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Wattie Ink. Elite Team Official Sponsors
Wattie Ink. Elite Team Official Sponsors

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taper time!

Less than two weeks until the Chicago Marathon. I'm feeling pretty good, and I've set myself up with an ambitious goal. I ordered my Pace Tats today. I went with my big goal, and one with my "I should definitely hit this" goal times (3:15 and 3:20). My PR is a 3:28 at the Boston Marathon (I ran for a charity this past year because I'm still a ways off from qualifying and I wanted to race since my wife was running) so this should be a lofty goal and I will be thoroughly stoked to hit my top end goal. Most of the work is done. A track workout tomorrow will pretty much be my last hard effort. 10ish miles on Saturday and then just a couple more workouts til game day.

Get fast or die trying

Monday, September 12, 2011

Parks Half Marathon Race Report

Yesterday was the Parks Half Marathon. This takes place in Rockville, MD from the Rockville Metro running mostly down trails through Rock Creek Park to downtown Bethesda. Rumor had it that the course may be a bit under water/mud, but I had a set goal in mind and a PR to shoot for. In four weeks I will be running the Chicago marathon and my goal is to technically qualify for the Boston Marathon with a 3:15:59 or better. Chances are this will be way too late to actually get into Boston, but the ability to technically say I BQ'd (for this year at least - next year qualifying is 5:59 faster - or 3:10 or better for my age group). With this in mind, I wanted to run about a 7:15 pace for a half marathon hoping this would put me close to being able to run about a 7:30 pace in Chicago (I will need to officially run about a 7:28 pace to be 3:15:59 or better). I lined up with the 1:35:00 pacer (7:14 pace) and basically wanted to try and hold on as long as I could. The first couple miles were a bit quick, but there was some downhills that helped keep the pace up. At mile three there is a steep short hill dubbed the "silencer" and the pace slowed down a bit. This was also evident in mile four and somewhere around the third or fourth mile I decided to pick up the pace a bit and I pulled away from the group. I maintained a sub 7:10 pace for the next couple miles and then had a slower seventh mile and I began to wonder if I would fall off a bit. I knew I had some time in the bank, but I would still need to do work to hit 1:35 or better. At about 6.5 I opened my Gu Roctane and began to "sip" on it hoping for a water stop to come up. It seemed to take a bit to find that stop so eventually I took the whole gel. Soon after I was able to down it with some water and perhaps this allowed me to pick things up and maintain my pace. I seemed to be fairly steady/consistent throughout and by mile 10 I was ahead of pace by a bit and would most likely definitely hit my goal unless the wheels decided to fall off. I was hoping to hold on until I hit mile 11 and then pick it up for the final two. Well, this didn't quite happen, but I maintained close to my 7:15 pace I was looking for and when I hit mile 12, I slowly began picking up the pace. The Parks Half Marathon runs along a trail I am very familiar with. My running group routinely runs portions of this race so I know where I am and how much I have to go through much of the race. There is about a quarter mile of tunnel you run through just towards the end and I finally started to put the hammer down (for me anyway). I wanted to be a bit faster here, but my gut was telling me, "push any harder and you will have a visitor." I did manage to put a final push down and pass a few people and only one person was able to hammer it past me down the final stretch so I am ok with that (I think I could have picked it up a bit to hang on with him, but I was almost positive I would have puked and it may have been prior to the finish). I crossed the line in an official time of 1:33:47 beating my goal by over a minute and about a 5 minute 30 second PR. I'll take it!

Post race I caught up with my wife who incidentally just went out, 4 minute PR'd, AND won her age group (8th female overall as well). One day I'll catch her...maybe. I also met up with my cousins and a bunch of friends. This is a point to point race so I wasn't able to bring a bunch of reGen (or any reGen) but my buddy actually had one for me! That definitely hit the spot.

I'm sore today, but hoping to catch a few recovery miles. To be determined... I also have to treat my plantar faciaitis issue. It is definitely flaring up post race! Ouch!

On to CHICAGO!!! 3:15 or bust!!!