Lakefront Marathon race report

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    • #5604

      Today, Oct 1, I ran the Lakefront Marathon in about 3:04:10.  I felt good thru mile 17 or so, then it got tough.  Stayed on pace thru mile 20.  My goal was to break 3, so was running 6:50s or so.  Legs felt heavy and were cramping a bit so at 20 I dropped the pace down some, ran some 7:40s and finished with a couple of miles in the eight minute range.

      I had alot of fun running with the 3 hour pack.  Corina, you rock!  I'll let Corina tell her story but suffice it to say I think she was the only one of the 3 hour crew I was with who broke 3.

      It was a beautiful day for a marathon, temps in the low 50s at the start and climbers into the 60s at the end.  Very little wind.

      Thanks to those who went down and cheered us on.

    • #21695

      Jeff, good job. It seemed like there were quite a few people who struggled today. The temps didn't seem too extreme but I think, combined with the sun, they got the best of some people. I'll let people tell their stories themselves but I know there were three performances between Corina and regulars that I thought stood out.

      I'll have some pictures coming. I'll have to see if I can get some on the site. In the meantime, if anyone who was there would like to get originals of any pictures of themselves, let me know and I can e-mail any I have to you. Note, I was trying some different functionality on a relatively new camera so I won't make any promises about quality.

    • #21696

      nice job jeff.  good talking with you at the finish!  great to see ryan and lisa out there as well!

      i started a little slower than the sub3 group but picked up the pace and got “on” sub3 pace through 22M…the wheels started coming off and i shuffled in for a new PR by 22 seconds…3:08:05 (chip).  i think i could have run a faster overall time if i had stayed a little more conservative from 7M to 16M…but my HR was looking good and i figured i'd hang it out there and see what happened.  this was marathon #17 and my 7th lakefront marathon.  🙂

      Overall: 79/1869
      M30-34: 16/141
      Male: 74/1154
      Gun Time: 3:08:14
      Pace: 7:11
      13.1: 1:29:50
      20M: 2:17:51
      Chip Time: 3:08:05

      – – – – –

    • #21697

      It is so nice to have a forum like this to articulate your thoughts about the race we just ran after a nice long shower and maybe a nap.  Thanks Ryan, and it was nice to see you and Lisa out there!

      Since the week after Al's, I have been to physical therapy 6 times to get rid of some scar tissue on my calf from an old work injury that picked the absolute worst time to flare up.  I was only able to run once in the past two weeks and that was Friday.  The run went so bad that I didn't know whether I'd be able to go or not.  Figuring, what have I got to lose, I already payed for it, I might as well give it a go.  I didn't run Saturday figuring my only chance was to get as much rest and ice as possible.  This AM, my leg felt alright, very sore, but alright. 

      At the line, I was very pleased to feel how nice it was, almost perfect conditions.  After the gun, I was surprised how fast the packs thinned out.  I was running solo before the third mile.  Normally that would have bothered me a lot, but I had no idea what to expect out of myself so I had no place running in a pack.  I figured, before the race, that I could coast through the turn onto Lake Shore Drive, struggle through a couple of miles until Green Tree and then let the prospect of finishing carry me to the finish line.  I was partly right.  The course up to Lake Shore did seem to go by quickly.  It was just about Port Washington Rd where a runner came up behind me and stayed there.  No big deal except he had the hardest foot strike of any runner I have ever heard.  I couldn't get it out of my head.  I know it sounds petty, but over the course of 26, the mind wanders into strange neighborhoods.  I tried to slow down, to speed up, but he stayed there for about 6 miles.  Oddly, it was no sooner than he pulled away, that my leg really started to bother me. 
      I saw my wife going past Klode Park and I honestly didn't know if I could go any further.
      I decided that maybe I shoud stop and give the leg a good stretch.  I now believe this was the worst possible idea at that time.  I should have just kept on going.  As soon as I finished and started running, it felt worse than before.  After 17 or so, I figured the pain would have to get much worse to warrant not continuing.  The best course of action for me was to back off the pace and keep chugging away.  I can only guess that my pace went from about 6:30 to 7:45 or so.  The stretch between Klode and Lincoln Memorial seemed just about endless.  Making that turn down the hill helped it sink in that I was far too close to do anything but shoot for whatever goal was still within reach.  Initially I set out to go sub-2:50, that was out by now.  For me, I could shoot for a BQ or sub-3.  Doing the math in my head after mile 22, I figured I would have to run little more than a slow 5k+ to break 3.  Well it turns out that I did run that slow 5k and broke 3 by 20 seconds or so.  It really felt like I finished that last mile and a half strong, but I couldn't have been much faster than 7:30 pace or so.  Whatever.  I was happy to finish and ecstatic to break 3. 
      Now I can relax and let this leg get better for the California International Marathon in December. 

    • #21698

      Great reports!

      Jeff, you need to hop the plane out to California with Rob…the course is magic!!!  🙂

    • #21699

      Rob, good run out there. You and Corina were two of the very few people who looked good coming into the finish. I guess holding back for the calf issue forced you to not go past the line like many people did out there.

      Working on some projects with home computers so I don't have the pictures off the camera yet but I will get to that…sooner or later.

    • #21700

      With my injuries of late and Adimal's on-and-off training this summer, I had my doubts a 3:10 finish — which would be a BQ for him and, consequently, for me — would be feasible. Personally, I needed a 3:15 to BQ (Adimal's six years younger than I) and I was pretty sure that wouldn't be a problem after running a 3:19:08 in Chicago last fall on much less mileage. (Adimal ran a 3:22 in Chicago, so we both set PRs there.)

      Well, we decided to go for Adimal's goal time despite knowing — just too stubborn to admit, I'm afrain — that a 7:14 pace over 26.2 miles would be tough to maintain. Go for it we did, nevertheless.

      We pretty much nailed our goal pace to the half way point:


      At this point we were barely under pace for a 3:10 finish. With 7:21 for mile 13, however, we started running deeper into debt.


      Here, at mile 15, Adimal complained of a painful hamstring. He dropped back a mile later.

      On my own, I adjust my goal to the 3:15 I needed to BQ. And I had that in my sights for some time.

      7:34 (mile 16)
      8:02 (mile 23)

      At this point my quads were mince meat and the five minutes I had had to play with had all but evaporated. I struggled to keep moving as I tried to do the math. I took advantage of that downhill for a 7:24 24th mile. But on the flat path again, I had very little left in the tank. Whe I tried to pick it up, my calves protested by threatening to cramp.

      At mile 25 I knew both Adimal and I ould not be booking flights to Boston for another year. I hit mile marker 25 with only 7:30 before the clock would run out. Sure enough, I got to mile 26 in 3:15:32. I finished in 3:17:03.

      A 3:15 marathon requires a 7:26 average pace. I ran a 7:30 average.

      So there you have it. I fell 64 seconds shy of a BQ time. And while I'm disappointed I didn't pull it off in my first attempt, I still managed to chip 2 minutes off my previous best. More importantly, I learned to respect the marathon anew.

      No one needs to tell me or Adimal (who, suffice it to say, was humbled by the race) that our plan going in was overly ambitious. And the ensuing outcome for was forseeable (by folks on this board, in fact). I know what I'd have done differently (more long training runs at marathon race pace, for instance, and/or commit to a more conservative pace in the initial miles of the race). This was, as it happens, the first marathon at which I didn't run negative splits for the last 10K.

      Say what you will about how dumb or reckless we were, but we laid it all on the line. Sure we came up short, but we went for it and left everything we had on the course. I take some pride in that.

    • #21701

      Joel, as I told Cameron about his taking a shot at sub-3, you laid it on the line and went for a big goal. I can never fault someone for doing such a thing unless it's an absolutely ridiculous goal that one was shooting for, which the fact that you held on for a PR shows this wasn't.

      You went for the big goal and you still came out with a PR. You know you can run your BQ. There are a lot of positives you can take from this and it sounds like you're taking some good lessons from it also. Good job.

    • #21702

      Well done on the PR's, improvement is always encouraging and hopefully it will continue!  8)

    • #21703

      you guys are just amazing…  😮
      congrats & recoup well…

    • #21704

      Congratulations to all of you, those are some pretty incredible times.

      Hope recovery is going well & you don't have to go down too many stairs.

    • #21705

      The more I think about it, the less I'm disappointed with my marathon performance on Sunday. I ran every mile, with the exception of mile 25, within 45 seconds of my goal pace of 7:14/mile. As much as I hurt over the final 10K, my slowest mile was 8:25.

      Until this one (not counting the trail marathons run), I've been knocking 10 minutes or more off my previous best times. Maybe those days are over and I need to be satisfied with incremental improvement from here on.

      Either way, I haven't run the distance any faster and could have run it a lot slower Sunday.

    • #21706

      jtpaten – don't get down on yourself.  at a certain point, i think most folks plateau and need to do different things (training/nutrition/sleep) to push to a new level.  i can say that i benefited in the last few years from running up to 26 in training, adding 50M trail events and most recently moving to a hilly-er part of town.

      from looking at your splits, you ran a smart race.  perhaps what you need is more speed to carry you through.  maybe focusing on getting fast in the spring may pay off with a BQ in the fall.

    • #21707

      Until this one (not counting the trail marathons run), I've been knocking 10 minutes or more off my previous best times. Maybe those days are over and I need to be satisfied with incremental improvement from here on.

      Exactly. If you kept knocking 10+ minutes off your PR indefinitely, how long until you'd be breaking 2 hours? Unfortunately, improvements can't keep coming that easily. At some point, each incremental gain becomes more difficult to accomplish than the initial big gains that we enjoyed so much in the past. Of course, once we realize how much it took to get those gains, we also appreciate and enjoy those incremental gains much more than those initial big gains.

      A PR is a PR. That's something you should be proud of, not disappointed with.

    • #21708

      Joel, what was Adimal's time?

      Nothing at all to be disappointed about, you're right there close to your BQ time.  Get healthy, take what you've learned from this and go after it.

    • #21709

      Where to begin?  As jtpaten noted I started to experience some pain at 15 and by 17-18 the wheels were falling off.

      Throughout the training I pressed myself to remain optimistic, yeah I had missed nearly a month of substantial training in June while on a trip to West Africa but the spring season was going great and perhaps a rest would help a bit.  Lopping of 12 min was a very lofty goal but it had been done before on much less weekly mileage.  And yes my goal may have contributed to jtpaten missing his BQ but we agreed early on we shoot for my BQ, as we will most likely run Boston together and why not try to get it done now.  So to him I owe him much gratitude and I'm perhaps more disappointed that our early pace to reach “my” BQ cost him his BQ.

      I'm not exactly sure what happened after mile 17, I know it, the whole bod, started to hurt.  The realization of no BQ set in yet the shot at a PR (sub 3:22) never really set in, contrary to jtpaten.  So the physical led to the mental, the mental couldn't overcome the physical…

      Then the whole, what's the point? came into the head.  I don't think I ever really considered throwing in the towel for a DNF but I couldn't stop thinking, if I take much longer, the hotel check out time will pass, so just finish and get it over with.  I'm not sure how many times I stopped due to pain but the pain worsened  when I did, so I didn't walk for long but during miles 20-25 my pace was anywhere between 9 and 12min.
      Looking back maybe I should've concentrated on a sub 3:20 and looked to 2007 to qualify for boston in '08 but I wanted to give it a shot now!

      I was humbled, we had a great 15 miles (I've only ran one half marathon as a race, that should change) and I did finish, albeit in 3:39 and change but hey i'll take away just as much from this one as I have from the previous 6.

    • #21710

      Adimal, let me say publicly that I don't believe you cost me a BQ. I could just as easily “blame you” for getting me a PR, you bastard! ::)

      I'll admit I had it in the back of my mind to go after 3:15 if it didn't look like 3:10 was going to pan out. But I never would have committed to a 3:10 pace if I didn't think I/we had a chance to carry it through. My only regret is we didn't talk about back-up plans. Once you fell off the 7:14 pace, the wind left your sails. I bet you could have gone after a 3:20 finish if you had  cemented that option in your head ahead of time. We've got to toughen you up mentally!

      You set a gutsy pace for the both of us. And I'm hurtin' because of it. Thanks for the challenge. You're still my favorite marathon running brother-in-law! ;D

    • #21711

      Wow, the line between optimism and oblivion seems rather definite.  Hope the next one goes better!

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