Sunday, November 29, 2009

The week after Philly & the last 5k of the year.. Gobble Wobble 5k

The week that was, was pretty easy on the recovery end. After running Philly on Sunday, I was a bit sore on Monday, and the worst of it was Tuesday. I felt like getting out for a few miles on Wednesday, but decided to wait until our trail run on Thursday.

I am still a bit ticked at my ever changing finish time. Currently it is at 3:50:16. My garmin had me at 3:49:59, and I still find it hard to believe that I lost 10 mins in the last 6+ miles, but I guess I did. I am already planning what marathons to run in 2010. I did enter the lottery for NYC, so we'll see what happens.

Thursday, being Thanksgiving, our TrailGroup met at 6:45am for our 2nd annual Turkey trail run. Bill Y, asked if we could bring a food donation that he will drop off at Trenton Soup Kitchen on behalf of our group. We did not disappoint, as we overflowed the container he brought. We ran to the dam and back, and when we got to the dam, I had mentioned that it was my 1yr anniversary, running with the group, so I got to run an extra hill at the dam. It was a nice 6.5 mile run, to shake the cobwebs out.

Saturday, I ran the last 5k of the year, the Gobble Wobble 5k, in Wildwood. It was a small local 5k, with less than 100 runners.
It started at a local church, ran onto the boardwalk, down to the Crest, and back. It was a very windy day, with winds out of the WNW at 25mph! It wasn't that bad on the boardwalk, but when you got off, with about 3/10 of a mile to go, it was hard in your face! I had one runner pass me as we went down the ramp off the boardwalk. I was taking that easy, since I didn't want to hurt the left hamstring.
I finished in 22:08, and know if the wind wasn't that strong, I could have had a new PR. I did finish 6th overall, and 1st in my 40-49 age group.

I think I'll try and get out and run a few times this week, but I will take it easy to get my hammy back to 100%, for the new year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 Philadelphia Marathon Race Report

The wife and I got into Philly around 4 on Sat, and had just enough time to unpack and get ready for dinner with Paul & his wife. It was a nice dinner, as the 2 of us drove the wives crazy with talk of running and what marathons we have an interest in for 2010! We both decided to meet at 6:30am in the hotel lobby for the 2 block walk to the start. It was nice to have a hotel 2 blocks from the start/finish.. that meant no bathroom lines, and no gear drop off !

I had mapped out a route where our wives could see us 2-3 times during the race.

When I was at the expo on Friday, I was lucky enough to have the 3:40 pacer at the Clif booth. He assured me that they were going to run consistent miles. The other lucky break I got, was at the KT-Tape booth. They were taping runners up for free. When I explained of my hamstring issue, they taped it up. The tape will stay on for up to 5 days, and you can get it wet in the shower! (If you have issues that could use this, I would recommend it. I think it helped hold me together!).

When we got to the start, I headed over to the 3:40 group and Denise recognized me right away. It was nice to meet her. Seems we ran with the 3:50 group last year, and only realized it afterwards. She had her game face on, and I could tell she was going to have a great race. Turns out she did, with a BQ ! Myself.. not that confident, as I didn't know what to expect out of the left leg.

As we waited to get going, I got Mayor Nutter to acknowledge my FLYERS hat, when we were waiting for our wave to start. I will say he is a very approachable mayor and was high fiving anyone who had their hand up.

With the wave start, we were off and flying. We caught some of the 1/2 marathoners around mile 1, and it was tight running. When we were on Delaware Ave, a girl right in front of me ran right out of her shoe, almost causing a massive pileup!

My garmin had us at an 8:15 pace for the 1st few miles, and I was worried about the quick start.

I started the race in a long sleeve shirt, and hat. I had my wife waiting around mile 6 with a short sleeve tee, and my visor. It was a lot hotter than I expected. Last year it was 22 deg F at the start and this year it was around 44... big difference!

As we headed up Chestnut towards Drexel Univ and towards the zoo, I was shocked to see the 7:50's for a few miles. Again.. way too fast for my liking, and I was getting nervous as to when this would catch up with me. I happen to get next to our pacer around mile 8, and asked him if a few of these miles were too quick, and he said that we have a minute or so in the bank... not what I wanted to hear. I wanted nice even paced miles! The few times we were around our pace, where a couple of hills in the Fairmont Park section, other than that we were flying.

When we hit miles 12-15, and they were in the 7:50-8:08 range, I backed off the group.

I settled down to my pace around 8:35's, and was feeling ok, until mile 18-19, when the hammy had enough. It cramped and locked up on me right before we had an uphill (exit ramp) on the way into Manyunk. I had to stop, as I could move the leg. I said "F'ing hamstring", and a runner passing me encouraged me to stretch it out and I'll be fine. I did stretch it, and was able to continue on. At the time I had to stop, I had almost 2 mins in the bank, on the 3:40! I had picked up both a 3:40 & 3:45 pace band from Clif at the expo, and was keeping an eye on the times.

I was feeling the leg the rest of the way, and I am sure it was the fast miles that took it's toll.

When I was in Manyunk, I saw that the 3:40 group was only about a 1/4 mile or so in front of me. I knew a 3:40 was gone and tried for the 3:45. It was tough going, and I kept an eye on my pace, and felt it in the legs big time. I reminded me a lot of the last 10k from Philly last year. Long hard miles...
I walked thru a couple of the water stops to make sure I drank and stretch out the hammys. I had slowed to 9 min miles, and hung in there. I still had "time in the bank" for the 3:45. I figured I had about 5 mins around mile 22, leaving Manyunk.

When I hit the finish, my garmin had me at 3:49:59. I knew I had lost time in the last 10k, but I couldn't believe I had lost 10 minutes?!

Over the next couple of days, I had times posted on the website of 3:50:20, 3:44:59, back to 3:50:20, and finally 3:44:55. I know it's not a BQ time.. I'd need a 3:20 for that, it's very frustrating to put in the time and effort and not be sure of the result.
For the past few weeks, I can't even count on my garmin. It has died during runs, and as soon as I was done, the low battery was beeping, that after I had kept it charged overnight.

In talking with Progman, he even said he saw a posted time for me once at 3:43:xx, and put it in perspective.. we pay entry fees for the race to time us, and I should go with what has been official posted for me, which is a chip time of 3:44:55. It's a PR of about 10 mins.

This kind of confusion has damped the thrill of the race, as I don't want credit for a time I didn't run.

That said.. I am already looking towards 2010, and what marathons I might be interested in.
I think I will try my luck at the NYC lottery.
Here are some pics from the race.
Paul & I at the start.
About 20,000 of my closest friends!
Mayor Nutter acknowledging my hat & Bart Yasso.
And were off !
Independence Hall in the distance.
The Ben Franklin Bridge, as we head towards Delware Ave.The world famous TLA on South St.
Corner of Broad & Chestnut Streets.
Crowd shot on Chestnut St.
Some of the frat boys from Drexel Univ, hanging out.
Bunch of nuts in costumes in Fairmont Park.
Here's your race leader passing me as I'm around mile 15 or so.
Beer stop in Manyunk ! FYI.. it's Yuengling beer.
Heading out of Manyunk.
Post race with my wife!
Progman & I post race at the hotel, with our hard earned bling !
UPDATE 11/22/09
********* My time has changed again, on the website**********
It is now listed as 3:50:16, I have never heard of a time changing as much as mine has this week!
Hopefully they get it right, it's very frustrating.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I got my Philly BIB # !!

With the Philly marathon down to just days away, I got the email I have been waiting for! I got my bib & corral starting gate. #3682 in the Green Corral !!

This past week, I had my last long run of 15 miles, but the day before, I had a scary moment during our trail run. It was Indian Sprints the entire 6 mile run, and at one point we had to kick it up a hill we call "death hill", because of it's length. Last one up had 20 push ups to do. Our quasi leader Nate was along side of me, and I was on his right shoulder starting out, and I knew he would bite at a challenge up the hill, so I pushed it. All was going good, until I felt a twinge where my butt & left leg meet. NOT GOOD ! I finished the rest of the run, and was hoping it was nothing. All day it didn't feel right, and when I got up to run my last 15 Sunday morning, it still wasn't right. I wanted the last long run, to do at my goal pace of 8:20's, and struggled to do 9-9:20's. I didn't have that "explosion" I am used to going up and down hills. I actually thought of bagging the run, only 2 miles into it. I gutted it out, and took the next 2 days off.
I got out Wed, and ran 7 strong miles, in my goal pace of 8:20. While it doesn't feel 100%, I think being in taper time, will help it heal.
Best of luck to all who are running the marathons in Richmond & Atlantic City this Sunday ! Hopefully the weather will work out, and the nor'easter will be done!

Monday, November 2, 2009

19 days to Philly !!

Hard to believe that I am in the home stretch, towards marathon #3. Philly is only 19 days away !
I had a great week of running. Did my 6-8-6 mid week runs, and hit was spot on with the pace I wanted to run them in.
Saturday, I met up with the trail group, and Nate killed us with a 6 mile run, filled with mountain climbers, sprints, oh and 125 push ups, mixed in.
Sunday, I met up with Shoreturtle, who was running his last 10 miler before his marathon this coming Sunday, in Harrisburg, Pa. He wanted to run at his MP of 8:20's, and we were right on target. We had a couple of quick miles, but he kept us in check. It's awesome to run with someone at that pace, and carry on a conversation, like it was nothing. It proved to me that the hard work I have put in the past 3 months should pay off in 19 days!
FYI... I did some checking, and I ran 167 miles for October, and 517.5 so far in my training for Philly!
Homestretch.. here I come!