. A great way to begin. I was planning on a 3:24, and wore a pace band I had made just for this race, adjusting for elevation changes, etc. I stuck to it for the most part, at least through the first 15-16 miles. At that point, I picked up the pace just a little and, when I got to mile 20, pretty much just ignored the pace band altogether. It was my seventh and final marathon of the season for 2006, so I decided I’d just run to the finish and see what unfolded. Having run a marathon just two weeks ago, I really had no idea what effect that would have on my goal time. My splits: Mile 1 – 8:20 (wanted to start with an 8:05, but it obviously didn’t happen) Mile 2 – 8:04 Mile 3 – 7:28 Mile 4 – 7:27 (a pretty good downhill portion, but trying to hold back) Mile 5 – 7:37 (took my first GU (Hammergel) here) Mile 6 – 7:41 Mile 7 – 7:50 (start of uphill section through mile 12) Mile 8 – 8:26 (steepest part of incline (200+ ft)—planned on 8:40) Mile 9 – 8:16 Mile 10 – 8:04 (second GU) Mile 11 – 8:07 Mile 12 – 7:58 Mile 13 – 7:42 (halfway, and feeling ok) Mile 14 – 7:33 Mile 15 – 7:17 (third GU) Mile 16 – 7:23 (just a short Saturday training run to go) Mile 17 – 7:19 Mile 18 – 7:17 Mile 19 – 7:33 (whoops—where’d this hill come from?) Mile 20 – 7:25 (ok, just a 10K to go—you run this distance all the time) Mile 21 – 7:13 (last GU) Mile 22 – 7:30 Mile 23 – 7:23 (you’ve hit the edge of town, more crowd support here) Mile 24 – 7:21 Mile 25 – 7:19 Mile 26 – 7:19 26.2 - 1:42 (7:03 pace) Final (chip) time: 3:20:48. My garmin 205 read 3:20:47, and showed a distance of 26.24. Pretty close. Doesn’t always match up quite like that. What is amazing to me is that the winner of our age group (M5054) ran a 2:44. You can see where I take GU—generally, every 5 miles. There are a lot of brands out there; I have found that Hammergel at those points seems to work for me. I also drink a little (less than half a cup, generally) Gatorade at every other aid station. SGM is a very scenic course, with great support. I really like the runner’s area when you finish, with all the ice cream, fruit, bread & honey, drinks etc you want. Problem is, I really don’t want any of it until later. There are bands playing, and it is a pretty happenin’ place. If you ever get the chance to run this one, I would highly recommend it. I know I have probably left out interesting facts/details about each mile, but to include that stuff I’d have to hire a real writer—like jlynnbob or somebody.
    My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
      Congrats Pron8r!!! Sounds like a great marathon. And it sounds like running one two weeks ago didn't hurt your performance at all!! I'm in awe at you marathoners...hopefully I'll be there in the next 5 yrs!
      So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3


      Needs more cowbell!

        Wow, that's awesome! And I love your mile-to-mile breakdown of pace and nutrition, conditions, etc. Sounds like it was a great race in the end, which is all a runner can ask for. Smile k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        Mile Collector


        Abs of Flabs

          Congratulations Pron8r! 6 marathons in one year is quite an accomplishment! Even if a real writer like jlynnbob writes about it, I bet he'll agree too. So what do you get for doing it? Are you planning to take it easy after this?
            That's pretty impressive the way you closed that thing out with a string of 7:20's and still had a kick in you. By a quick glance it looks like your fastes 4-mile section was miles 23-26. Congrats on a great season! I'd be interested in hearing how you approached running 7 marathons in a year. Did you plan to try and "peak" for this one? Seems like you did since you were aiming for 3:24. How much did not holding anything back, knowing it was your last one of the year, play into it? Or did the moon and stars just line up for you to run your fastest marathon of the year on your last try? Great way to end a season. It's really impressive to me that you could run your best marathon of the year, having raced a marathon 2 weeks ago. Well done.

            Runners run.


            You'll ruin your knees!

              ... but to include that stuff I’d have to hire a real writer—like jlynnbob or somebody.
              It was a dark and stormy evening. I've just emptied my overly hydrated bladder for the sixth time and I check the weather report to determine if I have to make adjustments to my race plan...I pin my race number to my shirt and the gel-packs to the waistband of my shorts. I feel my carb-loaded senses tingling as my thoughts turn to the bus-ride to the start... Don, Awesome race man! Your use of a race plan as a baseline is dead on! 3:20 is only a dream for me...well, yeah, I WOULD have to actually do some speedwork... St George is one of the few marathons that I would consider running! Thanks for sharing with us. Lynn B

              ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                So what do you get for doing it? Are you planning to take it easy after this?
                Sore quads Smile You do get a "Grand Slam" medal, which actually looks pretty cool. Yes. I have a half-marathon in November, then just a couple of 5K's until the end of December, when I start my training cycle for Boston.
                My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                  I'd be interested in hearing how you approached running 7 marathons in a year. Did you plan to try and "peak" for this one? Seems like you did since you were aiming for 3:24. How much did not holding anything back, knowing it was your last one of the year, play into it? Or did the moon and stars just line up for you to run your fastest marathon of the year on your last try?
                  First, I treated each marathon as my last long "training" run before the next marathon, and I did a "reverse" taper after each one. The idea all along was that I was not going to "race" any of them except for the last one--St. George. What I found, btw, is that the recovery phase after each marathon took less and less time as the season went on. I actually ran Top of Utah two weeks ago a little faster than I planned (3:29 vs. 3:33-3:35) and, not having run 7 in 7 months before, wasn't sure what effect that would have on my running SGM for time. And yes, knowing SGM was my last of 2006, I didn't worry about holding anything in reserve once I hit the 20 mile mark. So, I ingored the pace band at that point. I did check my splits at each mile, however, because I wanted to make sure I wasn't subconsciously slowing down (if that makes sense). Meaning, if I fell below a certain pace in the last few miles just because of fatigue, I would push to get back on track. Hope that makes some sense and answers your question.
                  My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                    Hey, I ran almost identical splits the other day! Of course, that was, um, a 5-K. If only I could string 23 more together, I could turn in my C-team membership. Oh, well. Very impressive! What's most impressive, in my not-at-all-humble opinion, is the consistency of your pace. I'm working hard to get even close to that kind of steady pace. Even in my best (4:20) marathon ... which I didn't keep splits for ... I'd bet that my splits ranges from 7:00 to 13:00. Seriously. Well done!
                    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                      And by the way, it's seriously disturbing - okay, disturbing to my ego - that you're calling a 3:33 marathon a "training run." Tongue
                      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                        And by the way, it's seriously disturbing - okay, disturbing to my ego - that you're calling a 3:33 marathon a "training run." Tongue
                        In hindsight, I probably could have phrased it a little better. Believe me, I'll take a 3:33 almost any day. That's why I put "training" in quotes.
                        My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                          Hope that makes some sense and answers your question.
                          Definitely, thanks.

                          Runners run.