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Charleston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Charleston, South Carolina
United States
Charleston Marathon
41F / 5C
Total Time = 3h 15m 14s
Overall Rank = 37/820
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 3/72
Pre-race routine:

This week, my Mom had shoulder surgery, and my Dad had a root canal, and our oldest son stayed with them to help(?). I am so grateful that they were able to take him in while Lainey and I traveled to Charleston with our friends to race.

Departed Apex 1:20pm, arrived Charleston approx. 6pm, picked up packet, then met Brian and Nicole at the hotel by 6:30. Stayed at Anchorage Inn (same place we stayed 10 years ago). By 7pm we were at Southend Brewery with a cold one (I had 2), and by 7:30 having dinner. Back to the Inn by around 9:30 or so for a sherry nightcap. I stayed up too late fiddling with my gear for the morning; I just could not relax. I slept pretty poorly Friday night, but had good rest night before. Woke up at 4:45 or so after a fitful sleep. Made peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich, and mixed up Gu Brew electrolyte. Worked on that for a bit, then decided to go get the duct tape and sharpies to help everyone mark their stuff. Returned from the grocery and had a cup of coffee, full strength! Had given caffeine the boot for the week.
Event warmup:

Short jog/walk from the hotel up to the Harris Teeter for duct tape and sharpies (gear drop marking), then that was about it. We left the inn just after 7am and by 7:35 we were out of the car heading for gear drop. Lainey and everyone else stood in lines for the portolets, but I opted for watering the marsh. Took a Honey Stinger at 7:45. Good thing too, as by the time I got up to the start line (about 10 feet back), I had 2 minutes to go.
  • 3h 15m 14s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 27s  min/mile

Stats: 3/72 AG (after factoring in the top 3 Males), 37/820 overall males&females, 35/475 overall males. I really did feel like I was making an easy effort of it for most of the race, but the section out to the training area is where the fat lady was warming up.

Some observations: Marathon #7 (4 road, 3 trail). Road times have been 3:26:38(2008), 3:13:43(2009), 3:15:09(2010), and 3:15:14(2013). I can NOT be unhappy with a 3:15:14, being 5 seconds slower than my time at Boston, the day all the cogs fell into place and I peaked my running career. This was by far the most fun road race weekend I've had (Medoc takes the cake for family fun). Lainey had a PR on her half, and ran injury free (and ran the whole race!). Our other friends either all PR'd or this was their first, so they still PR'd! To say this is my 3rd fastest marathon is hard for me to grasp.

However, I had this thing in the bag, and my self-preservation held me back. I was fighting so many things; the course, the wind, the other racers, not having turns manned for the marathoners on their return loop, dropping a gel (!!!) at mile 14 that likely cost me those 14 seconds plus, cramps sneaking up on my calves, making me treat them ever so gently, and that awful NAUSEA that delayed my last 2 gels when I needed them; should have remembered how Coca-Cola helped me at IOS100 there, but was too far in the hole.

There's just so much to learn about yourself in a marathon. How you go through so many feelings of victory and defeat as the miles tick off. "Darn, there goes Mr. Long-Stride.", then a few miles later "Well hello again, lookin' good, see you at the finish". Passed a few folks in the closing miles, was passed by a few.

When I FINALLY turned (what I thought was) the final corner, I poured it on. But wait; where's the finish? What do you mean we have to turn? Then I heard the 3:15 group coming up behind me, the leader saying "alright, we got this". And I poured on what I had left. I saw Tony and Brian standing ahead of me, yelling as hard as they could, but I could not hear them. My hearing shut down, my vision began closing in. The course turned to the right a bit, then a long curve. I looked at my watch. 3:14:51..2..3..4..then I saw Lainey, Karen, and Nicole. They were yelling also, but I could not hear them. 5..6..7..8..shook my head and kept plowing. When I finally looked at my watch (and stopped it), it said 3:15:22. Stopped moving. My chip tag was ripped from my bib. A nice young lady placed my medal around my neck. I walked forward, bewildered.

Immediately the nausea was gone. The calves were fine. It was as if I had just been out for a stroll. I was so mad for about 2 seconds, then it was gone. I had let a perfect race slip away, but I was there with friends, and God had seen fit to let this be my last taste of going fast.

In a weird twist of irony, this being my first race in the old guy group, my time, though initially disappointing, was good enough for a 3rd place AG. Lainey came up and gave me a hug and kiss (I think?), and I noticed she had this weird race bib on. Hey, that's me on there! She had made up bibs for us all letting everyone know it was my birthday, complete with a photo of me from IOS100. It was AWESOME!

I just realized this as I was typing: I have won AG awards in the 5k, 10k, 10-mile, and marathon distance. The one that will close the gap would be to podium a 13.1. That, I believe, can be my next goal, and it won't be quite as hard on my body.

I'm giving this an "average" run rating, as I was just briefly disappointed with the results, but how can I be disappointed with outrunning 68 others in my age group?
What would you do differently?:

Well, I keep telling myself to go slower in the first half. I think that would be the benefit of running with a Garmin, or the pace group, or something. I just get going too fast too early. That plus mixing the marathon start in with the half, it's too easy to get sucked into a fast pace.
Post race
Warm down:

We stood around for a bit waiting on some fresh shrimp and grits to be prepared. Everyone had held off on their first beer until I finished. Once I did, they went for the taps; I waited a bit longer, making sure nothing was coming back up on me. Then we bailed on the shrimp/grits and went to a great outdoor restaurant right on the race course and I had an awesome gyro w/sweet potato fries. Then, at 1pm, I headed up to the stage. They began marathon awards around 1:10 or so, and my AG apparently was the last to be called. Awards went 5 deep, but they got to me, and my 5 friends went wild cheering for me to collect my first podium award for the marathon. It was a sweet reward too, one I will never forget.

Even more fantastic was the rest of the weekend. We all took the shuttle bus back down to the start, and Brian drove us back to the Inn. After a shower and some water, Lainey and I cleaned up and walked over to the Straw Market and did some shopping (and sampling). We were to return to the Inn and meet at 4:15 for drinks (or so I thought). But SURPRISE, they had brought a cake for me, in the exact image, size, and shape, of my Mizuno Wave Ascends! See the photo below, it was awesome! So we had cake, fermented beverages, and cheese/crackers before heading out to a fantastic dinner at Fleet Landing, right around the corner from the Inn. Then we hit one more bar for the night, and called it quits around 10:30.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Did not adhere 100% to the plan. Speed work was not as fast as prior. I weigh at least 8 lbs more now than I did at Boston (working on that). My right knee was bothering me the last 10 days. My right hamstring has plagued me for 2 years. I wore the Wave Mushas for the first time in a marathon, and the feet were hurting at the end. Left metatarsal sore. Upper respiratory infection the last month it seems, finally shook it midweek, but was on Z-pack over my birthday weekend.
The list could go on and on, but I think part of it might've been...I've done Boston once, it was fun, it was nice, was it worth it to go back?

Event comments:

I may come back. I would like to run the half I think. I do not want to see that stupid military training area again. However, I am considering retiring from this distance. We'll see how I feel in a month or two of easy recovery running.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-11-29 12:00 AM
03:15:14 | 26.2 miles | 07m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/72
Overall: 37/820
Performance: Average
Would rather not focus on how poorly I paced this race. My goal was 3:13 flat. I was at 7:11/mile average through 13. 7:17 through 18. 7:18 through 19. Then the nausea set in. I did not want a repeat of City of Oaks '09 where I was reduced to walking in the final miles, so I throttled back, still trying to eke out something under 3:15. Gel plan was 5, 10, 14, 18, 22. Actual was 5, 10, 14, 19, 23-24. I was drinking well, but it was heating up. In looking at my last 3 road races (Shamrock 09, Boston 10, and Charleston 13), they show remarkable similarities to diminishing pace. Mile 18 and on is a slug fest for me. This leads me in a couple of directions. 1) Nutrition, 2) Hydration, 3) Heat management, 4) Other.
Course: It was a nice course for the first 7 miles or so, then I just really did not care for it any longer. It is visually a very ugly side of Charleston, especially heading up King Street outside of town, then especially the stretch out by the military training area. This was not a course I would run for its scenery. Even Shamrock, with its military section, was nice as it had a lighthouse, some water views, etc. This race really put a premium on the half-marathon experience, and getting in the early miles on the Battery. It was pretty flat, had one bridge to go over at mile 10, but then a bunch of little undulations in the closing miles. I will attach the course as a photo, but it was really crazy how many turns we were doing at the end.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-01-21 2:56 PM

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Apex, NC
Subject: Charleston Marathon

2013-01-23 10:34 AM
in reply to: #4588189

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: Charleston Marathon
Sorry about the BQ, but you did well to tough it out. Very cool of Lainey to throw in those B-day suprises and make it a great memory even if the time was not what you had hoped for. See you at Raleigh 70.3
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