Dec 26, 2007 10:41 PM
Ok, I guess I will file a race report. !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/smile.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/smile.gif|border=0!
My favorite part about running marathons is seeing the people I know and meeting new people.
There was a great boomer dinner at Macaroni Grill organized by Caddisfli. Caddisfli, TheProFromDover, DWFromDover, Water Lily, Hally, Tom Nally, La Tortuga, La Amiga Del Tortuga, mcsolar, protosun, PDR and I were there and had a most excellent dinner and conversation. There was an after-dinner beer tasting at Chez Lou's Brews (decor similar to the rear end of a Honda Pilot), and everyone was polite about the beer which only tasted a little bit like soap and a little bit like furniture polish.
I should say that the Pro and I had been talking back and forth over the past several weeks about who would come in ahead of the other. As it turned out, it wasn't much of a competition. More on that later...
Then everyone went back to their respective hotels to sleep it off.
The morning brought nice cool temperatures, about 45F, and a perfect forecast topping out at about 58F. The local NBC affiliate was focused on the marathon which was interesting until they starting talking about how hard it is, the injuries one can sustain, etc., at which time we turned it off.
I choked down a bagel with creme cheese and half a banana, put on my berry (not pink) Will Run For Beer shirt, my blue race ready shorts, and my somewhat new yellow Mizunos.
We walked down to the start, dropped off a bag with a camera and some extra clothes, then went to the carousel which was the designated boomer meeting place. At the carousel was ThePro, Water Lily, PBJ, TMWIP (or just "Pink"), katiehoke, and Hally. We wished each other luck, then went our separate ways to ready ourselves for the race.
At the start I positioned myself for a 3:30 finish, talked with a few people who were also looking for 3:30, and found TPFD again. We looked around for Pink who also was looking for 3:30, but didn't find her until just after the start.
I had been planning 7:53/mi (I figured about 7:50 on my garmin) to shoot for 3:27, allowing for a few minutes of slowness near the end, but found myself a bit faster over the first few miles -- not a good effort on my pacing, as the general plan is to run a bit slower during at least the first couple. TPFD was moving ahead, as did Pink, but I smugly thought I had a much better pacing plan and that I'd be passing them near the end. Ha!
I kept Pink in my sights -- she was about 80-100 meters ahead of me during most of the race. My plan remained in place for 18 miles, anyway. Actually, at one point I did catch up with her, but I think that was just about the time I crashed. We exchanged a couple of words about the breeze feeling good, but too bad it was in our faces, and I backed off knowing I couldn't keep that pace any more.
19-26 was pretty hard. I had a lot of trouble on the small hills, but I refused to walk. I was passing the walkers of course, but also of course as I'd backed off to 9:00+, many were passing me as well.
At 21 was our support stop, with Hally, Caddisfli and Tom Nally (maybe others I didn't see). Caddisfli and Tom ran alongside me for a bit, lied a bit as well, telling me I looked strong, that ThePro was only 20 seconds ahead of me and slowing. I wish I could say that I was energized but I continued to slow. I took the water bottle and agreed to see them after the finish. My hams were cramping a bit, but I don't think that was what was slowing me down -- I had just spent all my reserves and ran out of gas.
Watching the garmin click off the final miles was an eternity, but at mile 26 I saw dawndaughter1 and soninlaw1. I tried to pick up the pace, and I guess I did a bit for the final mile or so, slowest mile clocking in at around 9:30. Looking back at my splits and heart rate, it's clear there was a wall I hit at the start of mile 19. The pace slowed while the heartrate climbed.
But the finish finally arrived, final net time 3:34:30 -- about 5 seconds off my last marathon in Vermont. I can't complain about the hills this time, just my poor pacing in the beginning.
After the finished, I found ThePro and Water Lily. He'd run a great race and beat me by over five minutes. I knew he was faster than me during training, but didn't want to admit that to him or myself.
I retrieved my camera and waited nervously for PDR to come through, hoping to see her by 4:06 on the clock (she needed 4:05:59 for a BQ). I did see her and the time was close -- I cheered her on but was very nervous as I'd forgotten her net time was probably a minute or two shorter than the gun time I was looking at. At VCM she cried on my shoulder because she was two minutes off pace, but this time she cried out of happiness knowing she'd participate, not spectate, in Boston in April.
We found DD1 and SIL1 and made our way to the hotel to wash up before the next boomer meeting at City Steam Brewery (perfect). Another great boomer meeting, adding henrun and marge, dtoce and dwtoce, PBJ, LS Mrs PBJ and kids to the same group from the restaurant last night. After lunch, those who remained were treated (?) to yet another visit to Chez Lou's Brews, this time in the parking ramp at our hotel.
All in all it was a great experience, as always. I missed my primary goal of breaking 3:30, but BQ'd again with 3:34:30. I think we're good for 2008 and 2009 now.
More pictures can be found at http://www.pbase.com/lking/hartford2007[/URL" target="_blank">
[http://This message has been edited by WillRunForBeer (edited Oct-15-2007).|http://This message has been edited by WillRunForBeer (edited Oct-15-2007).]