September 23, 2008

Rochester Marathon race report

So on Friday September 12th, 2008, I had the stupidest idea I've had in a long time. I was talking with some friends via email and telling about how even though I had just completed Ironman Wisconsin on Sunday September 7th, I was feeling okay and my muscles were relatively recovered. So, seeing as how I didn't hit the time goals that I had wanted to and that I had all of this "extra fitness that I didn't want to lose", I decided I would keep my mouth shut and sneak an entry into the Rochester Marathon.

I've always kinda wanted to do the Rochester Marathon. It's a home town race and I'd be able to sleep in my own bed the night before (those of you that travel regularly to race understand this...) and I had run the majority of the course on training runs with my friend Brian along the canal paths. Easy I thought, I got this no problem.

Brian was also racing and I wanted to keep my entry a secret. I went down on lunch to the Armory to register and ended up handing my application to Pete VP (Phil's dad aka "Mr. 1 mile") and told him that I was trying to sneak in to break 3 hours in this race because I felt relatively fresh. Big mistake. First that I thought that I could break 3 hours, and SECOND for thinking that Pete could keep his trap shut, haha! :o) He did not, and word leaked out. No worries, I just still wanted to crush a race, I was in.

Winner's of the AG got a free pair of Brooks shoes. I've never won shoes before, so I was excited as I looked at results and noticed that Brian was really the only formitable opponent in the M25-29 AG that I KNEW was registered... (a little foreshadowing for those who know the end to this tale...) Well race day comes and in order to save gas a crew of us met at Brian's and we all drove over. I think it was me, Brian, Melissa, Brian's dad, and T$ all crammed into Brian's Accord. We got there, got the chips and headed to the start line. Rochester is not really a large city, but we DO have a GREAT running talent here. Seriously when you can throw down a 16 minute 5k and NOT win a race because there are 3 people in front of you, then you KNOW it's a running town. Crazy fast. So we all get to the line and it's a nice day, a little muggy, but nice.

Gun goes off after some words from the race director and the 600+ marathoners are away and running. I of course had to represent and wore my IMmoo finisher's hat and was yammering on like a schoolgirl to everyone that would listen about what I did last weekend. People must've been annoyed with me, hah!
Well we're off, Brian fell back after not being able to hang with our stupid jokes that I tell in the start of a race and I never saw him again. (he had a rough day too) I settled in with a nice pack of about 5-6 people with the likes of Matt Kellman (did IMLP this year and it was nice to finally meet him), Jill Skivington, and Darren (doing the Canandaigua 50 I think?) But we were away and chatting at a nice pace. It was quick, but there was a large GAP behind me and I really didn't want to run alone. So I held on at a little higher heart rate than I was used to.
We were blazing. We went thru the half marathon point in about 1:30 or so (maybe even under. the 13.1 was not marked) and the group had pulled away from me a bit. I was hurting and I knew if I kept that pace up, I was going to I toned it down some.
Mile 14 hit and I IMMEDIATELY regretted the decision that I had made to do this race. It was AWFUL. I was just physically spent. The fatigue that I THOUGHT had left my legs decided to creep back in and I started walking at points. Oh, and to make matters worse, it was hot out. Hot and muggy, hot as balls... I threw off my shirt at mile 5 (and it was DRENCHED at that point) it was disgusting.

I was starting to be in a world of pain and I was wondering why I was even out there on such a day. The only thing that kept me driving forward was I didn't want Brian to catch me (as I hadn't seen anyone pass me that was in my age group) I kept on looking over my shoulder but he never came by (turns out he wasn't dealing with the heat too well either) I was doing the whole "walk a little/run a little/lose hope/see friends and start running again/then walk when they were out of sight" thing. It was rough.
Mile 22 hit and I saw a buddy of mine on the U of R campus and he yelled out something like, "Travis! What are you doing?!?! You just did an IRONMAN?!?!" and that gave me motivation to start running again as I laughed to myself. The finishing stretch was fun and Ellen and Boots called me out en route to the tape. Here are a few shots in a sequence from the finish. Pardon the grossness, I was shirtless and still had my HRM on :-p

I ended up crossing the line in 3:28:XX and barely snuck under the 3:30 barrier. I was just excited to be done and to stop moving. I wanted that sub 3 time again, but given the heat (there was a head advisory out and temps hit about 90 that day) and the whole just-did-an-ironman-7-days-prior thing I was happy :o)

I ended up with 2nd in the AG (the first place kid was 4th overall) and 25th overall. Not my best time, but it was my best effort for that day as I was pleased. I'm done racing competitively for the year (I know, it's crazy) but I have to let the fire stoke for IMLP in July so I'm gonna let this one be a slow burn. Definitely my stupidest idea in a long time :o) But not bad for my 6th marathon (3 in IM's) -haha. (DISCLAIMER - don't try this at home!) But I survived and ate a HUGE pizza afterwards. It was delicious. But hey, I have a beer waiting for me, so I gotta run (not literally!) but take care, hope you enjoyed the report and I will be sure to get back here sometime soon to give you all an update on what's going on. Cheers folks. Rest and train hard.

1 comment:

Spokane Al said...

Any blog post that starts out with ". . . I had the stupidest idea I've had in a long time" has got me hooked.

I can't imagine running a marathon a week after an IM. Congratulations for toughing it out and placing in your age group.