Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spinx Run Fest Marathon Splits - Greenville, SC

Not only was today my 34th marathon and 21st in a different state, it was almost seven years to the day of my very first marathon - the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

The weather was absolutely perfect for today's Spinx Run Fest Marathon and the day was beautiful, especially some of the scenery as the fall leaves are hundred different colors here. (The "on the course" scenery wasn't too bad either.)

The only person that I knew was Humble's Steve Boone. He was running his 493rd marathon so that the Chevron Houston Marathon will be his 500th in January. While we were talking, up walked Jeff Galloway. Sweet! Nice guy. Two weeks ago, Yasso and Ulrich. This week, Galloway.

The first four miles were on Greenville city streets. Part of the third mile, on Washington Street, had a couple of inclines on it that made it a little tougher than the first two.

Mile 1/2 - 20:30.19
Mile 3 - 11:55.83 (32:26.02)
Mile 4 - 10:17.71 (42:43.73)

The next five miles were on a paved asphalt trail system that ever-so-slightly went uphill. That meant that we'd get it back later!

Mile 5 - 10:40.62 (53:24.35)
Mile 6 - 10:49.28 (1:04:13.63)
Mile 7 - 10:41.83 (1:14:55.46)
Mile 8 - 10:49.14 (1:25:44.60)
Mile 9 - 10:41.53 (1:36:26.13)

Mile 10 navigated a road near Furman University and it was a little bit uphill as we left the asphalt trail. It would lead to a 7-mile loop that would drop us back at Furman and take us through the campus and around Furman Lake.

Mile 10 - 11:13.72 (1:47:39.85)
Mile 11 - 11:33.44 (1:59:13.29)
Mile 12 - 10:27.19 (2:09:40.48)
Mile 13 - 12:07.25 (2:21:47.73)
Mile 14 - 11:06.13 (2:32:53.86)

At mile 8 (not 9 where it was located on the course map), there was a porta-potty. However, I would have lost a lot more time because I would have had to wait for one person that was already waiting. I didn't know, though, where the next one was.

But just before the mile 15 marker, the next one appeared. I slowed down in mile 13 above to see if I could investigate going in the Green Valley Country Club.

I took a 3-minute, 43-second penalty. Yikes. Had I not had to take that, I would have been on a 4:48 pace until mile 21. Sad, but at the same time it kind of kept me jazzed through the race.

Mile 15 - 16:19.99 - 12:36.90 (2:49:13.85 - 2:45:30.76)
Mile 16 - 9:56.75 (2:59:10.60 - 2:55:26.51)
Mile 17 - 10:55.94 (3:10:06.54 - 3:06:22.45)
Mile 18 - 11:20.86 (3:21:27.40 - 3:17:43.31)
Mile 19 - 11:34.20 (3:33:01.60 - 3:29:17.51)

The next four miles is where a sub 5-hour time was made by not allowing any of those miles to slip over 12 minutes.

Mile 20 - 11:18.69 (3:44:20.29 - 3:40:36.20)
Mile 21 - 11:22.73 (3:55:43.02 - 3:51:58.93)
Mile 22 - 11:58.14 (4:07:41.16 - 4:03:57.07)
Mile 23 - 11:31.88 (4:19:13.04 - 4:15:28.95)
Mile 24 - 12:21.34 (4:31:34.38 - 4:27:50.29)
Mile 25 - 12:09.72 (4:43:44.10 - 4:40:00.01)

After we came off of the trail and back on to city streets, I had some fear that the 5-hour time might slip away. I fought off the urge to walk more than I did and gutted it out to get my time under 5 hours for only the fourth time ever.

Mile 26 - 12:08.04 (4:55:52.14 - 4;52:08.05)
Last .2 - 2:38.00 (4:58:30.14 - 4:54:46.05)

Very, very pleased with my effort today.

Literally was in tears as I placed a couple of post-race phone calls. If I'm successful with Rocky Raccoon in February, I'll share why. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mid-Week Marathon Ramblings

Saturday, in Greenville, South Carolina, I will embark on my ninth marathon of the year. Not that big of a deal, but certainly a different challenge as I continue to prepare myself for February's Rocky Raccoon 100. Not only have I seen some progress in the physical aspects of my running, but more importantly the mental approach.

I know from talking with Bill Dwyer and others that there are going to be some challenging times in both of these areas in the up to 30 hours that I have to tackle such an arduous challenge. So I figure while I'm making a financial investment to run marathons away from Texas (better weather and races in different states), I'd better work hard on the things that I'll need to complete my goal.

Yet the goal of finishing a 100-miler isn't all-consuming. Honestly, I don't want it to be. I'm sure that there are those who will think that I won't be successful, but I'm wired a little bit differently. My sense of accomplishment comes from a completely different place, I think, then many. Even though the challenges may seem to be far greater, I sense that my satisfaction won't be any greater than writing an excellent story, putting on a race or seeing Waverly succeed in something that she has set out to do.

Basically, I'm optimistically cautious about the event that is just over 100 days away. And at the same time, there's a part of me that's scared. It isn't that I'm afraid of failing. That's very real in a 100-miler. Maybe there's a part of me that's afraid to actually be able to do it. Almost seems a little perverse.

One of the things that Bill and I have already talked about, for example, are pacers after mile 60. Those individuals that I choose to cover some miles with me are certainly going to have to realize that there may be some stretches that will be all about "keep moving" as opposed to actually running. Yet I'm excited to share the experience with some hand-picked individuals who can conform to the approach that I think I'll need to be successful during that stretch. Rah-rah, "you can do this" types need not apply.

For me, it is all about figuring it out by myself or with a little bit of help or collaboration. That is where Bill has been such an asset to me - in addition to having finished two 100-milers himself. He knows what it takes to complete the goal, but he's probably the person who knows my mental makeup better than anyone else. We've also talked about communication methods during the race to ensure that I stay in the right frame of mind to accomplish the goal.

I'm very eager to build the right support crew to assist me in being successful. In that sense, it is very exciting. As this is something that I'm not doing alone. Sure, I have to put one foot in front of the other for 100 miles, but it is a team approach and I'm excited about sharing the experience with others who have earned the chance to be a part.

And even though there's some sharing involved, the oxymoron of it all is that I really don't want to make a big deal about things! Go figure!