26.2 miles - 4:25:39 - 10:08 pace - 37 min PR.
Ready set go. Miles 0
- 6, 10:08 pace, 137 Avg HR.
At the start of the race it was a little
warm with a light breeze. I felt great I had actually slept decent the night
before. For these early miles I was just trying to keep my cool and not get
caught up in all the excitement. My discipline paid off and I stuck to my
schedule walking 1 min every mile. It’s hard to walk 1 mile into a marathon with
everyone running past.
Into the wind. Miles 6 – 13.1, 10:09 pace, 147
This was and an out and back course and when we came out of the
park it was almost a straight shot to the turnaround. This entire section was
run into a constant head wind. You can tell from my heart rate that I was
working much harder to hold the same pace. Also this section was not flat like I
thought it would be (there are hills in Kansas). One of the downsides to the
run/walk strategy is that you have to run your own race. I couldn’t draft off
someone going 10:00 min pace or my mile time would be up around 11 min. But
other people certainly didn’t have any trouble speeding up to drafting off me. I
didn’t let this get to me I just kept on going my only though was about getting
to the turnaround. My knee problems were short lived they started and ended some
time in this section.
Wind at my back, who turned off the AC? Miles
13.1 – 20, 9:59 pace, 159 Avg HR.
I assumed that once I turned around I
would just fly with the tail wind. What I didn’t realize was that the
temperature had climbed up into the 70’s and the wind was keeping me cool. My
pace did increase but so did my heart rate. For a comparison 2 weeks ago I ran
20 miles in 3:07 at 138 Avg HR today I had to work much harder for 20 miles
coming in at 3:21 with an Avg HR of 150. I hadn’t planned for the heat, hills or
wind but I didn’t let it get to me I was focused on getting the job done.
Getting hot and tired. Miles 20 – 23, 9:49 pace, 176 Avg HR.
My mini goal for today was to arrive at 20 miles in good shape and in a
decent time. I have heard from a lot of people that a marathon is can be split
into two halves a 20 mile warm up followed by a 10K. I agree, the real test
begins at 20 miles. We turned off the long straight out and back road and
returned to the park. Now there is no wind at all and I am really starting to
heat up (in case you wondering heat is my kryptonite). But my pace is steady and
maybe starting to increase a little. I should also say that I am passing people
in droves. This walking strategy is really paying off.
Miles 23 – 25, 10:43 pace, 180 Avg HR.
Near the end of the journey
through the park I start taking a turn for the worse. I feel terrible and like
I’m dangerously close to the dreaded wall. My mind was clouded with thoughts of
doubt and my legs felt like lead. My pulse has spiked, I actually saw it in the
low 190’s. But I kept my cool (mentally not physically) I changed up my strategy
and walked 1 min at the start and another at the half for both of these miles.
Interesting thing was that I was still passing people during this time. Coming
out of park we turned towards town and went over the last hill.
Finish! Miles 25 – 26.2, 9:43 pace, 184 Avg HR.
over that hill I could see the town, more importantly I could see the steeple of
a particular church. This was the church where the race started and finished. It
was that exact moment I knew I was going to finish. My mood did a 180 and I felt
refreshed and excited I was almost there. I resumed my normal pace and strategy
and I finished strong. I passed so many people in that last mile it was nuts. I
was so proud of myself and so happy it was just a great moment at that finish
Post Finish Analysis/Random Thoughts
The run walk
strategy was great and I got to mile 20 in pretty good shape. After about 5
miles almost no one was passing me and I was doing all the chasing. The wind and
heat really gook a lot out of me, I wonder how fast I would have run in better
conditions. Looking over my heart rate stats after the race was a real eye
opener. I was only running 10 min miles but the effort I was putting in was
huge, my heart rate was over 180 the last 4 miles. I bet on fresh legs a 180
heart rate would get me 6:30 pace for 4 miles. Anyways I finished 4th out of 12
in my age group and beat my previous time by over 37 mins. I’m 30 lbs lighter
than my last marathon but I think a bigger factor was is that mind was much
stronger and more confident than previous marathons.