Distance Totals

Monday, September 12, 2011

Skagit Flats Marathon: 3:15:14...close but no BQ-5 cigar !

The decision
Last February I was training for the Napa Valley Marathon in hope of qualifying for the Boston Marathon when the BAA threw me a curve ball by announcing the new registration procedures. Basically if you did not have a qualifying time lower than 5 minutes, your hopes of registering would be slim. I qualified at Napa Valley, with a time of 3:18:52 (race report), but with a little bit more than one minute of cushion, this meant that my hopes of registering for 2012 would have be to be revised. So I decided to sign up for a marathon that would take place the week-end before the registration week, on 9/11. I chose Skagit Flats in Washington Sate, because the course is flat, the weather usually good, and staying on the left coast meant less travel and no jet lag.

The training
I trained throughout the summer using a training plan from McMillan and averaged about 60mpw. Most of my weeks were above 60 miles, with one down week at 43 when I was vacationing in Hawaii. The cycle did not go smoothly initially. I dragged a minor foot injury throughout the training cycle. This problem started in June after a race and an interval workout using Saucony Kinvaras, and the issue progressively moved from the foot to the right ankle. It did not prevent my training, but I felt limited on some of the runs because of this. This issue was somehow offset by the great weather we had during the summer, with temps usually in the upper 50s and low 60s in contrast to most of the country. During August, I started to feel the benefit of the training. My tempo pace dropped by 5-10s, and I had a great steady-state workout late August when I ran a 14 miler with 9 miles at steady state closed to 7:05. My fast finish long runs averaged about 7:24-7:25 min/mi, which meant that this was the pace that I would shoot for.

I flew to Seattle on Friday, and drove to Burlington 80 miles north. The weather for the race was not optimal - high temps around 80s, but these usually do not come until the afternoon, so high 60's-low 70's would be expected during the race. I checked in on Friday night at the hotel, and stocked up on banana and gatorade. The next morning I drove the course to get a feeling of it, and to also run 20 minutes on it, so that I have a better idea of what to expect for the temperatures. The course was nice, bucolic and rural and completely flat. Not much spectators to expect, but that's OK. However it would likely be a warm day as there was no shade on the course, since the race was run on country roads in open fields. 

In the afternoon I went to packet pick-up, and talked to Terry Sentinella the race director. Great guy, who just ran Badwater this year. On the parking lot, I spotted some marathon maniacs car - including this one, who apparently belonged to Bob Dolphin, an 80+ year old man who keeps on running marathons ! After packet pick-up, I spent the afternoon at the hotel trying to get as much rest as possible. 
No doubt, I am in Maniacs country...
 I woke up around 5am, drank one last carboforce bottle and ate a muffin, showered, checked out of the hotel and headed to the high school for the start of the race. I hung around school, used the facilities in the locker room and took a picture in front of the school bell. 

For this race I decided to wear a USA singlet as a modest tribute to the victims of 9/11. 
45 minutes before the start, at the high school bell...
 Near the start, I met Stevie Ray Lopez and Luv Pre from the forum, it was nice to talk just before the start. I dumped my sweater 5 minutes before the start, and at 8am sharp we were up and running.
The race
The first few miles went well. However after mile 3 I started to have issues sustaining my goal pace of 7:25. It was an out and back course, and once the course reached open fields, I faced a significant head wind on the roads going west. I felt I had to work harder to maintain 7:27-7:28 than what I used to do in training because of the 5-10 mph headwind. The HR data showed that since I averaged ~ 167 for the early miles, and in training I would hit these paces at 160-164. So I definitely had to put more work than expected on the first half... but I kept thinking that things would be easier on the way back because of the tail wind. A few pictures of the course are posted here, which were taken the day before when I drove the course, but the weather conditions were identical.

Mile ~2/24 (Pulver Road)

Mile ~2.5/23.5 ?
 Past mile 6 we lost the half marathoners who turned around, and the crowd got definitely more spread out. Around mile 6 I saw Betsy (EatDrinkRunWoman), who was directing traffic, but she did not see me. 

Near Mile 9/17 (D'Arcy Road)
At about mile 11 I saw Bob Dolphin, 80+ years old who, having started at 5am was on his way back and was running marathon #400+ ! Inspirational...I ended up passing him around mile 15, encouraging him when I passed him.  

Mile 13 was the turnaround, and at that point I benefited from the tailwind. Unfortunately, I could now feel the heat, as I was no longer cooled by the head wind and the temperatures were ~ 70+ with no trees, no shade, and no cloud cover whatsoever.  

At the turnaround, mile 13

I saw SRL and Luv Pre on my way back, they were probably 5-7 minutes behind me at that point - I appreciated the shout-out from Stevie, especially since he can pronounce my name correctly ! 
I was able to pick up the pace a little bit but I felt that if I pushed too hard, I might have bonked or cramped. Whenever I slowed down at the aid stations, I could feel my hamstring tightening up, which told me that I was close to the limit. After mile 14-16 I started to pass many runners - probably 15-20 and did not get passed by anyone. I saw several of them death marching, probably because they started too fast or succumbed to the heat. I dumped water over my head at every water station, which I think helped cool me down. 

Miles 18-21 were around farms, and I got some companions around there, a few flies that kept flying around me probably smelling the GU and wanting some....Around mile 20 I saw EDRW again, and her significant other Weegee, who ran a few seconds with me and got me sprayed with mist and refreshed. They gave me a mental boost by encouraging me.

At Mile 21, feeling good but not great
I was planning to try and run harder after mile 22, but I felt that I was already to close to max effort by that time and got scared to blow up with the heat or cramp up. I picked up the pace significantly in miles 25-26 (7:11, 7:07) but at that point it was too late to regain the time lost in the first half because of the head wind. Interestingly I felt limited during the last 2 miles not by the legs but by the breathing, which became harder and harder, almost to the point of a side stitch, and I felt out of breath when trying to accelerate in the last 1.2 miles. 

I saw the clock in the last 0.1 mile, entering the stadium and realized I couldn't beat 3:15 by then. I still ran as fast as possible on the track, trying to get as much time on the clock as possible, despite knowing that 3:15 was out of reach:

At the finish, trying to garner as much time as possible...

One thing that got me during the race is that my Garmin measured short, and I estimated my time based on the Garmin splits, so by the time I figured I was off-pace it was too late. I am not sure I could have run much faster anyway...

I still negative split the course - based on my calculations, the "real" first 13.1 miles took 1:38:00, the last 1:37:14. Overall I am really happy with the effort. I think I was in shape for sub-3:15, but the conditions weren't optimal for racing. I did not blow up in the second half, compared to many runners I passed after mile 14, which is a great satisfaction. Despite not reaching my A-goal, I was extremely satisfied with the race and being able to beat my personal best by 3min 40s. Here are the detailed splits and HR data:

 Mile      Time              Heart Rate
1            07:23.7            189
2            07:27.1            174
3            07:23.1            165
4            07:27.3            167
5            07:28.4            167
6            07:27.0            166
7            07:27.0            167
8            07:27.9            166
9            07:24.8            167
10          07:28.8            167
11          07:29.1            166
12          07:26.0            165
13          07:21.6            164
14          07:24.5            166
15          07:27.4            165
16          07:27.8            164
17          07:31.3            167
18          07:24.1            173
19          07:24.3            168
20          07:24.2            170
21          07:25.9            171
22          07:22.0            172
23          07:26.3            171
24          07:20.7            173
25          07:17.4            175
26          07:11.4            177
0.35     (6:51 pace)        179

After the race, really happy with the 3min40s PR...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Los Angeles Marathon 2011 - My first Gallowalk and what was supposed to be a "fun run".

I decided to run the LA marathon on a whim, knowing that 2 weeks after Napa I should not expect any stellar time, but it would qualify me for the Marathon Maniacs membership. Before the race I decided to use a run/walk strategy to minimize the pounding and hopefully allow me to rapidly return to training after the race. This would also allow me to take pictures during the race. I settled on 9 minutes run/1 min walk intervals just because it felt right..
Last year I got stuck in traffic on the 110 freeway and had to be dropped 2 miles from the start. This year I did not take any chances and left home at 3:10am to be on the parking lot in Santa Monica at 3:30. I took a shuttle at 3:45 and was at Dodger Stadium at....4:10am ! It was nice to hang there and use real lavatories instead of port-a-potties. Also the stadium was sheltered from the wind (it wasn't raining then, but the wind was pretty strong). I met Shamar there, it was nice to see a familiar face !

Shamar, waiting at Dodger Stadium
Dodgers Stadium, cool place to wait
I did not have a seeded corral so I went an hour before the start at the unseeded one, and it was easy to find a spot in the front. There was a monent of silence for the victims of the catastrophe of Japan, and they mentioned that some runners came from Japan as they couldn't run their marathon last sunday after the earthquake.

Once they closed the corral, we moved rapidly to the front and we got started fast, even though I wasn't in the sub-4 or sub-5 corrals. A minor problem - the start got delayed again (by ~ 20 minutes - I don't know why, they could not use traffic excuse this time)?

Around 6:30am in the unseeded corral

Around 7:40, right before the start

 The weather at the beginning of the race wasn't too bad. It rained a little, but the showers were intermittent and I dried off pretty quickly in between the showers, so it wasn't much of an issue.

Overall the first part of the run was fun, high 5'ing the spectators and kids, and enjoying the scenery, even though the weather was not optimal. I took a lot of pictures there, taking advantage of the walk breaks and of the comfortable speed when I was running (8:30-40'is).  I also had to stop twice for #1 breaks, in the "bushes" each time..
Passing the Chinatown gate
Downtown building

In Chinatown

A japanese runner...inspirational and another one below

A runner borrowed my camera and took this shot of me, around mi 5 ?

After the 4-5 miles in downtown/Chinatown, we hit Sunset Blvd, Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. The scenery was different, crowds were also different and diverse

On Hollywood Blvd, mi 7-8 ?
Passing the Chinese Theather in Hollywood
Hitting Sunset Blvd, mi 11

On the Sunset Strip, mile 12-13

Around mile 14-15, towards West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, things started to get really rough for me. The rain was harder, and the wind had a chilling effect. I wasn't prepared for such prolonged bad weather and my sleeveless shirt offered no sheltering whatsoever. I tried to draft behind runners but it was useless. By the time I reached Beverly Hills, I was completely soaked, shivering and my teeth were chattering intermittently. Not so great for breathing during running.

Arriving in Beverly Hills - Cold and wet !

The longer I ran in these conditions the more the possibillity of a DNF started to appear in my mind. Given how cold and shivery I felt, I knew i was on the verge of becoming hypothermic and I thought it would not be possible to finish in these conditions. The only problem is that I would likely have to wait forever to get to the finish line., so it would not abbreviate my suffering by much. So I I started to look around to see if I could borrow something to cover me, and....the miracle happened !

Around Century City, I saw a piece of clothing on the ground. It was a completely soaked brown cotton sweat shirt, but I felt that despite being completely wet , at least it would offer me some protection against the wind and the windchill factor. It actually worked and I felt somehow better after wearing it for 10-20 minutes. I was still cold, but at least I knew I could finish in those conditions. I also had a banana at mile 19 which made me feel also better, despite all the gels that I had consumed before.
At mile 18 I decided to dump the walk intervals and finish this sucker running, so that it would take me less time to get to the finish. When we reached the VA, it was mayhem. The roads were flooded and I ran into a 3-inch deep "river" on the road - shoes entirely soaked. I decided not to care and to keep running.
Autoportrait on San Vicente  (mi 23) with my savior brown sweat shirt

Towards the end, mile 24 on San Vicente in Brentwood

Brentwood and San Vicente Blvd (mi22-25) went by very quickly as opposed to last year. The weather calmed down during that part, and I dumped my savior sweat shirt at mile 25. I passed a lot of people there who were death marching on San Vicente. I picked it up and finished on Ocean avenue between rows of spectators. I pumped my palms towards the sky to ask them to make some noise, and amazingly they responded...I guess that's the closest i will ever feel to being a pro athlete !

Here are my splits; despite the crowds I was careful to run the tangents so I did not add too much to the course (Mile 25 was slower as I had to use a porta-potty...)
Some of the miles seem much faster or slower than others, but that's because some of them did/did not include walk breaks..

Mile:            1            9:07
Mile:            2            8:43
Mile:            3            8:51
Mile:            4            8:59
Mile:            5            9:03
Mile:            6            8:50
Mile:            7            9:06
Mile:            8            8:47
Mile:            9            8:35
Mile:            10            8:50
Mile:            11            8:52
Mile:            12            8:56
Mile:            13            9:04
Mile:            14            8:46
Mile:            15            8:34
Mile:            16            8:51
Mile:            17            9:13
Mile:            18            8:49
Mile:            19            8:58
Mile:            20            8:43
Mile:            21            8:38
Mile:            22            8:34
Mile:            23            8:34
Mile:            24            8:31
Mile:            25            8:45
Mile:            26            7:54
                 0.228           7:15
Overall: 3:50:18, 2068/18914,  275th AG.

Glad to be done...

After the finish, I got my medal and space blanket, and unfortunately I had a long walk (~30 min) to the parking lot. This is when I started to get real cold again, since the rain picked it up and there was a strong headwind.
Wet, soggy and windy at the finish chute...

A spectator who was going to run the Paris Marathon in April was kind enough to walk me with his umbrella, and I made it to the car ,but still shivering and teeth chattering. I was home around 12:30 and never felt happier to find a warm sandwich and soup waiting for me.

So I guess this wasn't a fun run after all...that's what mother nature or karma gives you when you want to run a marathon...for fun !

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Napa Valley Marathon Race Report - A wet 4th class Boston Qualifier !

In October I signed up for the Surf City half marathon as my next attempt to qualify for Boston, which gave me 12 weeks to train after a month of recovery from the Mt Lemmon Marathon. However during Thanksgiving week, I got hit with a nasty sore throat, which ended up being a throat abscess (and not a regular cold as I thought), with a visit to the ER and 10 days of antibiotics/anti-inflammatories. Coupled with the week of snowboarding scheduled early January, I started feeling that this training cycle might not be up to par with my expectations. So I signed up for the Napa Valley Marathon early March, which gave me another month of training.

For my training I went back to a McMillan custom plan., which they modified based on my change of plans from Surf City to Napa. For the 14 weeks before the two-week "taper" (McMillan calls the period "peaking", not tapering) I averaged 52.5 miles. I liked that figure because it is 2X a marathon every week. It is not that high mileage but it was significantly higher than my average pre-taper for my previous race (Mt Lemmon - 44mpw) and way more than my previous cycles using FIRST. The highlights of the training were a PR a the 13.1 LA Half Marathon (1:31:59), that I ran without tapering, and the Surf City Marathon which I ran as a supported long run in 3:42 (8:30 min.mi, 1 min/mi slower than my planned Marathon Pace).

I flew to Oakland on Friday, spent the night at an old friend, Christine C., and then took the road to Napa on Saturday morning. I drove to Calistoga, the start of the race such that I could drive the course and see what it looked like. At around mile 2, I stopped my car and ran 23 minutes on the Silverado Trail (out and back) to get familiar with running on the course.
Around Mile 4, driving the course

After getting back to my car I arrived at Napa, and went to the expo. I checked out at my bib, and my bag - nice touch, you can choose between a duffel bag and a backpack - and quickly went through the expo. I checked in at the hotel desk (same place as the expo and spent the rest of the day in my room with dinner at the Pasta Party at the hotel. A little overpriced but Bill Rodgers gave a speech and Magdalena Boulet was also there - she was going to run the first 20 miles of the race as a training run.

For carb loading I decided to forgo the Aussie  carbo load approach mainly because I don't like the all-out workout so close to the race. So I used the traditional approach and ate carb rich foods, but I supplemented my meals with 2-3 bottles of carboforce during the 3 days before the race.

Woke up at 3:40 without alarm clock after a decent 6'ish hours of sleep. The bad news was that it was now pouring rain outside. For breakfast, I decided to drink a last bottle of Carbo force which would give me an extra 400 cal and 100g of carbs, with 2 muffins. I boarded the bus from the hotel at 5:15am, still raining and it took us about 45 minutes to get to Calistoga. I hit the porta potties, and then dropped my "special bottles" on the boxes that were going to be placed at the aid stations. My bottles did not contain anything special, just water, but they had sports cap which made it easier to drink from.

My 6 bottles, each marked so that they can't be mistaken with someone else's !

I placed them at miles 4.3, 8.5, 14.3, 18.5, 21, and 22.4. This ended up being a smart choice because I did not slow down at all at the aid stations, except one where the table was oddly placed way behind.

It was wet and there was steady raining at the start, but not too cold. I hung around on my "throwaway" hoodie, which I ended up putting back in my bag, and took a few pictures. 15 minutes before the start I took a Gatorade "prime", then dropped my bag and waited for the start, about 10 rows from the frontrunners. There I found Amy from the sub-3:20 forum and we chatted for a few minutes, until we started.
The start area in Calistoga, wet, wet, wet....

Waiting for the start, around 6:30am

After the national anthem, we were off and running under the rain. It wasn't too bad at the start, but the rain picked up at moments, which made that I was completely soaked early on by mi 6.

Yes, I look miserable out there...

Within mi 2-3 I knew I could throw away my A goal of sub 3-15, and I started to question my B-goal (3:17), since I had trouble hitting 7:35 miles or under. The first 6 miles had 3 hills which were not bad, but steep enough to slow down a little bit. I got passed by many runners during these miles, but I kept to my tactic of running miles around 7:30-7-38 while knowing that I would pass many or these runners later on. GU at mile 4, followed by the special water bottle, which worked out great and allowed me not to stop.  The same strategy worked for all the other water stations where I had placed my bottles.

During the first half of the race, the road winds and turns, and it was essential to run the tangents not to add to the distance. I did it the best I could, but the road has heavily banked at times, which made running there slightly difficult. However I was amazed at how poorly people ran the tangents. At about mile 11, the rain stopped, but it was replaced quickly by a 10mph headwind. I tried to find group of runners to draft, but it was becoming to scattered, and I started to pick up people at this point. I focused on one mile at a time, trying to take advantage of the downhills while not lose too much time on the inclines.

Despite the rain the crowd support was there, during the race, mostly at intersections with other roads. I gave people who were cheering the thumbs up, and high-5'ed a few kids on the way. The headwind was steady during the last half, but I tried to ignore it and not make it more of a mental nuisance than it was. At mile 18 I felt a runner high, similar to the one I had during Mt Lemmon at about the same mile. I started feeling really strong, and telling myself that this road was going to take me if not to Boston, at least to a guaranteed BQ if I did not have any major issue or blow up. I was reeling in runners one by one on the inclines, and maintained a steady pace as opposed to many people that I was catching up and who were slowing down.

After mile 20, the course was "all gravy" because there was a half mile downhill, then it was all flat, no more rolling hills. At this point I started feeling a blister on my right foot, but not too bad. I was feeling good but reminded myself of the McMillan instructions to not start pushing it until mile 22. At about mi21 I had a big GU regurgitation and thought I was going to throw up, but I went against my feeling and took my last GU at mile 22.

Feeling great at mi22, note the completely dry look as opposed to above...

I pushed the pace on mile 22 and 23, but then started feeling weaker at mile 24. This made me slow a little bit and was worried that I was going to hit the wall, but looking back at the split I was still sub 7-38 pace.

Starting to suffer, Mile 24-25 ?

At mile 25 I pushed it to reel in a few other runners in front of me. I knew based on the difference between my Garmin and the mile markers that I would have a little bit "more" than 0.2 mi to run after mile 26, so I pushed as much as I could.

I got passed by one runner during that last push, but I finished ecstatic in 3:18:52 official time.

Last kick to the finish !

Here are my Garmin splits:

1- 7:35
2- 7:42 (hill)
3- 7:39
4- 7:33
5- 7:35
6- 7:39 (hill)
7- 7:39
8- 7:39 - this is where I started to really worry about my ability to BQ, nevermind going sub-3:17 (my B-goal)
9- 7:34
10- 7:38
11- 7:34
12- 7:37
13- 7:36
14- 7:39
15- 7:38
16- 7:40 (incline)
17- 7:39
18- 7:32 - started feeling better
19- 7:31
20- 7:39 (incline)
21- 7:26
22- 7:26 - felt good to pass many runners
23- 7:24
24- 7:30 - thought I had dropped the hammer too early...
25- 7:38 - butt and hamstring muscles start to really complain...
26- 7:21 - felt better at the thought of the finish

First Half - 1:39:46 
Second Half - 1:39:08
-- 38s negative split
Overall I think I ran as well as I could given my level of training, the hills on the course, and the weather conditions. I don't think the rain was too much of a problem for the pace, but the wind in the second half might have cost me 1-2 minutes. I probably saved 30-45s by not walking through the aid stations thanks to my special bottles. Anyway I am proud of this race, because this is the first time (besides Mt Lemmon) I have felt in control of my race during the second half and the first normal marathon where I ran a negative split. I do not know if my time will allow me to register for Boston in 2012, since I will be last in the pecking order for Boston registration - 4th class BQ !

Nevertheless I am damn' proud of having qualified and not having to wait until I moved into the next age group to do so !

Boston Qualified, if not Boston bound !

Monday, February 7, 2011

Surf City Marathon 2011 Race Report

I originally signed up for Surf City last summer as my target race for the beginning of 2011. However things did not go smoothly in terms of training. Around Thanksgiving (week 2 of the 12 week cycle) I got hit with a throat abscess, with a visit to the ER and treatment with antibiotics and antiinflammatories, which limited my training and resulted in overall weakness for 10 days . I also went for a 1week snowboarding vacation in early january, which limited my training that week to about 39 miles. So I decided to switch my target race to Napa Valley, one month later, and to use Surf City as a long supported training run. I decided to run it around 1 minute per mile slower than my target pace for Napa, so around 8:30 min/mi, which should bring me home in 3:40-3:45.

It was nice to come back to Surf City after I ran my first marathon there in 2008. We decided to make it a mini-vacation and stayed at the Hyatt close to the start line. We hit the expo early and they had a display of all the miles markers before the entrance:

At the expo, the kids had fun pretending to surf on the wave. We did not stick around very long, just time to pick up bib and shirt, but it was already crowded at 9:30 am.

Antoine and Jeremy on the virtual surfs....

Back at the hotel, I ran into Stevie Ray Lopez from the forum and we briefly chatted. In the afternoon, we met friends in Newport Beach, and then went back to the hotel for dinner. In bed early and woke up at 4am - managed to get a decent 6h of sleep.

I was down in the start area at 6am and first ran into Sam (261to26.2). Then we met Matt (Grapevinerunner), and at the pacers tent CharliePro, RiP, HikerGirl, and PonyExpress. It was fun to finally meet so many people from the forum.

Emil(Pony), Sam(262to26.2), Louis(RiP), Charlie(Pro), Matt(Grape), and I. Photo courtesy of HikerGirl.

We got started on time, and I let the 3:40 pace group go in front. At mile 3 I caught up with Stevie Ray Lopez and we chatted for about a mile. However he was running a tad too fast for my planned pace, so I let him go at mile 4. Between Mile 5 and 8 we ran in the park around the HB library. I actually did not like that part too much because of the constant turning around and small bumps. I got passed by many people there. I think I would have had issues with pacing in that section, had I tried to maintain an actual marathon pace in this area. Around mile 9 we were back on the PCH. I met Ale (Dark Ale) who introduced himself and his DW who was running the marathon. He ran with me for a few minutes. I liked that segment on the PCH because you could see all the fast runners coming back from the turnaround. I shouted-out to Matt (Grape) who was with the 3:10 pacing group and looked strong.

Between miles 5 and 15, I was running with "Elastic maniac". Basically he was wearing a MM shirt and would run relatively fast (7:30 pace ?) but then would stop and take walking breaks every 3-4 minutes. I ended up passing him for good after mile 16.

After the turnaround on PCH, I saw Ale again, who shouted out at me (Go France !), and  a little bit later saw the 3:10 group who had turned around and was already on the bike path.  Grape still looked great. At mile 16, we turned into the bike path. This section going north on the bikepath was longer than I thought, because they modified the course compared to when I ran it in 2008, with the turnaround only at mile 21. Again, it was great to see the leaders, and the 3:10 pace group. I shouted out to Matt again, then to Howard (WadiaSoft), who looked very strong and seemed like he was getting closer to the 3:10 group, but I don't think he recognized me. Stevie Ray Lopez who was a few minutes ahead of me also gave me the thumbs up there. Turnaround was at mile 21, and after that I started recognizing other runners behind me. I saw Pasadena Runner and gave him the thumbs up, and also recognized Anaheim Runner but too late. Finally I shouted out at Roccco, right before I exited the bike path as he was entering it with his 5:00 pace group. 

Feeling good on the beach bike path - mile 18-22 ?

I picked it up a little bit on these last few miles but decided not to run any miles at marathon pace for the sake of recovery. I passed many runners there, and got passed by 2-3 people. Here are my splits for the run:


The last mile and finish were sort of anti-climatic, because you merge with all the half-marathoners, and even though half and full runners have their separate finish line, the finish chute is a zoo with so many half runners. I decided not to stick around because there were too many people around, found Catherine and the kids, and after lunch at BJ's we drove back home for the Superbowl. Overall a great run, I sticked to my strategy of running a minute slower than marathon pace, and was in good shape afterwards, such that resuming training should not be too hard.