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SunTrust Richmond Marathon - Run


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Richmond, Virginia
United States
SunTrust
60F / 16C
Sunny
Total Time = 2h 58m 33s
Overall Rank = 60/3532
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 10/289
Pre-race routine:

Wake-up call at 5am. had my usual pre-race breakfast of 2 bananas and 2 cinnamon rasin begals and 16oz of water then back to bed for another hour. Alarm clock went off at 6am and even though I hadn't really gotten back to sleep I decided to hit the "snooze" button. Got out of bed at 6:15 and threw on some clothes. Walked down to the Omni to see what was going on, grabbed some coffee, and had a bit of a stretch in the lobby. It was probably 45 degrees at this point. Took a 5min jog back to my hotel. 7am - took 300mg caffeine, 3 Endurolytes, 2 Endurox Excel tabs, and my multi-vit then changed into my race clothes and stretched for 15min.
Event warmup:

7:30 - headed for the race start and took a 15min warm-up jog. Spent the next 15min being impatient and stretching then worked my way up to the front of the first starting corral.
Run
  • 2h 58m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 06m 49s  min/mile
Comments:

Wow...what a great run!!! My plan for the day was to go out easy and try to hold a ~6:50/mile pace (3hr goal) for the first ~10 miles and then see how I feel and either go for it (break 3hrs) or settle back and cruise to an easy 3:10. I positioned myself up towards the front...maybe ~5 people deep from the start line. That first mile felt sooooo slow and easy but everyone was there so it wasn't just me dogging it. At the mile marker I saw that we ran a 6:41...too fast. I made a point of giving some of that time back and ran a 6:57 for the next mile...back on track. Somewhere in the first mile a guy pulled up next to me and asked what I was looking to run. I told him somewhere between 3 and 3:10...gotta qualify for Boston. I told him to stick with me if he wanted a very consistent pace so we ran together for a while.

I don't remember much specifically about the next 10 or so miles but it never felt any harder than that first mile and we kept consistently clicking off 6:45-6:55 with a few exceptions. An important part of my racing style is that I don't fight gravity. Powering up hills is just wasting energy that can be put to better use on the flats. When I hit an uphill I shorten my stride and increase my cadence. My pace slows but my effort level remains constant. For example, mile 11 was a long uphill that I ran in 7:07 but my HR remained steady. On downhills I let gravity pull me...no sense in fighting it here either. Every time your foot hits the ground on a downhill your are decelerating and resisting gravity. The key to running down hill is to open up your stride and coast as fast as you can control without actually running hard...don't push yourself down the hill but your pace should increase. By opening up your stride you minimize the number of times your feet hit the ground and minimize the deceleration. On mile 7 for example (long downhill) I ran a 6:25 (my fastest mile of the day) while dropping my HR 4 bpm.

Ah...half way home in 1:29:34 (a half marathon PR). Still felt just as easy as the first few miles. About this point the guy running with me started to get some cramps in his chest and I could tell he was working harder than me to hold the pace...he ws breathing hard and I was just cruising along comfortably. At the 16 mile mark he dropped and I was on my own from there on out. It was also about that point when I started to slowly reel people in. Looking back at my splits I continued to run consistent ~6:50 miles so everyone else must have been slowing down. For the next 10 miles I picked people off one at a time right through the final turn for home. Just after the 22 mile mark I heard someone yell out "COLD BEER"...F*cking right - ON-ON!!! I b-lined it to the cooler and grabbed a cold one for the road...damn it was good!

The next four miles finally started to feel like work. Mile 25 and 26 were tough but only because I held my pace...I knew I was going to break 3 hours and wasn't about to put it on cruise control at this point. It was slightly up hill through much of the 26th mile before turning onto Cary St and heading 10 blocks down to the finish. Good thing it was downhill because I felt my right hamstring hint at cramping twice over that last mile. Once I hit the 26 mile marker I was oblivious to everything around me...completely focused on the finish. I really hope they got a good picture of my at the finish because I don't really remember it very clearly. All I knew is that I was done and had broken 3hrs.

I set out that day to run the best race I could. I knew I could run 3:10. 3hrs seemed a bit of a reach but you only get one first chance at anything so I was determined to make the most of the perfect weather and see if all my training was going to pay off or not. When I hit the 13.1 mile mark I started to feel confident that I'd actually do it but I didn't want to get too big on myself. The thought of picking up the pace slightly kept flashing through my head but I managed to talk myself out of being greedy. I was on pace and it would have been stupid to risk that to shave another 1-2min off my time.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I executed my race plan perfectly. I can't think of a single thing I could have done differently yesterday to improve my performance.
Post race
Warm down:

Ah...the typical stagger. I tried to stay on my feet for a few min but I really just needed to sit the hell down :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Faster? Cut me a break! Okay, I'm sure I'll run a faster marathon before long. I just need more experience and more time to build a stronger base. Next time I'll plan my training to shave 5min off.

Event comments:

I honestly can't say too much about the post-race activities. I only hung around the finish area for 15-20min while I got my legs back and then walked to the hotel, showered, and hit the road for home. It seemed like they had plenty of food and drinks around though.




Last updated: 2005-11-13 12:00 AM
Running
02:58:33 | 26.2 miles | 06m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/289
Overall: 60/3532
Performance: Good
HRavg = 163, HRmax - 180 I averaged high Z2 through the first 16 miles. From that point on there was a steady climb up through ~180bpm at the finish line. 1 - 6:41 (163bpm), 2 - 6:57 (162bpm), 3 - 6:52 (164bpm), 4 - 6:47 (160bpm), 5 - 6:48 (158bpm), 6 - 6:50 (160bpm), 7 - 6:25 (156bpm)- long downhill, 8 - 6:53 (157bpm), 9 - 6:43 (159bpm), 10 - 6:54 (158bpm), 11 - 7:07 (158bpm)- long uphill, 12 - 6:58 (162bpm), 13 - 6:50 (163bpm), 13.1 - 1:29:33 (half marathon PR), 14 - 6:46 (163bpm), 15 - 6:45 (163bpm), 16 - 6:55 (165bpm), 17 - 7:00 (165bpm)- long uphill, 18 - 6:47 (165bpm), 19 - 6:47 (165bpm), 20 - 6:57 (179bpm), 21 - 6:50 (171bpm), 22 - 6:54 (171bpm), 23 - 6:49 (173bpm), 24 - 6:45 (165bpm), 25 - 6:57 (175bpm), 26 - 6:34 (177bpm)- long downhill, 2ND 13.1 - 1:29:00 (new half marathon PR )
Course: Very nice overall. I had already run 21 miles of the course for training a month back so I knew most of what was coming. There were only 2 relatively long hills to climb but also a couple of nice downhill segments.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2005-11-13 11:03 PM

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Pro
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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: SunTrust Richmond Marathon


2005-11-13 11:17 PM
in reply to: #283953

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2005-11-14 4:48 AM
in reply to: #283953

Resident Curmudgeon
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The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon

Sounds l;ike a well-executed race plan resulting in negative splits and a perfect race. Congratulations once again.

Boston 2006, Kona 2007?

2005-11-14 6:05 AM
in reply to: #283953

Expert
1205
1000100100
Herndon VA
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
Great race. That was a smoking fast time and congrats on qualifying for Boston.

Ernie
2005-11-14 7:50 AM
in reply to: #283973

Pro
3870
200010005001001001002525
Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon

Well, I'd have to FINISH an IM before I can qualify for Kona...but it's on the list.  Long-term goals have me there in 2009...just as I crack into the 35-39 AG.  That gives me 3 more years of base building (and learning to swim ) and then another year to actually qualify.  I'm lining up 2-3 HIM races and one ultra-marathon for 2006...everything is a building block in the master plan.

the bear - 2005-11-14 5:48 AM

Sounds l;ike a well-executed race plan resulting in negative splits and a perfect race. Congratulations once again.

Boston 2006, Kona 2007?

2005-11-14 7:51 AM
in reply to: #283953

Expert
623
500100
Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
My hat is off to you, Joel.  Planning, training, nutrition, execution, performance - you put it all together.


2005-11-14 8:23 AM
in reply to: #283953

Master
1551
10005002525
Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
Awesome race Joel! Congrats on the BQ!
2005-11-14 9:54 AM
in reply to: #283953

Master
2052
20002525
Colorado
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon

On-on!

Excellent race.  Very impressive!

2005-11-14 10:05 AM
in reply to: #283953

Elite
4344
2000200010010010025
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon

You drank a beer and still finished under 3 hours.  I am truly impressed. 

My on location sources (you basically ran a circle around her house) said it was a perfect day for a marathon.  Great job that was the natural result of a solid well-executed training plan.

TW

2005-11-14 10:10 AM
in reply to: #284165

Pro
3870
200010005001001001002525
Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
Well, it was only a cup of beer...same size as the water/Powerade cups...but it was colder and tasted much better
2005-11-14 1:14 PM
in reply to: #283953

Elite
2673
20005001002525
Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
Joel, congratulations. I've been lurking and watching your progress this fall toward this Marathon. I thought you were right on to look for the 3:10. There was a thread that you started...stating your 3:00 goal, and I think everyone talked you out of it, and into the 3:10.

It turns out you knew more about yourself than the rest of us. GREAT JOB!!!


2005-11-14 1:54 PM
in reply to: #284336

Pro
3870
200010005001001001002525
Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon

Thanks!  I remember that thread.  They never really talked me out of it but I went into the race and my training focused on 3:10 as the most realistic goal since I was going into uncharted waters running this distance.  I didn't want to set myself up for failure but I always had a little piece of my head holding on to that 3hr mark...just in case everything fell into place and I had a perfect day.  Folks said that rnning sub-3 is a completely different race from 3:10...and that everything changes once you hit the ~21 mile mark.  Now that I've eactuyally been there and can speak from experience I'd have to say that I disagree.  The only difference between 3hrs and 3:10 is 10 minutes...nothing more, nothing less.  3hrs is a mental barrier, not a physical one. 

As for "hitting the wall" I'm convinced that it has nothing to do with something special at mile 21.  There are 3 possible explinations for "the wall" and they are all avoidable.  1) improper/insufficient training - generally, not enough long runs IMO 2) poor planning - not having a specific pace/nutrition plan laid out based on what you've learned from your training 3) poor execution of the pace/nutrition plan.  I had the training and the plan so the only place I could have gone wrong was not following my plan on race day.  There were several times when I had to remind myself of what the plan was.  I felt so good through the first 22 miles that I considered picking up the pace a few times.  Who knows what those last few miles would have felt like if I had started running ~6:30s at mile 15...but I bet it wouldn't have been fun.

morey1 - 2005-11-14 2:14 PM Joel, congratulations. I've been lurking and watching your progress this fall toward this Marathon. I thought you were right on to look for the 3:10. There was a thread that you started...stating your 3:00 goal, and I think everyone talked you out of it, and into the 3:10. It turns out you knew more about yourself than the rest of us. GREAT JOB!!!

2005-11-14 4:07 PM
in reply to: #283953

Elite
3223
20001000100100
Hendersonville
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon




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2005-11-14 4:20 PM
in reply to: #284380

Resident Curmudgeon
25290
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The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
TH3_FRB - 2005-11-14 1:54 PM

As for "hitting the wall" I'm convinced that it has nothing to do with something special at mile 21.  There are 3 possible explinations for "the wall" and they are all avoidable.  1) improper/insufficient training - generally, not enough long runs IMO 2) poor planning - not having a specific pace/nutrition plan laid out based on what you've learned from your training 3) poor execution of the pace/nutrition plan.  I had the training and the plan so the only place I could have gone wrong was not following my plan on race day.  There were several times when I had to remind myself of what the plan was.  I felt so good through the first 22 miles that I considered picking up the pace a few times.  Who knows what those last few miles would have felt like if I had started running ~6:30s at mile 15...but I bet it wouldn't have been fun.

[

Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Pretty much nailed it on the head there Joel. Hit those three, proper training, proper pacing and proper nutrition/hydration, and there won't be a wall.

2005-11-14 8:25 PM
in reply to: #283953

Champion
8766
5000200010005001001002525
Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon

Excellent job!

 Be sure to hit the beer stop in Boston...it will help you get up Heartbreak Hill

2005-11-18 7:27 PM
in reply to: #283953

Champion
6931
5000100050010010010010025
Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: SunTrust Richmond Marathon
Super Focus and a Super Plan = 2:58 Marathon.   Congrats.


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