Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally BQ'ed and PR'ed- Columbus Marathon Review

Short story:

I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon- 3:34. I beat my 2004 PR by 13 minutes and I'm pretty happy. The course was awesome- very flat and a lot of downhill portions. The weather was great and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Longer story:

I woke up Sunday morning and had to scrape frost off my car. It was pretty cold in the beginning but it later warmed up- perfect running weather.

Somehow I just knew I would qualify at this race. Two days before the race I had a dream that I qualified, but I forgot to put on my chip so my time wasn't recorded. Then the day before the race, I had a dream I qualified and all was well. It sounds dumb but those 2 dreams actually gave me confidence during the race that I was going to make it.

I didn't know how to plan out my pacing for this race. I had thought about starting out with the 3:30 pace group and then later slowing down to the 3:40 group when I was tired. I was afraid to do that because I didn't want to kill myself early on in the race, but I knew I didn't want to start out with the 3:40 group. Too much pressure.

So anyway, I lined up to start with the 3:30 group. Before the start, I randomly saw Bill there. He was walking the marathon and finished in 5:08- 3rd place! Anyway, the gun went off and the 3:30 group was already out of sight. I ran the first mile in 7 minutes and that group was probably about 25 seconds ahead of me. Way too fast.

Sooo, I just put on my music and was going to try to run a nice pace on my own- always staying ahead of the 3:40 group. And I did- I somehow maintained an 8, 8:05 minute pace the whole way. I kept on feeling good so I kept on trucking.

I think 2 main things contributed to my good run (considering I had only run 3x in the previous 3 weeks).

  • Number 1- my music. Before the race on Saturday, I put together a new "Clara running playlist" to get some good, upbeat songs for the race. It consisted of some Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Blues Travelers, Dave Matthews, Dixie Chicks, Spanish music, etc. The music seriously helped a ton.
  • Number 2- I took Chris's advice and sugared up during the whole race. I normally will eat 3-5 gus during a marathon and this time I ate 7. Every half hour I took an S!Cap and a Gu. I never felt sick and I actually had a better post-race recovery. I wasn't even hungry.

I had read reviews on the race beforehand about the amount of hills on this course. Half of them said that the course was flat, and the other half said it definitely wasn't flat as advertised. I was expecting the worst and I found the course to be super flat. I am one who hasn't done a hill workout in forever and I hate incline, and the course seemed perfect. There were maybe 2 small inclines that lasted less than .3 miles, and that was it.

There was surprinsingly a lot of downhill and that was super nice. It was especially nice having the last .2 miles into the finish line be downhill.

Anyway, a good race all in all. I'm glad I don't have to spend more money on an out of town race just to try to qualify again.


Running 2 Mohican said...

Yes, Nice Job! Enjoy BOSTON!

la mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Holy cow! Congrats! As I've said before, I admire you and your running but now I also admire your perseverance. Way to GO!


Clara said...

Thanks guys! Now....who has friends in Boston that wouldn't mind having me stay with them for free and then driving me around everywhere?? :)