JonRoig.com | Posted: 2007-06-04 06:19:20 | 5607 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode
3:36:15. Same time as in Tucson. To the Second.
What are the odds?
Now, there's no shame in running a 3:36 at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. It's a much more challenging course than Tucson and includes way more variety in terms of hills and whatnot.
It really is a fun run. The crowd support out on the course was really powerful, with tons of bands, cheerleaders, and other performers on hand to help motivate. The weather was perfect: it stayed mostly overcast and hung around in the mid 60's for the entire race.
Most of it, though, was a blur.
I tried a couple of different things this time around, adjusted my strategy a bit.
First, I traded hydration systems -- I decided to rock my old friend the Ultimate Direction water bottle instead of the Camelbak. I love that friggin' bottle... I filled it full of a light mix of Accelerade and water before the race and just took hits off it as I ran, worked perfectly. I didn't have to stop at a single water stop, nor did I have to try and chug down water out of a cup like that.
Carrying the UD bottle wasn't bad at all. If anything, it seemed to kind of balance things out. I figured I'd toss it at mile 20, but it just felt so comfortable at that point that I just hung onto it to the end.
Second, I ditched the Brooks Trance shoes at the last minute and ran the marathon in my trail shoes, the Brooks Cascadias. Something just felt... wrong... with the Trances when I was running in 'em the other day. They're kind of old and could stand to be replaced, but it was way too late to make a shoe switch and break 'em in. Since I do all my long runs in my Cascadias anyway, I just said screw it and ran in those.
It's tough for me to evaluate a shoe's relative performance, but if you use "not getting injured" as a relative metric of success, then the trail shoes did just fine. No blisters nor really any moments of discomfort... beyond the obvious stuff, of course.
The main change this year, though, was one of general philosophy. Last year I ran this race in 3:41:02 and really, really felt bad at the end.
This year, I came to this race looking at it as a kind of training run. A chance to try some new things, a low-pressure return to the marathon after dropping out of PF Changs back in January.
I took it pretty easy for the first 20 miles. I didn't try and pace myself against anyone else, I didn't try and stay with any packs or anything like that. I just kind of ran in the zone where I felt comfortable, which appears to be around an 8:15 mile under those conditions.
As a result, at mile 20, I actually felt pretty good. People that had passed me early in the race started to fall by the wayside as I accelerated through the last 10k. (Looking at my splits, I thought I'd sped up more, but I guess it's all relative.)
I had a super good sprint finish and felt just fine afterwards... good enough that I ended up walking two miles back to the hotel with one of my fellow runners... presumably, that helped a lot in terms of reducing soreness.
Which was good. Because the very next thing I did after taking a shower was hop into the car and do the five hour drive back to Tempe. Ouch.
I got misclassified in the 2007 official marathon results as a female, so until that's corrected, I don't have any idea where I finished in terms of my age/rank stuff. Whatever the results, I'm totally satisfied.
Here's the cool graphical analysis of my finishing place. Right now, it thinks I'm a woman, so... yeah.
Anyway, all in all, I'm totally satisfied with how things went. It was just a good, solid run. As I edit this piece on Tuesday, I actually feel fine. A little sore, but not much worse for wear. This weekend, training to qualify for Boston begins in earnest.
Update: 6-5-07 -- the final stats:
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