Palm Beaches Marathon 2011 Race Report

There is no short version!

Long:

Pre-Race;
This weekend and the next there's going to be a big FE with a lot of our forumites.  rpflash and bingo_jenn came over to WPB this weekend to do the half and full, respectively.  I will let them tell their own tales, as each one have an interesting story to tell.  But, here are some of the FE pics from yesterday at the Cheesecake Factory:





Be jealous, ladies, be very jealous.  The first thing I saw as I was going into the finishing chute was Rich, shirtless!

Revenge is at Hand:
Today, I ran the Palm Beaches Marathon.  This was my first marathon ever and last year, I walked the last 10 miles due to what I thought was a cold or some sort of flu.  Reading the RR from that race, sounds eerily familiar.  Here are some excerpts from it:


Mile 1 - Halfway through Mile 1 I noticed I was winded.  I'm not even running fast, I'm doing somewhere close to easy pace and I'm winded.  That's when I could tell this day was not a good day to run, least of all race.
Mile 2 - Still winded....
Mile 3 -5 - I'm winded but I'm giving it all I have.
Mile 6-8 - I start getting slower around here.
At this point, I am still winded and start thinking about quitting.

Sound familiar?  Yeap, I think it was asthma.

So, my real goal for this race was to conquer this course and do a huge course PR (I finished 5:52 last year).  I still do not know how my asthma will act up on a marathon, especially since I had an asthma attack during my last marathon a month ago (NYCM).  I have a new medication and I was going to go for a PR, just not sure which pace to go.

Asthma Update:
After NYCM, I went to the doctor and she performed another breathing test.  Breathing was at 62% for small bronchii and 81% on the rest.  She changed my medication and within 2 weeks I was at 84% for the small bronchii and 98% on the rest.  Pretty good numbers.  We also switched the timing of the medication to 30 minutes before my runs.  I ran for 10 days without an asthma attack...until today.

The week before I consulted with some of you and some other running friends and I decide to shoot for 4:30.  I would've reached that goal today, had it not being for my own stupidity (more of that below). 

Pre-Race FE:  I met the Marathon Maniacs for a picture and then with Rich and Jenn before the start:



Weather:  Oh, the running gods hate me.  70-77F forecast for the day (it was 79F when I finished) and 19mph winds (they were at 20mph and we could feel them).  At least the gods threw me only 60% humidity.  As if that would matter on a sunny day with no clouds and no shade on the course.

Still, I've been running in 80F here still, so I knew this was not going to be a huge factor, or as huge as the asthma or the wind.  So I thought the 4:30 was possible.

For all of you wondering whether I got an asthma attack, YES I DID.  At Mile 13.26!  However, this time I was smart enough to run/walk the next 1.5 mile until the inhaler worked through my lungs.  It was worth it, as I had no issues with the energy levels or the asthma attack after Mile 16.

Why Was I Stupid?

A.  Ran too Conservatively - How do you know you did not give it your all during the marathon?  BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT SORE!  I feel like I just went out for a nice LR and I have no soreness whatsoever.  I started at a good pace, but after the asthma attack, I decided to slow down.  I did not fade at all during the race; I just decided to slow it down to 10:40-11mm after the attack because I really did not want another one.

B.  The Foot - I am still having problems with my right foot, in that it bunches the sock under the ball of the foot; I think the foot is either smaller or bigger than the other and gives me issues.  I wore different shoes today (Brooks Racer ST5) and different socks (Swiftwicks) and I still had the issue.  The stupid part comes at Mile 21, where I sat down to fix the sock and I made such a knot on my shoe that I could not untie it for 7 minutes!  People passing by heard the F word 3 times, followed by: are you serious?  I guess I was trying to untie it in a hurry and I made a mess of the shoelace.  Oy!

C. Wore Too Much: I didn't know whether to wear only the sports bra or not, and I ended up deciding on this:



And YES, THAT IS A SPORTS BRA. The top is somewhere at Mile 20's trash can.  It was too sunny to wear a top, IMO.

D. Did not hydrate enough.  My 8oz water bottle was empty at Mile 10 (which should've been at Mile 5), but after that, I refilled it at every 3 miles.  I should've started refilling at Mile 3 and thereafter, and take it from there.  The last 14 miles I was drinking water and Gatorade like there was no tomorrow.

E.  Did not use the rescue inhaler before the marathon started.  I didn't think I needed since I used Symbicort 45 minutes before the race, but I guess I will always have to use it during the race in order not to have an asthma attack.

Anyway, back to the race.  The course was a little long (that is expected from a certified course), so I ended up running 26.45 miles!  Yikes.  Here are my splits:

Mile 1 - 10:20 (Apparently, there is an Occupy WPB, because I saw the tents at Mile 1, LOL)
Mile 2 - 10:24
Mile 3 - 10:18
Mile 4 - 10:46 (This was a straight mile and it clocked at 1.05 miles)
Mile 5 - 10:25
Mile 6 - 10:21
Mile 7 - 10:16
Mile 8 - 10:39 (stopped to fix shoe)
Mile 9 - 10:16
Mile 10 - 10:47 (stopped at water station to fill bottle)
Mile 11 - 10:06
Mile 12 - 10:33 (stopped to fix shoe)
Mile 13 - 11:03 (asthma attack started)
Mile 14 - 11:02 (used inhaler, walked/ran)
Mile 15 - 10:43 (walked/ran)
Mile 16 - 11:28 (stopped at water station to refill bottle, started mile run/walking and then felt better so I restarted running in full)
Mile 17 - 10:19

At this point, I hit every water station to drink water and fill the bottle with Gatorade every 2-3 miles.  It feels super hot at this point and there is no shade.

Mile 18 - 11:17
Mile 19 - 12:14 (refilled water bottle so I stopped in full)
Mile 20 - 11:20 (stopped at the end to take shirt off)
Mile 21 - 10:52 (debacle with shoe starts)
Mile 22 - 13:38 (debacle ends (finally))
Mile 23 - 9:46
Mile 24 - 11:24 (refilled water bottle so I stopped in full)
Mile 25 - 11:06
Mile 26 - 11:42 (stopped to fix the sock at the end)
0.20 - 2:58 (Fixing the sock).

As I head into the chute, I see Rich and Jenn and they take some pics of me.  I was so fast, that Jenn missed me:



And for all you girls, that's Rich taking a picture of me.  Shirtless!

Here is me as I head down to the finish line.  Even with the two items I'm wearing I'm thinking: Ay, caramba!  Qué calor!



I never hit the wall; in fact, I was the only one running at that point (ahead of me and behind me everybody was having death marches).

I am very happy with my performance.  I could've pushed and do better (in fact, had I not screwed up the shoelace that took me 7 minutes to untie, I would've come in at around 4:35 which is what I was hoping for.  So, I know I can definitely run sub-4:30.  But please, give me no wind next time...and cool weather would be nice!

Oh, and my official time?  4:46:06.  A PR, even though I took it easy.  No soreness is a plus!

Stay tuned for more FE as Chiqui74, rpflash, bingo_jenn, zircadia, and me do the RnR Miami Half Marathon next weekend.

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