Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Flying Pig Marathon

Well it's over. The 10th anniversary of The Flying Pig Marathon. Some of you know that my main goal for this marathon was to Boston qualify. I didn't quite make it. But I'm ok with that. I did run my fastest marathon so far. Before I tell you my time, let me tell you about it. This is the biggest marathon I've run. And I know why I prefer the smaller ones. I'll get back to that also. Yesterday morning (Sat) I caught my flight to Columbus. Why Columbus? Because it was $200 cheaper than flying into Cincinnati. I got my car, it was raining lightly there, and drove to Cincy. On my way in I stopped at Trader Joes, can't wait till we get one here, and picked up a potato salad and a Turkey sandwich. I planned to eat in my room and watch basketball. I got to the hotel, checked in, and walked to the expo two blocks away. This was a great expo, everything moved fast, and there were plenty of exhibits. Got my bib, then went on to pick up my shirt. They had a surprise gift, a duffel bag, it's nice. I went back to my hotel and settled down for the evening. I went to bed at 9, Cincy is on EDT, and woke up at Midnight. I then ate the rest of my dinner, and went back to sleep. I got up around 4, and went to this little continental breakfast just to get some coffee and a bagel. I walked to the start. The weather was a bit chilly, but that was perfect. It was easy to get to my pace area, 3:30-4:15. The race started at 6:45, 15 minutes late. I don't know why, the P A system was terrible. You had to be right at the front to hear. Anyway, we start, it takes about 2 minutes to cross the timing mat, but we still weren't able to run yet. In front of me were much slower people and walkers. I guess they couldn't read the pace markings. One man was asking where the 3 hour pace started. He was an old man and I noticed he was wearing a 1/2 marathon bib. Oh well. This race is very hilly, we went over a bridge into Kentucky and it was quite a climb. I had planned to run 9/mi pace for the first 3 to 4 miles and then start pulling it down. My Garmin said I was doing just that. By the 10 mile mark I was holding 8:30 or better, but the one thing that was bothering me was my GPS was clicking long before their mile markers. I was understanding that my watch wasn't going to get me there on time. So I started trying to pull it down to 8:15's. I did that for a couple of miles, but with the hills, I decided to drop back to 8:30's and then see how I felt around mile 20. Around 20 I was starting to realize that I might not make it. Around mile 23 it was all I could do to keep running. I made myself a promise that if I could run to 25, I could walk a little. I got to 25 and it was a slight downhill so I said no way I'm walking now. I also knew even though I wasn't going to get the 3:45 I needed, that I could still set a personal best. I finished in 3:52:32 and even though I didn't quite make it to my BQ time, my Garmin says that I ran 27.1 miles and had an 8:35 pace which is exactly what I needed. The only thing I can think that would account for that big a difference is all the zig zagging I had to do to get around the slower people. Also I was never alone in this race, which is why I said it reminded why I prefer the smaller races. From start to finish I was always surrounded by people. And there were way too many IPODs even though the race prohibited them. One guy that I kept going back and forth with, every time he'd pass me, he would then get right in front of me and slow down. I wanted to say something to him, but I didn't. This race is very well attended, and they run you through the downtown area several times. The crowds there make you feel like you're running in the Olympics. A great race, if you like crowds you'll like this race.

OK Male 54 Chip 3:52:32 Gun 3:54:20 Overall 1048/4725 Sex 839/2719 Age 68/297


DawnB said...

congratulations on a great race maurice you did well. That happened to me last year at the more marathon, zig zaging thru people really adds the distance. Good effort on BQ. Nice PR.

Adrianne said...

Great report and congrats on the PR! Thanks for posting the explanation they gave you for the unexpected blips of the race. It's just like you to have such a great attitude about having to make last minute adjustments. As always, you're an inspiration!