Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gasparilla Marathon 2010 Recap (only one)

This will be strange. Me recapping a race in just one blog. I am already nervous and a bit scared. Also a word of warning. This is a marathon recap so there may be some adult language. Here goes.

As I mentioned earlier somewhere, either in a blog, an e-mail, phone call or just in my sleep, I have really slacked off on my Gasparilla marathon training this time around. Don't get me wrong, I do like to run. It's the damn distance that is a pain in the ass. Sometimes literally. The back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and well, you get my point. I was trying to follow some sort of training plan. I am not sure whose plan it was but it wasn't any that my fellow BRA runners were doing. Case in point. On a Saturday long run I would ask, "what are you guys running today?" "We are doing 18." "Oh hell no. I think I will go 8." Or when they did 22.5 miles I must have ran 15. I just figured what the hell it's only 22.6 miles. I have done that before. At least twice.

I was trying to do the right things leading up to the race. I ate a big pasta meal on Friday. No drinky drinky on Saturday and a small dinner before 6 pm. Went to bed early and almost got 7 hours sleep. Got up feeling fresh and ready to go.

My plan was to stick to a 9 minute pace for the entire race which would get me under my 4 hour goal. There were several of us wanting to break the 4 hour barrier. One of which was Redhead. I shall congratulate her now and again later. I should just run with the dude holding the 4:00 sign up and I will be fine. Yeah right.

This would be my first race that I ran with a pace group. Often times I just run my own pace and try not to feel the commitment of having to keep a certain pace. If I feel good, then I run good. If I feel bad, then I slow down. Basic math and science.

I started out with the pace group. This was much slower than 9 minutes pace because we were in the pack. Once the runners started to spread out, then I am sure the pace was going to pick up. Oh it did. Early on, we were running 8:15's to 8:30's. Now I understood that we needed to make up some time but damn this was a 26.2 mile race and we did not need to make up all the ground in a mile and a half. Well anyways I was still feeling good so I was just running with the flow. I eventually settled in myself after mile 6 with an 8:30 pace. Here we go again. I am not on the plan and running too fast early. But I feel good sir. I know you do but you just wait. No not me, I feel good. Good luck with that.

At mile 8 I see Tom standing on the side of the road. He was there to help pace one of us to a Boston Marathon spot. 4 hours 5 minutes. Again I figured if I stay with these guys I will break my four hours. Tom asked where is Holly. I say right behind me as in like right behind me. Turns out she and Redhead were not right behind me. They were running the 9 pace like good girls and were further back where they should be. But hey I was feeling good. Right.

Say hello to my little friend. Mile 16. Glad to see you Walt. Time for you and I to spend some time together. I have somewhere to be 16. Why don't you just slow down a bit so we can talk. Look here 16, I need to go meet 17 and so on. Pretty please. Okay, I'll slow down a little just for you. Fair enough. Now go tell 17 to call me sometime.

Brothers 17, 18 and 19 were all the same. It was their bitchy sister 20 that really slapped me in the mouth. I never said anything bad about her. Well not to her face. This was also the same time that my 4 hour pacing friends go strolling by me just following their plan. And so was the guy with the "4 hour goal" sign. I did not like him now. I tried to pick my pace up but just could not get 20 to stop her nagging. She was having this painful conversation with my quads. That bitch.

I was now at 21. What a great number. Only to be 21 again. I am sure that Greek guy had no idea the significance of the number 21. Blackjack. Legal drinking. 21 Jump Street. I digress. My pace had dropped to high 9's now. I was looking at my watch and realizing that my goal of 4 hours was not going to happen unless I picked the pace up to low 8's. Shiiiiips in the harbour. That ain't happening. I shall just cruise in at this pace. I would still be below 4:15 and PR.

Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Hey, there is the 25 mile sign. Can you guess my pace right now. I thought 20 was a bad girl. Meet her mother. The mother of all miles. The defining moment. "Your almost there." Is it just me or do you want to punch the person that says that right in the mouth. So I am not alone in that thinking. Coach EK starts to run along side me to pace me to the finish. I am glad he is there but I am so not wanting to pick my pace up.

Just as we pass the 25 mile sign, I hear this voice behind us. I turn back and see that it is B.o.b. I am wondering what part of the course did she cut. She could have at least told me ahead of time and I may have cut the same part. But I realize that woman did not cut the course. She was on fire. As I have mentioned in previous posts, she is becoming a great runner. She does not give herself enough credit. She came by me like I was standing still. Well quit honestly, I almost was. I told Coach EK to take her in. She deserved the pacing. And gone she was.

I did finish in 4:10. This was a PR by 9 minutes or so but still a PR none the less. I did feel a lot better this time around. I could at least talk and recognize my family. Will I do a fourth marathon. Sure, someday. How about the Rock n Roll Denver in October. See ya there.


  1. That was a great recap! A PR is still a PR :)

    And yes, I'd like to punch the person in the face when they say "Almost there" too.

  2. Totally slapping the next person who says that to me at a race. No really. Who dares me?

    Thanks again for the kudos. I just had one of those days. :)

    Glad to see you this morning, although I could have probably run 4 and been happy....

  3. Rock N Roll Denver sounds fun....wait that means LSR's in the summer heat...

  4. Feeling good in the beginning = Bitch at mile 20! Especially shortening some of those long runs my friend! You don't need an overall plan - you just need someone to run with you to ensure you do all of your long training runs! Great job and great post! (and great kudos to Red, Hollster and B.o.B., and almost P-Funk!)

  5. I agree with Navy Steve. You are an awesome runner. Remember Ragnar? Helloooooooooo???? You just need someone to run your LRs with you to entertain you or, in your case, to be entertained by you. The distraction really helps when you've got to gut it out for a 20-miler during training. You could go sub 4 easily if you did that.
    By the way, Ima big fan of your blog.