Monday, November 11, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon-A Monumental Day

At the finish.  What a feeling.
I've had a little over a week to reflect on last weekends marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  It seems like so long ago but then say to myself, it has only been a week.  It has been a busy month for me competing in 4 marathons in 1 month and 3 marathons in 2 weeks and I think to myself.  Did I really just do that?  It's not really the fact that I completed all those marathons but the fact that I ran them all so well.  Sept 28 at the Mill Race Marathon I ran a 3:28 and broke my PR by 12 minutes, October 19 at the Indianapolis Marathon I ran a 3:14:41 and got my first Boston Qualifier taking 14 more minutes off my PR and 26 minutes in 3 weeks.  The next day on October 20 I ran the Columbus Marathon in 3:32:30. 3 marathons, all under 4 hours.  Something that was my goal to do less than a year ago.

With me getting my goal of a Boston Qualifier just 2 weeks before this and finishing back to back marathons I wasn't expecting much out of this marathon. I had basically been on one month long taper.  Run a marathon, taper, run 2 marathons taper now run another marathon.  My ankle had been hurting the entire week leading up to this race so I decided to just run 1 mile runs for 5 days in a row leading up to the race taking it nice and easy while still keeping my running streak alive. Not the ideal taper plan but it was going to have to do. Over 700 days in a row and coming up on 2 years at the end of this month. The goal was to have a great time and finish.  I would also get to enjoy a great burger from Beefcake Burgers after the race.

We decided to stay the night at a hotel in Indianapolis instead of driving up the day of and it worked out great.  Melissa and I got our normal sandwich from Subway the night before then headed back to the hotel.  We were right downtown and was able to walk outside our hotel and see the start/finish line.  I woke up the next day excited to run.  You know how it is on race day.  The adrenaline is pumping and ready to go.  Suddenly my race plans had changed and I wanted a better Boston Qualifying time.  When I qualified 2 weeks before it was by 19 seconds.  It probably wouldn't be fast enough to get me in and I really wanted to be there in 2015.  I was thinking to myself 3:10.  That would put me 5 minutes under my qualifying time and should almost assure me a spot in 2015.  I had nothing to loose so I was going to give it a shot.  Ankle still had a dull pain in it so I wasn't sure how it would hold up.  I had even considered dropping down to the half earlier in the week but then I
Rounding the corner to the finish
decided that just wasn't an option.

I get in my corral and find the 3:10 pacer.  I am going to stick with him as long as I can and just see what happens.  38 degrees and clear.  A perfect day to run and we are off.  1st mile in at a 7:44 pace, mile 2 7:22.  I get to talking to the pacer and he tells me his strategy is to start off slow and negative split it.  Well, that is not the kind of plan I had in mind and I like keeping my splits even pretty much the entire way.  I tell him thanks for starting me off right and I'll see you at the finish and take off on my own.  Mile 3 I opened up beast mode with a 6:31, mile 4 7:13 and mile 5 7:09.  I just started taking cliff shot mocha gu for the first time 2 weeks ago and they have worked so well ever since I started taking them.  My strategy was to take one the first 30 minutes in and then every 40 minutes after that.  I had also planned to try to work it to where I took another one around mile 23 to push me to the end.  My strategy worked like a charm.  Mile 6 7:15, mile 7 7:02, mile 8 7:04, mile 9 7:03, mile 10 7:10, mile 11 7:06 mile 12 7:08 mile 13 7:01 and at the 13.1 mile mark I was at 1:34:04 which was my 3rd fastest half marathon ever.  I was feeling good, the ankle was holding up ok.  Still had a dull pain but didn't really notice it much because of the adrenaline going.  Mile 14 still holding strong and feeling good 6:59 pace, mile 15 7:08, mile 16 7:20, mile 17 7:13, mile 18 7:10, mile 19 7:04 then mile 20 once again beast mode gets opened with a 7:00 mile.  At this point I'm thinking I can keep this pace all day and am going to kill this marathon!!  No wall here!!  Mile 21 7:09, mile 22 7:12, mile 23 7:25, mile 24 7:26, mile 25 7:28.  At this point the 3:10 pacer passes me and I am not going to let him get out of my sights.  I knew he had started a little ahead of me and I was going to do this!!  Mile 26 7:18.  I turn the corner and see the finish line with the clock still reading 3:09 something.  Ive got this!!  I'm going to get under my Boston Qualifying time by 5 minutes.  I cross the line with a finishing time of 3:09:25 which was 40 minutes faster than last years time here and another Boston Qualifying time. My 2nd one in 2 weeks.  What I once thought was so far out of reach for me I had just done twice in 2 weeks.  I was overcome with emotion.  This was the most even split marathon I had ever run in my life.  First half was 1:34:04 and the 2nd half in 1:35:22. 

I had a goal when 2013 started.  To run a 3:10:00 at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November.  That was my goal for 2013. Somehow, throughout the year I added more marathons and more marathons but what I think ended up happening for me that allowed for me to run so fast and keep improving my time was I did not let up on the intensity of my training during my tapers.  The speed was still there and the marathons ended up being long training runs with an increased pace.  I had 2 weeks to recover which was enough time to get me ready to perform like I did.

To fill you in on my ankle it has been hurting for about 6 months.  Ever since I finished my 100 mile ultra back in April I have had some pain in it but had fought through the pain.  Some days better than others until about 2 months ago that the pain had finally gone away.  It wasn't till recently that it came back but I wanted to get my races done even if that meant me taking a little time off.  I am stubborn, not smart all the time but I am determined as well.  People call me crazy for the way I train.  30-40 mile long runs about every weekend, no days off, run hard every time, no cross training but it is what I do and it works for me.  My running streak hit 720 days today.  My ankle still hurts but when I go run on it it feel better at around the 2 mile mark.  My races for 2013 are basically done except for the Huff 50k at the end of December.  I made the decision to finally go the doctor to have my ankle looked at and get it fixed whatever it might be.  I have a Dr Apt scheduled for Tuesday.  If it's a stress fracture I will deal with it and do what the Doctor tells me to in order to get it right and train like I need to train.  I might end up being down but I won't be out and it will not defeat me.  I have come to far to let it.  I am too tough and I will get through this.  Whatever I need to do I will do, I might be a swim nerd or a bike nerd for a while whatever I find out but always in my heart I will be a run nerd.  That's what I know and that's what I love!!  It's my passion!!

Thank you all who have followed my journey and I want you to know it is not over yet.  There is still more to come!!  2013 has been one hell of a year.  My first 100 mile ultra, back to back marathons, 2 Boston Qualifiers!!  I've got plenty more in store for 2014 and my goal is to get healthy and run a sub 3 hour marathon in 2014. Look out 2015, you've got a Run Nerd coming to Boston!!

Mike

My wife Melissa qualified to be a marathon maniac in this race completing 3 marathons in 90 days

Same race.  1 year later

Melissa and Sly crossing the finish line

My overall results