Thought for the Day

Monday, January 19, 2004

Lost Dutchman Half Marathon 2004

I hadn't planned on racing at all this weekend, but the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon was such a bust for me that I wanted to do something to feel like I could still run. I want to run the Pacific Shoreline Marathon on February 1st, the last possibility for a Boston qualifier, but I wasn't sure I could be recovered enough. So I decided to test myself with the Lost Dutchman Half. I decided that if I could do better than the first half of R'N'R AZ then I would be okay to run Pacific shoreline. If I crashed and burned in this half, I would just forget any more marathons this season.
This course was rolling hills, some of them steep, with a little more pavement than dirt road, but some of both. Not fast and flat.
I felt great through the whole run. I hit the eight mile mark at almost exactly one hour, then started to fall off the 7:30 pace, but still finished in 1:41:54. I'm really happy with that time for a half on a tough course the week after a marathon.
I'm going ahead with the Pacific Shoreline Marathon at Huntington Beach in two weeks. Let the chips fall where they may, I'll give it a shot.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon 2004

A tale of two days.
It was a glorious day. It was a sh***y day.
Because of my goal finish time, I was put in corral #2 of 16. I felt lucky as I passed all of the other corrals and got closer and closer to the start.
The start was half an hour late. Rumor was they had trouble getting everyone shuttled from the parking at the finish to the start.
Standing around waiting, I met a type 1 diabetic from Martha's Vinyard. This was his 13th marathon. He had the same goal pace as me, but he has run many faster marathons. We talked insulin and glucometers and such before the national anthem. The anthem was played by a jazz trumpet soloist, and it was as moving as any rendition I've ever heard, especially standing within yards of the nearest flag, hanging from the mast of the USS Arizona.
I felt great for the first 8 miles. I enjoyed the bands and the cheerleaders for the whole race. It would have been great. I was actually peeved around mile 10 to pass an empty stage. We're out there running for hours. I wasn't an hour behind first place at that point in the race. But one of the bands was already taking a break. Hardly rocking instead of rocking hard.
Anyway, I guess my GI tract wasn't fully recovered from whatever I had earlier this week. At around mile 8 or after, I started to have the runs. I couldn't go very far without stopping to try to restrain myself from crapping my pants.
Eventually it was futile. I made a 4 minute pit stop right after the half marathon point. Tried to clean up in a portajohn.
I know the stories of elite marathoners finishing and even winning marathons in spite of this problem, but I didn't have that much to gain. I finished the race, but I took several long stops along the way.
It was a fantastic race. Not ideal for me, but certainly great for thousands of others.

Here's my splits from the results. I have mile splits, but you don't need any more gory details.

10K: 48:33
Half: 1:44:35
20 miles: 3:12:21
Time: 4:27:54