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Race Result

Racer: Charles Barnes
Race: National Marathon
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Race Type: Run - Marathon
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: 3:25:17
Overall Place: 243 / 2094
Age Group Place: 31 / 208
Comment: New PR, but not quite as fast as hoped

Race Report:

It’s strange to do really well over all, set a new PR (by 32min!), yet still be a little disappointed. Well, there I am. My goal time was 3:15 (7:26pace) which I thought a tough, but realistic challenge. It has been 10yrs since I ran my first and only other marathon, so I had no idea of what I could/should aim for. To set my goal, I used the McMillan race calculator and did several of his marathon race time predictor workouts. All pointed towards 3:15. I was tapered, rested, and ready.

The race started well. I introduced myself to the 3:15 pace team. I would be running with them today. Off we went. I stayed right with the pacers all the way through 13.1mi marker. They were erratic at first. They lost 2 minutes of the scheduled time in the first mile and decided to correct it in the 2nd - 4th. (We did mile 3 at a 6:50min/mi pace.) Still I felt fine. We hit the 10k and 13.1mi markers right on schedule.

At the 13.1mi marker there was a water stop. I stopped and drank like I had at every other stop. This time, I couldn't close the very small gap that stopping caused. I paced them for 3-4 miles, but just couldn't close the gap. Slowly the gap increased until they were out of sight. Around mile 20, with my thighs starting to burn, I saw them for the last time on a switchback. They were about 1-2min ahead. Not bad, if I can hold it.

By mile 22, my upper thighs were aflame. My pace slowed to around 8:15min/mi and people steadily trickled by me. I kept marking people to pace then losing them. Around mile 24 the 3:20 pacers passed me. There went Boston. I was having trouble turning over my legs now. I stopped and walked a few steps but continued. I was down to an 8:30 pace. Then, I saw Adrian Fenty just behind me in a switchback. Must beat the Mayor! I started to push to stop the movement backwards. He caught me at mile marker 25. I pulled ahead again, just to get away from his annoying coach -- "Come on A, give me just a little more..." “You’re doing great A.” Aaarrgh! For the record, he looked worse than I felt. I don't slobber when I run. Still, he sprinted past me in the last 50yds and cross just ahead of me. I saw 3:25 on the clock. With chip time, I actually beat him by 17 seconds. Ha! I missed my goal, but still, not bad at all.

Throughout the race, I drank, ate my GU, and Endurolytes normally. Unlike in training runs, my thighs really tightened up. My heart, lungs, and energy level felt good throughout. I assume I was just a little undertrained for the distance/intensity. No matter, I'm quite proud of my result.

I've been walking like a duck since the race. Sometimes, I wonder why I do this to myself. Oh well, I see of you at the next race... Cherry Blossom 10 then Kinetic HIM.