Thursday, October 22, 2009

Columbus Marathon Recap!

I was fairly quiet prior about the marathon because I didn't want to have excuses! I wanted to just take what I had and go with it.

Training for this marathon was a bit different then training for my first marathon of the year in May! I had over-trained for Stillwater and was now slightly under-trained for Columbus. So you may (or may not) ask "what do you mean by under-trained Tim"? Well, let me show you! Here are my weekly total miles starting with the week of the marathon (including the marathon).
Marathon week - 30.20
-1 week - 24.61
-2 weeks - 19.20
-3 weeks - 8.00
-4 weeks - 14.24
-5 weeks - 13.10 (this was the half iron distance triathlon)
-6 weeks - 25
Most of the prior weeks were good enough since the miles didn't need to be that high at that time. Things just kept working against me; a little injured from the 1/2 iron, work hours (schedule), a funeral, family schedules and more. I was a bit worried that I was increasing my miles as the marathon was approaching. And even then, I ran less than my plan or else it would have just been too much. So I just made sure to temper my plan so that it tried to resemble a taper.

As you may already know, I will not have work schedule as an excuse anymore. Next Monday I start my new day position. Yes there are on call hours but this is a lot different than my 12 hour, days, eves, nights position. It is M-F days, one night a week on call, one weekend every 4-5 weekends on call. This is going to be great for me, my diet, my family and because of all that, my training. (amongst other important things in my life).

I can't even begin to express how happy I am about this! 

I was also actually purposely training @ 10 seconds slower paces for all my runs. But this is not an excuse, it is a positive. Yes, my miles were much less, but my key workouts were phenomenally better. Especially my tempo runs. God, I love tempo runs. When do you feel better or stronger as a runner than after a tempo run?

Both my interval runs and tempo runs were on target. For the next marathon, I'm going to nail these runs and get my miles in as well.

I suppose that I should talk about.....

The Actual Marathon!

I really wanted to run a 4 hour marathon despite my miles, and I had planned on going for it. But I also know that I haven't run a whole marathon without run/walking the last 6-8 miles. So my plan was to run @ 9:15 pace the first 5k, be up to a 9:00 by 10k and hopefully hold that pace, if not actually increase to an 8:45 or 8:50. My marathon pace is suppose to be @ 8:35 based on intervals and tempo runs.

This was a very crowded start which is probably my only complaint regarding the marathon. There was no way for me to get to my pace group that I thought I might join (still not sure about joining a pace group).

The sun was just coming up as the start gun fired.

A few minutes later and I was off. It only took a mile before I was warming up but I waited until mile 2 to get rid of my sweatshirt contribution to the homeless. My Garmin wasn't working yet due to that it was "lost" in Columbus and it just wouldn't make a satellite connection. So: mile 2 was an 8:56 pace.
Mile 3 9:00
Mile 4 8:53 Loving the support in this neighborhood. Reminded me of Twin Cities.
Mile 5.... What? I gotta pee already? I peed moments before the marathon started! 9:47, Very short porta potty wait. This marathon rocks.
Mile 6 8:51 and my heart rate was still only averaging 153. I should pick it up just a little bit.
Mile 7 9:00 Back onto Broad street. A small amount of uphill but only compared to the non hills prior to this.
Mile 8 8:57
Mile 9 Had to pee again 9:28
Mile 10 8:54
Mile 11 9:05 Just about back to High Street and the 1/2 way mark.
Mile 12 9:56 Guess what I had to do? Also, I spotted my son and dad and decided to take off my long sleeve shirt. It was getting warm. Sorry about the sweaty shirt buddy! Thankfully he had my backpack to keep it in.
Mile 13 9:08 Halfway done and feeling decent. The only thing I didn't like is that I continued to feel tired, like I just needed a little nap. Caffeine may have helped but then again with my apparent diuresis and then later intestinal problems maybe it's a good thing that I didn't.
Mile 14 9:12 Passing quite a few people taking walk breaks. Now I know what a runner feels when passing a walker. I always wondered during my first two marathons. They feel absolutely NOTHING and are too busy doing their own work. It may have been part of their plan anyway?
Mile 15 9:10 Not feeling bad, but not feeling like I should either. Especially since my hr was still only 156. Which is really impressive considering all the college girls around cuz we were in dorm country. (For the record, I'm married, 42 and was running so I could really care less about the college girls. Which is fortunate also because they could really care less about me. But for some reason, I just still like to joke that I do care). Anyway!
Mile 16 11:26 That's right. I had issues! And it had nothing to do with my heart, my breathing or my legs.
Mile 17 9:11 Ran right next some of the gates of OSU stadium, which was kind of cool (unless you don't think its cool, of course). The college football history there is just amazing.
Mile 18 9:34 Another visit! Let me say right now that this marathon is well planned! Plenty of porta potties and no waiting once the half marathoners were done. Once I was done here, I knew this is where I fell apart with my first two marathons. So, my first goal was to not run/walk before 22 miles.
Mile 19 9:22 - A little better
Mile 20 9:16 - Feeling Stronger
Mile 21 9:02 - Hmmm, this is how I want to feel. Reach mile 22 Tim! I was really happy at this moment. Running at a 9 mile pace this late in the marathon!!! Woohoo!!!
Mile 22 10:22 - Yep, bathroom.
Mile 23 9:07 recovered
Mile 24 10:36 Where is IronJenny and her exlax when you need her? This is the first time I've had this problem during a race! I know what to do about this so it doesn't happen again.
Mile 25 9:43. I'm just done, but I'm also happy as I have, except for porta potty breaks, run this whole marathon. This is what it's like to run through the pain. I like it, but I want it over with.
Mile 26 9:22 I was not feeling any almost done glee. I was ok, I think, but I just wanted it done. Marathons should be 24.2 miles! ;-)

Mile 26.2 not sure as my Garmin was "off" compared to marathon due to it would connect to the satellites the first mile. The finish was downhill!

One of the amazing things about the porta potty stops was how hard it was to get started again. It was easier to just keep running and my pace was pretty decent if I didn't have to stop. This fact was a lot different than during my first 2 marathons were it was hard to start and easy to walk. At the water stops, I stopped less than 5 seconds if I stopped at all.

My hr hit 160 for an average at mile 18 but stayed around 160 until 163 in mile 25 and 26.

If you want a relatively flat fall marathon with 60 bands, 22 water/gatorade stations, great volunteers, great people cheering for you and porta potties with little to no wait, then Columbus should be in your future. In 2008, 20% of participants Boston Qualified. Personally, I don't think it's all course. Ohio is into sports and I think that there may also be a higher percentage of good and fast runners. Nevertheless it is a flat course so that has to be a big factor.

I plan on going there again sometime, but I'm thinking Detroit next year. I have family in Windsor Ontario that I haven't seen in 10 years.

Thank you to Angela, my kids, my Dad and my Sis Erin and her daughter for being there. You guys don't realize how much it helps to know that you are at the finish when there are miles and miles to go.


  1. That marathon surely rocked, imagine a porta-potty without a line or if there is a line maybe just short. I love to see a marathon like that, I always remember my experience on long lines when I read blogs about marathons.

  2. Well, I'm glad that you liked Columbus, although I'm sorry to hear about your"problems" along the way. At least the race was accomodating! Sounds like you still had a great race though - and maybe training less isn't a horrible thing! :)

  3. No lines? That is unreal! Great job Tim, you are doing great on improving your speed. Maybe I should follow you around! :)

  4. Great marathon time! Most ultras don't have porta-potties or have very few seeing as how we are all out in nature and stuff, you know, like the bears.

    I miss playing rugby too. Played lock once during a tournament and had my left big toe nail smashed out. Good times.