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Santa Rosa Marathon

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Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Tim C on Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:42 pm

So my goal for this marathon was simple, finish in under 4 hours.  I’ve run sub 1:50 halfs and a 4:08 full that I ran very conservative so I felt this was not really too much of a stretch.  However, there are always those runs that make you wonder if you can keep the pace for 26.2 miles…
 
I followed the Intermediate 1 program and was religious about it.  I missed only 1 run the entire cycle, a 14 miler scheduled the day after my sons wedding, but I ran 10 instead of the scheduled 6 the day of and actually finished running 1 mile more than the 16 week schedule called for.  Nailed every pace run, did fast finishes on both 20’s and just don’t think I could have prepared any better.
 
2 friends of mine talked me into running this marathon as they have run it before.  Flat course, early start, small field, it all sounded good.  Flew up with the wife to San Francisco a couple of days before to stay with family and then stayed with my running buddies dad in Santa Rosa the night before the race.
 
Planned to get up about 3:45 for the 6am start.  Didn’t plan on getting jarred from sleep by an earthquake at 3:20 am.  We were about 15 miles from the epicenter and it really rocked the house.  I’ve been thru many an earthquake, and this was only a 6.0, but when it’s that close it REALLY gets your attention.  We didn't realize how much damage was done in Napa until after the race.
 
Anyway, my plan was to go out real slow the first 3-4 miles, run an easy 2:01 half and pick it up if things were going well.  2:01:15 for the half and I felt great.  Picked it up 15-20 seconds per mile for a while and by mile 21 was slightly under a 4 hour pace.  I figured I would run another mile or 2 and then kick it in maybe running 3:58 or slightly better.  NOT…
 
Out of the blue my upper left leg cramped…bad.  Only other time this happened was at mile 23 at LA last year.  No warning whatsoever.  Now I got some S-Caps and used them on training runs.  I hydrated a lot this race, took I don’t know how many S-Caps, gels, blocks, etc.  I couldn’t have carried more stuff with me but bam, my leg cramped so bad I wondered if I could even hobble in.  Tried stretching but that was too painful.  Tried to walk, ate a gel, drank some water and was coming to terms with this being a complete failure.  I figured what the hell, I may as well see what I can do so I started to jog and it loosened up.  Started to run and it felt better.  But when I got to mile marker 24 I was about 1:30 behind where I needed to be (checking later, that mile took 10:48 so I was stopped almost 2 minutes).  I figured I had no chance now to break 4 hours but since I’d come this far, I told myself to give it all I had. 
 
Ran mile 25 in 8:20 so I thought I had an outside chance and pushed on.  Mile 26 was 8:30 so I was right on the bubble.  When I turned the corner and saw the finish line I figured it was 50/50 at that point.  Lucky for me, that line was closer than it looked and I finished in 3:59:45… yup, 14 seconds under…
 
I’m really happy with the result.  I couldn’t have trained any better and I didn’t throw in the towel when things got tough at the end.  What is strange is that those last couple of miles, it felt really good to run fast.  The fact that I could run miles 25 and 26 at that pace was cool.  However, I have got to figure out this cramping thing – I’ll have to start trying something different. 
 
Also cool was my buddy won our age division by 18 minutes – he ran a smooth 3:10.  The woman I run with won her age group as well.  Yes, I have some fast friends.
 
   
Took 2 days off and ran 30 minutes this morning with no issues.  All in all, a pretty successful race for me.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Jerry on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:04 am

Way to tough it out Tim. Congratulations on the sub 4!
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  ounce on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:24 am

Boy, what a great experience!  And gratz on the sub-4, too!!

Did you run your long runs with people or by yourself?  And how in the hell did you manage to get back the time you lost on the cramp?  I don't want to say 'sandbagging' because one never knows how a marathon is going to shake out, but it seems like better than 4 hours should've been a foregone conclusion.  (Not being pissy.)

But that's a great race, Tim.  Really nice.

Ride
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Jim Lentz on Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:44 am

Great job on the sub-4 marathon, Tim!
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:13 pm

Congrats, Tim!  Way to suck it up, deal with adversity and then nail it.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  amyjoann on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:09 pm

Great job on the run! Way to tough it out at the end and reward yourself with the time you deserved. I've had those nasty run stopping cramps too, I felt your pain when you said it was too painful to stretch I get so mad!!!!!!!!! way too go again
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  dot520 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:26 pm

Woohoo!  That's was a wonderful race report and even better race!  Congratulations!
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Tim C on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:37 pm

@ounce wrote:Boy, what a great experience!  And gratz on the sub-4, too!!

Did you run your long runs with people or by yourself?  And how in the hell did you manage to get back the time you lost on the cramp?  I don't want to say 'sandbagging' because one never knows how a marathon is going to shake out, but it seems like better than 4 hours should've been a foregone conclusion.  (Not being pissy.)

But that's a great race, Tim.  Really nice.

Ride
Ounce, 

Thanks but I've had a couple of tough experiences at marathons so I totally respect the distance.  My one and only goal this time was sub-4, 3:59:59 would have been a complete success - and almost was.  I figured if I was just under the pace needed thru 23-24 miles, I would pick it up a bit finishing.  Little did I know I had to pick it up a lot…  Good news is I was able to run fast (for me) that late in the race.  I really think I can knock another few minutes off my time next go around.

To answer your question, I did all my long runs with friends.  I have some great friends who weren't even training but would run the last 10 or 12 of a long run with me. Both 20's I ran with Denise, who won the 50-55 group at the race, and we did 16 easy then fast finish the last 4.  Although her fast finish was much faster than mine…  Running 20 along the boardwalk in Huntington Beach in the summer is not a bad way to go.

So it looks as though my BQ goes to 3:55 in just over a year.  I always thought it was out of the question but maybe not so outlandish an idea after all...

Thanks for the thoughts all!
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:50 pm

Great race; great story! Glad to hear it.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Tim C on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:08 pm

Jerry, Jim, Amy, Dot, Michael - thank you

And Michele, thanks for your suggestions on pacing.  It actually was pretty easy going out so slowly knowing it was the right thing to do.  It was really fun to pass all those runners that blew past me the first couple of miles. I honestly don't remember anyone passing me the last 8 miles or so except when I stopped for a bit - and I passed most of them back anyway Smile
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:48 am

That's a hell of a finishing kick, Tim.  Great job.

And you're making me jealous/nostalgic re: HB boardwalk.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Tim C on Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:07 am

@Mike MacLellan wrote:That's a hell of a finishing kick, Tim.  Great job.

And you're making me jealous/nostalgic re: HB boardwalk.

Our 2nd 20 was the final day of the HB surfing championships.  We started early but our return run by the pier was fun as there were literally 1000's of people there.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  nkrichards on Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:37 pm

Nice job in a tough situation!  It would have been easy to give up when you had trouble but you pushed through.  Great effort.

Congrats on the sub 4.  I think I remember reading in your blog that it was just a number but sometimes those numbers carry a special importance.  You should be proud of your sub 4 status!
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:04 pm

@Tim C wrote:
@Mike MacLellan wrote:That's a hell of a finishing kick, Tim.  Great job.

And you're making me jealous/nostalgic re: HB boardwalk.

Our 2nd 20 was the final day of the HB surfing championships.  We started early but our return run by the pier was fun as there were literally 1000's of people there.
Ha, that was a couple days before we left!  We almost went to watch, too.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  mountandog on Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:42 am

Nice Job!!
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  fostever on Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:25 pm

Fantastic accomplishment to hit your goal PR! Huge congrats! wish we could all figure out those cramps.
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Re: Santa Rosa Marathon

Post  KBFitz on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:02 am

Nicely done Tim. It's most sweet when all looks lost, but you keep your head in the game and pull out the finish you were seeking. Be proud of it ... there's more to come.
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