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Race Result

Racer: Reid Kiser
Race: Marine Corps Marathon
Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007
Location: Arlington, VA
Race Type: Run - Marathon
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 3:37:54
Overall Place: 1874 / 20667
Age Group Place: 300 / 2266
Comment: Best race conditions in my 4 years of MCM

Race Report:

Iíll save all the data and preparation that went into this, but based on various Jack Daniels calculators I was estimated to do a 3:21-3:28 and my goal was to break 3:30 and to be happy walking home with a 3:3X time. I PRíd by 12 minutes with at 3:37:54, it was nice to get this distance semi-figured out this time around. I am ecstatic that I have shaved off a full hour from my first marathon three years ago (granted I ran with an ITB issue with no running in the month leading up to that race).

There are several people I want to thank. My training partners (Dave, Kevin, Shawn) of the summer have really pushed me to be better runner even though I intentionally chose to back off of running in 2007 to focus on swimming and cycling. I canít thank Scott Baldwin enough for teaching me so much about focused running and speed work. My message therapist, Dawn Michel, helped to reduce the pain and speed the recoveries of an abbreviated (2 month) focused training period for this race. For that I owe her and will help pace her at the JFK 50 (just the last 12 miles). Very special thanks always goes out to Mary Beth in dealing with having to hear about triathlons constantly in my social life. My friend Ross is always an inspiration and we have great times joking my training, nutrition and hydration planning. Finally, the RATS have been a great addition to my life this year. Youíve all been a great supporters and people to learn from and aspire to be, thanks!

Now, letís see if I can keep this short (Answer: Nope). Iíll skip the pre-race and first half as a compromise, since the goal was just go out average 8 min miles to Haines Point and see if I could turn it up a notch. It was fun carpooling in with the Ortons and Fabrice as it really helped to relax and share each otherís thoughts on what was ahead of us all.

Knowing that I had to PR, unless sidelined, I was completely determined to push the edge of the envelope, I took several risks that one is not supposed to do in racing. I have battled through severe cramping over the last two years with long distance races, and was committed to not letting this happen. I have the aerobic base and know that the difference would be nutrition, hydration and electrolytes. The two biggest risks I took were taking an Ensure with breakfast and wearing compression socks and shorts. Ross had an extra pair of nice and bright white Zensah socks, so I tried them on Friday night to see how they felt with my chronically sore left calf. I had been wrapping them with Ace bandages at night to help, but the socks felt really great. I went for a 2 mile run on Saturday to see if I should take the risk. I did, people asked about them during the race (the ďstyleĒ factor would come up, but that guy asked if he could borrow them at mile 18), and besides seeing Karen and Mike Tine at Mile 23 and getting an extra boost of energy I made it through my typical cramp wall without a single cramp. The risk worked out for me this time.

Was it completely the socks and shorts? No, there were 20-25 Endurolytes taken along the way plus my conditioning is much higher this year. I have also learned to mentally recognize a cramp coming and let it go mentally (not always 100% success rate). My second risk, was adding some nutrition on to my typical breakfast. I had a bottle of Ensure with my bowl of cereal and coffee. I took 5 Hammer gels along the course as well. This was my best nutrition execution to date (I planned on 6 gels and between 15-30 capsules, powerade every other aid station). I never bonked and felt a very steady energy level the whole way through. The wind coming back up Haines Point and out of Crystal City were extremely tough to deal with mentally, as my paces went from low 8/high 7ís to high 8ís. It was a little frustrating, but part of the race course.

Secretly, my goal was to run a hard final 10 miles through Haines Point and through the final 10k. I executed my race plan perfectly by conserving in the first 10 miles and felt even keeled the whole race (never walked). Coming into the wind was no fun, but today I feel I did push harder as planned. No regrets and my HR monitor showed this to be the case.

I spent almost 2.5 hours of the day in Zn4. The last 10k was definitely at the top of the zone the entire way and thatís all I could do. I was pushing hard and I had to except whatever the splits were. I picked up Mary Beth at Mile 24 and she ran with me for the final miles before the crowds and it was a joy to run with her through the darkest minutes of the race. I was extremely focused and blocked out the crowds with the bill of my hat as they tend to create spikes in adrenaline. My mantra was to run within what I could see in the narrow vision in the rolled up bill of my cap and it would be over in minutes. It was way too tough at mile 25 running past the finish back to Rosslyn and having to return, but I kept my tunnel vision to ignore the terrain and the distance remaining. I knew I was getting close to falling out of that 3:3X goal and stopping at this point would not be good. I made the final turn up to the finish and must have closed my eyes or blacked out as I have no visual memory of finishing except for getting my space blanket. I had made it to the finish and that was all I have been wanting for the last two months. Just get this over with.

This is the first year I havenít run with the Garmin during MCM showing instantaneously feedback on my pace. I tried to run this completely by feel and only use a watch for splits and at the last minute opted to track heart rate given the hills early on. Mentally, it was better to only know I was slowing at the mile markers in the last 5k versus during them.

The best part of the marathon is finishing and every time someone asked if I was ready for this race, my reply was ďI am ready for it to be over.Ē The training, the planning, the goals were all in the bag; it was just execute and achieve. Will I run another marathon? Yes, still have to break 3:30 and then 3:15 to go to Boston. Realistic? Maybe the former, but weíll hope and train for the latter.


Ps Ė the best part of the day was meeting up at Four Courts and catching up with everyone. It took at least three Guinness to settle my stomach, I finally ordered Mikeís recommendation of Guinness stew to complement the beer and start the recovery. I seem to recall Mary Beth and Karen committing to running the MCM next year as we sit on the sidelines and support them.