Monday, May 14, 2012

OC Marathon: Breaking Down My Best Race, Part I

Aside from the race recap itself and the pictures post, I wasn't able to blog about the rest of my OC Marathon experience. And while we're more than a week removed from it, I still wanted to get my thoughts out on what I think has been the best performance I've ever had in a race.

(oh and by the way have you entered my giveaway?)

* My Race: I've often read other bloggers write about feeling strong at the end of marathons and sometimes I'll read them say "I could have kept on running." Well, I finally had my such marathon. At the end of the race, I had enough gas to have kept on going. I could have run another mile or two for sure. Now, this wasn't my PR. I've had two marathons with faster times, each around 4:23. So this was four minutes slower than those, but the way I felt after this was almost night and day with the way I felt after those. I was walking around okay after OC as opposed to needing help to walk back to my car after the other two. My muscles responded during and after the race this time around.

* Credit Where It's Due: I think this race went so well because I was conservative at the start. I wasn't as fast in the early miles as I was in LA, but what I really think helped me was the bathroom break. I think that two-minute break gave my muscles the chance to regroup. It was after four miles and I didn't want to stop but I knew I had to or face problems down the line. I think that helped me get an extended breather and helped give me more energy as the race went on. Of course, having run a lot of miles this year also helped but had I just plowed on through like at LA, where we pretty much were at our marathon pace at Mile 2, I think I would have suffered in the last stretch.

* Negative Splits: I achieved one of my goals, which was to have a bone fide negative split. I think it's nice to have done that in a marathon. I had a horrid split the other way at Surf City 2011. I was at the half in about 2:03 and finished at 4:23, so I ran the second half in 2:20. Not this time. Had I simply doubled my half time, my finish time would have been 4:29:24.

10K - 1:05:07 (10:29 pace)
7.5 - 1:18:35 (10:29)
13.1 - 2:14:43 (10:17)
20 - 3:24:39 (10:14)
26.2 - 4:27:54 (10:14)

Between 7.5 and the half, the pace had dropped significantly. I ran those 5.6 miles in 56:08.
Between the half and 20, my pace dropped. I ran those 6.9 miles in 1:09:56, a 10:08 pace.
My pace stayed the same after Mile 20. Of course I would have liked to have finished with a faster pace than the 20-mile pace but so many times I've just been hanging on at the end. This time I really did feel like I ran right through instead of slogging or shuffling like I've done in the past.

* Spontaneous Finish: For the last several miles, I was practicing my pose (at least mentally). If you don't know what I'm talking about or why I do this, read some of my previous posts on the matter. They're awesome posts, I promise! Anyway, I was thinking of smiling of course but the poses I had with my hands and arms didn't work with a smile. Like, I had thought about two fists in front of me, like right in front of my chest, but that begs for a "GRRR!!!" expression, not a shit-eating grin. Believe me, I had that grin the last several miles. So when I finally saw the finish line, I started to pump my fist but I just became overly excited with everything (the race being over, how I felt, that I had done number six and I used to weigh... well you get the idea) that I was elated. In the end there was no wiping that smile off my face. So I just jumped.

It was not a high jump. I picture me leaping like a gazelle across a wide stream somewhere but I barely lifted me knee off the ground. Still, it was a jump and that I had enough energy to jump at the end of a marathon is fantastic. I don't know which one I like better, that one or my finish at the 2010 San Francisco Marathon.

If my hands weren't all the way cut off, that one would be better, but I love that finish line shot. But I love this newest one too. Guess I have to try and top them on July 29.

* Part II: I have a lot more to say so I'm going to save that for another post. I like to do these posts a bit longer than normal and get everything out so I remember the races and the experiences and everything that I might otherwise forget. I've trained so damn hard for all of my marathons and put so much into each of them that I might as well try and have vivid and crisp memories of them all, right?


Coy Martinez said...

I love that first photo! You have a great smile on your face!

MySweetCreations said...

Great to read about your running! Are you running the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon?