Hi world! Sorry I been away for so long, but I am not quitting yet! I was just being careful with my running after two years away because of an injury. Last Saturday morning, I ran my first marathon in two years.
Let me tell you all about it. In the beginning of the year, I was planning to run Shires of Vermont Marathon on May 15; when I was ready to register in March, it was cancel for no reason. That forced me to pick a race within a reasonable time fame and I decided to run Horse Capital Marathon (HCM) in KY. When I sign up for HCM, I learned it has a hilly course from previous year participants’ review. So, I adjust my training around with hill focus.
Looking at my log, I had several butt-kicking workouts. One of the hardest workouts was a sixteen miles tempo run on Mormon Temple neighborhood in Kensington. One retired teammate from my former team told me long ago that, ‘… if you do hill workout twice per week, you can should be able to run a sub-3 marathon …’ I remember that and added it into this race’s training.
Weather leading up to the race day was super wet, rain almost every day in May for area expand from Kentucky to Delaware. However, I was surprise see the sun on May 19 during our drive to KY. But as soon as we arrived to KY, water started pour down on us. It continue to rain on and off on Friday. As you can imaging, it was super wet and humid on Saturday morning.
Saturday morning, we rose early and drove out to Fasig-Tipton – a horse auction house and the starting area. The starting area is very straight forward, you park in the lot on the right side of starting line, and will finish less than hundred yards from the line.
Before horn went off, I got to speak with few guys, and they all agree to go easy on the first half, then will press after first loop/halfway – it is two loops course with consisting rolling hills in theKentucky horse country.
When horn was blow at 07:00 on Saturday morning, I was off with a pack of seven guys, four of them were half marathoners, and they separated from us three quickly within the first mile. Probably because of the rainy weather leading up to the race day, mile markers were off. For majority of runners that may not be big deal, but that just a pain in the rear for an old fashion runner like myself still training with Timex Ironman 30-lap watch.
Anyway, I clocked the first mile at 5m’45 and I was saying ‘wtf’ in my head; then I clocked 8m’21 for the second. I immediately get confirmed with someone next to me that both marks are off. Then I clocked 7m’48, 6m’51, and 5m’35 for mile 3, 4, and 5, respectively. I knew my pace is reasonably even and I won’t be jumping around like that. By mile six, I stopped looking at my watch and just run.
Another weird thing, the course didn’t have any indication for the half-mark when I was running it, so I estimated the half marathon split around 1h’28m’ or so. But somehow they had a hidden chip reader on the course and gave me a 1h’31m’30s’ split at 13.1 miles.
Mile markers somehow reappeared after mile 19, so I decided to hit some splits as I run by. I got 6m’51, 7m’38, 6m’19, and 7m’44 for mile 20, 21, 22, and 23, respectively. Around mile 23, I passed one runner, but got passed by two guys. Then I dug deeper to follow those two and hope for the best.
After 23 miles of hills running, legs were sore and screaming loud and clear, but I bet my competitors were in the same boat as I was. I clocked 6m’44, 6m’54, and 6m’50 for mile 24, 25, and 26, respectively – those time average out at 6m’50 pace.
At the end, my effort paid off (part of), I caught Andrew Bolt of Nicholasville KY within the last 0.2 mile to the line; but missed Raj Hathiramani of NYC by 32 seconds. I finished with a Boston Qualify time of 3h’05m’01s’, seventh place overall and gender, and first in my age group.
Overall, I think I was more than ready physically; but mentally I wasn’t. This double loop course just tough. Maybe I can run an indoor marathon to ge my mind going or not going. Wife asked me, ‘what’s next?’ after the race on our drive back. Well… I don’t know. I’ll see what’s summer bring me. Stay tone.