Sunday, March 27, 2011

2011 National Marathon - 2:59:54 / 6:52

Net Time: 2:59:54
Pace: 6:52
Rank: 68/2879
AG: 69.4%

*thanks to!*

I registered for this race a while back because after last year's experience I thought it was well organized and had a great time along the course. Moreover, I couldn't resist racing another marathon due to the fact that I scored the $2 round/trip bolt bus ticket to DC! The Suntrust National Marathon in DC was my 25th Marathon and 4th fastest. Although I was cutting very close, it was also my 4th sub 3 hour marathon literally by 4 seconds!

It was a chilly one at the start of the race and knowing myself, nerves are always a factor. This time it was tough to overcome them. Again, the races from January through mid March were mostly disappointments where my training was inconsistent with the race results. In addition, the Houston Marathon experience really dropped an axe to my confidence.

Luckily, a PR at the NYC Half did spark some excitement in racing. Coming into the race with a PR was a double edged sword. I came into the race with some confidence as well as expectations for the race. However, in the back of my mind what if I wasn't able to run a good race or maybe it was too much too soon doing a back to back half and full? Basically, I tossed all those lingering thoughts out the water since I've done the half/full combo last year (Norway Half + Chicago Marathon in 2010) and kept reiterating to myself that the worst it could happen is still get a "long run" in and gauge my fitness before Boston.

Throughout the race I felt great, but it was after mile 3 when all my "goals" dissipated. I knew I wanted to run a sub 3:05 and after the NYC Half or on a good day, nab another sub 3. Overall, I just wanted to race better than my Houston result. The problem with this year's race was the fact that most of the mile markers couldn't be found (miles 4-11) or misplaced (2 25 mile markers?). This threw me a curve-ball and I couldn't believe how this was changed from last year where it was accurate and extremely well marked. Ultimately, it was tough to gauge on my pace (without a garmin since I don't own one) and I had NO clue whether I had a chance to sub 3 within 1 minute at the end of the race. Throughout the race, I had to run depending on feel and even some of my splits were not accurate because I know I did not hit 6:40s on mile 23-24! Maybe years ago racers didn't even have mile markers and etc, however, that was then and this is now and with the fees that were charged and modern conveniences given, placing correct mile markers is not too much to ask for. In conclusion no more DC 2012 for me.

Overall, I'm ecstatic with this race result. The past two weeks has been a good one for racing and I hope to build up this momentum through the course of 2011. After Houston, I know I'm going to savor this result and not take it for granted. In addition, just as important as savoring the good results is also owning the bad race experience. After Houston (sorry to digress) I learned to never eat Mexican before the race!

The thought of cutting down the wire on the last 50 meters to run under sub 3 hours still lingers my mind. Upon the finish line I don't know what became of me, but I was literally weak on my knees and almost face-planted if it weren't for a race official catching me at the end. I have to thank her for that!

I know I haven't been completely honest with giving my body some rest but I just couldn't resist of racing another marathon or other races. For me, I doubt I could go from racing 35 races to 10 in a year. Slowly but surely I will decrease the amount of racing in my plate, but drastic changes won't work for me. Anyway, after Boston, I intend to decrease my marathons and focus more on my weak points such as the 5-10K races.

Mile 01: 6:37:53
Mile 2-3: 12:48:56
Mile 4-11: 53:00:33
Mile 12: 6:54:73
Mile 13: 6:59:51
Mile 14-15: 13:34:08
Mile 16: 6:56:23
Mile 17: 6:30:31
Mile 18: 7:20:46
Mile 19: 7:06:55
Mile 20: 7:11:25
Mile 21-22: 14:21:94
Mile 23: 6:43:80
Mile 24: 6:40:26
Mile 25: 7:17:24
Mile 25: 1:18:08
Mile 26.2: 8:35:90


Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Nice work on the 4th sub-3. My fourth one was barely under the wire too -- a 2:59:47. Maybe it's a trend... Ha!

Anyway, I think your plan to race less will help you out. I learned that one the hard way last summer.

3:59 PM  
Blogger coach dion said...

Nice run, I also run to many races, but i don't always race them, it is often a good idea just to line up with a friend and have a ball.
I also know what you mean about mile markers as before I got a garmin I would also get pissed off if the marker were out...

2:07 AM  

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