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.


Spokane Al said...

It was definitely a tough one. I looked you up and was wondering what the deal was with your time. Next time we will get it done!

Michael W. Bergquist said...

Oh man! I was laughing so hard that I almost spit out my 7-up (which I was drinking as I read your post). That's one of the funniest stories I've read in a long time and will probably go back and read it again. When you first started talking abou the first hill to the end, I was laughing constantly and busting out a heavy/loud laugh. I'm sorry to read that you didn't make your goal, but at least some good came out of it (a hillarious story).

Lucho said...

Brfoot.. It seemed like your training was less than ideal coming in? That's a positive, that you were so close off of subpar training. Every one of my marathons has been like yours. Either I placed 11th, 2nd, or less than a minute from sub-2:30.. I feel your pain. Time to recover then put the dress back in the closet and get back on your pony ;)
Learn from your mistake then correct it.. what else is there.