I ran the marathon today. 4:00:03 officially and the "heartbreak" prize, which includes a nice gift basket. My net time was 3:59:56 by my watch. I suppose I'll count that as breaking 4 with the thought that next time I'm not going to let it be close!
The course was much hillier than the last race, but the weather was absolutely perfect. It was 49 at 8am (an hour after the start) and 57 (30% humidity!) at 11am when I finished.
I ran the race almost exactly as planned. Fortunately, I wasn't at 180 at the last turnaround. If I was, I wouldn't have been screwed. I've decide 178 is my lactate threshold. I could feel it on the last set of hills. 176 OK. 180 clearly unsustainable. 178 pretty uncomfortable.
The course is a double out and back with a high point at 4 km on the out and lot of rolling hills up to and down from this point. I decided I would run the first quarter as close to 1 hour as possible without going under, run the next quarter at a max of 170 heart rate average or a 1 hour pace, whichever was slower. Run the next at 1 hour pace and pray I didn't get to 180. If I weren't already at 180, I'd try and maintain my heart rate until I got back to the high point with 4 km to go (actually 4.1, since the second and fourth legs had .1 km added to get to 42.2). I'd see where I was and bust a got if I had to to make 4 hours. I figure it I had 23 minutesleft I could maintain pace and make it. If I had 22, I'd be in real trouble.
Here's how it went
- 1st turnaround 1:00:15
- 2nd ~1:59 (I actually forgot to look at my watch until 2:00:30)
- 3rd 2:58:5x
- 4.1 km to go was 3:38:xx. Less than 22 left. Better hurry!
- finish by my watch 3:59:56
- finish officially in 4:00:03 and take home the first over four hours heartbreak gift basket
I thought it was interesting that my average heart rate was the same for this marathon as the last one, which is pretty remarkable considering I walked over a mile of the last one. I guess I just allocated my beats better this time.
After two marathons and a 10 mile race in 8 weeks, I'm going back to base-building and shopping for fall marathons.