Thursday, April 19, 2012

Martian 1/2 Marathon Recap

It's taken me a few days but I'm finally getting around to letting you all know how last Saturday's Martian 1/2 Marathon in Dearborn, MI went. It's been a busy week of...Okay fine that's bullshit, it hasn't been that busy but I haven't had a plethora of free time either. So without further ado, let's talk racing!

I took a half day on Friday, which was welcomed with open arms, and frankly I wish I could take half day every Friday but apparently that is frowned upon. I asked. They lauged. I rode over with three other guys, two running the half and one running his first full marathon. We hit up the expo, which was small as expected, but not horrible considering the size of the race. Dinner Friday night was pizza at Buddy's pizza. It's pretty good pizza, nothing mind blowing, but I'd recommend checking it out if you're in the area.

Another friend met us over there after he got out of work, making five of us. Dan, Don, Andrew and I were running the half and Mike was running his first full. Race morning came and the marathon started an hour and a half before the 1/2. Mike was shooting for an ambitious, though totally possible sub 3:10 marathon. I made sure to express my thoughts about not pushing too hard for the first half so that maybe he could benefit from my failures. If everything went okay he would be finishing right behind me due to the staggered start so that would be cool.

I had a delicious belgian waffle with peanut butter and syrup from the hotel continental breakfast about an hour and  half before the race. I'm trying to figure out what works best to eat, and when, before races. Jonathon and Brett met us at the hotel before heading to the race, both also running the half. Jon, Andrew and I jogged a mile to warm up before finding bushes to water while waiting for the race to start. They were both looking to hit 1:17, I was shooting for anything under 1:30 which I failed to do last year. Seceretly though I felt like I could hit a 1:25, so that goal was in the back of my mind too.

I was rocking my new blue Kinvaras for the race and I've come to notice that the laces seem a little shorter than my last pair. Maybe they just need to stretch a little? Anyway I went to re-tie one of my shoes right before the race but the slightly short lace meant I couldn't double not it like I usually do so I just went normal style as I was tying it though everyone started moving forward toward the line and I hurried. This hurry meant that I would have to tie it again before the first mile mark. After that though there were no more wardrobe malfunctions. Thankfully.

I took it somewhat conservatively and comfortably for the first half. The course was and out and back, relatively flat, but with few rolling hills.I was trying to be around 6:35's for my first few miles and hit them pretty well. As I was getting closer to the turn around point the leaders were on their way back, a couple of minutes ahead of me. My buddy Andrew was leading the way with about four guys on his tail and Jonathon was a couple hundred yards back from them. It was good seeing my friends out front like that! Gave me a nice little boost. As I rounded the halfway marker I could tell I would be running into the wind so I flipped my hat around backwards so as to not catch the wind. Game face on!

I started picking up my pace a little and picking off some people as well. Some shirtless dude drew even with me and wanted to pass, but I wasn't about to let that happen. I don't know about you guys but when I'm in a race I make up some reason of why I shouldn't let someone beat me, as a motivational tool to keep trucking along. Unfortunately for shirtless wonder guy, his lack of a singlet became the easiest reason for me to not let him past without a fight.
Other things I pick out to give me reason to pass people include but are not limited to:
  • Wearing the shirt for the race we are currently running
  • Wearing shoes that are not designed for running
  • Vibram five fingers (I don't know why but I dislike them, no particular reason)
  • Looking like you might be in my age group
  • being too tall
  • Blonde
  • Brunette
  • Ginger
  • Guy
  • Girl
  • You're in front of me
  • What ever reason pops into mind first
Don't take it personally but if we're in the same race and you're either in front of me or trying to pass me, I'm probably saying vial things about you in my head. It's not you. It's me. And I want to beat you haha. (and yes during the moment I will think this about ANYONE just as motivation, I don't actually feel that way about you. Well...maybe you....j/k.

So around mile 9 the song Through the fire and flames by Dragon Force came on my iPod which if you don't know it is a 9 minute song with a quick tempo that I love to hear near the end of races to help spur me along a quicker pace. I didn't want to have to try and find this song again so I actually kept hitting repeat the last four miles and listened to one song for almost half an hour haha. It worked though! my last three splits were my fastest! I even dropped below 6 minutes for my last mile! boom!

I passed a couple guys in the last stretch which always makes me happy! I finished 23rd overall with a kick ass new PR by 8 MINUTES!!! 1:24:32!!! I was so incredibly excited! To add to my own celebration, Andrew held off the others and took the overall win and Jonathon finished 4th! All of my other friends running the half had new PR's except one, but he was sick so we'll let it slide.

Mike popped his marathon cherry with an impressive 3:11 and some change. He wasn't happy at first that he missed his goal but we all reminded him that it is a killer time for a debut race, especially for a 43 year old in his first year running. He'll break that time many times over I'm sure of it.

So all in all the race was a success! Everything (other than the shoe lace) went right, which doesn't happen often and I am glad I decided to sign up for it. This weekend I'm changing gears a little bit and trying out a 5k at a memorial run for a Police Officer that was killed in the line of duty a year ago. I'll have a new recap on that for you hopefully this weekend.

Hopefully you all are having a wonderful week! Good luck to anyone racing!

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