ING Georgia Marathon - RunMarathon

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
70sF / 0C
Total Time = 3h 51m 21s
Overall Rank = 588/
Age Group = F 30-39
Age Group Rank = 38/
Pre-race routine:

Got up, took a shower and dressed. Cooked and ate some oatmeal, and drove to the race start with Ron. We dropped off the gear bag, and then hit the port-a-potties before heading to the start line. We got to the start line early so we were "WAY" up front.
Event warmup:

Nothing really. Did some light stretching and received a small back rub from Ron while waiting for the race to start
  • 3h 51m 21s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 50s  min/mile

I started the race way up front, so I had no problem getting right into my stride. I knew I was likely to have a fast first few miles having started in the front. I felt quite comfortable with my early pace and I remember checking my time at the 1 and 2 mile marks, and saw I was running just under 8 minute miles, which is not out of my league but I knew I needed to settle down to a more reasonable marathon pace so I mentally slowed myself on miles 3 and 4. I ran the first 8 miles having to pee, but checked at every port-a-potty and there was always a line. By mile 8, I couldn't wait any longer and stopped and waited for the port-a-potty. I came out of the potty and saw the 3:40 pace group just ahead of me and attached myself to them. I was with them for a few miles, but they weren't keeping a steady pace and I passed them knowing they'd catch back up to me on the hills after mile 13. They finally caught back up to me around mile 17. I was hoping to attach back with them and stay with them through the finish to achieve my lifetime marathon goal of a BQ'er but climbing the hill at mile 18, I got the briefest dizzy feeling and realized I was no longer sweating. I panicked a bit, dropped off the pace group and tried to decide if I was really not sweating any more or if it was just because I had started dumping water on my head at the previous aid station and the heat was causing it to all evaporate very quickly. I really wasn't sure if I was getting to a break down point or not, so I took an extra GU and relaxed my pace. I struggled with the hills through the rest of the race but I managed to keep running. After my scare at mile 18, I became very discouraged that none of the aid stations were handing out Powerade. I was able to find a volunteer in Piedmont park giving out little handfuls of salt, so I eagerly accepted that and continued on. I continued dumping water on my head through the rest of the race, and took ice from a few spectators and aid stations to help keep myself cool. I never felt dizzy again over the last 8 miles, and knew that if my legs weren't already so tired and tight, I could have safely picked up my pace, but I was just too worn out to do anything other than chug along at just under a 10 minute mile pace. After realizing a BQ run wasn't going to happen, I started targeting a 3:50. The 3:50 pace group passed me around 24.5 miles and I just couldn't seem to get my legs to move as fast as the pace group so they quickly passed by. I knew I could hang on and still obtain my race goal of a sub 4 hour run, so I kept putting one foot in front of the other and was happy to see the finishline at 3 hours and 51 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Start a little farther back to allow the crowd to force a slower first few miles. Attach myself to a pace group at the beginning and stay with them the entire way.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked the finish area, grabbed some food and water, stopped for a picture, had my chip removed and tried to figure out where I was so I could meet up with Ron. I saw Mike (a fellow Bt'er and NAMC'er) at the finishline and he was able to find me in the crowd, and told me Ron had finished in 3:30 (not quite like his Chicago run, but a very respectable marathon). Mike was very congratulatory but I was already experiencing a bit of let-down. I left Mike and walked through the maze of people for quite a while before I figured out how to get to the park and the area Ron said he'd be at. I met up with Ron and was able to watch some of the runners finish. I would have loved to stay around for a while but I promised the sitter I'd be home right after the run. I walked back to the car and drove home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat. I am not a fan of hot weather running, so once I started panicking about the lack of sweat, my heat concerns started altering the rest of my run.

Event comments:

I thought ING did a good job with the race, with the exception of the aid stations and the availability of only water at the finishline. The announcer was warning people of the heat and even said if you are out on the course after 4 hours, to switch to only Powerade but I didn't see Powerade at any water stop past mile 6 or so. I had planned on alternating between water and Powerade throughout the entire race, but I only was able to get Powerade at two aid stations early in the race. I also noticed at least twice on the course that there were signs indicating a water stop was ahead and then there was no water stop. I was assuming that was because of a lack of volunteers. The lack of Powerade at the available water stops was more of an issue for me, than the missing stops. I noticed some soda in the finish line area but never saw any Powerade there. I'm not much of a post run soda drinker so I would have done anything for a Powerade.

I saw a runner down on the out and back portion of the race (again, I think it was on Freedom Pkwy but could have been anywhere Atlanta with my lack of paying attention), and was thinking how the race probably really needed to have some manned aid stations on that section of the course because it was hot and sunny, and those out and back sections can be mentally challenging for people.

I still laugh at the fact that three weeks ago I ran a local marathon in the low 30s and wind, and yesterday I was suffering with temps in the 80s and bright sunshine. I doubt either race director was thinking that the race weather would be anything other than temperate.

The course was not easy, but I enjoyed it and would attempt the run again. I hope ING keeps the marathon around, and starts to work out the kinks because I think it could be a great race if they're able to keep interest in it.

Last updated: 2007-01-02 12:00 AM
03:51:21 | 26.2 miles | 08m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 38/
Overall: 588/
Performance: Below average
I should have had a lap data but the Garmin started failing after about 7.6 miles. I've had that happen during other runs and know if I turned it off and gave it a chance to relocate the satellites, it probably would have worked but I didn't want to waste the time and energy on it.
Course: A great marathon course through Atlanta. It was a hilly course with lots of twists and turns. I enjoyed the course, except for the out and back section on Freedom Pkwy (at least I think that's where I was).
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 3