Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hartford Marathon

Time: 3:51:48
Overall: 672 out of 2287
Age Group: 78 out of 210

Running a lot more marathons has forced me to change my mindset of what I consider a successful race. I have finally accepted that fact that I’m not going to set a PR in every marathon and by not setting a PR I shouldn’t be disappointed in the results.

Going into Saturdays Hartford Marathon I knew that the temperature was going to be too high for me to run a 3:30. As the race started I had 2 choices. The first was to run conservatively and settle for a time no better than a 3:40. The second option was to run at a 3:30 pace as long as I could and maybe be able to keep that up for the entire race.

Being a stubborn person I decided to go for it. As you can see from my time that choice didn’t work out too well.

The temperature at race start was overcast 60 and humid. My first few miles went well but by mile 5 I knew that I wasn’t going to keep that pace for the whole race. I was running with the pace group so I decided to just stick it out as long as I could. By 9.5 miles I was struggling to keep the pace and decided to pull back a little. I still kept the pace group in sight for the next few miles and even managed to pass the half way point under a 3:30 pace (pace group must have been running too fast).

Somewhere around 14 or 15 I started to really slow down the pace in an attempt to avoid a total crash and burn. My goal now was to just run the rest of the way. The hills seemed nonstop after the 20 mile mark or right about the time that I had nothing left. I still managed to keep running (at a very slow pace) until mile 23 when I started walking up the hills.

The crowds picked up near the park (and finish line) and I managed something closer to running at the end.

Even though I consider 3:51 a bad time, I’m not disappointed in my effort. I took a chance and it didn’t work out. If I ran slower early on then I may have finished in 3:40 but who knows.

Every race is different. Hartford had a lot more hills than most and you never know what the weather will be when you register. Speaking or weather I have the worst luck. Not only do I usually run in unseasonably warm temps but a day or two after the race is usually perfect running weather. Saturday was an unseasonably warm 60 at 8am, this is bad luck. Sunday morning it was 32, this is something way beyond bad luck. I don't expect ideal weather in WPB so I'll have to hope for cooler temps (i.e 40's) at Disney.

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