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Indiana Thingy aka Tecumseh Marathon

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Post  T Miller on Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:07 pm

Mark B, his wife Alita and son Alec came to stay with us for a few days and run the Tecumseh Marathon. It was great having them as guests, the company was fantastic even though I had to work Thursday and Friday.

Friday night we had arranged a 365 dinner get together in Bloomington. We kind of waited till last minute and at such a late date we couldn't get a reservation for the preferred time at our choice Italian Restaurant. Instead we decided on a less well known Restaurant where we could make a reservation at a more desirable time so that everyone could eat and get to bed at a reasonable time. We ended up paying for this decision in more than one way. The service and food were terrible and several of us got food poisoning as a result. Wendy and Alec ended up puking their guts out within hours of the dinner.

The next morning Wendy, Mark and I picked up Wendy's dad and headed to the start. Along the way Wendy had me pull off to the side of the road so she could puke up the pop tart she had eaten minutes earlier. My dear wife wasn't able to keep anything down, had lost her entire dinner from the night before and had only received a minimal amount of sleep. Definitely not the way to prepare for a tough marathon but when we reached the starting line she still wanted to run. I thought we had talked her out of running it but the one final test was to run a mile on the road at the start to see how it felt. She didn't make it more than 100 ft before she came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to happen. Wendy headed back to her dad's house where she spent the day sleeping and puking.

Going into the race I didn't really know what I was capable of and didn't want to set and specific goals. In October I was able to set a road marathon PR of 2:54 on a warm day. After that race I was contemplating another attempt at my goal marathon time of 2:50 at the Monumental marathon. I ran a couple 20 mile runs inbetween but ended up not running Monumental. After deciding not to do Monumental I started a round of p90x and let my running mileage fall off some. All during that period my resting heart rate has been elevated 10+ beats over normal. In the end I settled on trying to finish with a time between 3:30 and my previous PR of 3:58.

My plan for the race was to run a smart race because I just wasn't mentally prepared to go out hard and try to carry that through the end. I know that the last few miles can be supremely difficult even for the most seasoned runners. On the way to the start I asked Wendy what the average pace would be for a 3:30 and 3:40 so I could have some idea of the effort that would be required. I decided to go out conservatively and try to hit the half way mark at the top of Indian hill at 1:50. After this point, I would be able to evaluate how I felt and hopefully finish with an even to negative split bringing me home around 3:40 or better.

The race started and my only focus was to stay comfortable. There were at least 50 people out in front of me and I knew that the majority of them were starting out way too fast. I was content letting people pull ahead and continuing to hold myself back. I followed this strategy through about 10 miles where the runners had already started to come back to me. I was feeling really good and although I knew I should be holding back I switched into the mode where I wanted to start picking off other runners one by one. There was one guy in particular that I had been following for quite a while so i put in a burst of speed to close the gap. At this point running felt good and my goal was to catch him and slow back down. I guess I came up on him so fast that it caused him to step off the trail so I could pass. I passed him and felt obligated to keep up the faster pace for a bit. I ended up running and talking with this guy for a while though it did make me press a little harder than I had intended. I hit the half way point at 1:50 and he gaped me while I was disposing of my gel packet.

The second half of the race was much better than I had experienced in years past. I was able to carry on at a reasonable pace and only walked a couple of the steepest sections of hill. It was a definite advantage knowing the course and having some idea of what was to come. I probably passed more than 20 runners in the second half. The final mile is on a gravel road and I could see the one runner that had left me around the half, he was walking and I thought that I was going to catch him. Once he reached the top of the hill he resumed running and my hopes were dashed. I continued to press the pace through the end but that wasn't a chance of catching him. I crossed the finish line at 3:40:01 for an almost perfect even split race. I think I executed this one about as perfectly as possible. I hope I can take the lessons learned from this one and carry it over into my next road marathon. In the end it was an 18 minute PR over my time in 2008.

We had perfect weather for this race with temps in the low 40 at the start and high 50's at the finish. After finishing, I was able to hang at the finish line and talk to Clark and cheer in many runners including Jeff F., our friend Emily, Wendy's dad and Mark B. We also had a chance to talk to Charles M after he wisely decided to drop out at 23 after nearly 6.5 hours of torture.

I'm really bummed that Wendy didn't get to run.

I'm really happy that Mark and family came to visit and Mark was able to finish strong.

Next up is the Houston half in January.
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Post  John Kilpatrick on Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:19 pm

Nice run Tim! Sounds like a really fun event. If you have the time, I'd love to see your training plan for your upcoming half (pssssst - start a blog!). Have you been doing much cycling/swimming recently?

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Post  Glenn on Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:18 pm

Wow - even splits and hit your goal within a second. That is an impeccably controlled race.

The food poisoning sure put a damper on what should have been a awesome weekend all the way around! Did anybody figure out what the offending dish and/or ingredient was?
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Post  Jerry on Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:23 pm

Nice race, Tim!

Jerry wish he will be able to run Houston still, maybe switch to the half for a head to head? lol!
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:55 pm

Nice run, Tim! Hope Wendy is better.
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Post  Seth Harrison on Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:51 pm

You ran the race you wanted to run Tim. Great job on being able to nail your strategy and come away with an amazing course PR. I feel so bad for Wendy (Mark's son too). It's amazing that you guys didn't also get sick.
Congratulations on a great race and what looked like a really fun weekend (for the most part!).
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Post  wendy_miller on Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:21 pm

To run even splits in a marathon is quite a challenge. To run even splits at TECUMSEH is just amazing. Great job (as always), and I'm so, so sorry I didn't get to run with you guys.

For the record--everyone else did end up coming down with food poisoning. Except for Rowan, who refused to eat anything the night of the 365 dinner. Smart boy! The Bowders actually got sick right as they had to fly home. Ugh.

We plan to fly to the West coast to run another race with the Bowders...and this time no one will become deathly ill.
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Post  John Kilpatrick on Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:52 pm

I'm so sorry it worked out that way Wendy. What a capper on a 2011 running season No - blah.... At least were the kids OK? You are certainly one of the people I will be rooting for the most next year to run your perfect marathon and have more great races - you've worked so hard that I've got to think you've got great things coming your way...

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Post  Jim Lentz on Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:22 am

Nice job on the race, Tim!
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Post  T Miller on Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:35 am

@John Kilpatrick wrote:Nice run Tim! Sounds like a really fun event. If you have the time, I'd love to see your training plan for your upcoming half (pssssst - start a blog!). Have you been doing much cycling/swimming recently?

Thanks John,

I don't currently have a training program though I am committed to continuing on with p90x. The trick will be to blend the p90x with some speed work in preparation for the half and integrate cycling and swimming on the other days. Today is day 36 of p90x. I've done absolutely no cycling or swimming for the last 36 days or more.
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Post  T Miller on Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:37 am

@Glenn wrote:Wow - even splits and hit your goal within a second. That is an impeccably controlled race.

The food poisoning sure put a damper on what should have been a awesome weekend all the way around! Did anybody figure out what the offending dish and/or ingredient was?

Thanks Glenn, the even splits and goal time just kind of happened and I didn't really do anything besides choosing the appropriate goal.
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Post  T Miller on Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:39 am

@Jerry wrote:Nice race, Tim!

Jerry wish he will be able to run Houston still, maybe switch to the half for a head to head? lol!

That would be fun...err... actually it will probably hurt a lot.
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Post  T Miller on Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:44 am

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Nice run, Tim! Hope Wendy is better.

Thanks Michele!

@Seth Harrison wrote:You ran the race you wanted to run Tim. Great job on being able to nail your strategy and come away with an amazing course PR. I feel so bad for Wendy (Mark's son too). It's amazing that you guys didn't also get sick.
Congratulations on a great race and what looked like a really fun weekend (for the most part!).

Thanks Seth, actually we all did eventually get sick.

@wendy_miller wrote:To run even splits in a marathon is quite a challenge. To run even splits at TECUMSEH is just amazing. Great job (as always), and I'm so, so sorry I didn't get to run with you guys.

For the record--everyone else did end up coming down with food poisoning. Except for Rowan, who refused to eat anything the night of the 365 dinner. Smart boy! The Bowders actually got sick right as they had to fly home. Ugh.

We plan to fly to the West coast to run another race with the Bowders...and this time no one will become deathly ill.

Thanks Honey! It just kind of happened. I look forward to our trip west to be with the Bowders.

@John Kilpatrick wrote:I'm so sorry it worked out that way Wendy. What a capper on a 2011 running season No - blah.... At least were the kids OK? You are certainly one of the people I will be rooting for the most next year to run your perfect marathon and have more great races - you've worked so hard that I've got to think you've got great things coming your way...

Rowan refused to eat so he was ok but Amelia did suffer with the rest of us.

@Jim Lentz wrote:Nice job on the race, Tim!

Thanks Jim!
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:27 pm

By the way, it will be nice to see you in Houston. You'll be waiting a while for me after your half as I predict a good one.
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Post  T Miller on Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:56 pm

I found some pictures in lost and found. Too bad there are not any in the woods.
[img]Indiana Thingy aka Tecumseh Marathon Tecums10[/img]
[img]Indiana Thingy aka Tecumseh Marathon Tecums11[/img]
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Post  Dave-O on Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:55 pm

Of all the Indiana Thing reports over the past few years, I think thats the first where someone finished the second half so strong. So yeah, I'd say you paced it perfectly. Well done.

Total bummer about the food poisoning. The WORST!
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Post  Mark B on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:11 pm

I've been looking forward to reading your race report, and I wasn't disappointed.

You are the poster child for the wisdom of cross-training and restraint on race day. When I grow up, can I be like you? Very Happy

We will start figuring out a way to get you guys out west. We have some kids who just might be happy to see each other again.

Thanks again for your hospitality. Sorry the toxins got the better of you, too.
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Post  Randy E on Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:28 am

Nice race Tim and great pacing considering all the ups and downs. Good luck in Houston.
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