Monday, March 30, 2009

The 2009 ING Georgia Marathon Race Report

Well here it is Monday night, the day after the race. I flew from Atlanta to Pennsylvania tonight for business. This will be the longest period of time I have been away from Eyrleigh since she has been born. I already miss my family, however Eyrleigh is VERY fascinated with my laptop so writing a race report will prove to be more of a challenge at home in the future.

That being said let us rewind to race morning at 4:07am. The alarm clock was to go off at 4:30, however Eyrleigh started crying at 4:07am, so I took the opportunity to hold her for about 10 minutes and settling her down before deciding to get in the shower. After a shower and choking down a couple of graham crackers and peanut butter, it was 4:30 and Mary Ruth was up and going. We were ready to leave the house at 5:00am (our friends daughter spent the night to be there with Eyrleigh in the am.) We were worried about traffic heading into downtown Atlanta. It took exactly 30 minutes to get from Lawrenceville to Centennial Park. 5:30am and we could have slept another hour. Oh well.

I was in Corral 3 and I started with the 4:00 pace group. The race started and the logjam of people was highly annoying for the first 4 miles. At mile 8 the pacer said we were currently at a 3:53 pace. What??? 3:53 Crap. I got with the pacers who decided the negative split was the way to go. 2 marathons in a row.


In order to run a 4:00 marathon one must run at a 9:10/mile pace. Not gas it for the first 8 miles at a 8:53/mile. You may think 17 sec a mile what's the big deal? It's not about speed it's about heart rate. In order for me to run an efficient marathon I must run with a average heart rate of 166 or about a 9:10/mile. By running the first 8 miles 17 sec a mile faster my heart rate rose slightly changing the race completely. If you are a PACER pace equally for the whole race, don't decide because you the experienced Marathoner can handle the negative splits doesn't mean us rookies can. The only pace group I will follow in the future is MYSELF.


That being said the timing system was kind of screwy and I think off during the race.

My watch splits 10k 1:01 1/2 2:02 26.2 4:29:58
ING splits 10k 1:01:39 1/2 2:06:14 26.2 4:30:28

At the halfway point we were in Decatur, and as another runner put it we ran through Decatur long enough to pay taxes. Miles 17-20 were quite tough with severe hotspots on the balls of my feet (mental note: retire shoes). At mile 20 I pulled up next to Dave (from Lawrenceville) and we ran the last 10k together. He was in pain on the downhills and I on the uphills. We walked the last 2 water stops, and we pushed each other to mile 26. At mile 26 we were coming around the corner from the finish and I told him "we can break 4:30!" Let's give it all she's got.. He said to take it he couldn't push harder. I said Dave "Let's GO!" and we did. We crossed together at 4:29:58 by my watch, but the timing system said 4:30:28 and that is official and I will live with that time.

I am a 4:30 marathoner and I am ok with that. The compression socks worked great. The Endurolytes worked great. (no cramping) The Roctane was great! 15 before and every 45 thereafter, only drank water on the course. My legs just felt heavy on this day. That is the way it is, and with this hilly course on my best day I could have run a 4:10, but you take what the day gives you. It gave my 4:30:28 an improvement of 22:34 from just 4 months ago. I am happy, plus it's time to step away from the Marathon for awhile.

Besides it's triathlon season, and I have a 70.3 mile race to train for!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Last Run is Done.

Well, today was one last 6 miler before Marathon Sunday. I ran at a 8:44/mile pace, but I was supposed to run "easy". Oh well, I start rest Wed - Sat. This tapering have given me more time to spend with my family and to catch up on Eyrleigh's baby book. We are supposed to get rain now through Saturday.

Tomorrow will be time to begin the four day loading cycle of Hammer Nutrition’s Race Day Boost. As the race falls on a Sunday, the loading takes place on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday - do NOT take Race Day Boost the day of the event!

I am so close to 4 hours I decided to try this to help with Pre-race recovery. I got the idea from the british bulldog. and after talking to the crew at All 3 Sports.

Hammer Nutrition claim RDB will:

(a) Prolong endurance
(b) Increase performance time at anaerobic threshold
(c) Provide unsurpassed lactic acid buffering and
(d) Help boost glycogen storage

An extra benefit of the product is that 2000 mg of glutamine daily, (the amount provided in four servings/one day’s loading dose of Race Day Boost), has been shown to elevate plasma growth hormone levels, a definite benefit while tapering for an event.

Here’s the technical info from the Hammer Nutrition web site:

Race Day Boost contains one of the most potent legal ergogenics available for competition. In the most extensive study to date on Race Day Boost’s key ingredient, fit cyclists, in a 40K time trial, netted a whopping 8% improvement in performance time! The simple formula belies its profound effectiveness, aiding in increased cellular energy production and buffering performance-robbing lactic acid. A four-day loading dose of Race Day Boost prior to a key race can make a noticeable improvement in your performance.

I’ve found the best way to take Race Day Boost is to dissolve the powder in 3 to 4 ounces of warm water and drink as fast as possible. FYI, if you use a cold/cool liquid the powder tends to “clump” and is a bit more difficult to swallow.

Note: Do NOT take Race Day Boost the day of the event. Next up more pasta and to buy the Roctane for the race.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

All systems go for ING Georgia Marathon

Today was my final training run of 17 miles. Today's goal was to dial in my nutrition and take it at an easy pace. Enter my most favorite energy gel ever GU Roctane (blueberry pomegranate). It was a hilly 17 miles, and plan was to drink 3.5 ozs of water every 7.5 minutes and a GU 15 minutes before and every 45 thereafter.

So let me explain the graphics (click to enlarge). The top is the run via the SUUNTO T6c. Note: halfway through I had to stop to refill the water bottles, thus the HR drop. The middle graphic is the route and elevation changes. To the left is my complete nutrition schedule I followed during the run. This was a HUGE learning experience. I finished 17 miles in 2:41:10 (9:26/pace) and my legs still felt fresh.

The difference is to concentrate on nutrition as much as the actual running. I thought the gels and that amout of water would be too much. It wasn't. I have spent the last 2 years NOT doing this. The funny part of this run was when my watch hit the 17 mile mark I was on Hwy 124 (.38 miles) from the park where Mary Ruth and Eyrleigh were to pick me up. As I looked up, the Mile marker on 124 was mile marker 26. Coincidence? I KNOW not. Marathon ON!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Marathon Month.

Well I have continued training for ING Georgia Marathon at the end of the month and all is going fairly well. I am also back on the bike 2 days a week. My official 1/2 Ironman base training begins the week after the Marathon. I am also looking at getting some swimming help from a coach. I am also incorporating a lot of yoga and stretching into my training.

On the home front I have a personal nutritionist :) See Eyrleigh is now walking 75% of the time and is learning more words everyday. We have also played catch in the backyard. Pitchers and catchers have also reported. All is great with the world!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fort Yargo Thrill the Hills XDURO 21k 2009

The weather played a huge roll in this one. TRUST ME.

If all started the day before when it rained in the Atlanta area ALL day. Then it decided to rain all night Friday night. Then it rained for some of the race. The course is a great variety of single track, double track, and rolling hills. This was all washed out. Footing was horrible, and at some points it was faster to speed walk. The conditions cost me around 15 extra minutes, but I just decided to have fun and not fall. A ton of people did fall. I did finish in the top 300 so I did get a finishers medal. Finishing time 2:17:00 avg pace 10:27 /mile

ING Marathon is the next race!