Returning from Louisville

lm_logo.jpgSitting another airport – at Starbucks… they are everywhere. Sipping on a nice strong coffee and reflecting on the race this morning.

Up before the dawn for a pre-race breakfast. Relaxed until 7:00 and then a nice, hot shower to warm me up and relax the muscles. Luckily the hotel was about a 1/4 mile from the start/finish so I could stay warm until the last minute. A strong breeze was blowing and the sky looked menacing. We stated at 8am prompt.

As usual the first miles were crowded but after a few 8:30/min miles I was maintaining a steady 8min pace. after mile 4 I was hitting all the marks still with that 1:30 to 1:40 deficit. I passed all the water stations and just used the Ultima I brought with me – avoided the usual crowding at the table. After the half-marathoners turned for home it got reeeeeeeallllllly quiet.

Especially after the turn around at the park loop, I was pretty much on my own. I would pick a shirt up ahead and work to “reel it in” and then pass. That helped keep my pace up. As I hit mile 20, I was dead on 8min/mile pace, I felt really good and was in that “zone” you hear people talk about. It felt great and I wasn’t even feeling cold anymore. Sweet.

Suddenly I realized there was no-one in sight ahead or behind me. I was on the course but it had thinned out dramatically. Problem became one of maintaining pace with no frame of reference. With no runner ahead to motivate something better out of me, I had to revert to counting steps/minute to try and recreate proper pace I had practiced on the treadmill.

At mile 24 I pulled alongside this young guy – in his 20s ? I hoped he would pick up the pace and get me going… nope. He was wheezing something awful and I ended up pulling away. He caught up briefly with 0.2 to go, but we were going uphill and he couldn’t keep with me. As I pulled away again he said something rude… not to me, I’m sure… but I could tell he was ticked at not being able to pass me.

Anyway, I crossed the line at 3:31:57 – a minute or so shy of a proper Boston marathon qualifier. Still, I am very happy with this race. I know I couldn’t have done it without being cheered on in spirit from WA… These were great people. Nice run with cool views. Flat, fast course. I’d recommend it.

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~ by John Rankin on Oct 22, 2006.

One Response to “Returning from Louisville”

  1. John

    Great marathon! 3:31 is amazing! I hope it’s OK w/ you – I plan to use your recap as part of my motivation for next Sunday. Not sure how many people that I’ll be able to reel in along the course, but each time I do I’ll think of you. : )

    – Dave

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