Running log week of 2010-02-21

02/21 – Sunday – off
02/22 – Monday – Neighborhood – 5.4 miles – 54 minutes
02/23 – Tuesday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/24 – Wednesday – Neighborhood – 6.7 miles – 67 minutes
02/25 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/26 – Friday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/27 – Saturday – Town Lake – 10 miles – 100 minutes
Weekly mileage: 34.1 miles
Shoe mileage: 316.5 miles

26.2 miles is a long way to run

Today’s Austin marathon was blessed with fantastic weather. It was cool and clear and about 44 degrees Fahrenheit at the start. Awesome. I was dressed in shorts, two shirts, gloves, headband and hat. I also had on old gloves, and an old sweatshirt which I tossed to the side of the road shortly into the race. Katie came with me which boosted my spirits. We parked at Rogue. She was going to walk to Enfield & Exposition which is at mile 10-11 to see me there and is about 2.5 miles away. We parted just outside of Rogue with her walking and me running to the start to warm-up. I sat there for 30 minutes on the curb with my sweatshirt over my knees and legs to keep warm. I followed my coach’s recommendation and started with the 4:00 hour pace group or 9:09 minutes per mile. At 7 AM after the National Anthem we started. It took a few minutes to actually get up to and cross the starting line there were so many people. The runners went up South Congress to Ben White. This is a three mile long 250 foot high hill – not an easy flat start. The pacers, there were two of them, were carrying their “4:00″ yellow signs and were right on time up the hill. At mile 2 my watch said 18:23 or about 9:12. Not bad since we had to weave through the crowd constantly, and pass the walkers – just why they didn’t start at the back of the pack amazes me. What were they thinking. At about mile 3 I saw Angie, a running classmate, on the frontage road between Ben White and South 1st. We said hi, but I was into my iPod to keep my mind off things. I never saw any other runner from our class the rest of the way. On the way down South 1st hill I ran easy but sped up. So mile 3 and 4 took 17:36 or 8:48 per mile. I realize that I was now about 40 seconds ahead of the pacers and couldn’t see them. I tried to slow down, but the next mile, at mile 5, was 8:30. Now I was a 1 minute 18 seconds ahead. Sheesh. OK, so what should I do. Stop and wait for them. Nope. I decided to run my own race – pacers be damned. But I needed to slow down yet mile 6 was 8:41. Still not slow enough. At the water stop I drank my Carbo Pro, and stuffed in my shorts the empty bottle which I would later give to Katie. I missed the next mile marker, at mile 7, but I saw that on the next one, at mile 8, I had run it in 18:10 or 9:05 per mile. Now that’s more like it since I was to run a 9:09 pace. Mile 9 was 9:09 too. Good I was holding pace about 2 minutes ahead of the pace group which I no longer was worried about. I just needed to keep my pace constant. Mile 10 was 8:57 and I felt that was within allowances and kept going. Here I turned on to Exposition and searched for Katie. I took off my headband and gloves and took out my Carbo Pro bottle to give her. Also the crowd was thinner since the half-marathoners left us at the corner. Our agreed upon spot was on the right side of the road about 100 feet from the turn. However when I turned the corner I realized that they had blocked off that side for cars. I scanned the crowd and didn’t see her. I scanned the left side too and nothing. Where was her purple top. Then I saw her jumping up and down ahead on the right and holding a sign that said “Run Daddy Run”. Whew, I was beginning to think about what to do with the stuff I was carrying if she wasn’t there. I handed it to her and I was off. Maybe it was the confusion of finding her, but around that time I missed mile 11 marker. At Mile 12 I saw my pace was 9:00 per mile, and had a Choco Clif shot at the water stop. Good I was still on course and now about 2 1/2 minute ahead of my expected pace. I didn’t stop at all the water stops. In the past I would drink too much and get bloated. The hills were happening, but I didn’t really feel them. At mile 13 my pace was 9:56. What! I was slowing down. I realized that I had to be careful. Now was not the time to slack off. Or was this it. Was I going to fail. I felt OK, but why had my time slowed down. Then all was answered, because at mile 14 my pace was 7:28. No way. No way, no how. I think they placed the 13th mile marker wrong. Or had I actually seen the 13.1, half marathon distance, marker instead. I don’t know. So at mile 15 I saw that my pace was 8:54. OK, I was again on pace, and now about 3 minutes ahead of my expected pace. Now the boring hard part began. Up Great Northern. The distance dragged on and on. I passed mile 16 with a pace of 8:54. Good, still putting one foot in front of the other. I turned the corner near Northcross Mall. Geezer, my coach was coming up. Mile 17 was 8:53. Then a yelling banshee, my coach, was shouting. “You’ve got 8 miles to BOSTON”. I said that I was “about 3 minutes ahead” (actually I was over 4). I saw the 18 mile sign up ahead and passed it with a 9:00 pace. It was time for another Choco Clif Shot. I was still on my plan. I was still going, but I still had a long long way to go. Those next miles are the hardest. My stomach started to ache. I was beginning to fail yet I didn’t want to walk, but my stomach worried me. We turned the corner at Morrow and started heading south and down hill. Mile 19 was 8:40. Oops too fast. Save it Bri for later. Now I was almost 5 minute ahead of pace. Mile 20 was again 8:40. The downhill was helping, but a few small but dreaded uphills were coming. I was now in the middle of the twisty little roads all alike near the University of Texas intermural fields. At mile 21 my pace was 8:39. Well I was keeping pace, but it was faster than I liked. However my brain had totally shut off. I wasn’t thinking I was just running. Moving forward. The pace was faster that I should be going, but I was without will to stop myself. All I knew is that I wanted to have those minutes in the bank if I had to walk later. I was planning on my last Clif Shot at 24, but at Mile 23 with a pace of 9:16 I took it. I needed the caffeine that it contained. I was slowing down. I was beginning to think that if I now ran 10 minute miles for the last 3 mile I’d still make it in time. Weird how your mind plays these games. Yet I continued to run. The hill up 41st to Duval was coming up. It had walked it in earlier marathons. I focused as I went up it. I said to myself that I wasn’t going to walk it. I turned the corner and headed down Duval crossing mile 24 with a pace of 8:54. Duval was the point where if I had anything left I would speed up. Well there wasn’t much left although I only had 2.2 mile to go. I crossed into the University of Texas campus at mile 25 my pace was 8:50. Most of my mind and body was numb with exhaustion. The last hill was approaching. It was up MLK to Congress and then up Congress to the Capitol. I started to walk. I knew I had the time in the bank. In past years I had walked this whole section – it is not something I want to remember. This year I worked so hard for so many miles for so many hours that I told myself that I needed to run, to shuffle, to do anything, but not walk. After a few yards I started running again. Up the MLK hill. Up the Congress rise. Mile 26 pace was 9:44. One of my slowest. But I knew on the other side of the Capitol building was a downhill and the finish. Like a stiff robot I ran around the Capitol and down the hill and into the final chute. I could see the clock up ahead. It read 3 hours 59 minutes and the seconds were ticking off 21…22…23.

I knew that my chip time was more important and not the clock time, but I keep running and passed under it before it wrapped to 4:00. I stopped my watch and it read 3:53:51. I had done it. I felt joy that it was over. 26.2 miles is a long way to run. I also felt deep deep joy that this 60 year old runner had just qualified for Boston. I had met my goal that was years in the making. Unbelievable. After getting my medal, a bottle of water, and finisher’s tee-shirt I heard Katie yelling. We hugged over the fence and she said that I had made it. She also said congratulations and that she was proud of me. She said that Kathy was further down the street. Kathy found me right outside the runner’s area. Ahh, the hug from my sweetheart was sugar to my psyche and I reciprocated with my own big sweaty hug and a few tears of joy since this journey has included her too. Together the three of us left, walked back to the car and talked about the weather, the runners, the race, and especially about my qualifying for the Boston Marathon or BQ. When I got home I looked up my race results and found that I had officially finished in 3:53:50 chip time. I was 5 of 54 in my 60-64 age group, 756 of 2462 men, and 952 of 4039 runners.

Mile Expect Actual
 1    9:09 [missed]
 2   18:19   18:23
 3   27:28 [missed]
 4   36:38   36:00
 5   45:48   44:30
 6   54:57   53:11
 7 1:04:07 [missed]
 8 1:13:16 1:11:21
 9 1:22:26 1:20:31
10 1:31:36 1:29:28
11 1:40:45 [missed]
12 1:49:55 1:47:29
13 1:59:05 1:57:25 long?
14 2:08:14 2:04:54 short?
15 2:17:24 2:13:48
16 2:26:33 2:22:42
17 2:35.43 2:31:35
18 2:44:53 2:40:35
19 2:54:02 2:49:16
20 3:03:12 2:57:55
21 3:12:21 3:06:35
22 3:21:31 3:15:19
23 3:30:41 3:24:36
24 3:39:50 3:33:29
25 3:49:00 3:42:19
26 3:58:10 3:52:04
 M 4:00:00 3:53:51

Running log week of 2010-02-14

02/14 – Sunday – Austin Marathon – 26.2 miles – 3:53:50 (BQ – woohoo!)
02/15 – Monday – off
02/16 – Tuesday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/17 – Wednesday – off
02/18 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 6 miles – 60 minutes
02/19 – Friday – off
02/20 – Saturday – Town Lake – 10 miles – 1:35
Weekly mileage: 46.2 miles
Shoe mileage: 282.4 miles

Running log week of 2010-02-07

02/07 – Sunday – Neighborhood – 6 miles – 60 minutes
02/08 – Monday – Neighborhood – 3 miles – 30 minutes
02/09 – Tuesday – Class – 6 miles – 60 minutes
02/10 – Wednesday – Neighborhood – 3 miles – 30 minutes
02/11 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/12 – Friday – Neighborhood – 3 miles – 30 minutes
02/13 – Saturday – off (the freaking marathon is tomororow!)
Weekly mileage: 25 miles
Shoe mileage: 236.2 miles

Running log week of 2010-01-31

01/31 – Sunday – Neighborhood – 8 miles – 80 minutes (core and rollers, no tightness, sloth run after yesterday’s hard run)
02/01 – Monday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes (core and rollers, no tightness, ok run)
02/02 – Tuesday – Class – 7.2 miles – 80 minutes (core and rollers in morning, thermolyte before class)
02/03 – Wednesday – Neighborhood – 3 miles – 30 minutes (core and rollers in morning)
02/04 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 8 miles – 80 minutes (no core and no rollers in morning; jury duty)
02/05 – Friday – off
02/06 – Saturday – Town Lake and beyond – 16 miles – 2:30
Weekly mileage: 46.2 miles
Shoe mileage: 211.2 miles