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Marathon complete!

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

My official chip time was 4:25:53, 4 minutes under my goal time of 4:30, at a pace of 10:08. The race went great! The first twenty miles I was running strong; at first I stayed just ahead of the 4:30 pacer, about 5 miles in I decided to not worry about checking back over my shoulder and use my Nike sportsband to monitor my speed. From mile 14 to 20 I was passing tons of people. After twenty, the going got rougher. I had to work on Saturday at a volunteer planting project in Morris Park. The volunteer coordinator said he and I would be more supervising than laboring, easy work. However, less volunteers showed up than expected, and I ended up digging a ~2.5ftx4ft hole to plant a tree. After mile 20, my back muscles were complaining! I had planned to motivate myself and run strong for the last 6 miles (“only a 10k to run, easy as pie!”), but that did not happen. I never thought about stopping (I had about an hour to make the last 5.2 miles within my goal time), but I was alternating between running and walking until after mile 24, when I finally was able to focus and finish the race running. I was able to pass a bunch of people along the finishing corridor; I had enough left to stride into the finish!

My sportsband said I ran 27.55 miles at a 9:39 pace. I did a lot of weaving in the first portion of the race, but the band may be off as well. I need to calibrate it one of these days. I was disappointed in the first mile when I noticed the band’s pace was not matching what the race clock was indicating. At mile marker 1 the band said 1.10.

Immediately after I finished, the best food available was hot chicken broth. It was the perfect saltiness and quenched my thirst (there were soft pretzles, but they were too salty and dry to eat). Met up with family and friends, then went to wait for my friend Kate to finish. Everyone’s comments were a variation of “I can’t believe you are still standing and smiling!” I had crocs to change into for my sore feet, and while waiting for Kate, I had a fence to lean on, so their comments were clearly misplaced ;-). After seeing Kate, I headed home (driven by my parents, thank goodness!) for a shower and a chill session. I thought I would be so hungry I could eat an entire pizza, but I mostly filled up on water and beer after eating a satisfying amount of solid food.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, I was sore, and I didn’t walk around as much as usual, but I was energized and happy. I think my sore muscles affected my sleeping; I didn’t sleep in, and was sleeping lightly for a good portion of the night. Right now the most bothersome muscle is my quads, though while sitting, only my back is noticeably sore. Compared to the soreness I have experienced before no individual muscle group is more sore than after other events, but the total cumulative effect is worse.

Going back over the math, it seems like I ran the entire race at a pretty constant pace, which was not how I felt at each point. I finished the half marathon at 2:13, which is a 10:09 pace. I ended with an average 10:08 pace. I guess the fast running between 14-20 balanced out the slow running from 21-24.5.