I woke up bright and early, actually it wasn't even bright yet on Sunday morning to go to Madison. It was a drive of a little over 1 hour and we had to pick up Chaz and Cherylynn. We go to Madison with time to spare, Laura found us and we got our packets and off to the start line we went.
Chaz and I were running the 2 person relay (each of us running a half marathon), Paul was running the full, and Cherylynn was running the quarter marathon. She would have done the half like last year, but she has a problem with her heal so she didn't want to go to far.
The horn goes off and Chaz takes off and I walk to the car. I am going to drive to the half marathon point and wait for him. I take an easy drive and crank so tunes to get me pumped in the car, find a parking spot, get ready with the the items I need (band aids, Vaseline, new singlet, shoes, etc.). I walk the 2 blocks from where I parked, did a little warm up and waiting for Chaz to show up. Chaz comes flying around the corner and I get the chip in 1:24:34, right about where I expected him. What I did not expect was tat we were the first place relay team, both 2 person AND 4 person. I know that I am going to be the slower runner by a lot but I take off and try to do my best.
I begin to be passed by other marathoners but no relays at first. Remember, Chaz ran close to 6:30 pace and I was starting out at close to 7:45. I noticed a funny thing about 1/2 mile in. A guy on a bike in following me and also next to me. Turns out he is an official and is in charge of being with the first place 2 person relay team. I felt kind of important or something. He really didn't get in the way or bother me, and it was nice when he told me what was coming up. He would radio in my position every mile mark. I knew it wasn't going to last but I was hoping. At about mile 18, the first place 4 person relay passed me. I was still running good for me and averaging about 7:45's through 7 miles for me and over most of the hills. It was sunny and a little warm, but still no problems. I reach the mile 21 water stop and take a short walk while downing some AccelGel. As I leave the water stop area, I see the guy on the bike a bit a head of me and following someone else. Guess I was passed.
It is not time for me to start picking up the pace to under 7:30's but my legs were just not up to it. I keep the next few miles under 8:00 still but can't pick it up. I see a guy I was talking to at the relay exchange point pass me at about 22 1/2 miles, wish him luck and now I know I am in 3rd place for the 2 person relay. Mile 11 for me creeps over 8:00 and I begin to feel the struggle. At mile 23 1/2, I get passed by another relay but I did not know if it was a 2 person or 4 person. This part of the course is very beautiful as we run on a bike path along side Lake Monona. I kept slowing some but not because of the sights. Miles 12 & 13 slipped all the way to the 8:40's which was a disappointment for me. At mile 25, the first place woman passed me and I tried to stay with her, but no deal.
Finally I get to the finish line and we finish as a team in a time of 3:09:03. After some results check, we end up in 4th place. Top 3 teams get plaques, so no luck there. My time ends up being 1:44:18 (7:57 pace), far off what I ran 3 weeks ago but that is what you get with an off day. Turns out the winning team was 3:01:29, 2nd place was 3:02:11, 3rd place was 3:04:03. So I needed to run 5 minutes faster to get that 3rd place spot and that would have been a PR for me by 40 seconds or so. I am disappointed by my finish, but I still think I didn't do too bad. I did not have a complete meltdown at the end but I did lose close to 3 minutes in the last 2 miles. Here is a funny thing. If Chaz and I had entered the 4 person repay, we would have ended up in 2nd place. Even the 5th place 2 person relay team beat the the 2nd place 2 person relay.
Now it is time to start the main training for the fall marathon. Time to increase the miles and intensity of the hard workouts.
Paul ended up running another PR at Madison, he ran a 3:33:31. Now he is only 2:32 away from Boston Qualifying. He will be running again in 2 weeks so maybe then. 2 weeks is no problem for him, remember, he ran the Green Bay Marathon last weekend as well. Cherylynn did the quarter marathon in close to 59 minutes. She was happy with that time considering her heal problem.
On another note, my Alma mater track team, UW-Oshkosh, won the Division 3 Track Championships over the weekend. It was a little of a surprise but all things came together to make it happen. Willy Kaul won the 10,000 and also took 4th in the 5000. Tony Baker was seeded 9th in the Discus but pulled off the Win to get valuable team points. Oshkosh ended up winning by 6 points for their first outdoor track championship. Congratulations Titans!