I have been pretty busy this week and just now decided to write a race report for my St. Jude Marathon. The race was held December 1st in Memphis, TN. It was my third marathon attempt, with not good results on the first two (the second was much better than the first, but not what I wanted).
The short version: I finished with a new PR of 4:01:46 on a warm, slightly windy day. I got to meet Van briefly after the race, so that was cool too!
The not as short version: I discovered on my first marathon that I have asthma. I knew all my life that I had allergies and that sometimes my attacks were severe. I did not know until then, though, that I also have exercise induced asthma. I learned what it can do at mile 13 of a marathon and it was a tough lesson. I am now on an inhaler and seem to have the asthma under reasonable control. I did have issues in my second marathon (Little Rock '12), but I think that it was brought on by poor pacing.
I have always struggled with my weight and this year I have gained a significant amount of weight. I did not weigh before the marathon, but at 5'8" I was 192.4 the Monday morning after. I knew that I was not at a good weight to push the pace. I also have struggled with mileage this year, due to injuries and work. My mileage would not support a strong effort, either.
My goals: I started out wanting to run with two of my friends that were running. One was running his first and the other was battling an injury. I decided that I would run with them the first half and then pick it up if I felt good enough. That is what I did. In the back of my mind, I was eyeballing 4:00, but it was really to be determined at the half.
The race: The forecast gradually changed over the week leading up to the race to show more sun and higher temps, so I was not sure that 4hrs was going to be possible. It ended up starting at around 50* and quickly to near 70* with winds out of the South gusting over 15 mph. I started with my friends and the traffic was congested for the first 4 miles, which is where we took my only portolet break. I had a great time running through the campus of the St. Jude hospital that benefits from this race and high-fiving the kids that are receiving treatment! We talked some and listened to music some, but during that stretch we just smiled and enjoyed!
I reached the half at 2:02:37 and decided that if I was going to make 4hrs, I had to make this a race. Off I went, targeting 8:45or so miles from here on out. Around 17.5 miles, I felt the first tightening of my piriformis muscle. I have never had any trouble before, but I knew what it was immediately. I think that the camber of the roads (which was severe) caused my left hamstring to be very tight. But I continued on.
Around mile 22, I had to stretch the left leg and hip for the first time. I was already getting fatigued and slowing a bit, but this put the nail in the 4hr coffin. I stretched 3 times, and decided at mile 24 that it wasn't helping any more and I just had to tough it out. It was a long ending to a good race, and I passed many people even when I was struggling.
I was glad to have finished without major breathing issues, but I did use my inhaler pre-race and once at mile 13 when I noticed a little wheezing. Meeting Van was cool and I got to see my buddies finish their race. We came we saw and we finished. Unfortunately the only butts that were kicked were ours, but we had a great time. The best part was that the race raised $25.7 million for St. Jude research hospital, with $20M from the Trump Foundation! WooHoo!
Congrats on your new PR and for raising $ for such a great cause!
That was a well executed race, Jerry, congrats! And congratulations on the great PR as well! Sounds like you have been doing well controling the asthma, I think you will see great improvement from now on in the marathon distance. Yoohoo!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
You ran a fantastic race, Jerry! I am SO happy to hear that your asthma remained relatively controlled throughout the race. You really bucked up and finished the race strong (GREAT SPLITS!) considering the piriformis/leg/hip pain you were in. You really were so close to 4:00 hours too, SO close! Hell, you ran a negative split - that's how much you pushed it on the back half of the race.
You ran a great race in light of everything that you mentioned and that's wonderful that you were able to meet up w/Van as well. Congratulations, again, on a great race!!!
Wow, great job on getting that PR despite the obstacles you faced~this year. Anyone who manages to run with asthma deserves major kudos in my book. I'm glad this time was better than your previous two!
Running for two!
Pre-Preggo PRs--5k 23:00, 10k 49:07, HM 1:57:40
Post-Preggo PRs--5k TBD, 10k 54:45, HM 2:28:05
Great job, and nice PR there. Sounds like you had a good time, and are doing very good even with your asthma. Awesome that you got to meet Van! You really did well with sticking in there those last difficult miles. Congratulations.
All young people feel boxed in, but what you do with the wiggle room that you have, will define who you become.
Jerry, congrats on a strong race. Nice work on the PR! And I agree, a highlight was running through the hospital campus for me too. Best if luck in your next adventure!
Take Charge. Train Harder. Suck Less. No Excuses.
Strong race, Jerry. I am glad you had an asthma free marathon. Congrats on the new PR!
DamarisMarathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
PRs: 24:57 (5K); 51:25 (10K); 42:46 (5 Miles); 2:04:31 (HM); 4:34:09 (Marathon); 8:00 (Trail 50K)
Damaris Runs with Asthma
Thank you guys and gals for the great encouragement! I am focusing on losing the excess weight now with hopes of a much better time in the Fall of 2013.
Here are my splits, if anyone is interested...
That's a great job man! A friend of mine ran this one too.
That's a great finish considering everything you were working through.
Thanks for posting.
Thank you to all who read and responded!
Barking Mad To Run
Congrats on your race and on raising money for a great cause!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Hey you ran a PR and your second half was a negative split. I'd call that something to be proud of any day!
Started C25K Feb. 2012! First 5K 5/1/12 32:00
Current PRs: 5K: 26:03 12/15/12 10K: 58:32 9/23/12
10M: 1:26:15 3/16/13 HM:1:56:00 4/14/13
Congrats on a solid race. Now it's time to see what you can do by dropping 20+ pounds and training consistently...
I'm happy, hope you're happy too...
Congrats on the PR and negative split. So close to 4:00.
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