Sunday, February 15, 2009

Austin Marathon

Time: 160:00?
Distance: 27 mi.

Target: run a smart race; sub-2:30, hopefully sub-2:28
Race: 2:36.02 for 4th (on a very uncompetitive day)
Splits: 5:55.5, 5:59.0, 5:38.8, 5:42.4, 5:37.4, 5:40.5, 5:43.3, 6:01.3, 5:48.0, 5:44.6, 5:51.1, 6:01.0, 5:45.6, 5:37.3, 6:01.0, 5:58.2, 5:54.9, 5:52.1, 5:37.3, 5:40.6, 5:24.0, 6:23.2, 6:26.5, 6:25.0, 7:06.4, 6:57.9, 1:10.0 (last 0.2 mi.)
Course Map
Full Results

Start of the marathon on South Congress

With my shadow through about 10 miles

Final stretch... ouch

This was certainly not the marathon debut I was hoping for, but I learned a lot and it kicked off a great week in Austin. In lieu of a long blow-by-blow recap, I will summarize what I took from my first marathon experience.
  1. Eat, eat, eat: One Pop-Tart before the race and GU at 13 and 20 miles is not enough energy. You NEED it for the last 10k, stomach be damned. It was all I could do in the last 5 miles to finish the race.
  2. Don't be lonely: It is so much easier to let the tempo slip when you are alone or don't have someone to share the pace with. The lesson here? Find a competitive race, or at least an injured friend to bike along with you.
  3. Make a day of it: Having a good plan for the rest of the day of the race and have some friends around to help lessen the sting of a sub-par performance.
  4. Run through it: I have never had a major race that didn't come along with one niggle or another. I was frustrated by the tendonitis in my right foot for two weeks leading up to this, but I barely felt it in the race.
  5. Train better: While my training was perfectly fine (particularly given that I was running solo almost exclusively leading up to this) and probably would have prepared me for a 2:30ish race if I had done some of the other things better, I could have been more reliable on the workouts.

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