The remnants of some tropical storm laid a wet blanket over the area for the last three days or so and the overnight lows have steadily increased as the heat has been unable to escape during the dark hours. As a result, it was 70 degrees and humid as I left at 6 am this morning. Checking wunderground it was a steady 71 with a dew point of 67 during the race -- decent standing-around weather, but not so good for a race.
My Garmin has given me fits as I said on Friday and it hasn't stopped It's takes some kind of reset voodoo just to get it on and I couldn't even download my runs last night. I tried to fill in the customer service web form, but after detailing my wows, the submit button didn't work. Thinking it only worked with Internet Explorer, I retyped it again and still no joy. Ugh. It has a 1-year warranty. Looking trough my old email, I see Garmin shipped in on 9/19/2007. Double ugh.
So, I put it on before my warmup and after 30 secs of trying, I get it to start. 10 minutes later I see "low battery." (It was completely charged last night.) I figured it wasn't going to last for the race, so I went to plan B - my trusty Suunto T6. I jogged for 19', which I'll call 2 miles and by the second mile, my sweat confirmed the humidity. Still, it didn't seem horrific like the half marathon. I timed my jog perfectly for the 8am start, but not the 15 minute delay.
8:15 and we're ready to go. One of the nice things about the Garmin is that you get some pretty good pace feedback before that first mile marker. Well, I wouldn't have that today. The plan was to hit mile 1 at 6:30 and if the start aligned, run 6:25's the rest of the way to, by some miracle, break 40. If things weren't clicking, 6:30 wouldn't be too fast to ruin my day.
It's getting near 6:30 and I'm looking for a marker, but don't see one. The I hear some watches beeping. I look at the ground and see a 6-inch line with "G1." 6:30.7. Perfect. My heart rate is really good at this point -- 183 -- and I'm beginning to think, "Hell. I could do this." People are starting to fade and I have to consciously pass them to keep up my pace. Another 7 minutes and I don't see a mile marker. Great. We get on a bike path and go through some mud, take a few twists, etc. Things have kind of sorted themselves out and I'm about 30 meters behind a blonde woman with a pony tail who I hear is the first woman. I had a mental lapse and she started to pull away from me a little and a guy started to catch me from behind. I didn't let him go by though and we ran together for most of the rest of the race, trading the lead. I asked if he'd seen a mile marker. "Not a one." was his reply. I think maybe, I saw a "G 4" and 20:47 was the split. 6:36 pace sounds about right, I think, and probably the best I could have expected. [Of course, now I've figured I was off by a minute and that was 6:56 pace. I'm usually good at math while running, but not this time.] I still wasn't sure this was a course mark though because there were marks all over the trail. I know 6:26 is 40 flat pace, so I'm about on 41 maybe (if that was 4 miles).
Somewhere after mile 4, I say something like "let's catch the pony tail." She's pretty far ahead at this point (maybe 50 meters), but we start to pull her in. I start to lose my concentration and he took the lead back. I was surprised to see my HR drop from 188 to 185 after I started following him. Maybe this running together thing works. After about 5 miles (no marker of course), he put in a surge and made up half the ground in maybe 400 meters. I hung on with that one. Another effort and he dropped me. I finally saw the overpass and couldn't believe I was already at 39 minutes. WTF? I was well over 0.25 away from the finish. I really wondered if the course was long. I could see my running partner making up ground on the first female while I stayed about the same distance back. We got to the top of the hill and he tried to make up the last of the distance. They said something over the PA and she picked it up. I couldn't see who got there first. It was really close. I came in (according to my watch) at 42:18 -- only 35 secs faster than my Cherry Blossom 10k split.
I caught up with my running partner later and he said she beat him by a step. He also said he ran a 10k last weekend and ran 90 seconds faster. That made me feel a lot better about the result. I'm still scratching my head on the time though. If that were 4 miles, did I really lose 1:24 over the last 2.2? That seems impossible. I wasn't falling apart and I kept my HR nailed at 188. Three people passed me in the last mile. Two were young guys who looked like they were on a training run, picking it up the last mile. One was a guy who I think was 20 ft behind me the whole way. If I slowed 40 secs a mile, I would have expected a ton of people to pass. I guess those weren't the mile markers, but this was run on the George Washington Birthday 10k course, so "G" makes sense as the mile marker designator. I'm really confused. Gee, if only I'd had my Garmin...
Anyway, I think I'd have done better with a 20 miler today instead of a psyche-killing 42:18 10k. Here's the week. Another intensity fest w/ 12.2 miles at 10k pace and 3 at HM. Only 59 miles. Yikes. How we make money? Volume. I need to get the mileage back up. Yesterday was 9 weeks to go. This is really sneaking up on me and I haven't done enough work to finish that last 10k of the marathon strong.
Date Distance (mi) Time Avg. pace (min/mi) Avg. HR
Monday 3.01 0:28:36 9:30 131 (66%)
Tuesday 7.72 1:01:10 7:55 158 (79%)
Wednesday 12.12 1:47:28 8:52 137 (68%)
Thursday 6.72 1:02:10 9:15 132 (66%)
Friday 10.25 1:21:15 7:56
Saturday 10.05 1:31:22 9:05 136 (68%)
- 7:34 AM 2.00 0:18:55 9:28 130 (65%)
- 8:14 AM 6.21 0:42:18 6:48 185 (92%)
- 8:58 AM 1.00 0:09:25 9:25 159 (80%)
This Week 59.09 8:22:39 8:30 144 (72%)
Last Week 72.13 10:59:16 9:08 137 (69%)
This Month 262.82 38:24:33 8:46 143 (72%) <-- mileage heading in the wrong direction!
Last Month 299.35 45:24:38 9:06 140 (70%)