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Marathon Number Nine

 

How quickly they have added up in what seems like a short period of time.  I was always warned that as you get older time would move by faster and it definitely has.  On Saturday April 26th I ran my 9th marathon at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN.  My first marathon was in 2005 and I am still in disbelief that in less than 4 years I have this many marathons under my belt.  Most people run one and that is it.  I guess I really got hooked and went off the deep end.  Maybe that explains why I am the first one to jump off the bridge or try something daring?

I have individual memories from each marathon that I have run but this one will be very special to me since I was able to run it with some of my Spring 2008 TNT Runners.  Plus I was there to see my other runners finish and hear their stories about the event.  TNT coaches cannot go to every event that your runners are training for, so I felt very honored and privileged not only to go, but to also run the entire marathon with a few of them.  Our plan was for the four of us to stick together for as long as possible and have me keep them at around a 10 minute pace.  Rain was in full effect before the race but it did not dampen out sprits.  Garbage bags were the fashionable top of choice to stay dry as we waited for the event to start.  About 20 minutes before the event was going to start the rain did slow down and eventually stop so we would be blessed with good running weather.  Most of the time we had cool temperatures, a cool breeze at some points of the course and an overcast sky at times.  You could not ask for more perfect running weather.  The fan support on the course was amazing and it was really fun to interact with them.  I had ran this marathon in 2006 so I had an idea on what to expect but the course did not seem as hilly as it was back then.  Either better training or I think it was that I had some great people to run with this time around.  After about 10 miles one member of our group dropped off, but did end up finishing.  Then the three of us made our way around the course at a good pace and had many laughs along the way.  Another good note is that the aid stations volunteers were awesome at filling up water bottles if you asked them.  That made it really convenient to have water whenever you needed it.  As we got closer to the finish line we began seeing more and more TNT Runners and cheered them on since they still had about 6 or less miles to go.  You could feel what they were feeling by some of the death looks you received back.  All of us have had times when we cannot even give back a wave when people cheer and I felt bad for them because I know how that feels.  After mile 25 our pace picked up because we knew the finish was near and even the last quarter of mile turned into a short race with what energy that we had left.  The final time was 4:29:30.  Mission accomplished.  Three of us stuck together for the entire race and two of my first time marathon runners got great times.  I am very proud of them that they beat my first marathon time by over 30 minutes.  Now the real question is will they sign up for another marathon and get hooked like I am.  This coach recommends that if they do another one to do a fall marathon and not go crazy like I have with my running.   But if they do follow in my footsteps I will have a comfortable padded room waiting for them at the psychiatric ward.

Congratulations to all of the TNT Runners that completed the 2008 Country Music Marathon and good luck to all of the TNT Runners that are on their way to Vancouver for their marathon. 

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April 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Welcoming Spring with Some PR’s

 

Yes it appears that Spring is finally here in Michigan.  We have had over a week of no snow and warmer temperatures that allow the normal running apparel to join in for a run.  Another sign of Spring that I noticed is that I am greeted by singing birds in the morning on my morning runs.  They could be telling this crazy person to get back into the house, but they sound like they are singing to me.  After tons of cold weather running I actually have some proof that it all paid off.  In my past two races I achieved new personal records or PR’s. 

 

The first one was at the Corktown 4 mile race on March 16th.  This race starts near the old Detroit Tiger Stadium goes about 2 miles into the city and then back to finish in front of the old Michigan Central Train station.  Which in my opinion, is yet another building in Detroit that should have been kept up due to its amazing architecture.  It is a fun race that is ran before the annual Corktown St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  It is a little odd running a race where the spectators have been drinking alcohol since early that morning, but it is a good time.  Due do too much socializing a group of us started at the very front of the start area and I got sucked into the fast group of people.  My first mile was a 6:50 mile which is a little to fast for me.  After getting settled into a better pace I finished with a time of 29:53.  That is an average pace of 7:28 per mile. 

 

The second PR came on April 6th at the Martian Marathon.  It was my 8th marathon and my 1st marathon of 2008.  I did not follow the normal taper plan, that seems to be a new bad habit, and ran 14 miles the day before since my TNT Spring Team was running their 20 and 13 mile training runs.  Coaching and helping my team get ready for their events is very important to me so I did my best to help them and run as little as possible.  The marathon started off very well.  We had temperatures in the low 40’s and were running an average pace of about 8:10.  The pace was faster than normal but it felt good so we kept moving on.  The miles rolled on quickly or at least it felt that way.  Around mile 16 the average pace slipped to about 8:40 as the fatigue was setting in, but we still has good temperatures in the 50’s.  After mile 18 I was told to take off on my own since I was still running strong.  I was doing well until my average pace slipped to about 10 minute miles after mile 22 as that “wall” started to build itself in front of me.  I did my best to push through and walked a little more than I should of as the miles from the day before started to catch up to me.  I am very curious how well I would have done if I had rested properly.  After passing mile 24 I knew that achieving my goal of being under 4 hours was very possible as long as I pushed as hard as I could.  When I saw the finish line I used all that I had left and crossed the finish line with a time of 3:58:18.  That is an average pace of 9:06 per mile.  I had achieved my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon and improved my overall marathon time by about 8 minutes.   What a great start to my 2008 season!  I hope that the improvement continues and the good race times continue to roll on.  As always thank you to everyone for their support and guidance.   

April 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment