Nothing much to report this week other than my first attempt at an open marathon down in Atlanta at the ING Georgia marathon on Sunday. My running had been going very well up to this race so I was feeling confident that I could run with Behme come race day. Our stated goal was to hold 6:50/mi pace and thereby come in at a hair under 3 hours.
Traveling down to the race with Carrie and John was a lot of fun and we arrived at the hotel without any issues, got checked in and met up with Scott, Jackie, Donny and Jen who would all be doing either the half or the full. I managed to stay pretty relaxed and tried not to let myself get caught up in the marathon madness that can sometimes grip first-timers.
We woke up at 5:30 and Behme and I did a light warm-up; conditions seemed very good for running: cool and overcast. Got back to the hotel room and ate a light breakfast then went with the gang to the start line. We were almost late but managed to sneak in near the front and were literally two rows back from the top half marathoners and marathoners. That was pretty sweet. Definitely the only time we'd see them.
2:58:55 chip time, 18th overall, 8th AG (talk about a tough AG...jeez)
1 - 6:15 - downhill and a big surge of adrenaline but as Behme said: "Slow down"
2 - 6:37 - that's more like it, feels pretty easy
3 - 6:47 - getting close to projected pace and there are still a lot of people around us, including one of the most attractive girls I have EVER seen
4 - 6:52 - doing this for 26.2 equates to a 3 hour marathon, I'm so glad this feels so easy.
5 - 6:44 - pretty happy about having a legal ipod, staying focused and strong through the easy rollers in the first half
6 - 6:34 - nice, that was a pleasant surprise. Feels nice and relaxed. That girl is only 50 meters ahead of us...
7 - 6:47 - thinking about taking my first Gu. not yet, but i'm thinking about how good that tri-berry will be
8 - 6:47 - (actually had 13:35 for 2) encounter the first real hill on the course but manage it well
9 - 6:37 - got a lot of sticky Gu on my hands which takes me until the next water stop to clean
10 - 6:46 - hmm, stomach doesn't feel super excited. Burp
11 - 6:45 - I actually feel as though I'm working at this point. Not overly hard but this is just beyond 'comfortably hard.' Let's call it '15 more? holy crap.'
12 - 6:33 - ahhh, a nice smooth section to put some more time in the bank. actually, none of these roads are smooth. feel like i'm at home in new orleans
13 - 6:37 - almost halfway there. that's pretty much all i think about because that's pretty much all that matters at this point. half in 1:27 roughly
14 - 6:29 - Wow, nice one. didn't feel like too much work. still feel pretty relaxed and smooth. where are these hills that Behme talked about so much?
15 - 6:34 - another solid mile. we're both holding a steady effort level so let's just keep moving. probably had some bloodhound gang playing at this point
16 - 6:28 - awesome, another fast mile at the same effort level. starting to feel a little tired but mostly just kind of bored. where are all those hills??
17 - 6:50 - BAM. there's a hill. the next 9 miles are absolutely littered with them. still, 6:50 is not bad.
18 - 6:50 - i just KNEW i was building bad karma by wondering about an even split 2:54 that felt easy. I just knew it.
19 - 6:44 - these hills really do not end. long climbs with short, steep downhills that allow NO recovery and stab your quads like a bunch of knives.
20 - 7:11 - oh boy, the sh*t's really hitting the fan at this point. 10k to go but how many more hills can there possibly be? bad question.
21 - 7:04 - ridiculous.
22 - 6:25 - FINALLY, a relatively flat section that is only a mirage in a desert of hurt. thoughts of HTFU creep into the head.
23 - 8:16- at about mile 22.5 we turned right and i saw the most ridiculous thing i've ever seen: the hill that ended in mile 23. i'm glad that kids weren't around and that i had an ipod on because i yelled pretty loud one particular phrase word that rhymes rather nicely with 'puck me'.
24 - 7:04 - behme stopped to stretch and motioned me to go on ahead and i was scared of having to slow down and subsequently speed back up so i maintained pace. 2.2 to go...
25 - 7:14 - running alongside many walking half-marathoners at this point. i really wanted to puke just to show them that they could be working harder. or because i just felt like puking.
26.2 - 9:02 (7:31 pace) - the last mile and a half were all into a headwind. it was very demoralizing but i was heartened by the fact that my marathon journey would only last another mile or so. it was nice to finish
Lots of PRs out there today. Behme came in shortly after me in a 2:59:30ish for a 6 minute PR on the same course. Carrie and Jackie both had awesome races in the half to PR. Scott didn't PR but still dropped one on Behme and I. Tough course but a fun experience. I have little doubt that I will do another one but it will almost certainly, without many doubts be a flat one.