Been a while since my last post, but nothing has been going leading up to the race because I was tapering the previous 10 days which meant lots of stretching and being bored out of my head.
I came into this race feeling very good and this was going to be a long distance speed workout for me. I am trying to improve my 50k and 50 mile times so I wanted to use this a high tempo workout for my upcoming races. I wanted to run a steady 10 minute pace until mile 16, then push the pace down to 9:45 for the next five miles, then I wanted to bring the pace down to 9:30 for the final 5 miles. The major goal was to finish in under 4:20, but more importantly I wanted to finish the last 10 miles strong. The weather forecast was mid 50's with rain and 10-15 wind. The weather turned out much better then anticipated, as the rain was light/intermittent and didn't get start coming down hard until my race was done. I felt really good at the beginning of the race and had to keep slowing myself down to my planned 10 minute pace. This continued until I met up with dad "Billy Goat Peake" at the halfway point and he was going to run the last half with me. This was a huge help because the second half of the marathon can be incredibly lonely if you are not running with anyone. We were moving along as planned and picked up the pace for miles 16-19. I was starting to feel a bit tired at this point, but I kept going along and tried not to think about my discomfort. I had been taking in 90 calories an hour (endurance cubes) since the second hour and heat wasn't really an issue so I was properly hydrated, but ultimately the pace proved to be to hard to maintain the last 6 miles. As the miles started to dwindle, my goal of finishing the marathon in under 4:20 wasn't going to happen so I was in full damage control mode and just wanted to finish. My dad was trying to keep me distracted with good conversation, but he and I knew that I was struggling as I really was trying to focus and our conversation became one sided. The last mile I picked up the pace and finished strong with a final time of 4:26:47. Thanks for the company dad, I probably would have been slower without you there to help me out!!!
Although I didn't reach my goal of 4:20, I did set a PR by 3 minutes so not all was lost. I was on pace to reach my goal but miles 20-25 I gave up 5:30 on my goal time and I didn't have enough in the bank to get in under 4:20. It's difficult to accept running 20 miles well and only have a few bad miles ruin your race, but that is the way it goes sometimes. This is also helpful in my future training, maybe it would be a better idea to do a high tempo run after running 10 miles first. These are things I will have to figure out if I want to improve my times.
The Annapolis Striders always put on top notch events. I would like to thank them for hosting such a great event and to all the volunteers, without them these top notch events wouldn't be possible. I can't wait to run the event again next year and I highly recommend this event to anyone looking for a fast course and a great race environment.
Now onto another short workout week and tapering period as I get ready for the HAT Run 50k on 3/19.
See ya on the trails,