Thursday, October 16, 2008

Not Done Whinning

Well the good folks at the Portland Marathon were kind enough to give me a time and a place in their race. However the time they gave me does not make much sense to me. As I stated in my earlier post at various point along the course my time,according to my Garmin, did not correspond to times that were being called out by race officials. This, I thought, was due to the fact that the time they were calling out was from the start of the wheelchairs that started 1-1.5 min. before the runners. But when I got to the finish line and my Garmin showed a time of 3:35:01 the clock at the finish showed 3:37:41 which is the time they gave me. If this was the difference between going to Boston or not I would be real pissed and demanding an explanation. But since I choked and this discrepancy did not affect the outcome. I will move on with my life and try to figure out how to fix the problem that cost me.
As Lucho pointed out this is really all I can do at this point.
As I mentioned several times before this race my training had seemed to have stalled. I was getting pretty burnt out and just wanted this race to be over. After basically taking 2 weeks off, the one before the race and the one after. I have a new found fire. I also have a new plan. The reason I expected to better in this race than I did is because my IM marathon was ~4:30. So I figured that if you take away the swim and bike, I should be able run quite a bit faster. But the problem is I also cut out my swim training and cut my bike riding way down and quit riding it altogether in the middle of Aug. This wouldn't have been a problem if I would have added all that training time to running, but I didn't. My IM training had me running about 25-30 miles a week. Prior to Portland I was running ~30-40 miles a week. So I lost about 6 hours a week in aerobic training. I know, what a dumb ass. I won't make that mistake again. As a matter of fact I going to use this little bit of knowledge and I'm going to train like I'm going to do an IM but I'm not. Unlike Lucho I can't take the pounding of 100 miles a week but if I use the time to ride and swim my fitness will be better. So I'm going to sign up for a new race that is starting next spring here in Spokane it too is a Boston qualifier so we shall see. This course is also very familiar to me as I run portions of it all the time. And If you want a flat course this one is actually down hill very slightly the whole way. It's not until May so this gives me plenty of time. I'll also run a few halves over the winter and spring as well. I also hope to go to one of Chuckie V's camps in the spring too. So all in all I'm looking forward to a winter of good training and also some skiing as well. Hope for snow in the mountains. Next week though it's off to Cabo. Jayne and I are headed back to Mexico with our friends and this year we will be joined by my best friend from high school and his girlfriend. Should be a great trip with a lot of diving and surfing and some fishing. Might even manage a hangover or 2 as well.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I Didn't Want to Go to Boston Anyway

Yep, I blew it. I tried real hard and came pretty close but not close enough.
The race started out fine except for the guy bragging over the PA system that it has never rained on race day before, total idiot. By about mile 11 it was poring. But that did not bother me I run in the rain all the time. At that point I was still very confident and was a couple of minutes ahead of goal pace. This continued for most of the remainder of the race. At the half way point I was at 1:40:50 and feeling pretty good. Things started to get tough,as they usually do, at ~ 16 miles. At the 16 mile mark I was at 2:05:08 still on goal. But then came the hill. Now I was told this is a flat course. Bullshit! The hill going up to the steel bridge is a real hill. Not a gradual climb or a gentle slope it's a steep fucking hill. And it's less than convenient at 16.5 miles. Now this is when I start to get confused. As I crossed the bridge and passed the 17 mile mark my GPS had me at 2:13:38. Now according to my gadget I was a over a 1/4 mile a head of were I needed to be. Also I was wearing a pace chart bracelet that was provided by the race pacers that showed that at mile 17 I needed to be at 2:16:18. So at this point based on 2 different systems I was ~2 min 40 seconds in front of where I needed to be.....So why then did I get passed at the 17 mile mark by the pace group carrying the 3:30 balloon??? Well this was clearly not the time to stop the guy and argue with him about his pacing. So I jump onto the back of the group and kept plugging along. All the while thinking I have to be OK I mean even if my GPS is not 100% accurate about the distance it can certainly tell time...So as I watched the 3:30 group slowly pull away from me I try to comfort myself with my irrefutable logic. At mile 20 my gadget had me at 2:38:01. This is still 2 min. ahead of 8 min/mile pace. Do the math 8 min/mile for 20 miles is 2 hr 40 min. I look down at the pace chart to double check and sure enough it says I should be at 2:40:28. I'm golden, except for the fact that the 3:30 group is now nowhere in sight. But onward I plod. 21,22 here is where we come to another hill. Only this hill is going down. It's a gentle hill but it's also about a mile long. Now normally I like running down hill, I'm usually good at it. But not today, this thing is kicking my ass. My hips,knees and feet are killing me. I don't feel like I have the strength to let them run and the only pace that feels comfortable at this point is slow, 8:36 to be exact. At the bottom of the hill I try picking up the pace but it's not happening so much. At about mile 23 I reenter the twilight zone as the 3:35 group pace me. WTF my time at 23 3:03:41 the pace chart for 3:30 says at 23 I should be at 3:04:14. Then how in the hell is the 3:35 group passing me. I hang with them as best I can. But by mile 24 they are pulling away. At 24 I'm at 3:13:24, oh shit, the pace chart says I should be at 3:12:28, I'm a minute behind. But I can still make this a little over 2 miles in a little less than 17 min. I've done this a thousand times. I think people are cheering but I'm totally focused. It is taking everything I have to keep all my parts going in the right direction. It's floored, all the coal is on the fire. But not much is happening in the speed department. mile 25 3:22:50 on my gadget, damn it 7:10 to run 1.2 miles. No way.....I've blown it. I round the last corner running as fast as I possibly can. As I approach the finish line I hear a lady call my name and congratulate me. As I cross the line I stop my gadget and look at the time 3:35:01. Close, but no cigar....

I'll write more later as I still have alot to say about the Portland Marathon. As it stands right now according to them I didn't even finish. According to their results page the last time they have for me is 21.1 miles. But I look forward to seeing what they actually have me at when they fix their problem.