I wanted to do detailed write up of the marathon like I did last year but alas, life gets in the way...again :P So I apologize I'm going to take the easy way out and just post the splits and give a final synopsis.
- 6:10 (The start of the worst side stitch ever!)
- 6:11 (cont'd)
- 6:09 (cont'd)
- 6:19 (Westpark bridge)
- 8:21 (Hamstring spasms had to stop)
- 7:53 (Had to run slow for fear of spasms again)
(Last .2) 6:17 (Finally started feeling better)
Total Average Pace 6:25
I started out the race grinding it out. My legs just felt a little banged up to start the race so I thought the day would be more difficult than it ended up being. I started feeling a slight tightening up in my left hamstring by mile 7 but I just decided if it was going to happen then let it happen. I'm just going to go about my race. Nothing ever did happen, not for a while at least. I ended up running side by side with some pretty strong girls for a good portion of the marathon. One during miles 8-13 and another during 16-25. Thanks girls, the pleasure was all mine.
During mile 11 I started getting a side stitch but I decided to stay on pace. I believed this caused it to get a whole lot worse to the point where it felt like someone punched me in the ribs and I couldn't take in full breaths. I had this unbelievable pain in my side whenever I breathed that was about 20 times more painful than any I side stitch I had felt before. It lasted for about 18 minutes and thankfully just went away. By mile 16 I had started running with a local guy Jose Acosta and an Olympic trial hopeful Kelly Chin from New York. Initially I sort of ran past them as their pace slowed and mine sped up. I had probably put a good 10 seconds on them for a couple of miles. Then on Woodway Jose pulls up next to me and later on Memorial Kelly pulls right up along side of us. We all helped each other out but from Mile 21 onward it became some sort of race. I didn't really care what we were going to finish at time-wise but I just wanted to beat both of these guys because of my competitive instincts. So I start pushing the pace a bit here and there and both respond, especially Kelly. She was especially strong as she had an even bigger motive than just beating me. We both eventually pull about 10 seconds ahead of Jose and back and forth we go. Mike Clark, a Kenyan way runner, runs right past both of us like we were standing still. I chase after him but I don't have what he has left in the tank so I let him go. Then Jenna Boren, another Kenyan Way runner, passes us and I let him go. It's pretty much me and Kelly until the middle of mile 25.
On mile 25 I pull up lame next to a water station because my left hamstring is having spasms uncontrollably. I'm a little frustrated but what can I do? Nothing. So I have several false starts and finally I'm able to start again. An 8:21 25th mile. On mile 26 I'm not able to pick up any speed because my hamstring is still having slight spasms. A 7:53 26th mile. During the last .2 I fully recover and get back to some sort of respectability during the finish. I smile and pump my fist and then I'm done. Surprisingly I don't feel wasted and I still have plenty of energy and minimal soreness for a marathon. I'm happy I made it through in 1 piece. Later on as I view the results I find out Kelly Chin finished in 2:44, just under Olympic Qualifying time. Good for her. I have to think that I would have at least finished around that time if not for the fatal hamstring dancing and prancing that went on during mile 25. I also noticed that quite a few Kenyan Way runners finished in the low 2:40's starting with Sam at 2:40, Jenna at 2:43 and Mike at 2:44. Congratulations to those guys as I see their hard work and consistency has produced great results!
Thank you Faith for this photo!
As for me, I met my main objective and that was to get in a good workout and come out injury free. It didn't bother me too much that I didn't run 2:44-2:46 like I planned. What bothered me more is that I decided to start racing from mile 22 on and lost. I hate when that happens. It's those competitive instincts again...Easy tiger, easy.
Sidenote - After the race I went to Sean's house and got an ice bath in the pool. Lord have mercy! Can you say Abu Ghraib? Sean has never seen me in worse shape. The pool had to be just above freezing. Because when I got in I started screaming and whining. I finally crawled out after just a minute and he was like get back in there! I never felt like such a wimp but that water was hell frozen over cold. I got the chill to the bone! I finally did go back in and ice for 15 minutes.