Sunday, June 3, 2012

Minneapolis Marathon 2012

The End Result:
5th overall, 2nd age-group

Going into this race I had very humble expectations. I wanted to get a Boston Qualifier (BQ) 20 minutes faster than my age-group minimum. That would allow me to sign up under their new rules for 2013 on the first day of Boston sign up. For me, that time was 2:54:59. A pace I am unfamiliar with. I went as far as printing off a wrist band with splits to ensure I didn't fall off or go out too fast. *the latter was blown after mile two!

I had a few promising long runs and a couple decent steady-state medium distance runs but not any really long "quality" sessions I am used to doing week after week. To say I was nervous of my outcome would be an understatement.

Race morning was started at 0430. I fired up the coffee pot and made small cup of shitty coffee. The motel I was staying at didn't really plan, or care for, the fact there was a marathon the next morning so there was no early breakfast. I had a banana, two granola bars, and half a bag of sport beans and a bottle of poweraide before hitting a shower. Yes, I take a shower before my marathons. It makes me feel good. It loosens up any tight spots and really gets me limber.

Soon I was heading out the door for the ~1 mile jog to the start. I used this as my warm up as I got to the start, did my bag drop, hit the porta pot and the gun would go off some 15 minutes later. Good timing on my part.

The race started without a hitch and I found myself running way too fast. The first three or four miles were near 6:15 pace! I had a devil of a time slowing down and as my splits show I just couldn't settle in 6:30's. So, I did what felt good. I ran a whole bunch of 6:20 miles and managed to hold pace for most of the race, with the exception of a monster hill coming out of Fort Snelling and one mile with  a pit stop. This was an interesting marathon for me in terms of how time went bye. The usual low points near the 15 mile mark didn't last but a mile or two. Once we climbed out of Fort Snelling my legs got a little life and I ran a couple of quick miles once again. The major bummer of this race was on the return trip when we caught the half-marathon group. The race management could have done a better job at the timing of the events or at least trying to keep an open lane for the marathon runners. It really wasn't too bad of a deal but just a bit annoying when you are at 22 miles of a marathon and you have to do a bunch of extra weaving in and out of people. I did my best of keeping my head and had a wonderful last 4 miles despite a crabby right calf muscle that really didn't want to play anymore. I asked nicely, and the course took an awesome downhill for the last two miles or so, which gave my calf a much needed break and I cruised in for the finish.

For the most part my legs feel really good for just running a marathon. I think I ran just about as hard as I needed to and ran a very smart race. I could have been out hammering with the leaders for 16 miles then fall off and really jog the last 10 miles but I held back and ran my race. I'm very happy with that commitment.

I will Load my Garmin RESULTS HERE!

Thanks for reading and cheering from your humble abodes.

Weeks Total: 48 miles

Years Total: 925.6 miles


Andrew Burch said...

I know this is an old post but would you say this is a good marathon for a BQ? I see you kicked butt at it, I'm looking for a BQ would like to break 3:00 but need 3:05. How is that first big hill, is is fairly flat/downhill after that?


Gregg said...

The first hill is not that bad. It comes early in the race and is easy to recover from. The race is nice. Not my favorite race, but it is decent. The year I ran it they had to alter some miles because of flooding or washed out roads or something. As I mentioned in the post, the last 4 miles are horrible as you are catching the slower 1/2 marathoners that have the same finishing stretch. The weather can be hot. It was upper 70's by the time I finished. Good Luck! Boston is great and worth the chase.