On the 4th was the annual Foot Traffic Flat Marathon. This race has really grown over the years. It was only a half marathon at first and slowly morphed into a nice holiday adventure. Gail and I signed up only a few weeks ago. I have a marathon, 50k and a 50 mile race in July so this was going to be a "training race". I hired a coach a couple of weeks ago. I felt like I need someone to be accountable too. I picked Nikki due to her references and that she is almost as old as me. She has been a fast road racer but I felt I could still learn from her. My goal as you all know by now is to finish the Waldo 100k in late August. So she knows all my races between now and then are just training. Well except the PCT 50 where I need to break 11 hours to get a WS 100 qualifying time.
Gail and I left with plenty of time to get to the start. Traffic is always bad but this year it was a nightmare! We were stuck two miles from the start in traffic with 45 minutes to go. Two minutes before I got parked they sent the Marathon runners off. Well I was sure glad this was chip timed. Gail was running the half as she is still fighting some nagging injuries. So I walked to the start mat and crossed hearing my chip beep 8 minutes late.
Coach Nikki had me run 10 miles the day before this race. We need the doubles to get my endurance up to a maximum. I wanted to go a tad faster in this race but Nikki said to go out slow. So I ran the first mile at an easy 10 minute pace and then just trotting along at 9:45's. I chatted with some virgin marathoners and wished them well. Saw Larry Macon of 300+ marathon fame. Then I ran with his buddy who has a shirt that said "I'm running with Larry". Nice guy from SoCal and old like me! The time really flew by and next thing I new I was at mile 16 or so. They added a few little climbs in the flat and my legs didn't feel tired at all even after the previous days 10 miles. So about mile 17 I decided to push a bit. I started feeling real good and by mile 19 I was cranking it up big time. I kept waiting for the wall at 2o miles, "nope", 21, "not-ta" 22? Not today. So at mile 22 I put my ipod on 10 and said lets have some fun. So off I went, playing air guitar and drums, singing out of tune and just running fast. I was all sub 8:30 the last 5 miles with mile 25 being at a crazy 8:11 pace. That is just wild for me. I usually am starting to hurt pretty bad but for some reason this just felt so dang good today. Like an easy 10 mile run or so. I think I played some Rob Zombie song from the Matrix about 3 times in 5 miles. Dang this is fun!
I finished in 4:07, pretty good day for me. My plan was 4:10 to 4:20 or so. Talk about negative split, 2:10 on the front 13 and 1:57 on the backside. Ya think I had some gas left??? After the race I felt so great. No stomach issues, no light headed I'm gonna die stuff. Lets eat shortcake and walk around. "Please Mr God can I have days like this more often???" Pulll-lllleeeeeasssse?
So what did I do different. Well my smart, gorgeous and athletic wife has been trying to get me to use Nunn drink supplements for a couple of years. I tried and thought it tasted like Alka Seltzer. Well finally last week I ran a few times with it. So this race I used it on all my water bottles but one. It was good. I gel'd a few times, did some chomps and mixed some water and a few gulps of Heed. It was a cool day so that had to help along with such a flat course. I hadn't run over 18 miles in like 6 weeks so maybe I was rested. Might it have been Nikki's idea for me to go out real slow. I never pushed ultra hard due to the fact I have the tough little SOB 50k in Ashland this weekend. Well whatever it was it worked and it sure was fun to have a day like that.
My previous post questioned what I want to do? Maybe the Marathon is only as far as I should go? We shall see. I did run a little 50k in Salem between this race and Mac Forrest and didn't feel too bad. So might it be Mac is just tough and I had a bad outing? I took no pix of this run so unless I find some online this will be a text only post. C-ya all out there.