Monday, October 4, 2010

One Final Journey

In case you didn't know this, the Lewis and Clark Marathon in St. Charles, MO will next year become part of the Rock and Roll Marathon Series. The birth of Rock and Roll St. Louis thus makes the Ninth Edition of the L&C Marathon the final running.... hence the name, ONE FINAL JOURNEY.
I can't start to tell you how well this trip went. Every aspect. We went up Saturday, did our packet pick up and proceeded to go shopping (Dick's Sporting Goods, NIKE Factory Outlet) before finally checking into our hotel later that afternoon. We stayed at a Studio Plus at the Earth City exit approximately two miles from the start line. After checking in and catching a quick nap, we got out and shopped a little more (Sam's Club) before grabbing a Tex Mex supper at Chevy's.
Sunday morning, after a quick order of toast and coffee at Denny's, we headed to the start line arriving at around 6:00 a.m. It was a nice, clear, cool morning. Around 39 degrees or so at start time. The traffic was pretty hectic but no real problem. We had plenty of time to do the bag drop and hit a porta-potty before finding our place in line.
Next up comes the event itself: I'll keep it simple and go straight to the splits and numbers.
Mile 1: 9:02
Mile 2: 9:47
Mile 3: 9:11
Mile 4: 9:46
Mile 5: 9:26
Mile 6: 9:11
Mile 7: 9:50
Mile 8: 9:26
Mile 9: 9:18
Mile 10 9:13
Mile 11 9:07
Mile 12 8:53
Mile 13 8:50
.1 :54
Final Time: 2:02:00
Overall Finish #1779 of 5973 Runners
Age Group Finish #130 of 303 Runners Aged 45-49 Years
I'll be honest. I couldn't be happier with my effort. I looked at my clock at the ten mile mark and was like ok, run a 25 minute 5-K and dude, you've got a 2:00 half-marathon. This was nowhere in my thought process. It was at no point a consideration or goal. I didn't think my fitness level was anywhere near putting me ready for this effort. Again, I was very pleased.
All the little things during the race went pretty well. It took 3 or 4 miles to get the pace adjusted as you can kind of tell at the start. It was a little chilly but I got comfortable pretty quickly. I actually changed from two shirts to one shirt during the early stages of mile six. Energy was never a problem. I popped a GU a few minutes before starting and then 2 or 3 more during the race. I hydrated at each stop choosing Gatorade or Energy Drink at each station it was provided.
Looking at my splits, check out from Mile 7 on---9:50, 9:26, 9:18, 9:13, 9:07, 8:53, 8:50. Check that out baby! Faster each mile with my last two miles being my fastest. I was surprised by how much energy I had at the end. The familiarity of the finish area really helped. I had done a 5 mile run that started and finished in this area back in August. It really helped to know the area.
One of my former students was running the half also. We started out together but she had been ahead of me from about mile 5 on after I slowed to change shirts. I caught up with her with about two miles to go and tried to pull her along a little. She was laboring somewhat but form wise, honestly looked really good. She went on to finish around 17 seconds behind me. Very good in both the overall and her age group. Great job Tara!!
After grabbing my bag and exchanging my shirt for a better fitting size, I boarded one of the school buses (shuttles) and headed back to the start line where my wife was waiting. I showered at the hotel and we hit Jimmy Johns for a sandwich that actually had meat on it! WOW! What a treat!
This event was overall just a great success. My last Half was at the Country Music in Nashville in 2009. I ran a very painful 2:27:20. It was horrible. I had a really bad day. My training had been ok but I had lower leg problems and just crashed. It was bad. I still have no explanation for what went wrong. That event made this one really stressful. I really wanted to prove to MYSELF that I could get back to my old form and old times.

I am already registered for the Mid-South Half Marathon in Wynne, Arkansas on November 6, 2010. It is a great little event that I did a few years back. Instead of 7000 people, it might end up hosting maybe 400 total between the half and the full marathon. I already booked the hotel. Of the 3 or so hotels in Wynne, I booked the Nationwide 9. Its a nice little hotel snuggled carefully in between the Wal-Mart and the Chinese Restaurant.

I feel kind of beat up but hope to get out tomorrow or Wednesday for a little leg loosener. I would like another five pounds off before Wynne. I woke up this last Saturday and weighed in at a cool 185 before leaving for St. Louis. I couldn't have asked for better. I also want to pretty much continue my training with few changes. I do want some mile repeats and some 800's to improve my foot turnover and maybe shoot my time down a little.
In general, I just want to continue my journey back toward consistency and possibly a spring marathon attempt. I was considering the half in Memphis in December, but it it full so I am open for suggestions for a good December event.
Thanks for all your support. I've had several comments and even a few emails from various individuals. I know other people had events this weekend and I look forward to softball finishing up so I have time to sit down and read and get caught up with your activities.
Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.


  1. Sounds like a great time all around! Congrats!

  2. Congrats on the finish! Any time they put a medal around your neck it is a good race.

    I'm impressed that you could do the 5K math in your head like you did. I am usually too dilutional to be able to put that together! :)