Mardi Gras Marathon 2009
We drove in Saturday afternoon. Ate some chicken cacciatore for dinner at The Italian Pie Saturday night. Pinned my 4 Gu’s and race number to my shorts, had one beer and went to bed. I actually slept pretty well. Sunday morning woke up at 4:30 to eat a bagel with cream cheese and drink some coffee. We walked to the Superdome around 6am. Temp at start was ~47F. The Friday before the race I finally settled on a goal of 7:20-7:25s to start with and then evaluate as the race went on. Here’s how it went:
Mile 1-2 The French Quarter: 7:15, 7:14
Tried to take it out easy but was a little fast, after mi 2 I had to make myself slow just a tad, hard to let people pass you when you feel that fresh though.
Mile 3-6 St Charles Ave: 7:20, 7:26, 7:17, 7:24
Still feeling good, realizing that this is going to be my pace (that the 715s were definitely a little too fast). At mile 5 some guy on the sideline tells us “ya’ll got a looooong way to go”. Thanks for the reminder. Took my 1st Gu at mile 6.
Mile 7-11 Audubon Park/St Charles Ave: 7:21, 7:27, 7:24, 7:27, 7:25
Someone yells my name around mi 8 but I have no idea who it was… Switching between the road and the trolley tracks while along St Charles to take the pressure off of my IT band (which I forgot to stretch before the race). Beautiful stretch through here but I didn’t get to see much of it as I was trying to focus on the road and my pace and the fact that I was starting to have to pee.
Mile 12-16 Half Way: 7:33, 14:30, 7:24, 7:22
2nd Gu at mile 12, which was my 1st 7:30+ mile. Tried to get back on track and (combined with the energetic crowd at the halfway point) ran miles 13 and 14 at 7:15 pace. Half way 1:36:24, stopped to give Kelly and the baby a quick kiss. At this point I’m thinking I can keep this pace for the 2nd half but I’m also wondering what is going to happen when I hit miles 18-22 (where the wheels fell off in Houston 07). Miles 14 and 15 were through the HOOD, wow. 3rd Gu at 16. Had to pee pretty bad through this stretch and actually tried to pee myself several times but was unable to. Wasn’t so bad I had to stop though and I told myself I wouldn’t stop unless it was an emergency. My tummy wasn’t feeling too hot either.
Mile 17-21 City Park: 7:27, 7:33, 7:27, 7:36, 7:37
Lots of seven thirtysomethings through here. Hmmm, the beginning of end? That’s what I was briefly wondering as we ran around City park. Got passed by a couple of people (one of them a girl, I know, its chauvinist to let that bother me, but it is what it is:) Took my last Gu at mile 21. I decided that it was time to start feeling like crap to try to keep my pace up. Since early in the race I’d been running on perceived exertion and now it was time (actually it was probably a couple miles late) to let PE creep up from the 5/6 I’d been running to a 10 at the finish line….. It worked! I started to reel in the rabbits that just passed me.
Mile 22-24 Heading back to the Dome: 7:28, 7:23, 7:24
I was able to get my pace back on track, though my legs, at mile 23, began to feel like jelly. This stretch hurt, I wasn’t close enough to the end to start my kick but I was able to kick it up to a tempo feeling effort. I started slowly passing folks through this stretch (including the peeps that passed me in the park!). My ever changing plan was to make it through 22 (and then 23, and then 24) and, if I had anything left, start my kick.
Mile 25-26.2 The Dome/The Hammer: 7:08, 7:04, 1:20
Everything I had left. Mile 25 water station was the 1st I passed up without drinking. Seven months of training and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to run another one of these for a couple of years helped me drop the hammer…. Perceived exertion 10! Passing a BUNCH of people, feeling terrible/awesome! Sprint finish in 3:13:19 for a basically even split, something I never would have thought possible. Quads hurt a bit and it’s a matter of time before my right middle toenail (which is black) falls off, otherwise I felt fine after the race.
Ate some beans and rice and headed back to the apartment for a shower before heading back.