Pacing was great. I was never more than 70 seconds off of my pace. A couple of the markers through me off as they were are water stations and with all the comotion I forgot to hit the split. Also, there was no 13 mile split, only the 1/2 marathon point, so splits 13 and 14 were screwed up. I ran with (within 20 ft. or so) 2 guys for about 15 miles. The first, guy #1 was probably 20 or so and was pretty much running my exact pace. I hung with him from mile 9 until just after mile 14 where there was a very strage turn in the course. We heading down the road and the course made a right turn, went for 50ft and did a U turn and back out on the same road we were on. I wasn't paying attention and passed guy #1 while taking the right turn and looked up and noticed the quick U turn and was on the outside. Nice tight turns are always AWESOME on tired legs and ankles. I took the turn around wide and he took it short and passed me again. Amatuer hour on my part. Ended up passing him again at mile 16. Then came up on guy #2 who had been about 150 ft ahead. This was a windy and hilly section. When I pulled up behind him, he stepped it up a little but I pulled up next to him looking to pass, but he didn't want any part of it and pushed ahead. I figured I'd let him pull ahead and pull in behind him and draft off him heading into the wind. Sounds pretty silly, drafting while running, but I remember watching runners do this in marathons, and you know what, I could tell the difference, so I ran on his heals for about a mile. Then he pulled ahead on a down hill. I was shortening my strides on the downhills to save my quads so I let him go. On the next hill I was right back on him and tried another pass, which he didn't want any part of again, so I backed off. The course then married back up with the half marathon course now and I lost him in the sea of walkers. Seriously the first thought that came to my mind as I saw this was the memory of playing Red Rover Red Rover as a kid. There were lines of folks walking abreast, I counted one line of 9 people which took up more than the 2 lanes blocked off for the race. I was dodgeing in and out of walkers and noticed guy #2 was about 100 or so ft ahead, then I noticed guy #1 was not ahead of me. This was the toughest part of the race mentally for me. My mind was looking at all the walkers txting and talking on their cell phones and laughing and having fun, and well, I wasn't having much fun at this point. It was now like mile 24 and I was off my pace and thinking I was going to come in like 3:03 and not happy about it. After about 1/2 mile of pitty party, I snapped out of it. To be honest I started thinking, I have done Ironman, WTF, this was "just a marathon", which mentally was exactly what I needed. My head was back in the game. I started pushing past the pain, past the lady who decided 3 feet ahead of me, it was a good idea to cut across the path of 4 or 5 runners to head for a port-a-potty (without looking), past the walkers and runners who stop and stand at the water stations, past the awesome cheering mobs of folks in Piedmont Park, and on to Marietta street. About 2 miles to and hey there were guy #1 and guy #2. Guy #1 was looking strong and he took off, guy #2 was coming up fast and I passed him at about mile 24.5. My pace was coming up now as I just let my HR go anarobic and I had some time to make up. My quads were really singing now and my left calf was performing a full Opera on its own. I ran most of the last mile in the open traffic lane. There weren't any cars but I just couldn't continue to go in and around the walkers. There were some 1/2 marathon runners at this point but it was still mostly walkers. At abut the 25.5 mile mark I was rolling pretty good and breathing was extremely labored. Turned the quick corner to the finish shoot and noticed the race clock at just over 3:00 and was very upset with myself for letting this goal slip by. My pacing band was for 2:59:59, which I should have made for maybe a minute faster to give myself some cusion.
What would you do differently?:
No sure, 24 minute PR, but maybe go a touch harder miles 6-15.
waddle around getting food and water. Picked up my bag, went to a bathroom and changed clothes. The worst part was the walk up the hill to the MARTA station. Man I'm glad we didn't have to run up that one.
ING Georgia is a tough course for sure.
Last updated: 2009-03-02 12:00 AM
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
43F / 6C
Overall Rank = 29/2076
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 3/402
Up at 4:00, 2 packets of oatmeal and coffee. Shower and off to catch the 5:21 train. 1/2 peanutbutter beagal on the train. Got to the park and looked for a port-a-potty right away as I knew the lines would start to build pretty quick, which they did as I was waiting in line.
Walked around for a bit as none of the volunteers knew where the starting line was. Dropped off back pack in the gear bag drop off, and froze while walking to the start. The winds were very cold. I was very happy I opted for running tights/pants. For me I'd rather be too hot than too cold.