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Columbus Marathon - RunMarathon

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Columbus , Ohio
United States
Columbus Marathon, Inc.
48F / 9C
Total Time = 3h 15m 20s
Overall Rank = 350/4741
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 47/482
Pre-race routine:

I couldn't sleep well with all the anticipation leading up to the event. I tossed a lot all night and was hot much of the night too.
I got out of bed about 30 minutes before the alarm went off because I had to use the bathroom and I was struggling to get any sleep at this point. I used the time to get everything done I had planned and then eat my breakfast.
Breakfast for this years race was much better planned and thought out than last year. Last year I felt kind of full for a lot of the early miles. This year I had only a half of a peanut butter bagel and, because I didn't want to feel like I had to stop to take leak during the race, I only had about 1/3 cup of OJ. The lack of liquids didn't concern me because of all the hydrating I had done in the days leading up to the race.
I was excited to get started!!! I wondered around in the hotel room until everyone was ready. I couldn't sit down for 25 minutes as the girls all got their hair and make up on.
Event warmup:

I stretched at the hotel for about 10 minutes while eating my breakfast and walked the half mile from the hotel to the start area. Once I found my corral I had all kinds of nervous energy and had plenty of time so I ran about another 1/2 mile to get a little more into the groove.
  • 3h 15m 20s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 28s  min/mile

I found my pace group leader about 25 minutes before the race began and had a few passing words with he and some others who were planning to run in the 3:15 group. Mostly small talk that probably helped calm all my nervous energy down some.
I turned my watch on with about 5 minutes until the start to allow the GPS to pick up a good signal prior to the start. I knew the battery could be a problem as I progressed through the race. I wasn't sure if it would make it all the way through. More on that later.
The pace group leader talked that we may not make it up to pace until the for 2 miles or so were in but after that we should settle in just fine and finish on track. Jim had done several pacing's and I trusted he knew what was going on and I relied upon him to make sure we were on track.
The first few miles were actually on track but I didn't know it until after the race was over and I could look at the data. These miles felt really good and I didn't feel stressed. They actually felt kind of slow for what my body wanted to go. I had told Jim before the start that the first miles of my races are usually faster and having a pacer would help save me for the last miles.
(I saw Lis, the girls and Jessica around the 1 mile mark, waved and smiled and kept on trucking. It was good to see them all and know they would be there to support me.)
I took my first gel at mile 5, then at 10....according to plan.
The first 10 miles my legs felt amazing! I had no issues at all and I felt like I could run forever at the current paces and HR. About mile 13 is where some tightening of my legs began to creep up. There was nothing major at all but I knew there would come a time late in the race where my legs weren't going to be feeling this good and I would be playing mind games with myself to keep them moving.
It was in the area of mile 13 that I noticed the grade increasing some. This wasn't a huge grade but it was enough to see and feel on my legs. There was a fairly steep, short hill right at the half and full split that was a little challenging but I tried to keep the same effort and not the same pace so much............
  • .......The back half was more challenging..........
  • The first 5 miles of the back half were still fairly easy. I could feel the legs getting tighter and my shoulders stiffening a bit. I used some relaxation techniques more frequently to settle in and prepare for the rest of the course. I knew I was going to make it through the race but I began to wonder how well I would perform for those last miles.
  • ....My head began to work on me slightly from mile 15 to 18.......I reminded myself of the training time I had put into this race and allowed that to be where I placed all of my confidence. I wasn't wondering if I cold finish the race, but more about how fast I could finish.
  • Miles 19-22 I could feel the hurt coming but had plenty of resolve to continue. Nothing hurt, but by now I could feel it coming on. My pace group leader (Jim) was trying to keep everyone together until the last 2-3 miles to make sure no one got dropped prior to complete exhaustion. I was struggling at times to hold my pace with the group but I didn't get really excited about falling behind at the aid stations. I knew there was all kinds of time left and I didn't need to try to blitz my way back up to the group really fast and expend that energy. (This happened several times throughout the race.)
    Jim let everyone go at mile 24 and allowed the group to splinter. The reason for this I think had been coming for a while but I didn't know until after the race was over. Jim had been struggling for, now that I think about it, many miles. Several times I think he was trying to pull the pace back a little because he said we were too far ahead of the pace. After the race I found out that at mile 24 when he let everyone go, he stopped in a porta-john and passed out for a couple of minutes. (we found this out as we (others in the pace group) waited for him at the finish.)
    But it wasn't just yet that things started to come apart for me. I held a pretty even pace through mile 24 but I could tell these last couple of miles were going to be hard.....VERY HARD! My pace for mile 25 was 7:41 but was maitianable. I didn't know how I was pacing and, honestly didn't think much about it because I knew Jim was behind me. I thought I was in good shape for finishing ahead of schedule.....because Jim was behind me. I also didn't realize that my pace was that slow. About halfway through the 25th mile I began to get stitches but I was able to hold them off by using the normal techniques I have used in the past. I never got them severe but they did slow me down as I tried to make sure they didn't get out of control.
    The last 1.2 miles were a blank!!! My watch died at 25.03!!! I had NO idea what my pace was! I couldn't correct anything because I had NO IDEA what I was running. I knew I was hurting and beginning to hurt badly and I felt I couldn't sustain a faster pace for very long. Again, I thought since Jim was behind me I didn't need to hurry, "my pace group leader was behind me" I thought to myself. As I saw the "Half Mile Remaining" marker I wanted to pick up the pace but I couldn't! My legs were shot! My side was beginning to split! I made the final corner to the finish. I think it was probably the last .2 miles and it was all down hill. A fairy steep down hill too. I didn't think my legs would hold out but I made myself run as fast as I thought I could to try to guarantee a good finish.
    As I crossed the finish line I saw my gun time was 3:15:42. For some reason they have me at 3:15:47 but I know I had those 5 seconds. Not that it would make any difference to my chip time and ultimately my possible BQ finish but I still wonder how it was off that much.

    Most of the mile markers seemed to go past without me noticing them. There are probably more markers that I remember missing than I remember seeing.
    What would you do differently?:

    I relied heavily on the pace group leader to get me to the goal with time to spare. I shouldn't have done that! (I don't fault Jim because he was having something medically happen that hadn't happened to him before. He is a 2:26 PR marathoner and a 100 mile race runner.)
    I also wouldn't have waited to buy another GPS watch! I knew it was going to be very close to making it and pretty much knew it wouldn't go the distance but I took the chance anyway. I never should have done it!!!!
    Post race
    Warm down:

    I tried to stay standing as long as I could. I had no legs left to stand or walk on. They were completely exhausted and wobbly. I kept on my feet for another 15 minutes after I finished and then collapsed in a heap of exhaustion and allowed Lis to give me a lower leg massage. This actually helped me a ton.
    I also got incredibly cold. I was "shaking like a Ford fender," as they say. Lis asked if I wanted her jacket but I declined knowing shse was probably pretty cold herself. When I collapsed on the ground and began to shake uncontrollably, she simply took her jacket off and covered me with it without saying a word. I hadn't the energy to decline at this point and I knew I probably needed it worse the she.

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    I had all the fitness I need! And, I had all the mental ability I needed! I just didn't know what was going on behind me. That was what kept me from making up those 20 seconds. I KNOW!!!!!!!! I could have gotten those 20 seconds back had I known what had happened to Jim and if my watch had not died. I pride myself on a very strong will when something is important.....and this was important to me!
    There is no doubt I could have made it!!! But I thought I was ahead of the game............I wasn't

    Event comments:

    I think this was a very well run race. The only thing I didn't like was not being able to let everyone know what my bib number was prior to packet pick. Was this a particularly big deal? No. But I don't really know why they can't let you know what the number is sooner.
    The volunteers did an excellent job of keeping us hydrated, the traffic interference to nothing and the crowd support pretty high.
    I will likely do this race again someday....If I keep marathoning.

    Profile Album

    Last updated: 2011-07-01 12:00 AM
    03:15:20 | 26.2 miles | 07m 28s  min/mile
    Age Group: 48/482
    Overall: 483/4741
    Performance: Good
    Mile 1-7:26 Mile 2-7:13 Mile 3-7:22 Mile 4-7:28 Mile 5-7:24 Mile 6-7:23 Mile 7-7:27 Mile 8-7:22 Mile 9-7:21 Mile 10-7:25 Mile 11-7:22 Mile 12-7:28 Mile 13-7:17 Mile 14-7:25 Mile 15-7:13 Mile 16-7:27 Mile 17-7:27 Mile 18-7:33 Mile 19-7:32 Mile 20-7:20 Mile 21-7:20 Mil2 22-7:26 Mile 23-7:18 Mile 24-7:21 Mile 25-7:41 Mile 26-26.2 through calculations 9:16 (7:43 avg)
    Course: The course was kind of pitchy, I guess. It's not hilly really just kind of rolls a little here and there. I would describe the course as slightly rolling overall but not a flat fast course. (I hear the USAF course is flat and fast.)
    Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Overall: Bad
    Mental exertion [1-5] 4
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4
    Good race? Ok
    Course challenge Just right
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time? Yes
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks? Yes
    Post race activities: Average
    Race evaluation [1-5] 4

    2011-10-17 8:31 AM

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    Fort Wayne
    Subject: Columbus Marathon

    2011-10-17 9:41 AM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Columbia, TN
    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon

    Despite falling the smallest bit short of your goal time, I hope you can feel satisfied knowing that you really are a 3:15 marathoner.  No one can doubt your ability to have made up 20 seconds had you known you were that close.

    Pacing was absolutely awesome.

    Do you have any more marathons on the horizon? 

    2011-10-17 4:18 PM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon
    Awesome job Dirk.  Amazing to see your progress since your first marathon last year.  The doors to Boston can't keep you out for much longer. 
    2011-10-17 7:25 PM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    University Park, MD
    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon
    Nice run, and interesting RR. 11 minutes faster in a year bodes well. (This week might not be the time to think about more marathons.)
    2011-10-17 8:54 PM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Columbus, Ohio
    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon

    Great run, man! That is a smoking fast marathon time and defintely a time to be extremely proud of! Enjoy your recovery. A BQ is in your near future.

    2011-10-18 11:43 AM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon

    I know those 20 seconds are haunting you, but this was an outstanding race. You paced it perfectly and PR'd by a huge amount over last year.  I don't think you should sweat the BQ too much - it will absolutely come.  Enjoy this awesome effort.

    2011-10-18 7:27 PM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Extreme Veteran
    Sidney, Ohio
    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon
    Great race Dirk!  I can't imagine the mental effort it must have taken to reach that point and those results.  I absolutely agree with everyone else, don't sweat the 20 seconds I am positive if you want to reach the BQ time you will have the mental fortitude to push through and reach the goal!
    2011-10-19 6:55 AM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon
    Wow great race Dirk, loved the race report nice detail. Congratulations on the PR.
    2011-10-19 8:56 AM
    in reply to: #3726373

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    Extreme Veteran
    Russiaville, IN
    Subject: RE: Columbus Marathon

    great job and awesome time Dirk, way to PR


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