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Honolulu Marathon - RunMarathon

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Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
Honolulu Marathon Association
70F / 21C
Total Time = 3h 53m 37s
Overall Rank = 1073/19304
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 108/1152
Pre-race routine:

Stayed at a friend's condo the night before since they lived less than half a mile from the start line. Woke up at about 3:30 am, having slept around 4 hours solid. Since we were bbq'ing and watching the UFC fights earlier in the afternoon, I don't think I stayed off my feet as much as I wanted to. I'm not sure if riding easy Saturday morning helped much either. From when I woke up, I could tell that my legs were not 100% or at least at peak marathon form.
Event warmup:

Nothing. Got into the masses about 100 feet back from the start line at roughy 4:52. No time to warm up, but I don't think I needed to.
  • 3h 53m 37s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 55s  min/mile

The first couple miles felt pretty good all things considered. I was hitting my splits dead on, but in the back of my mind I was waiting for my legs to open up where this pace would feel too easy. That never happened. Normally in a marathon you have one of those miles where your body feels so good that you have to force yourself to hold back. The fastest mile I clocked was 8:11, only 9 seconds below my target pace, and it didn't feel that easy.

So by mile 6 in Waikiki, I'm already thinking about readjusting my goals. Part of me thinks that my legs will wake up soon, but I know that after climbing and descending Diamond Head, I'll know where I'm at. So as I'm climbing...I'm being passed like I'm standing still. I knew this early, it was more important to run comfortable than to hand on to a goal pace, so this is where I finally realized 3:40 was gone...and it was confirmed when my downhill pace was barely equal to what my goal overall pace should have been.

So as I get back on to the flats on Kalanianaole near mile 11, I just decide to run what feels comfortable. My pace creeps towards 9:00, then 9:15, then 9:30...oh crap. We're only at the halfway point, so I start to worry that I my pace may end up dropping to 10, 11, who knows...mabye even a run walk soon. Turns out that my body readjusted to this new pace fairly well. And it's also at this point did I realize I made the wrong shoe choice. I trained all my long runs in my cushy training shoes but decided I would race in my K-Swiss blade light shoes I recently got for triathlons. I used them in a half marthon and they were fine for that distance, but I knew they felt a litte stiff. Sure enough my feet were the first thing to get sore at around the 14 mile point. At this point Wayne passes me. Which I didn't expect, but what could I do. Within a couple of mintues, he was out of sight.

So as I approach Hawaii Kai, I'm trying to re-evaluate what my new pace should be. Since it was so windy, I knew the tailwind would help coming back, so I was hoping maybe I could manage 3:45. That went out the window soon...3:50??? We'll see. I see Gordon, Chris, and Cheryl at the turn in the Hawaii Kai loop and that gives me a boost. I've made the turn around and now I've got a tailwind all the way back. My pace starts to pick up a little, now closer to 9 minute miles. feet is really the only thing hurting at this point.

On the way back is where I can see some of the slower runners coming out to the turn around. This gives me a little motivational boost as I see a bunch of people...Todd, Cori, Barry, Raymond, Nina, Art, Carin, etc. This really helped me take my mind off the pain in my feet. And that's when I cardio was fine, my legs were a bit heavy but not sore, and in general, I was pretty comfortable. So at this point I knew I was in a good position to finish strong without bonking so long as I could just put up with the foot pain.

I see Darrin, Charlie, and Roy at Arco and at this point I decide to kick it up a bit more. Kahala ave was tough, but nothing I haven't experienced before. I know 3:50 is out at this point, but a PR is a lock so long as I don't completely fall apart. 3:55 is my new goal and to finish feeling good. I get to triangle park, and sure enough, I see Wayne going up Diamond Head. I know my pace has improved since he passed me, so I know I'm making up ground as he is probably fazing. Sure enough, he's walking up the hill as I pass him. I told him to follow me as I passed, but not expecting him to actually start running. To my surprise, he did respond because of his competitive nature. But not surprisingly he cramped up 3 minutes later.

So at this point, I know 3:55 is looking pretty good so I start to shut it down at mile 25 and just kind of cruise. It was then that Wayne pulls right up next to me again. the heck did he recover and catch me in less than a few minutes. So we run side by side for a few minutes, and as we approach the final stretch on Kalakaua, I turn it up and drop him with half a mile to go. I see Meredith and she is so awesome with her enthusiasm. I stuck my tounge at her, then just put my head down and cranked up the pace. Dropping into the 8:30's, then sub 8 for the last .2 miles.

Crossed the line feeling pretty darn good compared to my two other marathons. I know I could have gone a little faster, but nowhere near my 3:40 goal. Either way, I'm just glad it's over.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I think this training cycle was good, but as far as getting to the starting line at my peak...I think I did a lot of things wrong. Slight injury to my calf, and ill timed half marathon, and a pretty poor last 2-3 days of taper all contributed. Weather was not horrible, but not PR ideal either. I learned a lot from training for this race, but there are a lot of things I can do differently. One thing I am proud of is that I made the decision to readjust my goals early, and that saved my race from being a total disaster like last year.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. Started my training too late. If I want to run to my potential, I need a full 18 week training program with a sufficient build up to that program. I can't dedicate my summer to bike racing, then try to jump into marathon training with 14 weeks to go if I want to run my best. My half marathon times predicted sub 3:40, but you can't fake the volume it takes to run to that predicted time. I didn't have the volume...plain and simple.

2. Shoes...I need more of a cushioned shoe for a marathon.

3. Related to #2, weight. I raced at about 160-162 when I was hoping to race at 150-155. I didn't do what was necessary to lose the weight, and that just added to the pounding on my feet.

4. Half marathon was too close to the marathon. It required too much taper and recovery when I should have been doing my last 20 miler.

5. Calf injury right before the half marathon meant another low volume week when I should have been running high volume.

Last updated: 2011-02-23 12:00 AM
03:53:37 | 26.2 miles | 08m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 108/1152
Overall: 1078/19304
Performance: Average
Course: Starts at Queen street on Ala Moana Blvd, going towards downtown, back towards Ala Moana via Kapiolani Blvd, then through Waikiki, out to Hawaii Kai and back to Kapiolani Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-12-13 2:24 PM

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Subject: Honolulu Marathon

2011-12-13 5:29 PM
in reply to: #3937137

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Extreme Veteran
, Virginia
Subject: RE: Honolulu Marathon
Congrats on the PR, even if it wasn't exactly what you were shooting for. I was glad that it was mostly overcast on Sunday morning for everyone. Now you can take what you learned and kill the course next year!
2011-12-13 7:40 PM
in reply to: #3937137

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Subject: RE: Honolulu Marathon

What I loved about your report is the mental agility you showed during the race - you start with your race plan, it goes wrong, you don't panic you just adjust...something I've learned too.  I've trained to around 22 miles and felt great and then on marathon race day, can't do the pace..or vice versa.

The thing is to listen to your body on the day and do the best you can with what you have!  Well done!

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