Thursday, May 03, 2012

RR Garmin Marathon

Race Report
Sat, Apr 21/12
Garmin Marathon
Olathe, KS
4:17:47 – 2 AG
Marathon #356

I am tardy in writing this report because we moved into a new home at the end of Mar and we have been very busy making repairs and improvements. I did manage to take a few days off – actually days of rest from work – to run this race. After the last disastrous race in Saipan and with not much time for training because of the move I was not sure what to expect. I wanted to run a few ‘training’ marathons before my next international race in Jun so I searched for two marathons that would be satisfactorily spaced to provide the best training? The other criteria were cost. I no longer believe in spending/wasting a lot of money running domestic races – with the high costs of entry fees, air fares, rental car, etc. it now costs about $750 to $1K just to run a domestic marathon. Thus I searched for a couple of races that would be ‘cheap’ to travel to. I selected a number of marathons and compared costs to run them. The Garmin Marathon in Olathe, KS came out first because of cheap airfare to Kansas City. I flew up on Fri and returned on Sat right after the race. Not only did this save money but it put pressure on me to finish the race under 5 hrs so I could catch the return flight home! As I said I did not have much time to train but I managed to get up early most days and slog out some ‘junk’ miles before starting to work on the house. The good news was that by continuing to run and work every day I lost 12 lbs of fat. I was at my lowest weight in the past few years! At least I would have less fat to drag 26 miles! After arriving in KC I met an old friend for lunch and then drove to Olathe to pick up my race packet. Only they had not received or processed my entry that I had faxed into the race organization? That was quickly corrected and I retired to bed soon after a pasta dinner. The race started at 7am on Sat. The race started and finished at the Garmin HQ. I like this kind of race. Small, well organized and I parked within 500ft of the start/finish line! I joined about 2,000 runners – 700 in the Marathon and 1200 in the Half in ideal weather. The temps were 37 F at the start and the low 60s when I finished. The course ran through industrial and residential areas for the first half and on a paved bike trail for the 2nd half. It was boring – but flat! As I lined up for the start I found myself behind the 4- hr pace group. I knew that I was not in shape to run a 4-hr marathon but figured I would follow them out for a few miles to see how I felt? As we passed mile 3 in 29:21 I wondered why they were going so slow. That certainly wasn’t a 4-hr pace? When we reached mile 5 in 48:32 and a split of 9:26 I think the pacer realized he was behind pace and the group lowered the hammer. I was comfortable at the 9:30 pace and I knew I couldn’t stay with them at a faster pace so I held the 9:30 pace and watched them leave my sorry ass behind! I passed mile 10 in 1:36:57 and a split of 9:45. I felt pretty good so I decided to continue at that pace for as long as possible? At 12 miles the marathon split from the Half and dumped on to a paved bike path and three lovely young ladies passed me. They provided a spectacular view to follow (yes-Maddog is a male chauvinist pig!) so I dropped in behind them and enjoyed the view. We passed the Half in 2:06:40 but sadly they started to pick up the pace and I couldn’t stay with them and continue to enjoy the view. They left my sorry/sad ass in the dust as we approached mile 15 in 2:22:03 and a split of 9:26. I still felt OK but figured I needed to slow the pace about 15secs/mile. I started to look forward to a final turn-around point near mile 19. It seemed to take forever to reach that turn-around and I was looking to see how many old farts were in front of me? Shortly after I made the turn I noticed the 4:15 pace group not far behind me. I was already running way beyond my expectations and I figured the pace group would probably catch me in the final 10K? Indeed they passed me as I reached 20 miles in 3:14:00 and a split of 9:39. I decided to fall in behind the pace group and stay with them as long as possible. Unfortunately they hammered through the next mile in 8:42! That damn near killed me! I backed off and tried to keep the group in sight and managed to do so until I reached mile 23 in 3:43:48 and a split of 10:00. Suddenly my legs felt heavy and tired and at that point it was more important to me to run the entire race so I slowed my pace another 30 secs/mile. I managed to cruise the final 5K at that pace. I passed mile 26 in 4:15:22 and crossed the finish line in 4:17:47. By the time I passed through the finish chute and removed the chip I walked to the results table and was given a computer printout of my finish time and place! I had finished 2nd AG. I was very pleased with both my time and performance. It gave me a much-needed boost of confidence and motivation to continue training and hope that maybe – just maybe – there is a chance to run at least one more sub 4-hr marathon? The next ‘training’ marathon is in Denver, CO in late May. Stay tuned!

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