Holy crap! I just qualified for the Boston Marathon! ...A P.F. Chang's Race Report.

JonRoig.com | Posted: 2009-01-18 22:05:32 | 5424 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode


It still seems a little unbelievable to me -- I just ran PF Chang's Marathon in 3:06:37. That was good enough to earn me 179th place overall, 151rst male and 27th in my division. I qualified for Boston!

Whoa. That's like a 10 minute PR for me. Here's the total breakdown...
   Distance: MAR
   Clock Time: 3:06:37
   Chip Time: 3:06:37
   Gender Place: 151 / 3438
   Age Grade: 66.9%
   Placeoall: 179
   Placediv: 27
   Pace: 7:08
   Ttldiv: 500
   Ttlsex: 3438
   10K: 44:53
   Half: 1:31:41
   20 Mile: 2:19:13

The 7:08 overall pace doesn't really tell the whole story, but it is kind of amazing, when you think about it. I did the '05 marathon in 4:47:15... four solid years of training later, I finally made it into Boston.

That is to say, I have been working on this solidly now for almost five years. I mean, I was a cross country runner in high school and whatnot, but I was never particularly serious about it.

... I guess I'm not really now. I just really like it. Obviously, entry into Boston is the ultimate benchmark as to whether you're a serious marathon runner and if nothing else, I've earned my place at the table. I mean, I managed to finish within an hour of the winner. For me, that's pretty good.

Today, was a perfect day for a run. Woke up early, made some coffee, scarfed down some Banilla, and organized my stuff for the day. I ran in the New Balance 790's I purchased last weekend after wearing 'em pretty much all week to break 'em in. Worked just fine. I brought along three Gu Rocktanes, two stuffed in my waistband and one in my Ultimate Direction bottle's pocket. Filled the UD bottle with Accelerade... which, in retrospect, was mixed a little too rich, but seemed to work just fine. I decided to wear a hat, since I was going to be out in the sun... and have really decided that I enjoy wearing a hat when I run long races like this. Helps in all kinds of ways.

Thanks to the hard work of about a billion volunteers, this race pretty much runs like clockwork. I mean, shuttles were no problem -- I just parked at the marina and a walked over the lake. The wait was basically zero. The starting line was easy to find, of course... I started way up in coral 1.

So did Bill, my Ragnar team member and the official 3:10 pacer for the race. I needed to run a 3:10:59 to qualify for Boston, so he was going to be my buddy. At least for the first half, when he was going to drop back and let someone else pace the second half.

Without much fanfare, we were off. A pack quickly settled in behind Bill and his 3:10 sign, and the pace was good and manageable. There's something kind of amazing about running in a pack like that, it's like a primal thing with it's own energy. Plus, it totally helps to cut down the wind on the endless straightaways.

Around 10k, maybe a little past, that's where the problem emerged. I mean, the 3:10 pace felt fine and I was feeling good. What do I do? I can only run so fast at any given time, so if I want to chance it and go for a 3:00 flat, I have to get moving. Of course, that carries with it certain risks... plus the loss of the protection of the pack.

Anyway, I forged on ahead at a pretty good pace. The split times put me at a 7:06 and 7:02 for the half and 20 mile mark.

The run itself was kind of a blur. I was pretty focused on form and just pushing ahead -- I was kinda picking out runners up ahead and slowly stalking up to them like a lion taking down a caribou. Forget the time, I just want to feel like I'm passing other runners.

Which I was doing... at least for awhile. I kinda hooked in behind some other dude from Ahwahtukee for awhile and we just plowed on ahead through the herd. (He had an amazing first marathon... I've gotta give that guy props.)

... but after 20, that's where it kinda started to hurt. A lot. After miles and miles of running with the Ahwahtukee Kid, he started to pull ahead. I looked at the official time, knew I was gonna roll in under 3:10 if I just kept it going, and relaxed.

No big kick at the end of this one... just pretty much guided it into the finish. My calves hurt soooo much... as did my shoulder. I mean, I did just dislocate it a few months ago.

I didn't hang out very long afterward. Congratulated a bunch of the other runners, ate a popsicle, and walked slowly back to my car. On the other side of the river. Ouch!

All in all, just a really great day of running. Not sure if I'm gonna do Boston this year or wait 'till next... I need to give it some thought. I worked sooooo long to get to this point that I'm kind of amazed that I actually did it. I imagine when I wake up tomorrow sore as hell, it'll seem more real.


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