Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dublin Marathon Race Report

Finally, a marathon without stupid human tricks. I have said many times before that I am going to run a smart race only to bullet out of the start to crash and burn and drag myself to 26.2 using the death shuffle. Not this time.
We took 6 people to Ireland including 3 runners. I watched the weather forecasts daily for the two weeks up to the marathon. After training in 85 degree weather, the anticipated cool temperatures were going to be welcomed. However, with past bonking experiences, I know how cold the death march can be if dressed inappropriately. The dilemma was to dress for the bonk or not. When we arrived in Ireland, we quickly learned that forecasting weather there was a bit of a joke. Each day it was sunny, windy, rainy, gusty, cold and warm for variable amounts of time. Only the duration was in question. By the grace of God the day of the marathon was perfect for us Floridians. 55F and mildly sunny.
I wore light Capri's and a light long sleeve running top. My shoes were Brooks Launch with Injini toe socks. I carried a gel flask with 5 scoops of orange Perpetuem mixed with minimal water, a 20oz water bottle and 3 Hammer gels. I finished with 1/4 of the Perpetuem left and 1 gel left.
There were 12,700 runners. We lined up in the 4:30 and over shoot so it took a while to get to the start. That was fine given my history of rocket starts. It was slow in the beginning secondary to crowds, run/walkers and narrow street combination. During the first 5 miles there were intermittent slowdowns and surges. I tried to not zigzag and I watched not to surge beyond a controlled HR of 158bpm. I had determined on long training runs that HRs greater than 160 or so would put me close to lactate threshold. The high 150s would be a potential danger zone. My Garmin was ahead about .2mi so I was off on splits a lot but seemed to be holding about 10:30 seven miles. I hit the half at 2:20 feeling good. I called to family at the finish to let them know all was well. At mile 17 felt a little belly rumbling so I backed down on the Perpetuem and water amounts. I checked in with Carol and Tom who were behind me doing a 2:1 run walk They were also doing well. I kept the frequency constant taking Perpetuem every 20 minutes in the form of sips with 3 sips of water. Mile 17 to 19 was a downhill grade that felt great. I kept waiting for the wall but still felt good. I was also anticipating a big hill at mile 20 but it turned out not to be too bad. I knew when I reached the University of Dublin, it was just a run into town. I started to feel a little confident that this might just be my day. When I hit the expo building mark I got excited because we had walked there from the hotel two days before and it was a nice walk. I was able to start pushing the pace a little and still felt good. As we came into town the crowds and noise grew. It was great to see Addie, Cathy and Howard at mile 25 felling good and pushing. They made it back to the finish as I was able to kick in at 4:36, a PR tie.
My two running partners were spectacular or brilliant as the Irish would say. They took videos and pictures and they ran/walked to a first marathon time. They finished holding hands despite many injuries along the training period. They are the definition of what a positive attitude and motivation can accomplish. Hats off to TEAM JOULE for a great marathon voyage.
The crowds were great. The organization also great. The coarse was a nice variety of rolling hills. The weather was spectacular. Dublin was a great destination race. Thanks to all the Irish for being so hospitable and friendly. It is truly a great country.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One week left until Dublin Marathon

What a perfect Sunday run. Last longish run for the DCM training. A 10 miler through the usual course with the 4 Joules. The weather finally broke. A cool wind from the west blew in and the morning temperature was 52F. A good day to try out the marathon outfit as the temperature should be similar. I wore Mizuno running capris, a long sleeve top and my Steelers Breast cancer awareness hat. Going to go with the Brooks Launch shoes and Iniji toe socks or smartwool if raining. The wind was gusting but felt great after the long runs in the 80s. We ran a variable pace. Some walk/run with Carol who is nursing an injury. Some pick ups with Addie who is in the middle of xc season and a strong finish sub 8 min pace.
The plan is to go out easy at 10:30 and work my way to 10 min pace. If I feel good and HR stays sub 150 will try to push things in the second half. I feel well trained but who knows what is in store for the big day. So we will say a little prayer and do the best we can and enjoy all that Ireland has to offer. It has been great fun training with a couple of good friends this go around. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

World Wide Festival of Race-Half marathon

I ran my WWFR half marathon today in a time of 2 hours and 14 minutes. Not a pr but that was not the purpose. The WWFR is a virtual race with over 1000 runners across the world participating today or tomorrow running a 5K, 10K or half marathon. It was the brain child of SteveRunner of Phiddepidations and a few other podcasters. The idea is to get people involved in running and to demonstrate just how small the world is. Since I began listening to podcasts, I feel as though I run with my virtural friends each morning and take them along on my long runs. Some of my current favorites are Running in the Center of the Universe, RunRunLive, RunDigger Run, DirtDawg rambling diatribes, Runners roundtable, Quadrathon, and Veganrunning Mom and amilewithme. All have a little something different to say and do not require a lot of concentration to appreciated.
Today my loop began in the Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda, Florida. It was 78F in the beginning and was in the 80s by my finish. I did the first 6 at marathon pace and then slowed for the next 5 and then increased to submarathon pace. My HR climbed into the low 160s by the end which would be a bad sign if running the marathon. I think I would have started to slow significantly after 18. I am hoping this is secondary to the heat and humidity. All in all I felt strong so I am hoping that the marathon in a little over 2 weeks will be good especially if running in 50F temperatures.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Last long run

My last 20 miler is in the logbook. I am pleased to say it went very well. I did 6 miles on the treadmill before it got light to help beat the heat. As before, I do not feel comfortable running in the dark anymore. I then did the next fourteen in Punta Gorda. I ate nothing before since I started at 5:30 am and had dinner late Saturday night. At twenty minute intervals I took sips of Hammer Propetuem concentrated into a paste from the gel flask. I had some left over so I think it will take me the 26.2miles. I will carry a couple of Hammer Gels for back up during the marathon in case something happens. I drank water every 10 minutes or so. I took endurlytes every hour to 45 minutes. While I was running, I listened to podcasts. Brandon's podcast suggested that electrolyte depletion may cause feet pain. I think he has something. At 16 miles I increased the endurlytes and had very little feet discomfort. After the run I had a Revoverite drink and all is well.
Now I will enter the taper period where I will lower the mileage and increase the speed work some. My nutrition plan is good. I now will watch the weather to see what my final clothes will be. I think I will use my waist pak that holds a gel flask and water bottle.