Miserable Marathon

Benjamin and I ran the Freescale Marathon yesterday in bone-chilling weather. The high of the day was 38 degrees and a low of 29. The run was the most miserable to date. Benjamin and I completed the race in a bit over 6 hours, well past the 5-hour goal time we had set for ourselves. Due to knee and ankle problems we walked most of the second half. Many great friends came out to cheer us on which was the only thing that made the race bearable:

  • Mile 0: Nick (nickjong) in the clothing drop-off and Jan Collins in the chute
  • Mile 6: Renee (preneel) and Robert who came in from Oklahoma to cheer us and two other friends on
  • Mile 10: Jeff (jeffford) as he came whizzing by us due to a late start
  • Mile 13: Zach (zml) just before the half-way point
  • Mile 19: Sheena (sheenaqotj) jogged/walked with us for quite a ways (I’m guessing at the mileage on this one)
  • Mile 21: Sarah (quindo) who walked with us for a long ways
  • Mile 22: Matt cheered us on even though I didn’t recognize him at first
  • Mile 24: Jan Collins and Jonobie (jonobie) on the out-and-back
  • Mile 25: Nick (nickjong) who came to the finish line to cheer folks on after completing his half-marathon runTo annoy me even more, somehow they seemed to have screwed up my time: according to the website I have neither a chip nor clock time. Jeff read in one of the forums that due to a human error that some of the start times weren’t recorded forcing them to use the clock time for final race time. Since I have no times whatsoever it makes me think that they have zero or more timings for me but not a finish line marking. How exactly can that happen? It’s not like I have any control over their RF readers. I ran along side Benjamin every step of the way across every mat (including the finish line) so I know what my time is but it is very annoying to know that something is screwed up enough that they don’t even have a clock time on me. I will be particularly pissed if this isn’t resolved and the ADC does not list me as officially finishing the challenge.

    Don’t ask me today if I want to run another race because you’re likely to just get a very negative, emotionally charged response. Ask me in a week or more after I’m less frustrated about the unbelievably shitty weather, poor race timings, lack of clocks at the start and mile markers, and lack of correctly-sized finishing shirts and ADC finishing jackets (what, you have to be fast to get the size you signed up for?). In fact, check back later for a more objective posting on the subject.

3M Half Marathon – like a run in the park

Benjamin and I ran the 3M Half Marathon yesterday morning. We completed all 13.1 miles in 2:26 (a pace of 11:13/M). The weather was beautiful and the course was great. We felt very good all throughout the race. At the end of the race we were both tired but not beat up and were very pleasantly surprised with our times. jonobie and jeffford both appeared to have a great run as well and finished faster than their expected times.

I think several things helped Benjamin and I have a great run:

  • We established our own pace. In the RunTex 20-miler we ran with jonobiewho’s pace is slightly slower than our own. While we really enjoyed her company I think this hurt us overall.
  • We kept our pace. In previous races we went out too fast and were just decimated at the end of the race. This race we did better about keeping ~10:00/M throughout the race which is our goal.
  • We stretched every two miles. Benjamin’s knees give him problems as do my ankles. Taking the time to stretch every two miles really helps in keeping the pain at bay.
  • We carb-loaded the night before. For past races we had eaten at Bear Rock Cafe the evening before the race. For the 3M we joined jeffford & jonobie at Johnny Carino’s for lots of bread and pasta.
  • I ate something along the way. At the RunTex 20-miler I learned just how important it is to have something to eat in the middle of the race. This time I brought along a Chocolate Chip Clif bar and ate half of it at the half-way point and the other half at around mile 10.
  • I had pseudo-fans. There were all kinds of people along the way cheering for various people. No one came out to cheer me on personally although that didn’t stop me from adopting fans. At one point there were two women who had signs for ‘Helen’. When we approached them I said “You can call me Helen” which got a laugh and lots of cheering encouragement. A bit later I saw Vanessa, a fellow IBMer, who had come out to cheer jonobie but cheered me on when she saw me. Finally, closer to the finish I saw another group of people holding signs to encourage ‘Kathleen’. I pulled my “You can call me Kathleen” line which got me cheering and encouragement (hey – the Kathleen people and Helen people didn’t know each other and it worked!).
  • The race was down-hill. While this one isn’t something we can actually control, I know it helped us. The 3M Half Marathon isn’t a loop but rather starts in north Austin and finished downtown – a not-insignificant decrease in elevation. The Freescale Marathon is also pseudo-linear and downhill which will help.

I’m not sure if Benjamin and I had another 13.1 miles in us on Sunday but we’re going to have to find it somewhere as the Freescale Marathon is coming up on February 19th.