Monthly Archives: May 2015

Race Report: Minneapolis Half Marathon

May 31, 2015.

Well, it can’t be any worse then last year.

Standing at the starting line, the race was canceled. Severe storms were coming. While waiting at the starting area for them to distribute the “Finishers Medal” to all DNS runners, the sun came out. Several foolhardy runners ran the marathon course anyways. They got what they deserved. At around mile 20, the skies opened and it sprinkled…briefly. The runners shirts got slightly damp. I stayed for my half-marathon finishers medal, drove home and ran 13.1 miles around my neighborhood. The medal given to the half marathon runners have the words “Minneapolis Marathon” printed on them….even though it is a different medal then the one given to the marathon finishers. I love getting a marathon finishers medal for NOT running 13.1 miles due to…clouds.

The next day, Grandmas Marathon reopened registration for their race to give the opportunity to runners who trained for a marathon to actually run a marathon a couple of weeks later.

Typical Team Otho Trainwreck.

Fast forward one year…

As always, Team Ortho will not allow same day packet pickup unless you pay a $30 convenience fee (or a $25 mail out fee). They also have a $12 parking fee. This (and the train wrecks) are some of the reasons why I will not be running anymore Team Ortho events again after this season.

Rant over.

This is a smaller event…not to be confused with the excellent Twin Cities Marathon.The expo is tiny. They usually have early packet pickup for the rest of the year’s events at this expo. But not this year. There are a few vendors, but nothing very exciting. I am in and out pretty quickly.

I am up early the next day. Coffee, banana, granola bar, and I am ready to go. The weather turned perfect this year. The hot and muggy weather vanished a couple of days ago (the accompanying storms are ancient history as well). Instead, it is rather cool (mid 40’s to start, mid 50’s for the finish). No clouds or humidity. The wind is fairly light.

Team Ortho made a good call, and started the marathoners and the half marathoners an hour apart. Access to the parking area, and congestion at some early race bottlenecks were much improved by separating us (despite us having the same course for the first 12.5 miles).

I had no idea what kind of race to run. I have an ultra marathon coming next week, so this should be a taper run (and should have been a shorter run). I have done little speed work of late, so a run a PR pace (sub 1:44) was not be an option. I decided to start with the 2:00 pace team and see what would happen.

The course is quite scenic and runs through some historic neighborhoods, parkland, and the University Campus. There are a few hills along the way, but not too many.

I end up following the pace team for awhile, then I started to speed up. The (very crowded) group was running 9:10 and I found myself at 8:45 for the first half of the race. I eventually started to slow, but not enough for the group to catch me. I kept an eye on the Garmin and hoped to hang on to my sub 2 hour time.

Finish Time: 1:58:27.

The after race party wasn’t much of one. I got a banana, a cup of Gatorade, and a mini candy bar. The chips were not tempting, and I should have had the granola bar. The route to the shuttle buses back to the starting area was unmarked…but that was the only complaint I had of the event. Overall, perfect weather for a taper run.

Next up: my one (and ONLY) attempt at an ultramarathon.

 

 

 

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74 Seconds…

The world of long distance triathlon can be unforgiving.

Bike mechanical, weather, nutrition, fitness…a lot of things can go wrong in a long distance triathlon. As a “back of the pack” long distance athlete, I have always been worried about getting the dreaded “DNF” (“Did Not Finish”). I have seen many fall. Some front of the pack athletes fall due to bike crashes, nutritional errors, or weather. Others just ran out of time.

I followed a married couple last fall in Ironman Florida. The weather was brutally cold, windy and raining. They were both on the run course (he was several miles ahead of her) and doing OK. He crossed her path and could tell that she was slipping into hypothermia. He turned in both of their timing chips and brought her back to their hotel and put her in a hot shower until she warmed up. Both were multiple Ironman finishers.

Someone I raced with in Wisconsin turned his life around. He lost a lot of weight and trained harder then anybody. At 300 pounds, he still competed and got past the halfway point on the run (about 128 miles into the race) before officials pulled him off the course for missing a cutoff time. He is currently training to race it again this year.

Someone I biked with was diagnosed with a hairline hip fracture one week before Ironman Wisconsin. She was told that she should stay off of it and that running was completely off limits. She finally got the green light from her orthopedist that she could swim and bike. She crushed those two sections of the course. When she arrived in T2, the only thing in her transition bag was a pair of flip flops. She left her running shoes at the hotel so she would not be tempted to try to complete the marathon. She has more strength and courage then I can even imagine and she is planning a comeback in 2016.

The Ironman 70.3 (aka “Half-Ironman”) has historically been more forgiving and lenient then the full distance. At Ironman Kansas 70.3, they announced that they would not be enforcing the finish time cutoff on the run. The run portion of the event was held on walking trails. Since public roads were not closed for that portion of the race, they would stay until the final runner crossed the finish line, and they would celebrate the finish with them.

Also, 70.3’s typically have a wave start. The final cutoff has always been 8 hours and 30 minutes, but the clock used to start when the final starter crossed the starting line. So, if your wave started 10 minutes before the final wave, then you got an extra 10 minutes to finish. That rule changed this year. Everyone has the same amount of time. The clock starts when you cross the start line. You must finish in 8:30:00 or less.

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii took place yesterday. It is a tough event. Unprotected ocean swim, windy and hilly bike course, and the run takes place midday…with a high temp of 87F with high humidity. I followed a friend and his finish time was 8:31:14. After competing for eight and a half hours, he missed the final cutoff by 74 seconds. His wave started 16 minutes before the final wave, so he would have been an official finisher last year, or the year before that. The race was still going when he crossed the finish line, so he got his medal, finishers hat, finishers shirt, and finishers photographs. He was announced as a finisher as he crossed the finish line. He completed the full 70.3 mile course. But, when he looks up his time, he will see those three letters “DNF”. I can’t imagine the heartbreak. For three years I trained for Ironman Wisconsin. All I wanted to do was finish. I worried about the possibility of the DNF the entire time I trained. Fortunately, on race day, I never reached a point that the DNF was looming ahead of me. I finished with over an hour to spare, and walked the last 7 miles (when I physically could not run anymore) knowing that I had the extra time to spare. He knew by the halfway point of the bike that he may not be able to meet the cutoff. He was way behind on the run and battled back. He battled to within 74 seconds before running out of time. He had more inner strength then most on the course that most finishers. He never gave up.┬áHe embodied the spirit of Ironman.

This is why, at every Ironman event, participants wait at the finish line for the final finishers. That last hour is a celebration of the human spirit. One sign I saw at a race sums it up the best…

“The first finishers may impress us, but it is the final finishers that inspire us.”

 

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Well, the timing sucks…

Next week, I will “run” a half-marathon (training pace) as my final prep for my first (and only) ultramarathon the following weekend.

I had already completed this week’s long run and the whole Memorial Day weekend was a washout, so I decided to do a couple of sessions on the bike trainer instead of the treadmill. It had been three months since I touched my bike. I figured that a little cross-training was overdue. Besides, triathlon season is coming quickly…

I did NOT overdo it. Ten miles in 45 minutes on two consecutive days. Just getting the feel of it again.

Well, using muscles that I haven’t touched in three months wasn’t such a good idea. Left hip is aching right now. Feels like bursitis. I could not sleep on that side last night.

It is not a severe issue. Ice and Ibuporfen should take care of it. But the ultra is my most important event of the year. If this lingers at all, it could derail that race.

Grrr…

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Back on the Bike…

For the first time in three months, I got on my bike. It is still firmly parked on trainer in my basement. This time last year, I was routinely cycling laps at Elm Creek Park. But that was my Ironman year. That was my 3000 mile season. This year is run focused. With an Ultramarathon looming in a couple of weeks, the cross training has taken a back seat. Soon, the ultra will be behind me (for better or worse) and triathlon season will begin.

The season will be brief, but packed with five events in about six weeks (4 in 16 days). All will be sprints. The bike rides will vary between 11 and 16 miles (a far cry from the 112 mile Ironman ride…or even the 56 mile ride at any of my 70.3’s).

The training session went well. I was slow, and only went 10 miles…stopping more from boredom then fatigue. I was concerned that my injured ankle would have difficulty clipping out of the pedals…but it wasn’t a problem.

For now, the focus is still on running. But I am starting to look forward to the triathlons and the training. I will be able to do much shorter training sessions (15-30 miles…no more then 2 hours at a time). Elm Creek should be much more enjoyable under these circumstances. Cycling will be for the joy of cycling. I may not hit 500 cycling miles in 2015, but they will be fun miles.

Now, I need to get myself back to the swimming pool…

 

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Finish Time Calculator

I came across this finish-time predictor calculator from another blog. I have to say that I am shocked by how accurate it is.

http://www.runnersworld.com/tools/race-times-predictor

I inputted my recent 1 mile PR, I then compared it to some of my other PR’s. With one glaring exception, the results are shockingly close…

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Based on your 1 Mile time of 6:51, these are your projected finish times:

5K-22:47 (7:20/mile). Actual PR-22:49 (7:21/mile)
10K-47:30 (7:39/mile). Actual PR-47:41 (7:40/mile)
Half Marathon-1:44:48 (8:00/mile). Actual PR-1:44:03 (7:56/mile)
Marathon-3:38:29 (8:20/mile). Actual PR-4:26:15 (10:09/mile)

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Clearly, I have work to do on the marathon distance…

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Race Report: TC 1 Mile

May 14, 2015.

It day was supposed to be a complete washout.

It was pretty close.

It rained all day. Mostly drizzle, but it never stopped. The wind could not make up its mind. It would be calm for a few minutes, then gusting and swirling the next few minutes. Temps were in the low 50’s.

The race was canceled last year due to tornados (a perfectly reasonable reason to call off an event). It didn’t matter to me since I was out of town. The last (and only) time that I competed in a mile was two year ago.

The traffic to the race was awful. The new venue was questionable. The parking situation sucked. There would be no finishers medal. None of that mattered. I had come here for one reason.

I wanted a PR.

I also wanted to crush my old PR of 7:11.8…

…and I really wanted to go sub 7 minutes.

I just wasn’t sure that I could do it.

I am not a fast runner. I do no speed drills. I only did four training runs geared towards this event (the only four speed drills that I have completed in the last two years).

The old venue was 12 blocks straight down a pedestrian mall in downtown Minneapolis. The new venue is one block over-straight down one of the busiest roads-during evening rush hour. I think the move is due to construction at the old site.

The event is held downtown on a work night. A lot of big companies put on a big corporate teams for this event. All they have to do is put on their company shirt and walk a few blocks after work to the start line. Then they can hang out at a local bar afterwards.

The new staging area is better…there actually is a staging area now. The rain resulted in a sharp decline in the number of participants (about 1600 runners, down from 2600 two years ago), so many of the starting waves were combined. They didn’t announce this until just before the event, and many runners didn’t get there in time.

I parked near the finish line and walked to the start in my company running shirt, shorts, and already trashed running shoes. I was also sporting the garbage bag. Perfect weather for the garbage bag running accessory.

I reached the starting line and went to packet pick-up. I received my bib and realized that I had nowhere to put my event shirt (there was a bag drop, but I didn’t really want to walk back here after the race, then walk another mile back to the car). So, I just decided to wear two shirts tonight. It was only one mile after all.

I met some other corporate team members for the mandatory group photo. There were three of us. Two years ago, there were 60. Weather will do that (especially since none of our workplaces is near the start line). We then lined up. I was in the second wave. I got into my start coral and lined up at the 7 minute/mile. I ditched the trash bag with a minute to spare. Moments later, we were off.

The wind had died down (bonus), and the rain was a drizzle. There was some standing water on the course that I had to weave around (puddles could have hidden potholes). The tempuratures was the biggest problem. I have mild asthma which is triggered by exercise in cool weather. This weather would set it off. In my training runs, my lungs would burn a lot more in these weather conditions then if it were 10 degrees warmer. I took my inhaler shortly before the race, but knew that it would impact my chances at a PR. I was right…my lungs were on fire in the first tenth of a mile.

The plan for this event was simple. Run as fast as I can, then try to run even faster, and don’t slow down until the finish line.

Something I noticed about 1/4 of a mile into the race…we were going uphill. It wasn’t steep, but it was constant. We actually had an elevation gain of 140 ft over the 1 mile course (another reason I dislike this new venue…I recall the old course being pancake flat).

Once we got going, the runners thinned out a bit. I was still weaving more then I would like. This is not a good thing on such a short course where every second counts.

I kept glancing down at my Garmin. Sometime, I was in the high 5 min/mile pace, sometimes high 7 min/mile. I really wasn’t sure if I was on track for the PR or not, but I had my doubts. The weaving, the uphill course, and my breathing were all conspiring against me. I was not having the race that I wanted. All I could do is keep pushing and hoping for the best. I finally see the finish line just as I thought that I could not keep up this pace any longer. I was able to maintain for the final few yards.

Finish Time- 6:50.7

New PR (improved by 21.1 seconds).

I have to say that I was surprised given the circumstances. I desperately wanted to finish in under 7 minutes. Part of me dreamed of sub 6:45 and I came very close.

Overall, I am very pleased by the outcome. Looking at my race schedule, I figured I had two chances at a PR this season…this race and my Ultramarathon in two weeks (only because I have never completed an ultra before).

With this race behind me, I need to get one more long slow run this weekend in preparation for the only “A” race on the calendar.

I really hope that the weather is better for that event…

Edit: I was looking at my finish times compared to my new “predicted” finish times based on the Galloway Migic Mile formula. They are surprisingly close (except for the marathon of course).

1 mile – 6:51.

5K predicted – 22:56 (actual – 22:49).

10k predicted – 48:49 (actual 47:40)

Half Marathon predicted – 1:47:29 (actual 1:44:09)

Marathon predicted – 3:52:54 (actual 4:26:15).

So, according to this, I should still have a little room for improvement on the mile given my 10K and HM performance) and have a lot of room for improvement on the marathon…

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Race Report: Pittsburgh Marathon

May 3, 2015.

Marathon #11-Pittsburgh

It was a beautiful day for a run. Sunny but cool, with just a hint of a breeze. The humidity was low as well.

The corals were filled with runners well before 7am in the streets of downtown Pittsburgh, waiting for the starting gun to fire. I was assigned to coral “B”. I really didn’t belong there.

I had run the 5k yesterday, and I finished in 23:05 (7:25 min/mile pace). I had just missed a PR by 16 seconds, and I had just missed finishing in the top 10 for my age group, and just missed top 100 overall. I can justify my place near the starting line for short course events, but not for the marathon.

Three years ago, I finished my first marathon in 4:27. I have run the same distance 9 more times since then, and I have only topped that finish once. Grandma’s marathon was a cool day, on straight and flat course, with a 15 mph tailwind the whole way. I broke my PR by a mere 52 seconds. I haven’t come close since. My finish times for all the shorter distances have showed steady improvement…but not the marathon.

I didn’t expect that to change today. I have struggled with my training. It was hard to get motivated for the long training runs in the depths of the cold Minnesota winters. By the time it’s icy grip was weakening, the hard training should have been completed and I was barely starting. I always struggle with the sprring marathon training and this year was worse then usual. But my goals have shifted from setting PR’s to simply enjoying these long events and in participating in what I thought was impossible just a few years ago. It still does not excuse my lack of training. I should respect the distance more then I have.This may be a personal worst for me today (and I will have nobody by myself to blame for that), but I will still running and that will make it a good day.

I am surrounded by 18,875 other runners. Most are running the half marathon, some are doing the marathon relay. About 4200 are doing the full marathon.

The gun fires and we stream out of the downtown core. The first couple of miles are boring. We are going through some commercial/industrial areas where everything is shut down for the day. Porta-potties are located every half mile or so (I had too much coffee, so these were a welcomed sight). They had bands at about every mile and the aid stations were plentiful. I ran past a medical station and I saw the expected green flag (ideal running conditions). After a mile or so, we made a couple of left hand turns and headed right back downtown. All the spectators from the starting area were able to shift a block or two to this new vantage point and we’re got some very vocal crowd support. We then headed to the first of five bridges. Downtown Pittsburgh is on a peninsula between two rivers that merge into a third. We would take 5 total bridges to move to the north shore, back to downtown, back to the north shore, over to the south shore and finally back to the downtown area by mile eleven. The bridges were historic and had a lot of character. They only had a slight incline and the views were phenomenal (Pittsburgh really is a beautiful city). They connected some of the coolest neighborhoods and this whole section of the race was really entertaining.

Right after the final bridge at mile 11, the half marathoners turned left, went back downtown for the finish line. The rest of us turned right and headed up the one really big hill on the course heading towards the “hill district” (not what you want to see on a marathon map!)

By this point, I knew that I was on track for a personal worst. I was running at about 10:30/mile since the starting line I had no speed in my legs at all. Usually I can start strong, but not today. The race yesterday, and touring the city has left me sluggish.

By the top of the hill, I started to notice the heat. The temperature was climbing slowly and there were no clouds or breeze to help. That impression was confirmed at the next aid station flying a “yellow flag”- warning us to slow our pace since running conditions were no longer ideal. The aid stations started handing out disposable face cloths soaked in ice water (those were so wonderful)!

The second half of the course was less scenic then the first. No more bridges, but we traveled through a few nice neighborhoods, with some “filler miles” in between. The spectators, volunteers, bands, and aid stations were all plentiful and allowed the miles to fly by.

Towards the end of the race, most aid stations had run out of ice. That was unfortunate. It wasn’t hot enough for it to be a big deal, but the forecast was not a surprise and they should have had enough for everyone.

In the last few miles, I noticed that I had not imploded at mile 18 like I usually do. My pace was a little slower then at their start of the race, but not by much. I usually start the race in the mid 9 minute range and finish in the low 13 minute range. Today, I started in the mid 10 minute range and was now in the low 11 minute zone. Much more consistent and more enjoyable overall.

We re-entered the downtown core for the final mile towards the finish line. The crowds were great and the weather was beautiful as well. I had a little left in me for the final few hundred yards to the finish.

Finish Time 4:51:51

Overall-2794/4211
Gender-1830/2514
Age Group-195/257

I got my medal (a very nice 3 1/2″ diameter and very heavy medal!) and some post race food (pretty meager selection compared to other races) and a few post race photos. There was a finish line party which really did look like a fun event. I had to maneuver through to get to the Steele Challenge tent to get my bonus medal (for completing the marathon and the 5k). Before heading back to the hotel.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, Pittsburgh Marathon was a really nice event. The city is charming, historic and hilly, making the venue quite scenic. The downtown is a fun place to explore and spend a weekend. The expo is big but relaxed with a lot to see and do. The course is above average for an urban venue. There are certainly stretches of filler miles, but it does a good job of representing the city. The event is mostly well organized, with ample aid stations, eager volunteers, enthusiastic crowds and lots of entertainment on the course. They did run out of ice in the later part of the race and it was discouraging running through an aid station and seeing all the used face cloths on the street and none being available. They need to make sure they don’t run out of supplies late in the race. The finish line food was quite limited. There were bagels, chips, fruit cups, bananas and cookies. For the very steep registration fee (Pittsburgh is certainly on the high end of marathon fees), they should have provided much more. The finish line party really was a party and was fun to see. Again, I heard by the massage tent that they would not be providing any more massages. This really is unacceptable for the slower runners to be turned away from an advertised benefit that would be available for, again, a very steep registration fee.

From what I could tell, there was nowhere for runners to wait indoors prior to the race (unless you were willing to pay an extra $100 VIP fee). Detroit gives you access to Cobo Hall, Twin Cities grants access to the Metrodone, Houston to the convention center. The weather was nice at the start, so there was no need for an indoor staging area, but it would be nice, and the convention center is right next door.

The finishers shirts are certainly above average and look very nice with an eye-catching design. The full and half marathon shirts were long sleeved, and the relay and 5k shirts had short sleeves. Running the “Steel Challenge” (5k Saturday and half or full on Sunday) gives you one of each which was a thoughtful bonus. The race day program and visitors program was some of the nicest that I have seen.

The bling was pretty good. The marathon medal was a generous 3.5″ in diameter and quite heavy. The design was a little generic with the skyline in the background and one of the city’s many bridges in the foreground. Previous years had a much more graphic representation of the city’s bridges which was much more striking. This year’s just seemed a little uninspired. The ribbon was beautiful. It was a light blue with yellow line sketches of the city’s beautiful bridges with “Runners If Steel” printed in bold black print. The 5k medal was very similar to the marathon, but 2″ diameter (fine for a 5k). The ribbon was a single color and could have at least had the name of the race on it. The bonus medal for the Steele Challenge was very cool. It had this 3D steel girder design which worked very well. It was 2.5″ diameter and did feel a little small. The ribbon was similar to the marathon/half marathon ribbon but in different colors (blue bridges on a yellow background for the Steel Challenge, and yellow bridges on a blue background for the half and full) and complements that medal nicely.

So, overall, they did a good job, but there are areas that scream for improvement. Certainly a worthwhile race if you live in the region or will be traveling through the area in the spring. If you are looking for a Pensilvania marathon for the 50/50 club, this is worth considering, but I have heard very good things about Philadelphia. In the immediate area, Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon is held on the same day, and I would say that it is a superior event overall, but Pittsburgh in worth consideration as well.

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Pittsburgh 5k Race Report

May 2, 2015

I came to Pittsburgh for tomorrow’s marathon. But, if I am going to travel for a race, I will get all the shirts and bling I can. Large scale marathons almost always have one or more races the day before the main event. Often, there is bonus bling for signing up for multiple events…which brought me to this morning’s 5k.

On my way, I flew into Detroit (to visit family) then drove to Pittsburgh. Driving through western Ohio, I was impressed with how pancake flat the terrain was. As I moved eastwards, the hills started. By Western Pensilvania, the interstates were an adventure. I get downtown, and missed my exit. Unfortunately, this resulted in my being forced over a bridge (in rush hour traffic) across a river, and up a hill. “Hill” is an insane understatement. It was a 2 lane narrow road chiseled into the side of a cliff. I could not turnaround until I got to the top. Once there, I had to maneuver through a residential neighborhood to get turned around. Those side streets were roller coasters. I would crest a hill and would not be able to see the road (or cars ahead of me) until I was completely over the top and pointed downhill. How these people can drive here in winter is a complete mystery to me. I finally got turned around, headed back down the cliff, and made my way to the hotel.

Once I was checked in, I headed to the expo a few blocks away. Overall, it was quite a nice large expo. I can always get lost in these things for hours, but I had limited time and would come back in the morning after the 5k. I picked up my bibs for the 5k and marathon and got my shirts. They were VERY similar, but very nice. Soft green tech shirts with a nice cityscape design mirroring the medal. The 5k was a short sleeve, the marathon (and half marathon) shirt were long sleeved. Women’s shirts were pink and v-next instead of crew neck.

While I was there, I stopped by the Fond Memories booth and they had on display (as expected) the marathon finishers medal. Very nice! I think it is 4″ diameter and has a nice weight to it. The design is a little generic compared to the last few years, but I am being rather picky here.

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Here is a pic of the “Challenge Medal” that I will receive tomorrow. Love the 3-D look to it and that the design is completely different than the other medals.

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The following morning was beautiful. It was a bit of a hike to get to the 5k start line, but I got there in plenty of time. My plan was to use this as a slow final taper run. I was thinking 10 minute/mile. But I then saw the pace teams (for a 5k??? Sweet!!!). I started thinking about the 8 min/mile team. I ended up joining the 7:30 minute/mile crew. My PR was right around this pace, but I was undertrained with little speed training this season (or, more accurately, I didn’t do any speed training at all). I figured it was rather delusional thinking joining the 7:30 crew…but why not test myself…

We were right near the front, with only the 7:00 min/mile pace team ahead of us. When the gun went off, we started to fly. For the first 1/4 mile, the pace felt a little slow, then it caught up with me. By 2/3 mile, I was already fading. My group was pulling ahead. Soon, they were out of sight.

Well, I knew it was an overly optimistic pace to begin with. I now just hoped to keep ahead of the 8:00 min/mile group.

Soon, I was passing the 1 mile mark. The timer showed 7:20.

What the heck?

I looked at my Garmin. That was about right. However, the maker seemed to be slightly early. My pace group was nowhere in sight.

Slightly confused, I carried on.

The weather was ideal. The course was quite flat, and I was keeping a strong pace.

The 2 mile mark came. Again, it was marginally early. It was also 15:00. Officially, I was keeping a 7:30 pace. Still no 7:30 pace group in sight.

We hit the one and only bridge on this course…and the only (small) hill. I was running out of gas and I figured this hill would drain the tank. Instead, I saw my pace group…I was reeling them in!

Half mile left and I was still gaining on the group. Right around the three mile mark, the pacer stopped, turned around, and started yelling encouragement to everyone behind him. He recognized me from the start line and started yelling at me to push it. As soon as I passed him, he turned and followed me across the finish line.

Finish Time-23:05 (7:25/mile)

Division Rank-11/71

Gender Rank-88/848

Overall Rank-105/2313

I got my finishers medal (looks just like the marathon medal, but about half the diameter). I grabbed a banana and headed back to the hotel. Here is a look at the swag so far. Long sleeved marathon shirt on the left. Short sleeved 5k shirt on the right. Bibs. 5k finishers medal.

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I later bumped into the pacer at the expo. He told me his watch was acting up, and it was telling him a much different pace. He thought he was going much too slow. Towards the end, he realized that he was going too fast and slowed the pace down a little. It was also why he held up at the finish line. Interesting insightand it explained a lot.

I spent the rest of the day exploring the city. It is actually a beautiful town. The hill I got lost on when driving in is part of the marathon course, and we climb it at mile 11. Yikes! There is a little train that goes up that hill. It was built in the 1800’s and it was a little nerve wracking climbing that cliff on such an ancient elevator, but it provided wonderful view of the city. Tomorrow, I climb the same hill…the hard way…

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