Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shamrock Marathon 16Mar08

Won't I ever learn...apparently not! I had been happy with the training and races since the beginning of this year and was really looking forward to this marathon. All the training and races leading up to this point indicated that there was a potential for a very nice marathon with a nice PR. I was hoping for a finish in the 3:10 to 3:15 range. And if I had run it like I should have, there would have been no problems. The race is run in Virginia Beach first going south on Atlantic Ave and General Booth Blvd for about 6 miles, looping back onto the Boardwalk, then North along Shore Drive to the west entrance of Ft Story, going South again out the east gate, down Atlantic Ave and finishing on the boardwalk near the Neptune statue. The weather forecast for this morning was showers stopping around 7:00 am temps in the 40's with 19-22 mph NW winds. Not ideal but at least it wasn't going to rain. Woke up to some pretty good rain but checking the weather radar, it looked like the last of it was passing through so it should clear up by race time. Left the house in plenty of time to get to the 8:00 race time. Parking seemed to be an issue but I finally found a private lot and walked a couple of blocks to the starting area. There are a lot of hotels in the area and I ducked into the Hilton to use their using port-a-potties! Inside the crowded restroom I find my running buddy Jon from the MCM and Richmond marathons. I found out he was running the marathon and planned to look for him but hadn't expected it to be so easy! After finishing we head back to the starting area and he goes off to stretch and I go into another hotel to use their bathroom and I meet up with Brian...the guy I roomed with for the MCM...I also had planned on looking for him and was pleasantly surprised to meet up with him. It's amazing the people you meet in bathrooms! About the time we finish we have about a minute before the start of the race and hurry out to line up...he planned on a 3:40 finish so he ducked in line right there and I headed up front as close as I could get looking for fellow blogger Steve but never found him before the starting gun sounds. The starting gun sounds and we're off to the races and I follow the fast crowd out heading south with a nice tail wind. I end up with a group of women and around the 1 mile mark...that I never saw...people from the crowd are yelling..."First Females" and I know that I have gone out too fast. I finally get to the second mile marker and it comes in at 12:42...way to fast but it felt sooo good. We start going over the Rudee Inlet Bridge and catch up with Paul with his hand crank and I greet him as I pass. Going down General Booth Blvd, mile three is in 19:20 and mile four in 25:51. I'm still way to fast but it's hard for me to back off and mile five is in 32:24. About this time I hear Steve behind me yelling out to me and just before the turn around he catches me and we head into the wind and greet Paul again and mile six is in 39:36. We make a right turn heading towards Camp Pendleton and mile seven is 46:37. We enter Camp Pendleton exposed even more to the heavy head wind and mile eight is 53:41. I get a boost from a group of soldiers cheering us on from their barracks as we loop through unsheltered Pendleton and mile nine is 1:00:47. I have the pace I want but it's too late because with the fast start and the stiff headwind, I am laboring. We finally start going back over the bridge and loop back to the southern end of the boardwalk and mile ten is 1:08. The wind on the boardwalk seems brutal and I try to put my head down and run through it. I miss mile eleven but mile twelve is 1:22:41...starting to slow down too much. We finally get off the boardwalk and back onto Atlantic and get a nice lift from Steve's wife Ally and her Mum...I think...cheering me on. Here is the picture she took...Thank you Ms Ally!

The wind seems to be blowing just as strong here even with all the buildings and mile thirteen is 1:30:09. We keep going north on Atlantic and mile fourteen is 1:37 and mile fifteen is missed but mile sixteen is 1:54:04. We finally get to Shore Dr which is sheltered by trees and mile seventeen is 2:01:56 and mile eighteen comes in at 2:09:55...losing energy real fast and trying to hang on. We enter the west gate of Ft Story with a nice tailwind and mile nineteen is 2:17:56 and mile 20 is 2:25:56. About this time I feel a twinge in my right hamstrings and I know that feel legs are trying to cramp up but I press on and mile 21 is in 2:33 and mile 22 in 2:41:20. I get my first cramp and I stop along side of the road to massage the leg until I can walk and then gradually back running and mile 23 comes in at 2:50:18. I get another cramp, this time in the left leg and have to stop to massage and stretch until I can again walk and then gradually get back to running and mile 24 is 2:59:02. I get another cramp in my left leg and again stop to massage and stretch but this time it lasts longer before I am able to even walk and then eventually start running again and mile 25 is in 3:10. We finally get to where we make a left to get on the boardwalk for the finish and just as I make the turn my right leg cramps up and I am forced to stop to massage and seems so evil to get a cramp there when the finish is so close. I finally get running again and mile 26 on the boardwalk comes in at 3:21:04 and finish in 3:22:56 gun time and 3:22:51 chip time.

Not the finish that I had imagined for myself but it was still a PR. I saw all my goal times disappear one by one every mile for the last 3 miles...first the 3:10, then the 3:15, then even 3:20...but I was determined not to let the PR go...I was just hoping and begging for my legs not to cramp up the final 1.2 miles. All my training long runs...even the 24 miler in 2:53...I had no leg cramps and was sure that they would not haunt me again...but I learned today...again...I go out too fast...My legs are going to let me know about it. Hopefully my next marathon I will be a lot more conservative at the beginning and slowly get up to pace speed instead of starting off at a crazy pace trying to keep up with the young bucks.

I will remember and learn!

Race results:
There were 133 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 2273 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 190 of 2273
Age group finish place was 6 of 133
Time: 3:22:51 for an overall pace of 7:45 per mile

Weekly Totals:
Mon: 30 min Elliptical, 70 min Cycle, 10 min Stairstepper
Tue: 6.5 miles run, 20 min Elliptical, 20 min Cycle, 10 min Stairstepper
Wed: 31 min Elliptical, 30 min Cycle, 28 min Stairstepper
Thu: 7.1 miles run, 12 min Elliptical, 25 min Lifecycle
Fri: 30 min Elliptical, 31 min Cycle, 30 min Stairstepper, 14 min Treadmill
Sat: 21 min Elliptical, 21 min Cycle, 15 min Stairstepper, 15 min Treadmill
Sun: 26.2 miles run in 3:22:51

It was good to see everyone out there today!
Have a great week!


Nat said...

I thought of you racing this morning and gave myself a kick in the rear and ran a very strong 21+ miler today.

Awesome job on the PR! And remember how you were forever shooting for what? 3:35 and were missing it by like what 15 minutes? And then instead of slowly inching closer to 3;35 you knock it out of the park with 3:23.
So if I had to place bets I would say you are going kick that 3:10 to the curb with a 2:59 ;)
Uhm, what's next? Last day to register for ING is 3/19. I can make no promise about being at CMM. But I am in for ING.

cymrusteve said...

Hey Charlie,

A PR is a PR and at least you were able to hold on despite the cramps and having to stop and massage the legs.

It took be more than 5 miles to catch you and I was running too fast at the beginning too :) What a blistering pace you started at - hard not to when you're fired up and there's a healthy wind at your back.

Take it easy for a few days (if you know what that means!) and next time you'll be running close to that 3:10 I'm sure. You certainly have it in you after your 2:53 24 miler.

Great work once again!


Nat said...

PS. I am I laughing at myself becuase I always read Steve's name as Crumrunsteve and yeah, it isn't even close to that. Sorry Steve!

Steph Bachman said...

Wow,you weren't kidding around about the fast start. Way to go on your PR, Charlie! Next race you will go 2:15 for sure.

Maybe if you actually tapered . . . You do know that you are supposed to taper, right?

Charlie said...

Thank you Ms Natalie!

That's great that you had a strong 21 miler!

I hope to not make the same mistake again for the next marathon. I need to force myself to go out slow at the beginning.

Next spring marathon? I'm still trying to decide between ING GA and CMM. CMM would work the best but have some scheduling conflicts...and if I'm to do ING GA, I need to decide real soon! Another option is the National Marathon on 29 Mar and Frederick on 04 May.

BTW I believe Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales...where Steve is originally from...hence...CymruSteve...Is that right Steve? He and his wife Ally still have great Welsh accents!

Charlie said...

Thanks Steve!

That 3:10 is there for sure...I know it is...I just need to be patient during the race.

You had a great race with your 3:53 and first in your AG...Congratulations!


cymrusteve said...

Correct Charlie. CYMRU is Welsh for Wales. I've lived in Viginia since 2001 but am naturally still proud of my heritage.

My wife, Ally, is actually Scottish. Don't think she'll be too offended about the mix up though :)

I'm considering Frederick for my next marathon. Don't want to jump in too quickly after Shamrock, but spaces are filling up quickly!

How about Charlottesville on April 19th? I won't be around that weekend to run it, but it sounds like a good one!

Make sure you take time to recover from yesterday's tough effort. Have a great week,


Charlie said...

Thank you Ms Stephanie!

I thought I did taper. I went from a 47 mile week to a 38 mile week just before the marathon! ;-)

But I really think it was the fast start that did me in at the end. If I had started out more reasonable like in my training, then the outcome would have been a whole lot better and most likely no cramps. A simple but hard lesson to learn.


Charlie said...

Ooops! Sorry Ms Ally! That's why her accent sound soo much better than yours Steve! ;-)

I'm running the Dismal Swamp Half on the 19th, so Charlottesville is out.

Sounds like I need to decide quick or all of them will be filled up soon.

cymrusteve said...

Yeah, she definitely has the better accent!

We'll be in Vegas on the 19th, so Frederick is looking favorite for me.

The new course is supposed to be a great one and KaleRunning are timing it again too.

I think Ally snapped a couple of photos of you yesterday. I'll send them on if she were probably smiling as you always are :)


robison52 said...

Congrats on a personal record against strong winds...The Las Vegas Marathon is infamous for horrible winds and I do feel your pain. Do you often get cramps? I'm wondering if the cramps was more than starting out too fast and hitting the wall...maybe lack of hydration?

Charlie said...

Made a Big typo in the previous responce..."Thanks Steve!
You had a great race with your 3:53..."

Steve had a 2:53 in the Shamrock marathon...which continued his very impressive streak of nine consecutive sub 3hr marathons! He also was 1st in his Age Group, 27th Overall of over 2300 finishers and the top Hampton Roads runner!

Congratulations Steve!

Charlie said...

Thanks Bruce!

I was drinking from each aid station so I don't think hydration was a problem. My one gel that I had in my pocket fell out somewhere during the race and I had to wait till the 16 mile station to get another...but I hadn't been using any gels for my long training I don't think that had an effect either. I should have stashed some E-caps but forgot.

I have had leg cramps every marathon that I have run except for last years Richmond. And the only thing different at Richmond was that I started off real slow.

I was thinking about Paul's suggestion of Tonic water when those cramps hit...might try that the next time!

Your Boston training seems to be coming around nicely...just five more weeks!

Keep up the good work!

cymrusteve said...

Thanks for the typo correction Charlie.

Found this on the Frederick Marathon message board:

Thought it might be good reading for you (not that don't know it already of course)


Charlie said...

Thanks for the link Steve!

Echoes my suspicions.

So...I'm thinking hard about Frederick Marathon...they have a deferment policy in case I decide to go with an earlier one. It's two weeks before the MCM Half but it would work! :-)


cymrusteve said...

Sounds like a challenging second half on Frederick's new course:

LetsRoll said...

Hey Charlie,

Don't beat yourself up so badly about the fast start. You had a 25 MPH tailwind if you remember...

You looked great the two times I saw you. You've got some great pics in BrightRoom, too.

Thanks for the support out there. It means a lot!

I've updated my blog layout and added a permanent link to your blog.

Congrats on an AWESOME job!


2008 Miles of Hope

Charlie said...

Thank you Paul!

There were some pictures in there that looked like I was in pain or ready to keel over. I was smiling until after the lighthouse photos where the cramps started. I have to work harder on smiling at the finish.

From the results it looks like you had a great time. Been checking your site for your race report.


LetsRoll said...

It was a GREAT time! We stayed over til Monday then I did the Dismal Swamp Trail down to South Mills where my wife met me and we drove home. We obviously got home late and have been playing catch-up all week.

Will get a post up soon!