My first running marathon. Well, I did sort of run a marathon distance in high school once, but that's a different story. I have walked 5 of them, but I gave that up a while back because the training times are so long.
I've been following the Jeff Galloway for several months, planning on a time of 4:40. Some of my training suggested I could run a faster time, but I thought 4:40 was a good first goal. I planned to stick to the 10:40 per mile for about 20 miles and then see how things felt.
The event sold out again this year, 17,000 total, most of whom are running the half marathon. A very crowded starting line, but after the starting gun, we were across the starting line after only 8 minutes. They had fireworks for the start, too.
The race was so crowded, especially for the first 3 miles or so that it was difficult to keep to my desired run/walk/run schedule of run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 3 minutes, and so on. So I often ran a bit more than intended and would walk when I could get over to near the curb where I'm less likely to have someone run over me from behind. But I did keep pretty close to my desired pace, passing the 10K point in 1:06:04, a 10:39 pace.
After the tour through Bexley, it's back to downtown and then south to German Village. A good turnout everywhere, as it usually is for this race. I spotted a friend or two in both Bexley and near German Village and managed to wave hello.
Mile 11 starts a 4 mile straight stretch up High Street. The half marathoners turn off to finish just before mile 13. Once they leave, the course is not at all crowded and it's much easier to walk as needed. I ran for a bit with another 'Galloway run/walker' and I saw quite a few people using that.
I passed the half marathon in 2:18:04, which would put me on pace for a 4:36 marathon if nothing went wrong. At mile 15, I decided I would run a few miles at a pace closer to 10:00 per mile and I would back off from that if it didn't feel good. But this was fine and I kept this up through Mile 20 in 3:28:32, at 10:25 average pace.
Passing near Bob's house between Miles 20 and 21 was an encouraging sign. By this point I felt very good, much better than I had ever felt in training, especially at this distance. I was certain I could finish so I picked up the pace some more, averaging 9:25 per mile from Mile 20 on. I was still taking short walk breaks as needed; I found them essential.
I have mostly walked the Columbus half marathon in the past years but a while back I started walking the second half of the course a week later, just because it's such a nice course and also seemed like a fun way to complete a marathon, albeit over 8 days. I'm glad that I had walked the course a few times, because I was now familiar with how it went and knew what to expect.
After Mile 25, I was still feeling strong, so did the last 1.2 miles at 8:14 pace, still with short walk breaks. It was a relief to finish in 4:27:10. My second half of the race was in 2:09:06, which actually is my fastest half marathon to date.
I used the Tweet My Time service to post real-time updates to both my Twitter feed and my Facebook and it was fun to come home after the race and see all the online comments and encouragement. I sure do thank everyone who encouraged me online and on the course and I thank Krystin for all the yummy desserts she made for me, too.
Now I need a new marathon to shoot for...
I've saved the GPS track online at Garmin Connect.
Updated Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Six weeks to go to the Columbus Marathon. The Jeff Galloway workout plan for this week was a 26 mile easy run for Sunday. Since the weather forecast for Sunday was still for fairly warm temperatures and thunderstorms, I pushed it back to Monday, which had a forecast for temperatures in the low 60s. This turned out well, and I went to a nearby park, Three Creeks, to run the trails, some of them multiple times, in order to cover the 26 mile distance. (Of course, I had to make it exactly 26.22 miles...).
This is the longest training run I've ever done; before I'd only covered this distance in the 5 marathons that I've walked. I settled into a run/walk average pace of about 11:55/mi, a bit faster than I'm supposed to do, but it feels like a natural long distance slow pace for me. (I did 11:48/mi in my 23 mile training run 3 weeks ago).
After 2-3 miles, the pace felt like something I could do "forever". By 12-13 miles, I knew I had done a decent workout, but was only halfway done. I crossed the half marathon point in 2:35:36, which is 11:56/mi pace. The next 6 miles went pretty well, but by the 20 mile point, I was starting to be ready for this to be done. I alternated run and walk mostly at random throughout the run, rather than sticking to my usual plan of run 3 minutes, walk for 1. By 23 miles, I'm really ready to be done, still close to the 11:56/mile pace, but I ended up walking most of the last 2 miles, finishing in 5h17m for an overall average of 12:07/mile.
My knees are a bit sore, (icing helps!) but not as sore as what I remember from each of the 5 walking marathons that I've done. So I'm happy with the results – there is nothing quite like covering the actual distance you're doing to need to do in the race.
Here is the GPS track for the entire run, at Garmin Connect
I really enjoy this park; it's flat and reasonably scenic for Ohio -- farmland, next to a river, and trees. I was parked about midway, so I could swing by the truck and get extra water or food if I needed it. I bought brand new running shoes yesterday and used them – they were perfect – but just in case, I had an old pair stashed in the truck that I could substitute.
And an audiobook helped the time go by faster, too.
There was a beautiful sunrise on Monday, 29 August. I took a few photos.
A huge crowd, said to be 50,000 people and the third largest "Race for the Cure" event in the world.
The competing runners started at 8am sharp and everybody took off fast. I decided to run/walk with a ratio of 3 minutes running and 30 seconds walking, just to see how that turned out. It was a bit weird to switch to walking after 3 minutes when everybody else went streaming past me. But I'm glad I did; it gave me a chance to catch my breath and in many cases, I didn't that much ground to other runners. I did that 3:30 cycle 6 times, through 21 minutes and then ran the rest of the way to finish in 25:38, or 8:02/mile. A fun event.
Here is the GPS track:
We've had mostly rain for a while, so this warm and sunny day was welcome.
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