My goal over the last year has been to Boston Qualify. I need a 3:20:59 to do that. My ultimate goal (not at this race) is to go sub 3:10. I knew after training, that I only had a slight chance of running a BQ race here at ING. 2 reasons. Course difficulty, and my legs were just not recovering and feeling 'right' over the past month. My attitude was.. hey, you never know. So I lined up near the 3:20 pace group, and off we went.
The first 7 miles are a blur. I felt great. As good as I have felt running all of 2009. The course has rolling hills as this point and it's easy to forget what lies ahead. First mile was a little quick, at 6:56, but then we pulled back and got into a nice rhythm and pace. Hit the 10k mark at 47 min.
After the split from the half marathoners, a few people in the 3:20 pace group fell off. We ran through Candler, and at about mile 8, I looked down at my garmin 205, and it was dead. My watch picks and chooses when it wants to die, even with a full charge.. and this was the 2nd ING in a row where it died on me in mid race. More on this later.
Around mile 9, the first real monster climb of the race happens. It's up ponce.. about a mile long. It's draining, but at the top, I assessed, and still felt strong. College ave to Decatur is another blur. Agnes Scott came and went, then Clairmont, then N. Decatur. Before I knew it, we were at mile 15.. then through Emory and off to mile 16. At the 16 mile mark I lost the 3:20 pace group. They pulled ahead just before Lullwater as I went for water and gel. My goal was to catch them on Oakdale or Springdale.. but heh.. let me just say.. Druid Hills is no place to plan on catching anyone. The climb up Springdale then over to Briarclif and up to N. Highland really was where I started to fade. Not by much.. but by just enough. My heart rate was fine, but my legs were fatiguing.
With no garmin, and no pace group, I was running blind as far as pace, and total time were concerned. That's fine in shorter distance races, but not at Marathon distance. There are just too many factors that come into play.
Once I turned onto 10th, the goal of 3:20 started to become unlikely. I really didn't know for sure, cause the pace group was no longer in sight. Too many turns and hills to be able to see that far.. :) The turn onto Juniper was as difficult as I remembered from the year before. The winds were starting to pick up here, which made it even more of a challenge.
Crossing the connector is a bit of a mental lift. After that, you are really in the home stretch. Running through Georgia Tech is ugly though. They pick the worst part of campus to run us through.
Once I got to Marietta St., and the totally BS one mile to go sign, I was happy, but not happy at the same time. I knew 3:20 was impossible, but I felt good to be home. I like running down that last stretch.. there is something very real and very urban about it.
so back to the Garmin.. I crossed the finish, and immediately found the nearest garbage can and threw it away. Gone.. the Garmin 205 will haunt me no more!
Side note.. and not really different from last year, but from N. Highland through the end of the race, I was playing dodge the half marathoner. Most were fine and not in the way, but some were very inconsiderate and seemed to be disturbed by people actually coming up from behind them and actually running.
What would you do differently?:
I really feel like I had a good race. Conditions were perfect. I just was not ready for it. So I need to look at my recovery plan a little closer and maybe take a recovery drink after training runs of any kind.
Walked, pouted. cheered others in, froze, then went to go eat.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Me. Physically, not mentally.
Post race at this event sucks. Everyone leaves, and that's a shame. Plan is to run it again next year, and every year that I can. I love the challenge that the course brings. Still ranks as the most difficult course that I have run.
Last updated: 2009-03-05 12:00 AM
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
45F / 7C
Overall Rank = 140/2076
Age Group = m35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Age group rank is unknown due to results errors.
Got all my stuff ready the night before.. of note, Dr. Sadri stretched my hamstrings the day before, and that was a definite benefit.
Woke at 4:45. Ate a bowl of oatmeal, decided against drinking a boost. Left the house at 5:30 and drove to meet up with friends. First Einstein's then Hilton Garden. Worked out very well to stay on the west side of the course. Essentially parked right there. Saw Kraig M, and said good luck to him. Then headed down with the group to gear check.
None. Didn't feel as if I needed one. I felt loose and ready. Also, in a marathon, that's what the first few miles are for.. warm up. I got to corral 1 with about 5 minutes to spare, and chatted with some foreigners. I asked one what pace he planned on carrying and he said "I don't know miles, I only know Kilometers" heh. 7:04 came, and the event started.