Thus here I sit reflecting on the Pocatello Marathon.
Cutting to the chase I managed another massive fail today. A 3:06:14 at the Pocatello Marathon.
As I usually do here is a video in my dwindling in frequency blog which captures my mood after I finished today:
I was so pissed when I finished.
And this is the best pissed off / anger song of all time.
So on to the race report...
First though a review in terms of the management of the race itself... will give it 9 out of 10 (and close to 10 out of 10). They got all of the key things right;
- The swag was great. I almost always chuck the crap t-shirts get at races but the loose long-sleeve shirt along with good-sturdy backpack are keepers.
- Buses to the start were flawless.
- The volunteers were awesome. Extra marks here - It was all I could do to contain my laughter at the ladies in bath robes at one of the earlier aid stations - absolutely awesome. They had some themes going at some of the aid stations and even some tall basket ball (from ISU?) dudes were manning one of the stations (although the ladies in bathrobes earlier in the race kicked their ass - take note fellas - you gotta step up your game :-) ).
- Bag drop went without hitch (thanks UPS and volunteers),
- The post race food and drink were one of the best I have had (there was like everything you could want times 10),
- And ride back to the hotel was great.
Only thing they needed to watch out for was at mile ~14 right after an aid station was unsure of a fork in the road - would have got it right but after yelling back to the aid-station to make sure they sent me in the right direction.
In terms of the race itself...
The start is up at elevation (6,000ft) and everyone congregates at someone's farm. And it is pretty cold (at least it was earlier today). They let people into the barn of whose ever property the race starts at. Whoever it is is pretty nice - hope they get something out of it.
I felt a level of equanimity prior to race which I usually don't as I am usually so amped up before races which I thought was good at the time as I was figured was finally going to be getting under 3 hours which is at this point a full on obsession.
Here are a few barn pictures along with a rooster to prove it! :-)
What were his splits for the race?
Did he get his BQ? What are the Boston qualifying standards for roosters? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)
One with me and the rooster in the background;
And after stripping off my Michigan State shirt here are a few in the barn with my Phoenix Free Soles shirt;
Phoenix Free Soles in the house!!!
So then the race started, and blah, blah, blah, the first half of the marathon went exactly according to plan, I went through it in about 1:29 conserving energy the whole way I thought - although my chest felt a little tight a few times perhaps due to the elevation (?). Wasn't sure as was no time to really give it much thought.
As there were only like 400 running the full I pretty much ran by myself the whole time listening to Flint MI old school Rap & R&B. Is there any music which rivals this... ...? Um... ... ... no!.
And in the 2nd 1/2 of the race here and there I started to fall apart. I think a pretty typically poorly executed race really. I thought I still had a shot at sub-3 hours but an incline around mile 21 absolutely crushed me.
I passed a few people the last 5 miles, and got passed by a few people, but the bottom line was that I absolutely fell apart at the point of this incline at 21 to the end of the race, I was right there with it in front of me and absolute fell apart.
Around mile 24 or mile 25 the 3:05 race pacer passed me. I wasn't looking at my watch from around mile 21 but having this dude passing me was absolutely sole crushing.
And finally I finished. And right at the end some dude I passed previously and a lady came up on me, I passed back the lady but the dude beat me by a second. It really pissed me off, but good for him, and I finished 15th overall in the race.
So where does this leave me... ... ...?
Well I am going to run under 3 hours in full marathon.
There is no way around around this.
My next full is the Tucson Marathon in... ... wait for it... Tucson Arizona.
Here is a video of how I am going to treat the not at elevation said marathon.
Replace "Flaming Dragon" with "Tucson Marathon" throughout the clip.
Bottom line... ... As Tom Cruise in his greatest role says - "I am talking scorched earth Mother F***er!". I will massacre the Tucson Marathon.
Setting aside all of of the bravado though more than anything, and the subject of this blog entry, after I settled down from my post race rage I realized I have got a lot of things to be grateful for.
I have such a wonderful wife - Aki (20 years next year - love you Aki!), and our girls are turning into great young ladies, I couldn't ask for a better family.
Ancillarily (is that a word?) running in Phoenix is great. Our running club is great fun with many great people and dedicated runners, and our club board folks are way cool too - especially our club president who in spite of a long injury and not being able to run much continues to do tons for our club.
And other running groups in Phoenix are great as well, running in Phoenix rules!
Got great parents, and while I could complain about my job (and often do :-) ) it is a decent upstanding place to work and I get to analyze millions of records of data all the time which if you are data junkie (and I am a full blown addict) you can't go wrong there.
Bottom line - I have quite a bit to be thankful for.
Anywho... ... I am going under 3 hours in a full.
There is no question.
Going to pow-wow with our/my running coach and soon enough set a plan in place to get me under 3 at Tucson.