First off, I must apologize for my post on Facebook last Friday. I was planning on running the Lincoln Marathon at top speed, which would have meant a 3:23 finishing time. Unfortunately, I ended up with a 3:14:50. This completely shattered my dreams of running the race at a 7:45/mi pace, and getting a time that reflected a 7:26/mi pace. Next time, I will meet my time goals.
When I arrived to Nebraska Friday afternoon the weather was very warm, with temperatures in the upper 60s. I worried that this would hamper my performance on race day, but I reminded myself that the race started at 7 AM and the weather would be crisp and cool. This proved to be the case. I went out on the run at a strong pace, clocking the 1st mile in 7:24. I reminded myself that I should let all the silly inexperienced runners pass me while I remained strong and flew by them in the latter miles of the race. Nevertheless, I ran at what seemed lie a pace that could get me to the finish with negative splits, and continued on my way. The next 7 miles I clocked were at 7:29, 7:34, 7:23, 7:20, 7:26, and 7:19. I was moving great, and doing my best to save a little energy for the 2nd half. At mile 8 or so I passed fellow Idaho teammate Jeff Guzi and would continue to hopscotch to the 1/2 marathon mark with him. At this time we were running at a 3:20 marathon pace. The race was going well. There were a couple of big hills on the race course. I did my best to cool my pace on those and let all the silly inexperienced runners pass me. I took my 1 pit stop during the race at mile 10, which really did wonders for my energy level. Miles 8-13 were done at 7:32, 7:28, 7:28, 8:38, 7:14, and 7:17. When nearing the 1/2 marathon mark, I was running with Jeff Guzi when we passed the hotel we were staying at. His girlfriend Lauren met us there and switched water bottles with me. My hydration supplement of choice for this run was Nathan Catalyst, which I highly recommend. My 2nd water bottle was filled with this supplement as well as a full can of Monster Energy drink. I hoped that this combination would give me the energy I needed to get the splits I wanted. My miles from 13-20 were very difficult, as they generally tend to be. My pace dropped a bit, and I did my best to hold on to my race for dear life. Splits from this section were 7:17, 7:33, 7:28, 7:31, 7:32, and 7:25. By now I was on the out and back section of the marathon course. I saw the leader of the men’s race and was a little embarrassed to see him walking. “Not the performance I will put out” I said to myself. Getting closer and closer the the turn around point I noticed there were very few people in front of me. I saw the other member of my Idaho marathon team, CWO Kevin Walcom. I did my calculations and decided he was about 2/3rds of a mile in front of me. I decided to make a goal of trying to catch him in the last stretch, albeit very difficult. I hit the turn around point and then hit the 20 mile mark a lit bit later. “Home Stretch, time to book it.” It was now guts or glory time. this would be the most miserable section and the hardest run portion of the course. This is where I get my negative splits from. Miles 20-finish were completed at 7:12, 7:03, 6:59, 6:54, 7:22, 7:10, 6:46, and 1:10 for the last .2 mile. Boy did that hurt. As you can tell, my pace was very erratic as I pushed close to an anaerobic pace and tried to hold on for dear life. Getting close to mile 26 I caught up to Chief Walcom and tried to motivate him a little as I flew by to the finish. Faster and faster, I found myself in the Lincoln Memorial Stadium before I expected it. I flew across the football field to the finish, with a final official time of 3:14:50. My legs almost gave up on me after, and I needed help from the race staff to walk after I was finished. I learned what 110% means when I was out there yesterday, as I am still very sore the day after, which usually doesn’t happen. My race got me in the top 25 men’s slots for the All-Guard Marathon Team, which means lots of paid races while I go represent the National Guard around the country. I was more than surprised with my performance this weekend, which has me setting my hopes on a sub 3:00 performance next year. I definitely feel it in my grasp. My final place was 94/1146, and I ran a 1:39/1:35 race. I could not have asked for a more perfect performance. Next up, Watershed Preserve 12 hour in 2 weeks.