Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 Chicago Marathon - 2:57:41 / 6:47

Net Time: 2:57:41 (PR)
Pace: 6:47
Rank: 590/36159
Age Grade: 70.3%

A week after racing the Grete's Gallop Half Marathon and despite the continuous pain on my right hamstring and tummy issues after mile 23, I was able to achieve my second sub 3 hour marathon of this year.  Affirmative...Chi-town was my 21st road marathon.  My buddy jon (2:58) and I decided to run together as much as possible and for the most part, it worked out fine.  We were able to tag along until mile 16 when I started to slow down.

I usually never state my goal time publicly unless asked.  Coming into this race, I wanted to shoot for another sub 3. I know I mentioned that I wanted to enjoy the rest of the year and start the game rolling in 2011 @ Houston, however, part of me still feel dubious if I could hit another sub 3 marathon.  Furthermore, I spoke to my pops over the phone before race day and he told me to gun for a sub 3 and have fun on the race.  Great pops...way to put pressure on me!  When I barely broke the barrier in Boston, never in my wildest dream was I gunning for it; I didn't realize that i had a chance till the last few miles.  This time around on 10-10-10, I knew what I was shooting for and had a plan in mind.

I know there's been a lot of banter with the weather, however it is out of our control...why complain?  Rather then get down on oneself and possibly using the weather as an excuse, you just got to roll with the punches and adjust the time goal according to how you feel (ie. It was mad hot in May for the Jersey Marathon and goals were adjusted).  Even at the plane ride I could hear the endless chatter about the weather; as a result I had nine inch nails on full blast...I know I'll be crucified or hated for saying this, but the more you think about the weather and have doubts, the worse it'll be mentally at race day since you've already psyched yourself out. each its is what it is.  The point is you put in the training, don't throw it all away with the negativity and forces that you can't control.  Sorry I digressed; but in all seriousness, I thought the conditions were perfect; no complaints.  Moreover, the summer was gross enough and our team still tackled the workouts, hence I guess most of us were fine - hence hydrate, hydrate, hydrate before the race.

After all the workouts and training with my team, my ideal plan was to hit the first half in 1:27/1:28 or try to hold the splits between 6:30-6:40s as much as possible.  Looking at the splits, I think I did just that...until mile 16.

The start of the race was a disaster.  The gear check for the seeded corral was far away from the start.  The bottleneck entrance to the seeded corral was chaotic.  Lastly, there weren't enough porto-potties at the start of the race.  But all these negatives withered away as I saw Mary W of NYRR!  What a pleasant surprise to see her in Chi-town.  She waved hi to me (probably noticing my orange singlet as a nyc team) and chatted with her for a bit and a few minutes later, the corrals have closed.

I met up with jon at the start and decided to run the race together; for as long as possible.  Once we started, the bottleneck was insane which is expected for a huge race.  Even with the bottlenecks turning into the sidestreets didn't cause any mental mayhem since it is still early in the game.  The first 5K was at a very relaxed pace and up in til mile 4.5 was when I started to feel constant shooting jolts on my right hamstring to lower glute.  I told myself to think about something else (beers, family, friends, music, work (i know!), deadlines etc) and not about the pain because the more I think about it, the more it is going to hurt.

While running through the beautiful city-view of chi-town and through the park, we were able to hit the halfway mark quite comfortably under 1:27, which was a tad fast from our goal.  After mile 16, jon branched off as I couldnt keep up with him.  I know I had to slow down quite a bit because the pain kept worsening.  At this point i knew I was in trouble as i told myself how long could I keep this pace up?  It was quite nerve racking as a random thought crossed my mind.  Basically I asked myself, "why the eff did i race a half marathon a week before when I should've rested?"  As much as I would like to have rested, I needed a good race before a marathon to have some confidence going into the race.  I guess it is all mental for me in addition, it was what I needed to test out the hamstring.  In the end, I need to plan my races better (already 20+ races with 5 marathons and an ultra).  I doubt my body could hold up to this if I continue racing week-in and week-out...cus' i aint getting any younger!

Even though some negative thoughts did linger my mind, I just thought about the most important person in my life going through numerous surgeries and chemo treatments.  I told myself if he is able to get through this, some pain on my hamstring should not stop me.  I used that as my mantra and just tackle one mile at a time.  I was so focused that the thought of Chinatown didn't cross my mind.  It was a blur and didnt realize it - shameful i know!!  Slowing down mile by mile until mile 23 (tummy issues have already started--- doh!) or 24 was when I caught up to Jon.  I knew we were both very close to sub 3-ing again and cheered him on.  By mile 25, I was elated because I knew I have nabbed nother sub 3 marathon in the bag.  Near mile 26 was an f-u bridge turning into the finish line and the next 1-2 minutes was a great moment.  The endless crowd cheers/support and knowing that I've PR'ed made it special

Most importantly I attribute the good run from my parents, friends and of course CPTC.  The teammates that I trained with has been unbelieveably supportive and really pushed me to the limits during the workouts.  Like I stated before, since training with CPTC, at this moment, I shouldn't be using the 3:10 qualifier as a benchmark or gauge on the performance.  I remembered back then after my 3rd or 4th marathon, my main goal was to BQ.  Now, I think a good gauge would be around the sub 3 vicinity; but I think consistency is most importantly - in which i need to work on!  Also good and bad races happen.  After running a 3:26 in jersey, I was able to pick it up in Chi-town. Hence, just keep moving forward.  Asides from all the work that was put forth, i think i was also very lucky on race day! Less than a month till NYC!

Mile 01: 7:00:45
Mile 02: 6:51:77
Mile 03: 6:47:22
Mile 04: 6:36:33
Mile 05: 6:34:25
Mile 06: 6:35:47
Mile 07: 6:26:45
Mile 08: 6:33:57
Mile 09: 6:30:43
Mile 10: 6:30:31
Mile 11: 6:28:12
Mile 12: 6:29:26
Mile 13: 6:34:27
Mile 14: 6:31:35
Mile 15: 6:33:87
Mile 16: 6:42:16
Mile 17: 6:47:29
Mile 18: 6:49:56
Mile 19: 6:53:54
Mile 20: 6:59:26
Mile 21: 6:58:34
Mile 22: 7:10:51
Mile 23: 7:12:64
Mile 24: 7:15:91
Mile 25: 7:06:75
Mile 26: 7:17:70
Mile .2:  1:24:41

2010 Chicago Pictures!



Blogger Billy said...

dayum man - great job!! heard it was brutal out there too...but given how fast u ran it, prob didn't affect you too much.

nicely done!

8:54 AM  
Blogger coach dion said...

Nice run saw your time in the results and was very pleased for you.

10:05 PM  
Blogger jbetanoff21 said...

It was a pleasure running with you for the most part of the race.
This time you got me by 31 seconds. Good job!
Please, let me beat you in NYC next month! Hopefully, we'll be able to see each other while running despite starting from a different corral.

Take care

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) said...

Nice job! Sub-3:00 on a warm day is quite the feat. Looks like you had lots of fun in Chi town :)

9:06 AM  
Blogger screaminzab said...

Great job! You were really hammering it through the half, too. Love the pictures too. It looks like you guys had a great time.

Had I known you were hot on my tail early on before completely smoking it, I would have speed up a bit to hang with you for a bit.

Not sure if I am in for Chi '11 yet. We'll see how things go the next couple months.

Very impressive time, especially considering the conditions.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Anoop H said...

u inspire ppl like me who dream to be as fit n focused!

12:59 PM  
Blogger DawnB said...

outstanding job Kevin!! congratulations. 2:57 wow, wow, wow!!!

1:32 PM  

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