ING Georgia Marathon - RunMarathon

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
Total Time = 5h 51m 29s
Overall Rank = 2010/2132
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Pasta dinner with my running group the night before. After 2 hours of unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep, got up, had a beer, and then slept fine until the alarm at 3:40am. Ate my usual nutrition for a long run and headed towards MARTA for the 5am train.

Got to the venue early enough to not wait on line for a porta potty, had coffee from the waffle house tent, and searched for the bag drop.

I put on three pace bracelets. The first was a 5:30 pace, on top of that a 5:15 pace, and on top of that a 5:00 hour pace. The thought was that as I missed the 5:00 goal I could tear off that pace bracelet and start shooting for 5:15 and then again for the 5:30 goal.

Just after dropping my bag I heard Heather call my name and went over to talk with her and and kirk, it was good to talk before the race.
Event warmup:

Mostly just wandering around Centenial Park and hearding into the corral waiting for the start.
  • 5h 51m 29s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 25s  min/mile

I'm glad I wore the foot pod w/ the heart rate monitor, I had thought about not wearing it. It actually came in very handy the first 2-3 miles to slow me down. I kept looking at my pace and realizing that I was running too fast. I thoroughly enjoyed myself first 7 miles or so, while the 1/2 and full were running together. The crowd was great and tremendous energy. I was disappointed when we the two routes split apart.

I had been waiting since mile 3 or so for the ½ and the full to split so I could use a porta potty. I knew I needed to go but I figured the lines would be shorter after the split. Thankfully they were, first porta potty – no wait.

Everything was going well until I turned left onto College Avenue in Decatur just before the 11 mile mark. It was slightly uphill but nothing horrible but the wind really got me. The headwind was incredible and it seemed like the temperature dropped. It was almost 2 full miles before we turned off College Ave and my hands were freezing...along with the rest of me. By the way, the cheering section at Agnes Scott College was phenomenal.

Getting to 13.1 was a very nice boost and through mile 14 I had stuck to my plan almost flawlessly, the only flaw being that porta potty stop. I only walked through the water stations, I was staying hydrated, and, for the most part was sticking to my schedule of taking gels and endurolytes. I was feeling strong and I was happy to know that I was only about 8 minutes off my pace to finish under 5 hours. So, the 5 hour goal was gone, I took off that bracelet and thought that 5:15 might be in reach and 5:30 should be fairly easy considering how good I was feeling.

Then, just before finishing mile 15, somewhat suddenly, my legs started to feel the fatigue. Starting at the mile 15 marker I allowed myself to walk 1 minute at each mile plus the water stations. This worked well for about 3 miles and then I progressively walked more and more and while running I was running slower and slower. Somewhere in Druid Hills I removed both remaining pace bracelets and decided I was just going to make sure I finished while still having fun. At this point I started to count down the miles to mile 23, that’s were my wife, son, and friend were waiting to cheer me on. Little did I know that there was beer at mile 22, I would have counted down to that. That one swallow of beer energized me for a good ½ mile. Mile 23 I got the best hug from my son and a kiss from my wife…who promptly said “you smell like beer!” Nothing I could do but shrug my shoulders and run off. That kept me strong for the next ½ mile. By the end I was running 2-3 minutes then walking 3-4 minutes. I was absolutely determined to run the last mile but it didn’t happen. I did the walk/run thing for the first ½ of the last mile and then finished running. My legs were certainly very fatigued those last several miles but I was never in any real pain, I kept a smile on my face, and enjoyed the race up until the end.

One additional comment - I'd like to throw a big F U out to the cop directing traffic at whatever intersection came just after Emory University. Two marathoners were walking and, in a fairly nasty tone than led me to believe he wanted to go home, the cop yelled "Let's Go! It's a marathon not a walk a thon!"

What would you do differently?:

I need to learn to hydrate properly. Is it normal to stop to pee twice in the second half of a marathon? If not, I drank too much.

Otherwise, there was nothing I could do differently in this race. What I need is much more of a running base and that will come with time.
Post race
Warm down:

Hobbled around the park, scarfed down some snacks at the Publix tent, put on some clothes b/c it was cold, and limped up to the MARTA station.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough running base. I had never jogged a step in my life prior to January 2007 and this was my first race longer than an 8k. Once I get more of a base I'll be able to hold off on the walking breaks and maintain my pace.

Event comments:

I suspect others will have a different take but for us slow folk the race support was very sparse the last few hours. I'm very grateful to those who stayed out there to continue cheering us on. It was much less understandable that most everything at Centenial Park had been dismantled and was being packed up. Pretty much the only thing left in the park was the finish line. Very anti-climactic way to finish.

Last updated: 2008-02-29 12:00 AM
05:51:29 | 26.2 miles | 13m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2132
Performance: Good
Course: Hilly, lots of rolling hills that started right from the beginning and continued straight 'till the end. I have nothing to compare it to but this seemed like it was (and from what I was told) a difficult course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3