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Rocket City Marathon - RunMarathon

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Huntsville, Alabama
United States
Huntsville Track Club
61F / 16C
Total Time = 4h 46m 26s
Overall Rank = 945/1271
Age Group = 40 - 44
Age Group Rank = 131/155
Pre-race routine:

The routine is pretty much the same. I"m up two hours before showtime, took a shower and ate a bowl of cereal. I really didn't eat the entire bowl due to other runners coming to my elite room. I stayed at the Holiday Inn, which I could see the start from the window of my room.
Event warmup:

I took a GU 15 minutes prior to the gun going off and visited the restroom one last time. I also stretched a little prior to the start but not much. The weather was 61F with 89% humidity at start time.

The plan was to try and run sub 9:30 minute miles for as long as possible. I also wanted to collect some data for future marathons. This was really a training run with an attempt at a Sub 4 marathon.
  • 4h 46m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 56s  min/mile

Mile 1 - 6
I started pretty close to the front. Once I took off, the runners started to thin out around mile 3. Some where between mile 2 and 3, I realized that things were going to be tough because I was sweating alot at this point. The first water stop was just before mile 3 and I wished it was closer. I made a decision to drink one water and one Gatorade and pour one or two waters over my head at every water stop. I reached Mile 6 at 55:24 and feeling pretty good.

Mile 7 - 12
These miles felt pretty good but I was a little concerned at the heart rate number at a steady 181 - 183 bpm through out this section. My LT number is 167 bpm, I know this is acceptable for a half marathon but had my doubt for a full marathon. There were two water stops during this section. I reached mile 12 at 1:52

Mile 13 - 18
Once I reached the half marathon at 2:06:09, I asked myself if I could maintain this pace for the remainder. I had some doubts based on the way I was feeling but I had to move on. After mile 14, things started to slow down below 10:30 minute miles. Then after mile 16, I started to count down the miles single digit style. Then at mile 17, I picked up some lead sneakers that I couldn't shake off. My legs felt really heavy but cardio was still good. I reached mile 18 at 2:59 and knew a sub 4 was out of the question.

Mile 19 - 24
Mile 19 felt a little better and I thought that I might be able to return back to at least sub 10:45 minute miles. After mile 20, I some how picked up a small car on my back to go along with the lead sneakers. My legs were spent and I could hear my sneakers dragging as oppose to running lightly. These were my slowest miles and the toughest miles mentally. I even slowed things down even slower during mile 22 to get below my LT heart rate. I was really struggling at this point but had gone to far to stop running. I reached mile 24 at 4:17 and knew even a sub 4:30 would be tough.

Mile 25 - 26.6
I made an attempt to speed things up, but my legs wouldn't cooperate. I had just gone by a water stop just prior to mile 24 and I wanted to know if that was it. A volunteer said yes so I knew, I had to survive the rest of the way. I felt dehydrated but I had to fight on, there was a water stop just after mile 25 and I was in heaven. Once I saw, 1 mile left I knew this was a great lesson mentally for me.

I crossed the finish line at 4:46:26 and was greeted by two volunteers who asked my several times if I was okay and need anything. I recieved my finisher medal and finisher technical hat. I also forgot to mention the Nike technical shirt in the goody bag at the Expo.
What would you do differently?:

The plan for my next marathon is to start slower and finish stronger on the back end. I will probably watch my heart rate closer and see what happens. This was another learning experience for my young running career.
Post race
Warm down:

This was the best of all the marathons completed. I was given a cold water bottle followed by 3 bottles of cold gatorade in the same bottle. I then went to the food line, which consisted of fruits, ice cream, moon pies, soup, and a huge peanut butter and jelly sandwich times 2. This was awesome and let me not forget the 10 minute massage while I ate another ice cream sandwich.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I could say, it was the humidity or the Lactic Acid built up early in the race. But ever run that isn't your best is always a great learning lesson for your next.

Event comments:

This was an awesome race. It was inexpensive, close to home, great volunteers, good gear in return, and overall the best race for your money. I will make this a yearly for me and will suggest this race to others.

Last updated: 2007-12-09 12:00 AM
04:46:26 | 26.2 miles | 10m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 131/155
Overall: 945/1271
Performance: Average
Mile 1 - 9:11 / 170 bpm, Mile 2 - 9:15 / 172 bpm, Mile 3 - 9:03 / 181 bpm, Mile 4 - 9:10 / 181 bpm, Mile 5 - 9:20 / 181 bpm, Mile 6 - 9:24 / 181 bpm, Mile 7 - 9:10 / 181 bpm, Mile 8 - 9:38 / 183 bpm, Mile 9 - 9:30 / 182 bpm, Mile 10 - 9:33 / 183 bpm, Mile 11 - 9:40 / 182 bpm, Mile 12 - 9:58 / 182 bpm, Mile 13 - 10:19 / 181 bpm, Mile 14 - 10:39 / 181 bpm, Mile 15 - 10:31 / 179 bpm, Mile 16 - 11:55 / 177 bpm, Mile 17 - 12:11 / 174 bpm, Mile 18 - 11:15 / 176 bpm, Mile 19 - 11:41 / 177 bpm, Mile 20 - 12:36 / 173 bpm, Mile 21 - 12:59 / 171 bpm, Mile 22 - 13:29 / 164 bpm, Mile 23 - 12:25 / 170 bpm, Mile 24 - 13:44 / 165 bpm, Mile 25 - 12:37 / 166 bpm, Mile 26 - 12:25 / 170 bpm, Mile .02 - 4:18 / 177 bpm,
Course: The course consist of a downtown loop through the business district and two historic districts. The second section winds through older Huntsville neighborhoods and referred to as the downtown connection. You repeat this section on the return trip. You then go through a tunnel which is the beginning and end of a 14 and a half-mile loop of southeast Huntsville. The longest stretch here is Bailey Cove Road once you turn off this road you wind mostly through neighborhood streets and back to the tunnel. The course is relatively flat with the maximum elevation differential being 93 feet for the lowest to the highest point.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-12-09 9:34 PM

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Austell, GA
Subject: Rocket City Marathon

2007-12-10 9:41 AM
in reply to: #1091715

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Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Rocket City Marathon
Good job Rivi! Another race completed and another lesson learned. You will get your sub 4..just continue training and pushing yourself! It will come. And, awesome that they have ice cream at the finish. That's the best after race food I can think of. Well that and beer
2007-12-10 7:07 PM
in reply to: #1091715

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Subject: RE: Rocket City Marathon
awesome job rivi!   way to end the year strong. and, i agree wtih amy. no better food than ice cream! cool!   i may have to put this one on my calendar for 2009!   possibly 2008......
2007-12-12 12:30 PM
in reply to: #1091715

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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Rocket City Marathon
Nice report Rivi. Excellent information, and definitely something you will want to look back on as you move toward IM Louisville. Great job out there. The amount of variables that affected the outcome of that race is generally more than usual. Especially just coming off an illness like you had, and also, 3 marathons in two months. You know how to get where you want to be. Try to put it all into action for ING. Also, keep up the good race report writing with quick turn around. Nice Job.
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