Tuesday, November 06, 2007

RR - West Virginia

Race Report
Sun, Nov 4/07
Marshall University Marathon
Huntington, WV
Marathon #292 – State #49 (2nd loop)

This was to be another ‘revenge or make-up’ marathon. Many will recall that last year I was forced to drop out of the Breakers Marathon in RI because of a painful leg? When the pain was diagnosed a few days later to be DVT I had to cancel a marathon in WV a few weeks later. I ate most of the costs but was able to rebook airline flights for 2007. This year’s problem/injury with the foot almost added insult to injury but thankfully I have been able to continue my marathon schedule and my one-year-delayed quest to complete the 50 States for a 2nd time.

Thus on Sat I flew into Lexington, KY and drove 130 miles east to Huntington, WV. I had learned that many friends/mates from the 100 Marathon Clubs (UK & US) and the 50 States Club were also running the marathon. We got together at the pasta party on Sat evening and shared new ‘war’ stories. Fortunately Sat night was the start of daylight savings time so we all enjoyed an extra hour of sleep before meeting again at the start line for an 8 am start.

The weather was great for running – sunny and a temp of 34 F at the start and only warmed up into the low 50s during the race. There were about 300 runners in the race that started at Marshall University and looped through the downtown area and suburbs of Huntington. Since I had managed to run 40 training miles since the last marathon and the foot felt OK my goal was to run the entire race at a sub 10-min pace! I had to get the old legs used to going the distance!

I was a wee bit surprised when I passed mile 3 in 27:10 – I was starting out too fast? I passed mile 10 in 1:32:21 and the Half in 2:02:30. I was ahead of my target pace but already knew that the 2nd Half would not be as fast. When I passed mile 16 in 2:29:55 my foot started to hurt but it was just a constant, dull pain and since it didn’t get worse I quickly learned to ignore it!
When I reached mile 20 in 3:08:06 my legs were starting to tire as expected and my mile split had slowed to 9:51 (my slowest mile in the race). And as most runners know the race was just starting! But I was determined to run the final 10K at a sub-10 min pace! The next few miles were tough but when I reached mile 23 in 3:37:07 I knew I could finish the final 5 Km on sheer willpower. By then I had developed another blister on the injured foot (3 races in a row thanks to the new orthotics) but I just ignored it and crossed the finish line in 4:08:06.

As I crossed the finish line in the Marshall University football stadium and stopped the right foot tightened up and the plantar fascia told me very clearly that it was not happy with being pushed that hard! I had to limp to the car to get the camera for a finish line photo. I hoped that I had not aggravated the injury too much? But other than my concern about the foot I was happy with my time and the fact that I had been able to run the entire race. And I had taken another 20 minutes off my last finish time! However my foot was telling me that I had reached the lower limits of time and I may back off some at the next race. I have two weeks to rest/recover but then I head into the toughest part of my schedule – 3 marathons in 2 weeks! If I can get through that hump I should be OK?

But for now I am very happy that I have finished state #49 in my second loop around the States. I am really looking forward to completing this insane goal at Philly in two weeks!

Stay tuned!

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