Monday, April 23, 2012

April Marathons

Eisenhower Marathon

I ran the Eisenhower Marathon on Saturday, April 13 in Abilene. It was a hot and humid but not nearly as bad as 2011 when the temperature really sored. A mostly cloudy sky helped a lot to keep the intensity of the sun away. It was that kind of day in Kansas where you could just feel ‘it’ in the air – it was the same day when so many tornadoes broke out all over the state later in the afternoon/evening. Apparently one came right across the highway where the course was, but several hours after the conclusion of the marathon.

Before the start the Race Director gave the announcement that the storms weren’t supposed to come until later in the afternoon but if something did pop up to make your way to the nearest house and seek shelter. Then she said if no one was home find a way to get in their house and into the basement. Several hundred runners burst out laughing about the blanket permission from the RD for such an intrusion. But if a real tornado was coming we for sure would have done it.

This marathon was my first ever run with a GPS watch – my new Garmin. I found it really helpful for keeping the pace and meeting my goal, which was sub 3:45. I finished in the chip time of 3:44:48. My watch measured 26.7 and I don’t have any clue if that margin of error for the watch is normal for that distance.

This was the 3rd time I’ve run Eisenhower and I keep going back because it’s a nice race with great hospitality and feel.

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz

I ran the Garmin Marathon in Olathe on Saturday, April 21. I was the pacer for the 4:00 hour group. This was my 4th time as a marathon pacer and second time as a pacer for this race  (3rd time running running this race overall). Also, my first time to serve as a pacer with a GPS watch. I’m not sure if the watch made it easier or harder, I’m thinking harder. But I’m also convinced that the course was long by over a half-mile, either that or I need to leave the GPS at home next time.

I love this race and this course, especially the out and back section on the asphalt paved Indian Creek Trail. It’s shaded and scenic and a fun break from the concrete roads from the first 12 miles.

I was following my smart pace strategy really well except for the fact that I was following it perfectly on my watch and not on the course mile markers. So after 10 miles I had to speed up a bit to catch up with goal pace and unfortunately, this is where I lost several of my very large pack that I started with. But I still had a pack of a dozen or so until the last 10K when a few just could keep the pace and I finally finished with about 4 or so right by me, with a few going ahead and several just a bit behind me. If I would have had two of me I believe I could’ve pulled in about 6 more with the 4 hour goal.

My final finish chip time was 3:58:59 which averages to 9:08/mile.

This completed my 69th marathon/ultra-marathon. I am hoping to complete my 70th in May – hopefully the Lake Perry Rocks 50K.