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Glass City Marathon Race Report - Oops I did it Again (LONG) (Read 704 times)


Dave

    Sometimes you learn from your mistakes. This was not one of those times. Sometimes better judgement wins out over optimism and bravado. This wasn't one of those times either. Fortunately though, sometimes you get to experience something that feels so special, so right, that even when things don't turn out quite right, they end up being just fine anyway. This was certainly one of those times. The Glass City Marathon in Toledo is known as a flat and fast course with a fairly small field and one where its pretty easy to BQ. I didn't want to BQ. I just wanted another shot at 3:30 since I tried and failed miserably at the National Marathon just 5 weeks earlier. Toledo was flat. No nasty hills late in the race. I'd make sure I wouldn't go out too fast this time, maybe fall back for a 3:35 pace. Above all, I didn't want to bonk. Not like what happened at National where I hit the half 2 minutes ahead of pace and bonked hard enough to finish at a 14 minute pace. On the heels of the CMM marathon the previous day and with hot weather in the forecast, I should have adjusted my expectations down. But at the start, the weather seemed comfortable. I was fortunate to enjoy the hospitality of rvelich, a fellow RA-er the night before who was kind enough to let me stay with his family just north of Toledo. He was volunteering at the 19 1/2 mile water station on the race. We got up early, had some coffee and a bagel and I left early enough to get to the race by about 7 to find some street parking. I parked without difficulty and wandered around with a bunch of other runners confused about where the starting line was and where the portapotties were (there weren't any, we had to use the host hotel's lobby and that worked find). At 8AM, someone sang the national anthem and the race started. No timing mat despite the chips on our shoes. I was a little confused by that. There was a 3:30 pacer, a handful of 3:40 pacers. At the start, I couldn't decide which to follow so I went out between the two for the first mile hitting it in 8:17 (probably closer to 8:30 for the few seconds to get to the starting line. I was not with the 3:30 group but close enough to keep them in sight. And I started thinking (always a bad omen), "Hey, this race is into the wind for the first half, I might as well stay with a pace group so that I can draft." So I threw caution to the wind, picked up my pace just slightly and fell into the fairly large pack behind the 3:30 pacer. I was running comfortably. Here's a pic of me tucked behind the pacer going over the only real hill in the first half, the bridge. http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/photocard.aspx?pc=7F7C5065687134E877044B3F2DAF1095 The miles clicked off 7:55, 7:57, 7:52, 7:52, 8:02, 7:59. One thing I changed this time was I wore my HRM. Average HR was in the low 160's and steady. Things were looking good. These miles were absolute magic for me. I was tucked into a pack, running with strong runners, comfortably hard. On a marathon. Even knowing now what happened later, I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything in the world. In my mind, I was in the lead pack at the Boston marathon hanging on with the Kenyans. That feeling made it all worth it. Miles 8-13 clicked by too 7:52, 7:58, 8:03, 7:59, 7:56, 8:03. But as I glanced at my HRM, I confirmed what my body was telling me. It was getting warmer. And my HR was steadily rising up towards 170 (a level I knew from experience meant trouble). The pack had thinned out considerably and there were only a handful of us still running with the pacer. And he started cranking down the pace a little to bank some time for the hill at the turnaround between miles 15 and 16. I decided to let him go. The wind would be at our backs from here to the end. I backed off just a little and ran miles 14 and 15 in 8:11 and 8:13. Down the hill to the turnaround. Going back up the hill was going to be trouble and a marathon maniac was walking up. It was getting really warm with the wind at our backs now. I took a brief walk break to lessen the impact of hill and started walking through water stops. Miles getting slower now but no hard bonk. Heat sapping what energy I had left. 8:31, 8:13 (HR rises 5o 171), then 8:51, 9:01. Starting to get into survival mode. Didn't want to have any miles much slower than 10. I hit mile 20 in 9:56. I walk through the water stop and greet Rick (rvelich) who takes a couple of pictures and walks me through the water stop. I'm struggling. I'm taking short walking breaks every half mile or so now. 10:20, 11:11, 10:11, 10:29, 10:09. The heat is bearing down. I'm sunburned and don't know it yet. I'm lightheaded and tempted to stop but press on. Somewhere in these miles I run past the Guardian Angels that are out to support the race. At the end of the line is Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels out of New York and a talk show host that shared a show with a particularly liberal guy name Ron Kube. I stop and shake Curtis' hand and thank him for what he does and I jog off. Then I remember something Kube said during a show where he referred to the soldiers killed in Iraq as a form of natural selection. I turn around and scream, "And you can tell that liberal SOB you did your show with to kiss my ass!". I'm sure it is lost on him but it makes me feel better. Even in mile 26 I can't muster up much speed and I'm still walk/running. Lots of people are suffering in the heat. I find out later that not a single runner finished with either the 3:30 or 3:40 pacers. I see jhallum and mishka sitting on the side near the finish, they yell. I yell back, "This sucks!" I finish in 3:50. At least 15 minutes slower than my goal. But I'm done. We walk over to the podium area in time for Mishka and Jhallum to receive their age group awards in the HM. rvelich joins us for a few minutes and I hit the car for the long ride home. Only later do I find out that my 3:50 was good enough for 2nd in the 40-44 year old age group. So I guess I did it again. I went out too fast and crashed. But I learned and crashed softer. And along the way I got to be a Kenyan. It was totally worth it.

    I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

    dgb2n@yahoo.com

    xor


      No timing mat despite the chips on our shoes. I was a little confused by that.
      Yeah, some races do this. It means that everybody gets a gun time (no real 'chip time'), but having a mat at the end means that they collect finish times more accurately (theoretically) and don't have to deal with a big pile of tear-tags from bibs. Hot day. You held on. You finished. You wrote that you were lightheaded, but you were still coherent enough to make your point to Curtis. That's kind of cool. Say, that section down by the river... where the turnaround is... it used to be called "the walleye mile"... was it crowded with fishermen? This race used to be earlier in the year, and this section was PACKED. Runners going both ways and fishermen at various states of in-sobriety. And the foulest smelling portapotty possible. And you placed. This is a good day. Consider running Grand Rapids in October.

       


      Right on Hereford...

        These miles were absolute magic for me. I was tucked into a pack, running with strong runners, comfortably hard. On a marathon. Even knowing now what happened later, I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything in the world. In my mind, I was in the lead pack at the Boston marathon hanging on with the Kenyans. That feeling made it all worth it.
        Awesome, I know exactly how you felt. I was fortunate enough to experience this feeling in one race in my life, the Chicago Half Marathon. I'd never run with a pace group before, and I could have written every word that you wrote above, I felt so similar to you. Next time this happens, hopefully you'll have better luck with the weather, and you'll watch the pack thin out toward the end, and then...you'll decide it's time to leave the pacer behind you and go get an even bigger PR. Oh yeah, baby!
          Even knowing now what happened later, I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything in the world. In my mind, I was in the lead pack at the Boston marathon hanging on with the Kenyans.
          That is priceless Dave. Great job under tough conditions, you got to hang out with RAers, and on top of that you placed! Totally worth it is right., nicely done.

          E.J.
          Greater Lowell Road Runners
          Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

          May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.

            Very cool! I love reading these reports. Thanks for sharing

            First or last...it's the same finish line

            HF #4362

              Awesome job, Dave. Congrats.

              Runners run.

                Well done in that heat. Nice job on the hardware. I'm glad you said that to that guy, too.

                Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com

                zoom-zoom


                rectumdamnnearkilledem

                  Consider running Grand Rapids in October.
                  Big grin Dave, you still did great under the circumstances. What a hot weekend for racing--especially too early in the season for anyone to be acclimated to it. You still placed in your AG, which just shows how badass you really ran! Big grin

                  '21 Goals:

                  No published goals...not going to jinx things • $500

                   

                  Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

                  remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

                       ~ Sarah Kay


                  Dave

                    Say, that section down by the river... where the turnaround is... it used to be called "the walleye mile"... was it crowded with fishermen?
                    When we crossed the river the second time, I remember looking over and seeing maybe 8 or 10 fishing boats down there. Really very scenic. And about half of the waterfront homes were for sale Tongue

                    I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

                    dgb2n@yahoo.com

                      Dude, our marathons this weekend were basically the exact same experiences with almost the exact same splits. Heat sucks - especially when it effects goals. Way to run strong and finish well. You know you're capable of much, much more. Just make the fall marathon a bigger PR.
                      nextyearcubs


                        Great report, and congratulations on your finish. As someone who is running his first marathon in six weeks, these stories are great to hear.

                        5K 20:20 9/17/11 13.1 1:36:58 6/12/11 26.2 3:34:19 9/23/2012

                        solarpowered


                          Awesome job in that heat. I ran it, too, and stepped off the course at the base of that mile 15 hill. Done at 15.5. I knew I would slog through that next 11 miles and finish almost an hour slower than my slowest marathon. No need. Walked right up to the race guy and asked if I could get a ride back to the start/finish. Big grin I'm amazed at all of you who made it through the full 26.2 in that heat. Congratulations!
                          AmoresPerros


                          Options,Account, Forums

                            Nice report, and nice job gutting out the heat.

                            It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                              Great Job Dave !!! With Marathon in less than 3 weeks in cleveland if we get near this weather I am starting 1 min slower pace as have seen what the weather did to better runners than I. In Cleveland I ran Wed in rain / snow and by Friday it was upper 80's.... 10 miler race Saturday upper 70's and humid also made my performance less than expected. Heck i do not think anyone in the midwest had a better than expected weekend.

                              "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it Great!

                              Kimmie


                                nice work Dave.... way to tough it out and go for it in spite of the heat. I like this line: "even when things don't turn out quite right, they end up being just fine anyway." Great perspective...
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