Saturday, June 3, 2006

2006 Sunburst Marathon Results (Or: How I Qualified for the Boston Marathon With 1 Attempt)

2:59:04 (6:50/mile pace)
15/567 Overall
3/54 Age

Sunburst 2006
Let’s talk about the start. At 5:59, 1 minute before the scheduled start time the PA announcer comes on and says there is a ‘Haz Mat’ emergency somewhere along the route and we can’t start. He says we will get an UPDATE in 15 minutes letting us know if we can run at all. That was rough on my confidence. The good news is that we started 15 minutes late, no harm done.

The weather was perfect. I would not have changed a thing if I could. At the gun it was 54 degrees with no wind. By the end, it was only about 62 degrees. Partly cloudy the whole way.

My first mile was at 6:45, a little faster than I wanted (which was 7 flat) but I was glad I held back as much as I did. There were lots of people in front of me, but I didn’t let it get to me. My second and third miles were the same pace, 6:45. I felt comfortable and managed to hold that pace pretty much for the rest of the race, averaging 6:50 for the whole thing.

The course was kind of silly, with 2/3 of the run being on residential streets. There were two places where I had to turn left into parking lots and do a slow circle then get back on the main road. Annoying.

I had 3 car-boom packs with me, taking them at miles 10, 16 and 21. I think they helped. I made sure to consume them just before a water stop so I could wash them down. There was Gatorade and water at each stop (about every mile) and I drank Gatorade only once, spilling some on me which sucked. I drank a little bit of water at almost every station (two small drinks) and never got an upset stomach.

I carbo-loaded all week, eating lots of pasta. The pasta dinner provided on Friday night wasn’t that great, I had to force myself to get it down. When I woke up race morning (at 3:45) I had a big cup of tea, a snickers marathon energy bar, a oatmeal-to-go bar and even some energy beans (jelly beans meant for ‘energy’, tasty they were) Quite a bit to eat before a race now that I think back on it, but it helped. They were spaced out enough so my stomach was ok.

Once again I got very emotional on Friday night and race day before the start, but it was in spurts. After the pasta dinner, drinking my night tea and getting ready for bed, I was fine. I slept very peacefully, waking up refreshed. Waiting for the start it would come and go, come and go. Once the race started I was fine until after I passed the finish line, then when I realized the magnitude of the day, it hit me again.

In one of my running reads, it talks about having three goals for every race. An easy-to attain one, a realistic ‘good’ time, and the ‘if conditions are perfect’ goal. My easy-to-attain goal was to finish (it was my first marathon, ya know) My ‘good’ goal was to qualify for Boston (3:10) and my ‘perfect conditions’ (which today was, really) goal was 3:00. I achieved all three.

After I finished, I felt fine, and still feel fine, here 6 hours after I finished. One toe has too much blood in it (a common occurance for me on longs runs, I am used to it) and that is it. Muscles feel good, little stiffness. I actually feel better than I did after my half marathon April 1st.

Now I have to figure out what time to shoot for at my next marathon (probably Detroit) but on Monday morning I was start my plans for my trip to Boston April of 2007!

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