Sunday, January 18, 2009

Race Report – Icebreaker Indoor Marathon

Let’s get the suspense over with. I had a disappointing race in the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon and finished in 4:24:09. Well behind my goal of Sub 4, but here is the story.

I woke up early and ate 3 packs of Oatmeal before the race. I wanted a little more in me as I usually run out of fuel later in the. I packed up my bag with my GU packs, extra water bottles and all the other things I bring to a race. By just after 6AM, I was out the door for the cold drive to The Pettit Center. I arrived at 6:30 and went upstairs to wait for Paul to show up. As I waited, a guy with a UW-Oshkosh Track jacket came in so we sparked up a conversation since I am an Alum of the same program. Not long after that, my coach from college, John Zupanc, showed up. I expect him to run a fast time and he is 55 years old but runs marathons often. Paul finally arrives and now we are close to the start time.

Before the race, Chris goes over the rules with everyone including running in lane 2 and passing in lane 1. Also no headphones allowed. Most of the time I don’t care if people wear their headphones, but in this race with ONLY 2 lanes of running room (Maybe 3 abreast total) and people passing each other all the time, I agree with the rule. During the race, 1 runner was pulled off the course after being warned 5 times to take her headphones off. They let her continue after she finally too them off.

The race started without and incidents and off we were for 95.377 laps of pure enjoyment. I started in the middle of the pack with Paul and wanted to run lap times of 2:26 to 2:28. On lap #2, I was already lapped by the leader. He was flying!!!

I must have been very well hydrated because I stopped to use the Porto at about 1 mile, 5 miles, and 10 miles. Good thing it was only 10 feet off the course and I only lost about 20 seconds each time. Another goal of mine was to take a short walk break after each 5 miles. This went well for awhile.

I was clipping off laps between 2:23 and 2:29 for over half the race and everything was going according to plan. I passed the half way point (or at least where I thought halfway was) at about 1:57:20. My legs were feeling a bit tired already which did concern me but I wanted to keep on goal pace.

It was nice seeing Paul and John pass me occasionally since usually we can’t see friends running different paces in a marathon. That is one major plus to a race like this. My friend Chaz showed up as well and he has able to watch and cheer every lap.

I took my 15 mile (54 lap) break right on schedule and took a GU and a banana. (I took GU at 5 and 10 miles as well along with a salt pack before the race and at 10 and 15 miles). By lap 65, I was slowing down and my lap time was in the Mid 2:30’s and I took an early break to rest the legs for a moment. Things only got worse for me from here on. The laps got slower and the breaks came more frequently. With 12 laps to go, I was trying to run 4 laps then a break. I already knew 4 hours was out of the question so finishing was now the goal. I knew I would finish, but I wanted to as soon as possible as the pain was coming on. My knees were very sore, something I have never experienced at Pettit before, and my back was sore from the fall last week. I told myself that there are no excuses and to keep on. The last 12 laps took what seemed forever and I unfortunately walked quite a bit of it. I was able to muster up a final lap of good speed and finished looking good down the final straight away.

I walked around afterward for awhile and did not feel queasy to that was good. I was able to talk to Paul who finished in 3:37:08 and in 23rd place. John had already left but he was done for a long time. He place 8th in 3:13:15. Both pretty good times for them.

The Number of the Day was 4

The number for the day for me apparently was 4. My race bib number was 4, time was 4:24, and my place was 44th. Next year I will ask for #3. The person who was assigned #3 didn’t even show up. I had people in the stands saying stuff like “Hey, Brett Favre” who was #4 for the Packers. Sounded funny the first time but got old quickly.

So now that I am a day removed from the race, my disappointment has lowered some. I don’t want to belittle anyone who runs a 4:24 marathon or even slower. Hey, you run marathons! That is awesome in itself no matter what time you run! I am very thankful for the gift God has given me to be able to run marathons and the discipline to train for them. I am just disappointed because I had higher goals for myself. Just 4 measly weeks ago, I ran 22 miles at sub 9 minute pace at Pettit and now all I can muster is 10:06. But like I said, I am OK with it. I have another marathon in 4 weeks (actually 2 marathons!) but I am rethinking my strategy. Obviously I am doing something wrong. So I may go out a lot slower in hopes that I can pick it up a lot in the second half. I am also going back to my Jeff Galloway method of 30 second walk breaks every 2 miles. I may also cut down on the number of marathons I run. Since I am already signed up for the 2 in Texas, I will still do those, but I was thinking of 1 or 2 more in later spring but I think I will forgo those and concentrate more on better training and getting a better base and try another fast one in the fall. That will give me the opportunity to run more local short races which I enjoy and have been missing the last year or so.

All in all, the race was a great experience. I loved the race and it was a lot of fun and I will definitely do it again next year. A nice winter marathon where I don’t have to travel is a major plus.

Sorry for the long post, glad you made it this far. Please do comment to me on your thoughts. I would love to hear from you all.


Mark said...

Man, a 4:24 is great! Good job!Glad you had fun. That really sounds like a fun marathon. I wonder how they keep track of the laps?
It is such a blessing to be able to train and race.
Hope you recover quickly-have a good week

Melanie said...

Yay, you made it! I know it is disappointing to not reach a goal, but we never know what a day has in store for us. I'm glad that all in all, you got across the finish line!

Arthur Vance said...

The only marathon that could be more dull would be on a treadmill! Good job for gutting it out.

In Austin hang back with me. We're doing walks every 5 mins! If you're feeling like superman after a few hours you can take off.