ING Georgia Marathon - RunMarathon

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
Total Time = 3h 30m 9s
Overall Rank = 240/4340
Age Group = 18-29
Age Group Rank = 53/411
Pre-race routine:

We got up around 5:00 and I ate a powerbar, bagel, and drank a glass of water. We got to Marta by 5:45 and had to wait 20 min + on a train. That put us way behind. Then the train stalled at Peachtree Center so we walked to the start (see warmup). Luckily Russ's wife Dana was with us and held on to the bags because we didn't have time to get to bag check after making a stop at the Port-o-potties. Then I kissed Bethany good-bye and managed in the 5 minutes preceeding the start to work my way up to the 4:50 pace group. There was no way I was getting to 3:30. I did some quick stretches in the limited space available and took off.
Event warmup:

My warmup consisted of the few blocks walking from the Peachtree Center station to the port-o-potties and the start. I didn't feel the need to warmup considering I hadn't for any of my long runs.
  • 3h 30m 9s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 01s  min/mile

Miles 1 - 6.2 (48:19)
It was hard not to fly on this part. The adrenaline of the race start was flowing, it was dark and there were a lot of runners around. I settled into a ~7:45 pace here and felt pretty strong. I started to feel a little twinge in my knee but by the end of the stretch it had subsided so I knew I was in good shape. Saw my parents at 3 which was cool, missed the mile 4 sign so I have no split but I was pleased with this portion.
1 - 8:01
2 - 7:45
3 - 7:46
4/5 - 15:13
6 - 7:44

Miles 6.2 - 13.1 (1:41:01)
In hindsight I probably atacked this section of the course a little too aggressively. I was starting to picture killing my goal time because I was comfortable at sub 8s and I still needed to catch the 3:30 pace group who I estimated to be about 1:30 ahead of me at the start. I caught them at Mile 8 and ran with them for a mile. At mile 9 I convinced myself that if I could get ahead of them I would either beat my goal or if they caught back up I would make myself keep their pace and still beat my goal by 1:30. I saw my parents at mile 10 in Decatur along with the biggest race crowd on the course and started really moving. I felt great and at the halfway point realized I was on pace to beat my goal by 8 minutes.
7 - 7:57
8 - 7:36
9 - 7:44
10 - 7:30
11 - 7:32
12/13 - 15:15

Miles 13.1 - 20 (2:36:37)
The beginning of this section waas still winding through Druid Hills which was nice because of the pretty houses, nice shade, and cheering supporters. Mile 16 in hindsight seemed to be a lot uphill and when I hit my split on that mile I started to worry that I had gone out too fast. Mile 17 was flatter and slower and I got caught by the pace group shortly there after. This is where the 'make the myself stay with them' portion comes in. I was able to pace off of them for the next 2 + miles of this section. This was good because miles 18 - 20 were the worst on the course in terms of scenery. At mile 20 my mind and math skills were starting to degrade but I was 4 minutes ahead of my pace time based on my arm band.
14 - 7:46
15 - 7:36
16 - 8:21
17 - 8:28
18 - 7:58
19 - 7:58
20 - 8:16

Miles 20 - 26.2 (3:30:09)
I lost the pace group immediately here when we turned right on Ponce at started the climb to Virginia-Highlands. It's not really that much of a climb but it felt like it. What I thought would be an enjoyable run through my favorite part of town was a struggle as I saw my 4 minute lead on my goal dwindle with each mile. I missed the free beer stand that everyone talked about and started to get discouraged as I was catching the half-marathon walkers. It's not very motivating to try and run with people around you walking. We hit Piedmont Park at 22.5 and I really for the first time started to wonder if I would make 3:30. By this point I was below a 3 minute lead on my pace. Then mile 24 started with an uphill stretch in the park and then up 10th to Piedmont. My worst mile on the course. At this point it was just will. I saw Heather right after 24 which helped and then shortly after that some guy made eye contact with me and said "You can do it. You're almost there." The last two miles were a mental battle to not stop and walk and I managed to overcome it. The last .2 were downhill and I gave it everything I had left.
21 - 8:14
22 - 8:23
23 - 8:42
24 - 9:07
25 - 8:55
26 - 8:46
.2 - 1:22
What would you do differently?:

I would be pretty easy to say that I should have run the first half slower and saved some for the tougher second half. I actually think I probably did it right by making time on the front where I could. The back half would have been bad no matter how much I saved.
I do wish that I would have mentally prepared myself for the difficuly of the second half. I really had no idea the last 4 miles would be that tough in terms of the course.
Post race
Warm down:

Warm-down? I was fighting the urge to throw up! I had read that you should not stretch a lot because it would put too much strain on muscles that had just been put through a lot. I drank a bottle of water, tried to eat some pretzels and then sat down for a minute before going to find Bethany and my parents.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Inexperience for the last 6.2 miles.

Event comments:

It was the first one so I think it should be assumed there would be some kinks. The hotter than normal weather probably threw the water estimations out the window. I don't drink Powerade so I didn't have the water station trouble that many people speak of.

Last updated: 2007-03-28 12:00 AM
03:30:09 | 26.2 miles | 08m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 53/411
Overall: 240/4340
Performance: Good
Course: Having never run a marathon I don't know that I have an opinion of the course. However I would venture to say the last 4 miles are about as tough as a 4 mile stretch in a marathon can get. The route in terms of sites and neighborhoods was excellent. The 2+ miles on Freedom Pkwy was a bit of a let down since there were few spectators.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3