Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday Haiku

a petulant winter solstice -
a succession of dark, cold and snowless mornings -
perhaps hibernation -

Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly recap (Christmas!)

Monday:  1 mile walk after lunch.
Tuesday: 30 min bike with 15 hard-ish (100+ cadence), lower body strength training
Wednesday: 20 min bike
Thursday: Off
Friday: 30 min ellip, 20 min bike with 6x 30s at 17/20 effort 100+ cadence, recovery to 110BPM, upper body strength training
Christmas weekend: OFF!


I'm getting much better and doing the eccentric heel lowerings...I can do 2x20-25 and I'm doing them much slower too.

In the beginning my muscles trembled and quivered (especially my right let) after a few when I tried to let down slowly (i.e. over a couple of seconds). Now they do the full 20 ok.

Surprisingly, the day after doing these exercises my calves are not sore at the bottom part where the tendon meets the soleus muscle..instead the soreness is up top in the 5-6 inches below the back of the knee....that part is the weak part! Not what I expected at all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

When Santa came to our house.....

I don't share a lot of non-running stories from my life, I hope you enjoy it.
The story begins one Christmas Eve, when I was 3 or 4 years old.

Not many people have had this happen to them , but a lot of them grew up in the same place as I did.

I have very dim memories of most of this night, but some moments are stamped in brain like a photo. It seems to me that our parents were strangely quiet and allowed us to play around the tree (which was yet to get most of it's presents around it...that happened in the middle of the night). For me, it seemed I was getting to stay up pretty late....

Suddenly there was the sounds of sleigh bells RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR FRONT DOOR and a LOUD VOICE shouting "HO! HO! HO!". 

I remember being paralyzed with excitement and yes, fear...could this really be happening?!...my parents and sister ran over to the window and exclaimed "It's SANTA CLAUS!".....

The doorbell rang...my dad walked over, and along with a blast of cold air... in came a HUGE man that could only be SANTA! OMG!. He shook the sleigh bells ...which were now REALLY LOUD..shouted "HO HO HO!" again, unslung the bag of toys off his back and looked at my sister and me saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS".

I freaked out.  I ran into my bedroom and hid under the bed.

My sister and mother came into the room and peering under the bed, persuaded me to come back out..mentioning that Santa had presents for my sister and me.

I shyly came back into the living room, and was beckoned onto Santa's lap. I remember Santa's suit still radiated the coldness from outside, especially since I was just wearing my PJs. 

He then proceeded to call me by my name, tell me what a good kid I'd been and OTHERWISE TALK ABOUT THINGS that had happened to me during the year.  Whoa.....the whole Santa story was ALL TRUE! 

Santa said he came by early to drop off a little present on Christmas eve because we'd been extra nice. (REALLY?) ...we'd get the main delivery in the middle of the night.

He pulled out a long big present from his bag and handed it to me...whoooaaaa..I thought. Then he got up and said is finally MERRY CHRISTMAS, shook the bells..and out the door he went. I peered out the window and Santa got into a station wagon and drove away.

The present was COOL..just the kind of thing I liked: a toy submarine that you could put under water and would actually move under it's own power. How did he know I would like that? I played with it in the bathtub until my sister and I were told that unless we went to bed there would be no return visit from Santa. ..that did the trick.

Years later, I did learn why we (and a lot of other kids) got visited by Santa....

I grew up in Bedford Massachusetts...a small town near Boston..and Bedford has something called the "Bedford Community Santa Program"...here's the story from their website:
It was Christmas shortly after the end of World War II. One of Bedford's Selectman noticed the children of a poor family as they watched Santa going into one of the churches for a Christmas party. Though his children were excited, their father held them back as they were not members of the church. The selectman, Clayton Morril, realized the children's disappointment and resolved to do something about it.
The result is the Bedford Community Santa Program. 
This is a unique community program that has operated for more than 50 years under the principles established by the founder, Clayton Morril.The chief of these principles is that any child in Bedford can be visited by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, and be presented with a special Christmas gift. 
The program is a very large community volunteer effort with over 300 dedicated current and former Bedfordites supporting Santa's visits. Expenses are covered by generous donations; no town funds are used by this program. Learn more about making donations through our donations page.
In my older years I recall  going out with my Dad and sister and volunteering one Christmas. I can remember going into the high school gym and seeing HUNDREDS of Santas, zillions of people, and thousands of presents.

Here's how it worked covering a route....or what I remember from our stint..

My Dad was the driver ....he had the list of addresses and had to get us to each house. (this was pre GPS and sometimes it could be slowing and cold).

To his right, in the front was Santa..this was a guy that volunteered to get all decked out and puffed up..really the most fun job but a lot of work too.

In the back were the "elves" ..my and my sister in this case ;)...we had clipboards with the addresses too. In the back of the car were all the presents. Each family that had signed up for the program provided one present for each child...us "elves" would collect the presents for the next visit and put them in Santa's bag. 

There were also some "emergency gifts" in Santa's bag in case there were some unexpected children in the house..visitors for example, or just some snafu causing the elves to not have a gift for one of the kids in the house. It would be very very bad for Santa to have gifts for all but one child!

We would prep Santa on the children in the house. THIS WAS THE  PART THAT WAS SO COOL....e.g.: The children are John and Susan...John lost his first tooth this year..he got an A in penmanship, Susan had her tonsils out..etc etc....Ok, now repeat it all back to us!"

This was how magically Santa knew all about you (and frankly scared the heck out of a lot of kids, including me ;)

And that's how Santa came to my house... (and a lot of other houses!)
This program is apparently still running to this day...amazing.  Thank you, Clayton Morril, what a generous and wonderful idea.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

And so ends 2011!

Miss Zippy gave all us runners marching orders a template for closing out the new year!

Best race experienceThis is easy: CIM. Second place would be CPH or Skyline-to-the-Sea my first 50k.

Best run: Running through historic Deerfield early in the morning.

Best new gear:  My Garmin 610. I like the touch screen and the fact I can display 4 things at once. Also the vibrate alert and the ability to set pace/heartrate alerts.

Best piece of running advice you received: from Jill: Go and see a Physical Therapist!

Most inspirational runner: There are a few of them ....all are near 70 or over. I study them to make sure I get there too.

Summary of your year in a few words: Marathon Maniac #4012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekly recap and Dumb running ideas

Monday: 20 min bike, 10 min row, lower body strength training.

Tues: Off..1 mile walking

Wednesday: 30 min bike with 4x20s sprints at level 17 / 20..recovery to 115bpm. Upper body strength training. 3 miles walking.

Thursday: 1.5 miles jogging 

Friday: 1.5 mile easy jogging and 2x20s of 4 drills

Saturday: 20 min bike, 10 min ellip, 5 min row, 1 mile treadmill.

Sunday: 5.5 miles @ base 

I'm not doing much by marathon training standards as you can see...it's a good thing I'm done with my race because something important came up at work and we need to get it done before the holidays.

For now I'm happy just doing a mix of stuff to keep from totally being a slug and letting my tendons recover from the abuse they got.

My AT is not present during normal activities but when I jump up and down I can still feel it a little bit...if I run it is there....every day it's better so when everything is completely back to normal and not before I will get back up to slow base miles.  

I've got plenty of time: a whole 'nuther year of running coming up!

I also still have that Shiny New PR  8)


What's up with people that run while holding hand weights?  When I see them they are not swinging their arms.....so ....what is it for?

Remember when they used to sell leg weights you could strap around your ankles !? That seems like a Really Bad Idea.

Not swinging your arms when you run is a drill to strengthen the core that Jill had  me do a couple of times. I can't imagine doing it for a few miles of running. 

Have you ever tried running with hand weights? 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What a jerk.

The Las Vegas Weekly has a writer named J. Patrick Coolican that
wrote this about the LV marathon:


Some priceless writing from this pinhead:

To run a marathon is to bombard the body’s infrastructure with stress. So, a little sickness when running 26.2 miles should hardly come as a surprise.

later this:

Put that aside for a moment and consider the people who run marathons and how they might be the kind of people who enjoy a fine whine.
I used to live in Seattle, so I know them. They went to Stanford or USC and work at technology or consulting firms or have already made so much money that they’re stay-at-home dads or moms or started their own nonprofit. They shop at Whole Foods but eat only 1,200 calories a day. They voted for President Obama and felt so darned good about it. They consider the twice-annual sale at REI a religious event. They are the modern Organization Man and so can’t understand why the marathon didn’t go off with the efficiency of their second child’s midwifed home birth. They are the anti-Las Vegas. So, let’s be skeptical of their complaints.

and this parting shot:

Marathoners, a little piece of advice: Even our potable water is terrible, so next year go to REI, get yourself a Camelback and fill it with bottled water.

Those that want to share their displeasure and have FB accounts please go over here and express your opinion of this writing.



In other news. Garmin has fixed the problem with the HR display and they made it so that elevation data dumps out with split csv files again. Whew!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We didn't get to say goodbye...

Yesterday there was some problem with one of the blogs I follow being tagged has having malware on it...because I was a follower my blog roll was showing it and that caused my blog to also have a warning.

I removed that blog from my follower list.

And then I decided time to clean up..I went through and removed a bunch of blogs that aren't active. It was painful to do: some of them are not active, but presumably just going on with life -- sans blogging..we don't get to know. Some are at a good stopping point, ran their marathon, etc. and moving on.

But some got sick. There's one that got a diagnosis of MS and is going from a very fast runner to somebody just happy to run at all. 

There's another that went in for a surgery for a tumor on the kidney....and never came back to blogging after.

A couple of bloggers just stopped...no reason given...why did you drop off with no message?

I wish bloggers didn't think it all had to be sunshine and roses. We know it's not all easy out there. Tell us the truth and let us help.

Blogging isn't just for runners conquering goals and showing off improvements and new running gear.  It's also for people that need support through trying times. We're all one step away. Let us help! Please don't just check out.


Tuesday Haiku

full or half -
such a thing as a "mini"? -
stopit -

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's next and other stuff...

The two mystery Canadians are now identified over on my CIM race report posting! They found my blog and checked in with a comment. Both of them (first timers) did  a great job with even pacing and nailing their goals. Pretty impressive for first timers!


Arthur ran 13 miles this Sunday..he didn't feel that great during the last 6 miles of the CIM, but this shows he's recovering amazingly quickly. He's about to move to the 70-74 AG and I'm sure he's going to clean up with podium finishes even more than he was already.


It's a week later and I'm over my race fatigue and the AT. I've basically done nothing except some walking, foam roller and hot soaks. I did one  XT day Friday and other today (Monday) with strength training upper and lower. Felt pretty good... the leg muscles are gradually lengthening back out

I could go running but I'm going to take it very easy getting back into it...there is no rush. 

To reduce the AT I plan to do a boat-load of eccentric leg lowering exercises. After googling around, I think I was just not doing enough of these. During training I was doing 2x15 on each leg, twice a week. I plan to build up to 2x30 on each leg, every other day. Once I can do that, I'll started adding some weight in a backpack of something to increase the load.

If you remember back when I got dunked, I also had notions back in May of losing some body fat before my PR attempt.

Once I started training in earnest, I realized this was not going to work...doing drills, strength training, weights, hill sprints etc as well as boosting mileage was just too much for me to add in a calorie deficit as well.

It just didn't make sense..with all the muscle I was adding I was sometimes *ravenous*. Somedays I would come home from work and want to make dinner at 5pm!...this did not go over well with Toni ...8)

I actually gained a few pounds before CIM, I weighed myself at 176lbs (vs 172-ish during my dunk tank experience). Just judging from the fat I can pinch around my midsection I think this was all muscle gain.

Anyway, I think this down time is a good time to finally lose a bit of fat (and keep the muscle), the mileage will be down but the strength training will be maxed out. 

The next race is Eugene at the end of April. Tentatively, I am considering shooting for a 5-10s per mile faster pace..i.e. 3:54  perhaps...this would be running at 8:50 or so on the Garmin.

Many people ask me about the "BQ" question. Sigh. For my age a BQ is a 3:40 marathon. This is not going to happen unless I win the lottery and can do nothing but train and be looked after for a year or two by a team of specialists ;)

[There is only one hope for me and a BQ: If I can run a sub-3:55, and keep doing that for 4 more years until I'm 60, THAT is then a BQ.  If you think that sounds easier than running a 3:40 now, it's not. Running a 3:55 at age 60 is basically the same...each year you should be getting a bit slower.  So, I do get to sneak up on the big effort by training to hold the time each year. 

Jill says you can improve in the marathon for about 10 years, and I'm only 3 years in so maybe....who knows?

But the whole BQ thing usually never enters my thoughts, mostly I want to see how fast I can go (carefully)... I'm happy to be running marathons period and mostly want to run them for fun, not PRs.]

Garmin ...they recently introduced a bug in the web interface whereby the activities tab doesn't show any average HRs for any runs..they are all blank! The split dumps as csv files also don't have elevation changes in them any more. Sigh. Garmin hardware is pretty darn good but why can't they get the cloud software side together? 


Here's the list of stuff I want to get done before Eugene:

  • Get rid of AT even during hard training
  • Lose at least 5 lbs of fat before Eugene
  • Take some swimming lessons for freestyle

I did remember to cross of 'set new PR in marathon sub-4' from my "Sporting Goals" list 8)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Final thoughts on CIM 2011

Marathon training cycles take a lot of time and effort. I find it useful to try to write down as much as I can....hence all my "N weeks to CIM" postings.

When I train for another marathon and my memory for detail has faded, these postings are very useful. 

It's also just fun to remember when you have a cold or something and can't run at all. Sometimes I need inspiration that I can do it again..and do it better.

Basically, this blog is my way of keeping a running logbook, which is something all the books say you should do and I agree. 

So what do I want/need to remember about this training cycle and race? 

I enjoyed having a coach giving me a plan for the week. I did not always agree with the plan (sometimes it seems crazy hard) but it provided a good base goal for training with all the details.

When training on my own it was easy to read in a book "you need to do these strength building exercises, drills, etc", but it was hard to actually incorporate them on a regular basis..it was too easy to just go out there and run. Now they are a habit and I will always do them...they work!

It was also easy to avoid speed work (see scaredy-cat reference below) and just bang out miles at MP or slower.

strength training, drills, hill sprints, flexibility exercises were part of my success in this cycle. It took more time, but the payoff on race day was huge.

I can run fast and not break. I have always been a scaredy-cat about fast running after tearing my AT before the SF marathon in 2009 and healing up just barely in time to run that race. 

During the CIM training I did more fast running than ever before (8 m/m, 8:30 m/m).

But, I need to find a way to prevent AT training at fast paces: I survived this time but at these paces my AT, which I had completely gotten rid of, returned and kept me from doing some of the workouts and almost kept me from running CIM. 

I could be an even faster marathoner if I could train harder. I ran CIM at an average HR of 137 (75%)..this could be 145 (80%). Normally 8 bpm would be worth at least 30s per mile if not more. 

TRUMPING THE SPEED DESIRES is my hope to be running for many years to come. Getting AT is not something you can do over and over without repercussions (e.g. scar tissue buildup). Being able to run is more important than PRs.

Physical Therapy is Important. Repeat this 1000 times. Coach Jill 
nagged this into my head. Part of my success on this cycle was the improvements in my congenital right hip flexibility and strength issues due to the stuff I learned from my physical therapist. This will benefit me down the road whether running or not. 

Jill says every time you visit a PT you learn something new about your body and it's really true. A little knowledge here can go a long way.

The mind component is so important. We already knew this, right? But I don't just mean the ability to push through discomfort/pain while stay focused with form solid and staying relaxed...that's a work in progress in every race.

dawn at 2011 CIM start
No, there's something new: I can feel I'm not intimidated by a 9:00 pace anymore. Perhaps you can call this the 'Roger Banister effect'..you know, once he ran a sub-4 minute mile, suddenly everybody could do it? Yes, it is hard, but I having done all the training and having such a strong race I know I'll be there again and I won't be scared of it at the starting line.

But more on that in a "What's next" posting.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

RUNDown: 2011 California International Marathon (#12)

This was my 12th marathon since my first in March 2009.

My motto has always been "Any day you can run a marathon is a damn fine day." This was an *extra* fine day.

This race report will be different than my others. I warned that would not take pictures during the race.....I did take a couple, and I did take some at the start, but  I think this was the right choice ....the focus of this race for me (and everybody!) was to run fast!

Rather than a blow-by-blow for each mile I'm going to just give my impressions about different aspects of the weekend....


I got to the expo early to pick up my stuff of course. When I picked up my bib they had little groups of 4 safety pins pinned together to hand out and every volunteer made sure to say "have a great day tomorrow!". This attitude was everywhere....a very friendly and well run race! 

I attended a seminar on "how to run the course" given by several many-time-CIM-runners. This was great.....they emphasized that you need to avoid charging the hills or  burn down the them too fast in the first 2/3 of the course. Instead you use the hills to keep your legs fresh for the last part of the course where you can go. 

The highlight of the expo was meeting up with Arthur of http://arthur-seniorrunner.blogspot.com/

Arthur is kind of my hero..I watch his exploits closely. There are NOT very many blogs out there from runners that are 69 years old, especially those than can run a half marathon in 2:02! (1:44 age graded!)

I had a chance to sit down chat, this is only the second time I've met a blogger friend in person. Here we are posing for a photo.

Arthur took up running about the same time I did (2008), which was when he retired. He's never been injured. Did you hear that? He's done a 70 mile week! Yow.

He has two sons and one of them was there with him to also run. 

He is the king of the half marathon but is now going for Marathon Maniac bronze and maybe silver. 

I also had a chance to finally meet a marathon maniac in person: Choy Bancor had posted to the MM group on facebook that he was meeting up for the pre-race dinner at the Pyramid Alehouse. It was really great hearing about his experiences in the maniacs, esp how the group in Hawaii is so tight-knit and supportive of each other.

BTW: The wind was RIPPING all day (from a bad direction too) and well into the evening..the forecast was for the wind to die down but it seemed impossible..it was still ripping as we walked back to our hotels at 8pm ! 

Race Morning

The wind did die down! Whew! Forecast was low 30's at the start and up to 50 by 11am, no wind and sunny. Perfect running weather!

The buses to take us to the start were expected at 5am (the one downside of a point-to-point marathon). 

Two Canadians ITCHING to run!
David Sewell (L) and Matt Jackson (R)
I was down in the lobby at 4am to get my free banana and buy a $4 bagel when I  struck up a conversation with these two ebullient, extra excited gentleman. Their story was a hoot! Did you notice in the photo they are not wearing bibs? 

They had traveled from Canada to run the Death Valley marathon, (for the guy on the right, it would be his first marathon), however due to the strong winds the marathon WAS CANCELLED.

So..all that training and nowhere to run! What to do? They called Las Vegas and were not able to wangle an entry, plus they discovered the cutoff was very short there and the worried that for his first marathon they mind miss out on a finish.

So they looked at the website for CIM. Eventually after googling and facebooking around they found a personal phone number for one of the officials and called them. They were told they could get bibs on race morning in the hotel lobby! Hows that for friendly service to marathoners?

So they hopped into the rental care and DROVE 9 hours to CIM! I hope they remember the name of my blog and comment so we all can find out how they did!

[Update: They found my blog! Both of them had great first time marathons: the guy on the right is Matt Jackson and he finished right on his target pace in 4:15:42. The guy on the left is David Sewell and he also had a great day with a 3:55:59...we were probably very close to each other at the finish. Kudos to both of them for excellent pacing!]

Eventually the buses came and it seems a bit disorganized but it we all got to the race on time (I think). You are allowed to sit on the bus and stay warm which is a good thing: it was about freezing temps at the start!

I was well prepared: a throw away beanie ($8) over my regular cap to keep my ears warm, arm warmers made from socks, two old t-shirts over my race shirt and a nylon windbreaker on top of everything. 

I ditched the two t-shirts 5 min before the start, and withing the first 5 miles the cap and arm warmers too. I rolled up the jacket while running and tied it around my waist.

They have a *lot* of porto-pottys at this race: one for every 26 runners (normal is 1:100). I hung out on the bus to keep warm rather than wait in the still very large lines. When I needed to go I took advantage of one of the benefits of being a guy and took a 'walk' out by the dam along with a bunch of other guys avoiding the lines.

Steve Boyadigian, ready to run!
I was talking to a nice guy named Steve Boyadigian on the bus to the start and he took the picture of me above. Here's a shot of him.....

The Course

This is a great course. It's not uber scenic but it's got some rural sections at the start and very good crowd support. People come here to run a PR or get a BQ so the average paces for this race are higher than your usual marathon.

H street bridge at mile 22
I loved the course. The rolling hills were a bit challenging but I found it possible to maintain my target pace. I did take one picture during the run: As I crossed over the H street bridge and had my epiphany (see below) I took a picture of the road ahead and the river.
view from H street bridge of the river


If you know me, you know I'm a stickler for reasonable pacing. No crash and burn in the last 6 miles for me. I seem to have the typical noob fade problem nailed now and I am very happy about that!

My training was targeted at a 9:00 garmin pace, which I figured would be a 9:05 real pace (a 3:58 marathon). This would give me some pad in case I faded a tiny bit in the last few miles so I would still be sub-4.

During the race I used my garmin in my favorite long run mode: I show the time, the mileage, the average pace so far and the current 1 mile split pace. I like this display a lot because I can see when I'm behind on the 1 mile split early on and gradually crack the throttle to bring it in line before we get to the end of the split. This way you avoid a big 'oh crap!' when you pass the real mile marker flags and check your pace band.

CIM has great mile marker flags and at each one I would check my real time against the pace band to my actual status vs a 3:58 pace. For the entire race I ended up having a pad on my pad of about 15-25 seconds...i.e. my split at a mile marker was faster then my pace band time for that marker. Many mile splits I was amazed that I kept this extra pad. Water stops can eat away precious seconds. During mile 20, my left shoelace came untied! A first! I had to stop and retie which cost me 15s..and I did it too tight. I refused to stop again and eventually it felt ok, even though much tighter than the other shoe.

My pace tracking worked well for me, even with the up and down roller hills of CIM. The basic plan was to drop the pace on the uphills a touch and then make it up on the downs..and this I did. Speaking of rollers..the uphills were significant and plentiful. Not hugely long and always followed by a downhill, but if you weren't prepared it could be hard on you. Luckily, the hill sprints and fast running Jill had me do had put muscles on my muscles and I had zero problems with the hills.

In fact, my leg muscles were never a problem in the entire race! As I passed from mile 16 (where things get interesting) to mile 20 I noticed my leg muscles were in excellent shape...the best of any marathon so far! To use my metric, I would say they were "very lighty toasted, if at all". 

What did bother me a bit was the pesky AT..it was there the entire race but as the endorphins kicked in at about 4-5 miles in it became less of a problem. After the race I am now very sore and doing lots of icing, etc. 

Here is the pace graph...you can see I kept the pace pretty close to a 9:00 until mile 21...take a look:

Split Dist Pace HR % WHR Cad Elev+ Elev- YPB
 1 1.00 8:54 163 95.9 90 0 57 1.214
 2 1.00 9:04 139 76.2 89 52 64 1.397
 3 1.00 8:57 126 65.6 89 24 47 1.560
 4 1.00 8:57 127 66.4 88 29 63 1.548
 5 1.00 8:57 128 67.2 88 19 38 1.536
 6 1.00 8:59 130 68.9 88 10 18 1.508
 7 1.00 9:06 128 67.2 87 35 51 1.512
 8 1.00 9:01 130 68.9 88 39 19 1.503
 9 1.00 9:05 130 68.9 87 12 18 1.492
 10 1.00 9:01 129 68.0 87 20 20 1.513
 11 1.00 8:59 130 68.9 88 29 63 1.506
 12 1.00 9:06 131 69.7 87 42 62 1.476
 13 1.00 9:03 131 69.7 87 20 36 1.484
 14 1.00 9:06 133 71.3 88 0 8 1.455
 15 1.00 9:00 135 73.0 88 11 15 1.447
 16 1.00 9:01 136 73.8 88 15 26 1.434
 17 1.00 9:02 136 73.8 88 0 26 1.433
 18 1.00 8:59 138 75.4 88 0 16 1.419
 19 1.00 9:05 138 75.4 87 12 16 1.403
 20 1.00 8:59 139 76.2 88 0 17 1.409
 21 1.00 9:10 140 77.0 87 0 5 1.372
 22 1.00 8:54 144 80.3 88 0 21 1.372
 23 1.00 8:30 148 83.6 89 21 0 1.398
 24 1.00 8:38 148 83.6 88 0 10 1.377
 25 1.00 8:49 149 84.4 88 0 3 1.340
 26 1.00 8:59 150 85.2 88 0 4 1.306
 27 0.38 8:33 152 86.9 89 0 0 1.368
Summary 26.38 8:58 137 74.6 88 390 723 1.432
Summary2 26.38  8:58 137.3

At mile 21-ish I  went over the H street bridge (the last uphill..see previous photos) and previously I had the shoe-retying, both of which cost me a bit of time (a poor 9:10 garmin split). At this point I realized that barring a cramp or tendon problem of some kind there was NO WAY I would not be sub 4. I had a good pad of 2m 15s or so under 4:00:00 and so could drop 20s per mile  and still make it.

At that point I realized it was time to really FLY. Everything had conspired to get me to this point with muscles feeling good, a great pace so far, and only 5 miles to go! This thought washed over me with a wave of energizing emotion....not something that has ever happened before!

Feeling this good at mile 21 was something to be treasured and not wasted: the marathon gods were smiling! Who knew when I would get this chance again with such great weather and flat course laid out ahead of me? Time to give it everything I could!

I had a 3:58 in the bag by a few seconds but decided to see if I could get a 3:57. I knew also that if I did that even my gun time would be below sub-4 and I was excited to think I would see that on the clock as I approached the finish.

And so I poured it on.  I passed people like no tomorrow..my form was great, I was relaxed and I was still doing a 2:4 slow breathing...it was amazing..I felt like superman. The pace dropped to 8:30-50m/m and I was flying.

Eventually after 2 miles of that my legs did start to let me know I was going fast. Mile 26 was back at 9:00 pace......my math skills weren't very good but I knew I had pushed the time down below 3:57 so I was very exhilarated.

As I rounded the corner and headed toward the men's chute I did not sprint. The previous day at the Expo I attended a seminar on "avoiding the medical tent" and they pointed out that a lot of fatalities at marathons seem to happen when sprinting for the finish. 

I didn't need to sprint anyway as I had blasted it in! And as I saw the 3:58 on the clock I put my sprint energy into shouting and hooting and holding my arms up (eventually with 3 fingers for the first digit of my finish time). 

 I shouted out 'sub-4 hours!!!' a few times. The thick finish line crowds responding to my excitement..I think they knew I was happy ;),  but even if they weren't there I would have be just as happy!

post race 'beer' (coors lite)
holding up three fingers for 3:xx finish!
It may take a few weeks to wipe the smile off my face 8)

Overall place 2338/5755
55-59 place 90/247
Guy place 1629/3270
Gun time 3:58:39
Chip time 3:56:34
Avg pace 9:02 m/m

5.9M split 52:51
Half split 1:58:41 (2x that would be 3:57:22 finish..so a negative split by about 50s).
20M split 3:01:20

Age graded 3:20:31 / 62.3%
(For a 40 yr old this is equivalent to 3:25:30)

Of course, if I had run an even pace that was a few seconds per mile faster, I probably could have shaved even another minute of my result. Being able to pour it on at the end means I probably didn't crack the throttle enough at the start ;). We'll try to fix that next time ;)

The traditional post race unhealthy meal with some REAL beer ....and showing off the medal. 

Can you tell I'm a happy camper? You can be sure I will run this course again...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

CIM result : 3:56:35 !

Three is the loveliest number that you'll ever see
Four or greater can be worthy
Two is just other worldly
But tre is the lovelist number, it's the number three