Mardi Gras Marathon - RunMarathon

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New Orleans, Louisiana
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 09m 10s
Overall Rank = 40/1335
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

we wake up at 5 am for b-fast which for me was apple juice and a gel. Usually I would eat half a bagel but apprently everything for healthy stuff in New Orleans closes early. we got ready and walked to the starting line. I drank a redbull 30 min before the race and carried 2 more gels with me for the run.
Event warmup:

since we walk 1 mile to the race that was our warm up plus some light active stretching.
  • 3h 09m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 13s  min/mile

The main goal for the race was to help my friend to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I was going to pace him and make sure he was not running either to fast or slow. Since I’ve been coach him since November I have a pretty good idea of what he should be capable of… almost. Since we’ve been best friends for like 10 years sometimes it is a bit tougher to coach him cuz let’s just say he doesn’t listen to me most of the time :) he never updates his training logs and since he travels A LOT sometimes I don’t hear from him in weeks to evaluate how the training is coming along which is a bit frustrating but I also know that 99% of the time he is going to do the training. Anyway he prepared well for the race with the exception of two weeks in January which he had to take care of personal family issues and wasn’t able to train much. He did all the key long runs and key marathon pace sessions (plus threshold) and based on some of that info he provided me I was certain he could run a 3 to 3:05 hrs marathon. But there were something that concerned me: 4 weeks ago I scheduled his last long run 21-22 miles at his easy pace (8-8:15 min/mile) but since he lives in Miami he decided to run the marathon and of course I didn’t know! He took it easier through the race but still he ran it on 3:14:30 hrs which is NOT that easy as his pace was only 25 seconds slower than his marathon pace.

Anyway before the race we agreed for me to pace him between 7:05-7:10s a bit slower of his M pace since he wasn’t feeling 100% confident (he did most his M training at 7 min/mile) in particular since he had traveled a lot the past few weeks, in fact he flew from Ecuador to Miami and to New Orleans just on Friday before the race alone!

We began the race and it is amazing how many people start out way too fast. We were cruising at 7:05 pace and runners from all shapes, sizes and genders were passing us like we were standing still! I had to keep Phil from going out to fast and hold him back the 1st 3 miles. Another interesting thing is that by mile 2 many runners were hitting the water station hard. Why?!?!? The weather was awesome (mid 50s- low 60s) and having a nice pre race nutrition there is no need to fill your stomach with too much fluid that early. I mean a sip of water/G-ade it is nice but there were those drinking cups and cups of g*ade plus gels, oh well…

By mile 3 I had the uncontrollable need to pee but I didn’t want to stop and lose Phil, so I follow my triathlon routine and pee while running ha! Although this time I pull it out and let it flowed, I think through the race I flashed people like 5 times! :) The 1st 6 miles were uneventful (besides my pee show) and we ran a nice pace avg 7:11 min/mile. The next 6 miles I kept a close attention on Philip’s body posture and breathing, I wanted to make sure he was working but not super hard. He seem very relaxed so after asking him how he was feeling we settled into the planned pace. For those 6 miles we clocked 42:54 min for a 7:09 min/mile pace. I was having fun along the way sprinting to water stations to get Philip fluids or just goofing around with the crowd. I picked up a few beads along the way and throw it at some pretty gals and even though I didn’t get any flashing back I did get laughs out of them.

We got back into town to the superdome and again Phil looked very comfortable and we cross the half on 1:33:32 for a 7:08 min/mile and asked if he would like to settle on 7:05 min/mile for the rest. He agreed so went onto that pace, at this point we headed away from the city into this area which seem like a modest neighborhood but still there were people cheering along and I loved it because I got to see the not so touristy part of NO. from miles 12 to 18 we clocked 42:28 for a 7:05 min/mile and still Philip seem good. By then his breathing was a bit harder but nothing to be concerned about although he did mentioned around mile 14 he wasn’t feeling 100%, like something was a bit off I told him to suck it up and hold on :)

After 17 mile I was on uncharted waters since my longest run as prep for this day was 17 miles exactly and I was afraid I was the one who might have trouble getting back to town! Between mile 17 and 20 my legs hurt a lot and I wasn't feeling all that good. I could tell my legs were not used to this pounding and I was uncomfortable but of course I faked and told Phil I was good and ready for the final push. We didn’t interact much for those miles but we kept on moving. Around mile 19 we hit a head wind so I ran at front and told Phil to follow me close; at mile 20 the pain on my legs went away just like that and I felt awesome, like I was just starting the race. But as I felt stronger Phil began to have trouble and within a mile (mile 21) he went from holding a solid 7:10 to a 7:25 pace and I could tell he was having trouble. From mile 18 to 24 we clocked 44:06 for a 7:21 pace. I began making calculations on my head and figured if we kept clocking 7:25-7:30s the qualifying time could be in jeopardy so I tried to rally Phil. I used every single motivational speech on the text book: suck it up, HTFU, we only have 4-3 miles to go, I didn’t come all the way here to fail, don’t quit on me, you can do it, do it for the children, etc ;)
At this point he was walking the water stations even though I was screaming at him to keep moving and by mile 23 he told me he needed to stop and stretch. I knew if I would let him the BQ was out of the window so I ran back grab him by the arm and screamed at him to get f-ing moving, he angrily complied and start moving again. By mile 24 I could hear his thoughts cursing at me BAD but I didn’t care, I kept asking him to move and ran next to him letting him know we were so close he kept asking me to slow down and stop but I ignore him and told him to move. At mile 25 I told him we didn’t have time to BQ so he needed to move faster cuz I wasn’t going to fail. He dig deep and lifted the pace to 7:16s and we ran toward the finish, I saw the clock on 3:09 so I slow down the last meters to let Phil enjoy the moment. Yup he BQ, mission accomplished :)

Later that day he was very happy but a bit surprised he had such a rough time in the last miles and asked me what we could do next time to which I responded: well try not to travel that much next time oh and please DO NOT run a f*cking marathon 4 weeks out of the race as your last long run…
What would you do differently?:

nothing much, I always have fun with Phi it was very fun been part of his BQ quest and I got a killer training day in the process. My legs are sore but I am not as spent as after a hard race when you go all out. In fact I am already itching to run again but I'll wait a few days.
Post race
Warm down:

we walked back to the hotel while drinking G*ade and eating subway as recovery meal :)
we iced our legs , wait around an hour after that and then jumped on the whirpool, the legs felt awesome after that.
later that night we went out for a traditional cajun creole dinner and a few Louisiana Ales

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Philip, HA! (just kidding dude :))

Event comments:

this was a fun event. They had lots of beer after the race and been New orleans it is just the right setting. I really liked the city a lot and the peopple were very nice. I will go back for another race, maybe NO 70.3 next year? ;)

Last updated: 2008-02-26 12:00 AM
03:09:10 | 26.2 miles | 07m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1335
Performance: Good
1st 6 miles - 43:06 - 7:11 min/mile 2nd 6 miles - 42:54 - 7:09 min/mile 3rd 6 miles - 42:28 - 7:05 min/mile 4th 6 miles - 44:06 - 7:21 min/mile last 2.2 miles - 16:36 - 7:33 min/mile
Course: nice and flat through the historic protions of New Orleans for the 1st half and some interesting sections the 2nd half. Fun course, with support in many portions and the weather was excellent for running.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4