Sunday, June 19, 2005


Man, where to start? I can’t blame the weather. I’m guessing it was about 50 at the start, sunny (too sunny?) and a very slight cross-breeze off the lake. It probably got up to 60 during the race. I never really felt comfortable during the race. I felt bloated the first 4 miles before feeling halfway normal during the 5th mile. The whole time I was more concerned with my goal time than I was about “just” running. I had been checking my splits (6:39-6:46) for the first 5 miles. They were a little behind my 6:40-pace goal, but not much.

During the 6th mile I told myself to stop looking at my splits and just run. I felt more comfortable after that. From miles 8 to 13 I thought I was running pretty well. I’d hook up with a pack and really feel the energy. But then we’d go through a water stop and the pack would splinter. Looking back at my slits, I see I was not running as fast as I thought during this section, basically running 6:55 pace.

I went through the half in 1:29:13 and was thinking about negative splitting. Even though I pretty much knew 2:55 was out of the question I thought I might be able to still PR. Just after 13 I passed Jim (for the first time). Two miles after thinking about a PR, I was thinking about a DNF. I took a pit stop at 16 and it cost me a little over 2 minutes (first time I've done that in a marathon). Basically I was done after that. I thought if my parents were at 19, like they were in 2001, I'd just walk off the course. "Luckily" they weren't there. During 19 & 20 I started talking with a guy that I had been running with earlier. He was hurting and told me to go on.

Just before 22 I caught Jim (again) and ran with him up Lemon Drop Hill. I thought I dropped him, but 2 miles later he came by me again. Just before 25 I had a terrible side stitch and had to walk for 30 seconds. When I got to 25 I saw 3:00:30 on the clock and decided I wanted to break 3:10 (I was actually a little surprised by my time. I hadn’t seen a split since mile 16 and I thought I’d be lucky to break 3:15, given the way I’d been running). So after running a bunch of 7:40s and low 8s I dropped down to 7:15 for the last mile. I passed Jim (for the 3rd and final time) with about half a mile to go and finished in 3:09:06, “good enough” for 299th place overall out of 6,885 finishers.

Jim came in 17 seconds later, which was good for 2nd in the 60-64 age-group. Jenna did awesome, 9th overall woman (68th overall) in 2:47:09, which is a 3-minute PR. With Mary’s recent hip problems, she was still able to get a BQ with a 3:37:21. Chelle ran a terrific 6-minute PR with her 3:02:52. The winner of the 30k I ran a few weeks ago ran 2:35:27, while the guy who finished 3rd ran another negative split race 1:26:07/1:24:28 for 2:50:35. A college teammate of mine (D3 all-American) was the first American in 16th with a 2:23:20.

I ran my last 10K in 47:51, but I wasn’t alone. 40 of the 100 people directly in front of me finished with slower last 10Ks. I find that shocking. What the hell happened to everyone? I’m not sure what happened to me. I think I’m just a total head-case. Had I gone out in 1:27 and crashed, I wouldn’t feel so bad. But I didn’t even “go for it.” I'M such a wuss! How the hell can I run 1:25 in Feb, put in 4 solid months of training and then go through the half in 1:29 and be “tired” 3 miles later? My last mile shows I had more left. I just wasn't into it mentally - especially after I knew my goal was out of reach. That’s something I have to work on.


Chelle said...

This sport is so mental, but I haven't figured out the right combination of head games to play either. I realized that I wouldn't be breaking three hours around mile 20, but then was mad at myself for even letting the possibility into my head. How do you differentiate 'negative thinking' from 'just being realistic'?

Anonymous said...

The thing about training for the marathon is most of us are mortals. We have all kinds of real life stuff we have to look after. We are not professional runners. Good marathoning involves peaking and this can be another cunundrum.

Typically, hard work isn't the problem. In fact, many times I believe we mere mortals become over zealous. The quote, "It's better to line up 10% under trained rather than 1% over trained is key. I honestly believe you have to spend a lot of miles around your goal pace per week to be realistic in what you can achieve. Of couse I'm leaving much detail out, but that's what I'm going to do. Continuous improvement, sharpen and get myself to 20.

Anonymous said...

Zeke: I know it's not what you wanted, but congrats on the supreme effort. I'll be watching to find out where you take it next. -Carl

Chad said...


Tough question. I'd say negative thinking is when you realize you won't reach your goal and you basically quit. Whereas, being realistic, you keep cranking and see what your best effort is for that day.

You were realistic. I was negative.

I've had a couple people tell me not to beat myself up too much. I don't want to sound like I am. Sure I'm disappointed, but I still have big plans for the rest of summer and fall.

Chad said...


You always have good insight. Maybe more miles at goal pace is what I need.


Thanks for the support. I wish you well in your training for TCM.

Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog and thought I'd let you know about Top Blogs. Good luck!