Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mill Race Marathon Recap

This was the inaugural year for this race.  Located in Columbus, IN the Mill Race Marathon was said to be a flat and fast course and that it was.  Organized by Ken Long and Associates. There were several sections of running through residential neighborhoods and the local support was amazing.  Local residents sitting in their lawn chairs with signs cheering on the runners as they went by.  It was a very small race.  About 4000 overall for the marathon, half marathon and 5k with only a little over 600 participants for the marathon.  Temperature started in the low 50's but quickly warmed up once the sun came out in the mid 70's.

This was my 12th marathon/ultra in only a little over 2 years of running and my 42nd race overall. I started off the race the best I have felt in months and I knew it was going to be a good day.  Finally no ankle pain for the first time in almost 5 months and I was ready to run. For those of you who didn't know I had ankle pain since my 100 mile ultra back in April but I am too stubborn to get it looked at.  Finally 2 weeks going into this race the ankle pain finally went away.  I don't know what it was but it was gone and that was fine with me. I had been working on upping my speed the last several weeks and I believe it definitely helped too.  This was the first time I had ran a marathon since November 2012 because I was more focused on ultras so my goal in this race was to beat my PR of 3:39:00.  In the back of my mind I felt 3:30 was definitely within reach and I still felt that my Boston Qualifying time of 3:15:00(7:26 pace) was not out of the question either.

There were no pacing groups in this race which I prefer not to run with anyway.  My first mile was 7:00 followed up by a 7:04 and a 6:55. 5k split of  21:51.  Mile 4 7:05, Mile 5 7:02, Mile 6 7:05, 10k split was 43:58.  Mile 7 7:05, Mile 8 7:03, Mile 9 7:15, Mile 10 7:10.  10 mile split was 1:11:08. At mile 10 I met up with 2 guys trying to qualify for Boston and were in my age group so I decided to try to run with them as long as I could.  The field had really started to thin out and there weren't many other runners around at this point.  I was feeling good but was kind of upset with the lack of  Poweraid/Gatorade at the aid stations.  There were 19 aid stations in all.  They were all supposed to have Poweraid at them which is what I fuel with.  The first aid station with Poweraid wasn't until mile 8 when I finally got a glass.  It was OK right now because of the cooler temps but I knew if this was the case the entire race I was in trouble.  I took in water but it does nothing for me.  Mile 11 I was still running strong with a 7:05,  Mile 12 7:11 and mile 13 7:05.  My half marathon split was a 1:33:11 which was only 11 seconds off my 1/2 marathon PR. I was still feeling great.  Took in water at some of the aid stations but no Poweraid again till mile 15.  Ugh!!  I needed more than this to fuel for a marathon.  Mile 14 still holding pace with a 7:04, Mile 15 7:10, mile 16 I dropped off a little with a 7:25 and mile 17 I dropped even more with a 7:50.  Starting to feel tired now and still 9 miles to go.  WHERE'S MY POWERAID!!!  Mile 18 more Poweraid but really too late now since I was starting to struggle. I took a couple cups and continued on.  Really struggling now. The guys I was staying with I finally lost sight of around this point and I was all alone because of it being such a small race.  Mile 18 8:26, mile 19 8:47, mile 20 8:51.  At the 20 mile mark I was at 2:28:43(7:26 pace and still right at my Boston Qualifying pace) which was 20 minutes faster than I had ever ran 20 miles at.  The suffering continued.  Mile 21 9:23, Mile 22 9:32, Mile 23 9:14, Mile 24 9:33, Mile 25 9:37, Mile 26 9:32. 
Official finish time of 3:28:00(7:56 pace). I only missed my half marathon PR by 11 seconds. Ran the first half in 1:33:11. I held a 7:06 pace for 17 miles and then started to drop off from there. At mile 20 I was still at Boston Qualifying pace(7:26 pace) but couldn't hold on. It was a great course. Flat and fast. My only gripe is at the 19 aid stations they only had 4 of them with power aid.  They need to get that fixed!!!  I took water which doesn't do much for me but only 4 cups of poweraid isn't enough to fuel for an entire marathon. I just ran out of fuel. Good learning experience. Happy with a new PR by 12 minutes. I placed 6th in my age group and 59th overall.  I will get that Boston Qualifier one day. 

Overall a great race and a great course.  I would highly recommend it for someone wanting a PR or for someone who doesn't like the huge races, this is the one for you. Flat and fast and temps are usually cooler this time of year makes for great running conditions.  Definitely one I will put on my list to do again one day.

My wife Melissa finished her 3rd Marathon here. 2nd one in the last 2 months. Last one was a 50k. She had an extremely sore hip that she has been going to physical therapy for but she gutted it out and finished. She ran this race for her friend Dan who died recently as he lost his battle with cancer.  She ran with Dan's wife Christy also one of her good friends from school.  It was Christy's first marathon.  We all had the strength of Dan in us that day.  Melissa's next race is another full marathon on November 2 which will be 3 in 90 days which will qualify her to be a marathon maniac. My craziness is rubbing off on her.

This last weekend I did a 35 mile training run and experimented with Cliff Shot Energy Gel in the Mocha and it worked fantastic.  Taste was a lot like chocolate and no tummy pain.  I took them about every 50 minutes with water.  First time I had ever used anything like that as all my runs are usually done with Gatorade. The only reason I had never done the gels before because I had one one time in a strawberry/banana and got this massive pain in my tummy.  After that I wanted nothing to do with them but decided to experiment with them again after the lack of aid stations at this race.  I never felt tired and felt like I could have kept going.  I am going to use them in my next race and see how they do.

Next up for me are back to back marathon's on October 19th and 20th.  My first attempt at this.  October 19th I will be at the Indianapolis Marathon trying to tackle the hills at this course and October 20th I will be at Columbus, OH for the Columbus Marathon which was, until this race, my PR.  My goal is just to finish the two races and save myself for another Boston Qualifying attempt at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 2nd but you never know what might happen with the back to back weekend.  You get me in a race setting and anything is possible.

I am now currently at 686 days in a row of running at least 1 mile outside everyday!!

Keep running strong.  Keeping the streak alive, 1 mile at a time.