May 3rd, 2014.
Cincinnati. Home of the Flying Pig Marathon which is now a massive marathon weekend.
I am doing the 4-way challenge (which is a total of 3 separate races…odd). Day 1 are the 10k and 5k. Day 2 is the marathon.
goal for the day was simple. Break my 10k PR. The 5k was gonna be a fun run. But the 10k was my chance at a PR this weekend. The 10k was easily my weakest PR at 52:09. Still quite respectable, but a lot more wiggle room then my other events. Also, a 51:08 would qualify me for Houston Marathon…likely the only marathon I have any chance of qualifying for.
I got into town fairly late…I only had 20 minutes from the time I parked the car to getting all my stuff at the expo. I did it…but it was hectic. Weather was fine, but it’s a hilly course.
Did not sleep well…don’t know why. Was up at 3:30 for an 8:00 am start.
The 4-way had some logistical issues. They could not decide if we should wear our 2 bibs at the same time (they decided that we shouldn’t). There was a small bag drop for 3-way and 4-way participants only. It was by the finish…a few blocks from the start. None of this was a big deal…especially since I had so much extra time.
I met new friends and we hung out until the 10k start. I figured I would need to run 8:13/mile to qualify. No prob…for one mile. Six of those in a row would be tough. Simple strategy. Start too fast and hope I can hang on.
The weather was great. High fifties, partly cloudy, very little wind.
The course was rolling. Went over 3 bridges (which were the worst hills). Kept glancing down at the watch. Usual pace in the 7:xx range. I was holding it. Several times I thought I would have no choice but to slow it down, that I couldn’t keep it up. But, there was always that voice pushing me a little more. By the 5 mile mark, I knew it was mine if I wanted it. I did. I thought I had a little left in the tank for the final push at the finish line…I didn’t. But, it was enough…
4:29 faster then my previous PR.
18/146 in my age group.
149th finisher overall (3642 finishers!)
I CRUSHED IT!!!
And, I very comfortably threw down my first marathon qualifying time!
But, the day was not over. I still had the 5k. Walked back over to the 3-way/4-way tent and reconnected with some new friends. Swapped out the bibs and swapped war stories. After walking back to the start, we had almost 45 minutes of standing about, talking, and enjoying some very present spring temps.
My legs felt good. Really good.
I decided to run the 5k as well.
This likely wasn’t wise. My 5k PR (23:29) was not at risk of falling anytime soon…especially after a hard fought 10k. And I had a marathon to run in the morning.
So what? I was having a good day. Let’s push it a little.
Long story short, I had a good run. Better then most of my 5k’s. But my legs reminded me of their fatigue within a few hundred yards. Garmin showed me in the 8:xx range most of the way. I kept pushing as hard as I could, but the old PR was never in jeopardy.
25:10 (missed the PR by about 1:40). 8:08/mile (note: faster then my hoped for pace for the 10k!).
31/197 in my age group.
302 finisher overall (5059 finishers!)
Still a very good showing, but the 10k was the rock star.
Got the bling, the food, the bag check. Headed back to the hotel.
9.3 miles down.
26.2 miles to go…