dedication, perseverance, self-discipline

Las Vegas 5k

Previous MonthRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesJeffmc's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek View
Graph View
Next Month
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!



Member Since:

Jan 01, 2008



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

3K: 8:58 Pocatello, ID 2003 (indoors at Idaho State)

5K: 14:55 Salt Lake City, UT 2010 (Law Day 5k)

10K: 29:33 Salt Lake City, UT 2010 (Des News 10k)

1/2 marathon: 1:06:59 Provo, UT 2010 (Utah Valley Half)

marathon: 2:21:59 St. George, UT 2009 (St. George Marathon)

Short-Term Running Goals:

To get running higher mileage more consistently without getting injured

Sub 2:19:00 marathon


I used to run competitively, and maybe I will do so again someday.  Right now I am primarily running to try and get in better shape, and to maintain both physical and emotional health, but also for the simple joy that comes when I run.

I am also the proud daddy of five little ones.  I love the opportunity that I have to be a daddy, and my challenge is to balance my family responsibilities with work and running.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 49.67
Asics Speedstar Lifetime Miles: 2020.05
Asics Gel Ohana Racer Lifetime Miles: 2332.20
Adidas Adizero Lifetime Miles: 1364.30
Barefoot Lifetime Miles: 183.10
Nike Free 5.0 Lifetime Miles: 2221.85
Saucony Kinvara Lifetime Miles: 795.92
Puma Faas 200 Lifetime Miles: 373.50
Puma Faas 250 Lifetime Miles: 460.60
Altra Adam Lifetime Miles: 1836.85
Baretrek Lifetime Miles: 290.15
Hoka Conquest Lifetime Miles: 41.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks Axiom Miles: 46.95Adidas Adizero Miles: 62.50Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 53.90New Balance 758 Miles: 16.60Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 44.40Asics Speedstar Miles: 42.20Pearl Izumi Surge Miles: 3.20Saucony Kinvara Miles: 49.80
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran with Sasha again.  We ran a fast 400 with Benjamin in 70 seconds, and later ran a mile in 5:32.  Otherwise we kept things slow.  Total time was about 1:40.

Brooks Axiom Miles: 12.65
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran a 10 mile tempo with Sasha this morning out on the Provo River Trail 5 mile out and back course.  We hit splits of 5:48, 5:43, 5:43, 5:43, 5:59 for the first 5 miles.  Other than during the second and fifth miles, pace was erratic as I kept wanting to speed up, and Sasha would ask me to slow down.  The fifth mile was slow because Sasha needed a break.  During the second half I ran mile splits of 5:42, 5:40, 5:30, 5:09, 5:02.  I was with Sasha until 7.5 miles, at which point I took off after the turn-around and ran the last 2.5 miles in 12:48 with quarter splits of 79, 78, 78, 78, 77, 76, 77, 76, 75, 74.  Total time for 10 miles was 55:59.  Sasha finished almost 2 minutes after me in 57:57.  I was happy with the effort and result of the tempo.  The majority was much easier than I am accustomed to, but the last 2.5 miles made up for it, and I finished stronger than I remember finishing when I used to live here.

After running back to Sasha's house we ran with his kids, and finished up 20.5 miles in 2:23 

Adidas Adizero Miles: 20.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

With all the excitement I have gone through lately, traveling to Utah and all, I was tired and accidentally slept in this morning.  I decided to run in the afternoon instead, but when I got home from school I found out my bike had been stolen.  By the time the policeman left our apartment it was pretty late, and I still had to finish an assignment that was due by midnight (I didn't finish it sooner because I was in Utah).  So, I ended up not running at all today.  I wasn't too happy with the whole situation, but I guess things happen.

Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning, running 8.6 miles in 1:01:12.  I was moving a little quicker than normal as I had two days off in a row.  I will run home in the evening.

PM: I ran home from school, finishing 8.6 miles in just over 1:03:00.  I felt like doing some speed work, so I ran what I will call 6 x 400m on the way home.  I ran what I have estimated previously to be a quarter mile, and I ran it in 69 seconds, so as I continued to run home I ran 5 more "400's" and just ran what felt like a good 400 effort for 70 seconds before stopping.  I had about 4:00 rest after the first and second repeats, and then had about 2:00 rest after the others.  The first 4 repeats were into the wind, and I had a cross wind during the last 2 repeats (basically the wind didn't effect me at all during the last 2 repeats).

Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 8.60New Balance 758 Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning.  I took off a little quicker than normal because I was a little late in leaving the house, and after a couple miles my right calf started to complain.  I think that my legs were just tight after the 400's last night, and by starting out quickly I didn't give my body the chance to relax into the pace.  Anyhow, I ended up stopping a few times to stretch the calf, and to massage it out.  Kimia ended up picking me up just before I got to school as she was coming to drop off a poster for me, so I only ran what I will call 8.3 miles (instead of 8.6) in 1:02:35.

My leg kept hurting after I got to school, and as I was walking back from class it was bothering me a lot.  Luckily, it started to feel better and did not hurt at all as I was walking around campus later on in the afternoon.  I am going to massage some here at school, and hopefully get the leg feeling good enough to run home.

PM:  I ran home in the evening, running 8.6 miles in 1:09:10.  I ran so slow because I was trying to be careful so as not to make the calf worse than it already was.  After about 1.5 miles my calf started to feel pretty tight, but I didn't experience any pain running home, so I ended up making it all the way.  All in all I am happy with the run, as I made it home and I don't feel like I hurt myself any worse.

Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 8.60Brooks Axiom Miles: 8.30
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning.  I kept the pace pretty slow like yesterday evening, and my calf felt tight for most of the run again, but I felt much more relaxed while running, so I ended up finishing 8.6 miles in 1:05:56.  I feel like my leg is getting better pretty quickly, I just need to take it easy until the end of the week to make sure that I don't strain it worse.  The last thing I want is to get hurt before the marathon I am running at the end of this month.  A few days of easy running will not affect me, but a few weeks will.

PM: I ran to the mall from school, because Kimia was there, and she drove me home after I showed up.  It ended up being just a little bit longer than the run to our apartment.  I will call it 8.8 miles, in 1:08:12

Brooks Axiom Miles: 8.80Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I realized today that what I had thought was improvement in the calf strain was really just increased flexibility after I had massaged out all of the knots.  My leg really hasn't been getting better, and part of it has been the mileage.  So, today I started my run, but bailed out after 3 miles because my calf was bothering me.  Hopefully the extra rest will help me heal more quickly.

Asics Speedstar Miles: 3.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

My leg felt much better this morning than it did yesterday, however after about 3.5 miles I noticed it starting to feel somewhat tight, and after 4.5 miles there was a little pain.  I ended up turning around at 6 miles, and the pain felt tolerable until the end of the run, but not great.  I finished 12 miles in 1:29:05.  I sped up slowly over the last 4 miles to try and see if speed caused more pain, or if the difference was negligible.  Results of my test were good, as pain seemed to be fairly equivalent at the faster (6:30-7:15 pace) speeds.

PM: I wanted to still get in good mileage for today, and I was itching to go faster, because I hadn't run anything fast since Tuesday.  So, I went over to the track and ran a few mile repeats, with 1 mile rest between repeats (I know, I am stupid for running hard when my leg is hurt, and for running a double when running doubles has been preventing me from healing).  The first repeat was a 5:26 (90, 81, 78, 77), followed by a 5:06 (82, 75, 75, 74), and finishing with a 4:56 (75, 75, 73, 73).  I felt like I could run 75 second quarters forever, despite the calf issues,  My calf hurt less when I was running fast than when I was running slow, but it would flare up as soon as I finished a repeat.  I ran the last repeat with some wind (I got lucky on the first 2, virtually no wind) and I was glad that I was able to maintain a good pace despite the wind.  Total of 8 miles.

I ran the mile repeats in part because I wanted to make sure that if this problem has not gone away by the time I run my next marathon in Illinois in 3 weeks I will still be able to run fast without any problems.  The test indicated that my leg should hold up fine.

Asics Speedstar Miles: 8.00Adidas Adizero Miles: 12.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran a shorter run than normal this morning, because I needed to run from school to a funeral in the evening, and I didn't want to put in too many miles, because I wanted to let my calf rest a bit.  So, I ran 6 miles in the morning in about 46 or 47 minutes.  My calf felt decent, but there were brief moments when I would take a funny step, or go down a sharp decline and I would feel a short stabbing pain lasting about a second or so.

PM: I ran from school until Kimia was able to pick me up.  I will call it 3.8 miles.  I decided to test and see how well my leg was holding up while I was running.  I picked up the pace some (I was running sub 7:00 pace, but I am not sure how fast) and I just tried to cruise along at that pace.  My leg felt surprisingly good.  I felt some of the same twinges I felt this morning, but I didn't have to deal with the sharp inclines/declines so the calf felt better overall.

Pearl Izumi Surge Miles: 3.80New Balance 758 Miles: 6.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning.  I ran faster than I normally do, although I was not trying to run faster, so I was happy with the organic speed increase as opposed to forcing the pace.  My calf felt better than it has on any day in the past week, as I only started to feel some minor twinges in the calf muscle during the second half of the run, and they were minor nothing more, no pain.  Total time for 8.6 miles was 1:00:46.

PM: I ran home from school finishing 8.6 miles in 1:00:23.  I was surprised to finish as fast as I did, seeing that I only hit the 5 mile mark in about 37 minutes.  It ended up being a mix of downhill, and a strong tailwind the last few miles that caused me to want to slow down on the last steep downhill, despite not trying to run fast at all.  My calf hurt a little at the beginning of the run, and I stopped to stretch it out before continuing.  Overall the calf felt worse than this morning, but I didn't really feel any pain other than the minor discomfort at the beginning of the run.

Asics Speedstar Miles: 8.60Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I wanted to run a tempo run today as long as my calf was feeling good.  I decided to run the tempo in the morning because I figured that my calf would hold up better during the tempo if I hadn't already run earlier in the day.  So, after warming up for a little less than three miles I started my tempo. 

The first mile was into a strong headwind (approximately 5:58), but I turned on Eastern Ave after 1 mile, and I got a nice tailwind for the next 3 miles as the wind was blowing from the Southwest, and I was heading West and North.  I don't really have accurate splits for the wind aided miles, but my average pace per mile was about 5:05.  I turned onto Tropicana Ave just past the 4 mile mark, and I hit the headwind again for the last mile.  I pushed this mile harder than the others since I wanted to finish strong, and I closed with a 5:33 for the last mile.

Total time for the tempo was 26:46 (5:21 pace).  I was happy with this, as I felt the headwind and tailwind canceled one another out pretty well despite having more tailwind miles than headwind miles (it felt like the headwind was stronger than the tailwind as the wind was not blowing directly from the Southwest, but seemed to be more of a WSW wind, although that may have just been my imagination).  Anyhow, my workouts over the past couple months have made me feel good about my fitness, and this workout gives me confidence heading into the marathon I am running in Illinois in a couple weeks, knowing that I didn't loose anything last week when I did not get much quality mileage in due to the calf issues.  I am also encouraged by the practice I have gotten running in windy conditions (Illinois can get windy) as I feel that I can run well in the wind as long as I get a matching tailwind too (loop course... check!)

I finished running to school after finishing the tempo, and ended 8.6 miles in 54:57

PM:  I ran home from school, finishing 8.6 miles in 1:01:28.  The wind was nasty on my way home.  Luckily, I only had a nasty headwind for about 3.5 miles, while the rest was tailwind.

Asics Speedstar Miles: 8.60Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning.  I finished 8.6 miles in 1:03:08.  My legs felt somewhat fatigued this morning after I woke up, so I made sure to take it easy for the first mile, and I wore long socks to make sure that the muscles didn't get cold and tight.

PM:  I ran most of the way home from school, but I asked to Kimia to pick me up because I don't want to push my mileage too high this week.  I will call it 6.1 miles in 46:50.

Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 6.10Brooks Axiom Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I felt pretty good this morning, but I shortened my run by a bit because I don't want to get my total mileage too high this week with the Illinois marathon coming up in just 2 weeks.  So, I only ran 8 miles finishing in 57:14.  Tomorrow will be my last 20 mile run before the marathon.

Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran my last 20 mile run before the marathon I run in Illinois in two weeks.  The original plan was to run the same 9.5 mile tempo that I ran a few weeks ago, but as I started I decided to run a 5.4 mile tempo (2 x sunset park loop), followed by a 5.7 mile tempo (1 x sunset park loop + 3 miles towards home).  I ran 6.7 miles easy before starting the first tempo section at just faster than 6:40 pace, however around 5 or 6 miles my calf started complaining again (same calf as before, but the opposite side, so maybe the result of some overcompensating).  So, after the first loop of the park (2.7 miles in 15:00/ 5:33 pace) I stopped the first tempo run.  I ran easy for a little while, and stopped to massage my calf and stretch it out, and eventually started the second tempo run right when I had originally planned.  The second tempo hurt more than the first, although the pain seemed to relax away to a certain degree near the end of the park loop.  I finished the second 2.7 mile loop in 14:53 (5:30 pace).  I stopped the second tempo at that point rather than risk any damage, but I ran 1 mile out of the last three miles of the planned tempo section in 5:23.  I made it home to finish 20 miles in 2:10:28.

Wind was not bad during the run, but it was swirling around everywhere, so I never really got a good tailwind to offset the headwind, which is why the tempos were so slow.  A tornado cloud even formed in the middle of the park as I was running easy and I got pretty close to it, watched it for a minute or so, and then started running again.

I went to the running store, and got new racing flats after I finished my run, so I added a little extra mileage.  I will give myself an extra 0.5 miles for it

Adidas Adizero Miles: 20.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I wasted all morning clicking update buttons over and over again to check the progress of the Boston Marathon, so I had to run in the evening.  Kimia came with me when I drove to school, and I ran home at the end of the day.  I wore the new racing flats that I bought on Saturday, and I threw in a few strides on the way home to get a better feel for the shoes.  Total time of 1:02:49 for 8.6 miles.

Saucony Kinvara Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning in 1:01:59.  I kept the pace easy, but I was messing around with my form, so I ended up running a little harder than I probably should have.  Its not like I was running that fast, but I should have been running just a little bit more relaxed.  I could also tell that I have done a good job of training myself to be comfortable in the heat, as temps were somewhere in the 70 degree range and I still had goosebumps on my arms near the end of my run and at times I wished that I would have worn a long sleeve shirt.

PM:  I ran part of the way home, and Kimia picked me up.  I will call it 3.2 miles

Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 8.60Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 3.20
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran on the Pittman wash today, and I ran 3 x 1 mile repeats during the run.  The first was actually about 1.25 miles, was uphill and into a mild headwind (7:25).  This was a warm-up of sorts, so I didn't push the pace too hard on this repeat, but the effort was a lot harder than 5:56 pace.  The second and third repeats had a slight downhill with tailwind so they were inherently faster, and I finished both in 5:03 (pure coincidence there as I didn't look at my watch between the start and finish).  Total time for the run was 1:09:38.

PM: I ran part of the way home from school before Kimia picked me up.  I ended up making it about 2.6 miles.

Pearl Izumi Surge Miles: 2.60Asics Speedstar Miles: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school this morning.  I kept the pace pretty easy (except for when I sped up to get through a couple stop lights) and finished 8.6 miles in 1:04:00.  Super windy out today.  I am lucky that the wind normally comes from the Southwest, so it is only in my face for about half of the run, and it is at my back for the rest of it.

PM: 4.8 miles before Kimia picked me up on the -++way home from school.------------------------------- (Anita just did that).  Total time was 35:52

Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 4.80Brooks Axiom Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run this morning.  I ran 10 miles in 1:14:33, starting out pretty slow (about 16:20 for 2 miles) as I was running uphill on the Pittman Wash (38:54 for the first 5 miles) and then speeding up on the downhill on the way back.  I ran 4 strides during the run to shake out my legs a bit since I am running a 5k tomorrow as part of my tune up for the marathon on the 30th.

Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 10.00
Add Comment
Race: Las Vegas 5k (3.107 Miles) 00:15:24, Place overall: 8
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran the Las Vegas 5k this morning.  The race had been advertised on, and there was a $1000 prize for first place, with money going 5 deep so competition was expected to be pretty good.  I ran a 5 mile warm-up before the race started and added in a few strides to get my legs moving a bit.  The weather was as good as I can expect for Las Vegas as wind was blowing between 10-15mph from the Southwest, and temperatures were in the 60-70 degree range.  The course itself has a lot of turns, so I was not expecting a blazing time for the winner, but I figured that it would still be pretty fast as it is flat, and there was good competition.

The race started, and a few guys took off at an insane pace.  I had to remind myself to not push the pace too hard and I held back, running what felt super comfortable for the first few hundred meters.  Eventually, all of the insane sprinters dropped off pace, and the fastest of us settled into a pack, with one beastly looking guy sporting dreadlocks dropping all of us like it was nothing.  This guy was something else, as physically he did not look the part of an elite distance runner, having wide muscular looking shoulders versus the emaciated look that you almost expect to see from top distance runners, yet he smoked the field putting a fairly large gap on all of us by the time we hit the mile mark (the mile marks were all off, so no splits today).

I was still within striking distance of the guy in second just past the mile mark, but at that point he started to pull away from the pack leaving a group of 5 guys (myself included) to fight for the last 3 money spots in the race.  It was just past this point that the race started to go south for me.  Before we were a mile and a half into the race I started to feel a pain and tightness in my chest, and I felt like my breathing was being constricted.  I was still able to maintain contact with the pack, but I felt like I had no ability to really compete with these guys.  I can't say that I reacted well to the adversity either, as mentally I kind of gave up.  During the third mile another guy passed me (pushing me back into 8th place) and over the last half mile the pack slowly pulled away from me (I was still within contact of the 3rd place finisher until then).

 I finished the race in 15:24, good for 8th place (the winner finished in 14:30).  I am not sure exactly how far back I was from 3rd, but it was not too much.  I feel like on a better day I would have been able to stay with those guys, but I just didn't have "it" today.  After I finished I could barely stand up because the pain in my abdomen just about made me keel over.  My legs didn't feel too bad, I just felt like I didn't have the ability today to push myself to my full capacity today.

Overall, I am a little disappointed that I did not finish better than I did, but to put things in perspective this was a tune-up race, nothing more.  Considering the conditions, and whatever it was that happened to my abdomen (maybe something I ate?), the time wasn't that bad, and considering that this was just a pre-marathon tune up, I was happy with the effort and the workout that I got in.  If I came across as negative in this post that was mostly unintentional, as I honestly was not that upset with the sub par performance, as my focus race for the spring is coming up next Saturday at the Illinois Marathon, and I really don't have the time to dwell on a sub par performance at a little 5k.

Saucony Kinvara Miles: 12.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run this morning on the Pittman wash.  10 miles total in 1:13:42.  I ran approximately 0.5 miles with Kimia after I finished, running barefoot to toughen up my feet a bit.  Kimia is almost 29 weeks pregnant, so I don't count it as actual mileage because we go slow, but I wanted to mention it because I am proud of her for making the effort to stay active while pregnant.  Kimia also goes on walks regularly, sometimes walking 3 miles or more with Anita in the stroller.

Adidas Adizero Miles: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran to school today.  the wind was nasty just about the entire way, because it was blowing from the Northwest instead of the Southwest like normal.  I ran 2 half mile repeats during the run.  It is the last hard stuff I am running before the marathon on Saturday.  The first repeat was a slight uphill, and into the wind (distance is approximate, maybe plus or minus 2-3 seconds) and I finished it in 2:35.  The second repeat was in a flat area, but the wind felt stronger (again, the distance is approximate) and I finished it in 2:34.  The second repeat was a lot harder than the first, so I imagine that either the wind was a lot stronger than the first repeat, or it was slightly longer.  I finished running to school with a total time of 1:03:24.

Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 8.60
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run this morning in 43:20.  Just 6 miles as I am running the Illinois Marathon on Saturday.  The forecast is iffy for that race.  The night before the race looks like it should be perfect as lows are forecast for around 50 degrees, with fairly mild winds forecast at 9mph.  However, the next day the forecast says there is a 30% chance of rain (not bad) and says that we will be seeing 22mph winds (no so good).  So, I will just need to wait and see.  At least I train in the wind everyday, so at least I am not getting myself into something I am not prepared for.

Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 6.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Just 4 miles easy this morning.  I ran a couple strides during the run.  Total time was 29:22.  I am starting to get a little anxious with the marathon coming up on Saturday.  Partly from the taper, and partly just because I haven't finished a marathon since St George 2009.  It almost feels like I am debuting at the distance all over again.

So, you learn new things every day, but I guess you don't always have to be glad that you learned something.  Today I learned that when you step on a bee while barefoot and the stinger gets you right in one of your toes, your body rushes lots of blood to the area and the toe gets hot even when the other toes are cold.

Asics Speedstar Miles: 4.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Last chance I have to blog before the race.  I am leaving now to run a couple miles.  I'll throw in a couple strides just for the heck of it too.

I flew into Illinois today.  Got everything ready for the race and went to the pre-race pasta dinner.  Frank Shorter was the speaker at the dinner.  Afterwards when everyone cleared out I took the opportunity to have a little chat with Frank for about 20 minutes or so about his work with the ADA.  He is pretty convinced that many of the Africans are doping.  It was interesting talking to him. 

New Balance 758 Miles: 2.00
Race: Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon (26.218 Miles) 02:30:48, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

So, I decided to put the wrong time for the race on my blog to force people to actually read the race report to find out how I did.  I always find it more interesting when I don't look at the finishing time before reading a race report.  I will correct the time and place in a few days.

First off, I have nothing but good things to say about the town of Champaign-Urbana, and the organization of this race.  I thought that they did a really good job of putting this race together, and weather permitting this course is fast!  The only thing that really could have been more organized was the finishing chute, as things got chaotic once you crossed the line.

Anyhow, on to the race.  I got up at 5:00am and got ready, heading out the door for a warm-up starting at 6:00am.  I checked the weather after I got up, and at 5:00am the wind was blowing 14 mph from the SSE.  The wind was supposed to get progressively worse during the day, with 25 mph winds and gusts up to 40 mph.  My guess is that the wind was blowing about 16-18 mph at the start of the race.  I was hopeful that the wind would not hurt us too much early on in the race, and based on the direction of the wind I was hoping to get a solid tailwind from about mile 8-20.  If this held to be true I was hopeful that I could still be in contention for the OTQ qualifier by mile 20, and then gut out the last 6 miles with the hope that there was some way I could maintain pace into the wind.  By about 6:35am I had made my way over to the starting line and I went into the elite athlete room to relax a bit before the race.  I ran a few strides, and at about 6:55am I went over to the starting line.

The race started right on time, with the bikes going off at 6:59am, and the rest of us at 7:00am (half marathoners started at 7:30am).  Following are mile splits for the race.

 Mile 1 - 5:18 - Just warmed into the pace not wanting to push too hard.  the wind was at our backs, so it kept this mile fairly relaxed.

Mile 2 - 5:20 (10:38)- A guy from Texas (Jose Munoz) takes the lead and I start drafting off of him as now we were running into the wind.  Feeling like the pace is a little fast for this early in the race.

Mile 3 - 5:24 (16:02)- I made a conscious decision to back off the pace and I let Jose and another guy go.  It was a tough decision to make because I wanted to draft off of them, but I didn't want to push the pace too hard either.

Mile 4 - 5:34 (21:36)- The wind was already killer.  My effort was strong, but the pace wasn't.  I was already looking forward to the eventual tailwind.  Effort was about the same this mile as the previous, but the wind was stronger, and I was no longer drafting.

Mile 5 - 5:27 (27:03)- The guy who tried to go with Jose was already dropping back, and I passed him this mile.  I sped up a bit because I probably got excited and I didn't want him to draft off of me as he had really slowed down a lot and I knew he wasn't going to be helping me with the wind.

Mile 6 - 5:30 (32:33)-  Settling into the pace a bit more.  Jose is not too far out in front (30-40 seconds maybe?)

Mile 7 - 5:31 (38:04)-  Still trying to relax, but not trying to run so slow that I put myself out of OTQ contention (already a minute behind pace)

Mile 8 - 5:27 (43:31)-  Looping through a park.  Kind of a wetlands restoration sort of thing (but minus the wetlands part, this is Illinois, it was more of a grassland type thing I guess)

Mile 9 - 5:27 (48:58)-  Wondering why I don't feel like I have gotten any tailwind yet.  Hoping that it starts up soon.

Mile 10 - 5:14 (54:12)-  Finally, I got some tailwind!  At the 10 mile mark a guy tells me that I am 50 seconds behind the leader Jose.  He is still very visible, and I can hear the sirens on the lead car sounding to announce that he is going through intersections.

Mile 11 - 5:17 (59:29)-  Effort about the same as during the previous mile, the problem is that I can tell it does not feel sustainable.  While the wind is not in my face anymore it does not feel like it is really helping me.

Mile 12 - 5:19 (1:04:48)-  I turned onto a different street during this mile and immediately felt more headwind (I am supposed to get my tailwind until mile 20 whats up!!).  The wind was mostly crossing, but it still slowed me down a little.

Mile 13 - 5:20 (1:10:08)-  Someone tells me that I am now 1:05 behind Jose.  My pace is going in the wrong direction, so I am getting worried, and I am not getting the tailwind I was hoping for.  The wind is only getting worse too.

Half - 1:10:42

 Miles 14 & 15 - 11:06 (1:21:14)-  I missed the mark at mile 14, and I was surprised to see that I only averaged 5:33 over the 2 mile stretch at mile 15.  With the wind and my beginning to slow, the race now becomes not one of getting an OTQ, but of not bonking and falling out of the money (money went 3 deep).

Mile 16 - 5:52 (1:27:06)- I was very surprised by this mile.  I can only assume that the wind was picking up more because I did not feel like I was already bonking, but the pace indicated I was.

Mile 17 - 5:56 (1:33:02)-  Pace is still slow, but at least it is still under 6:00.  I am quickly falling behind the leader, but 3rd place is nowhere in sight, so he was probably at least as far behind me as I was behind 1st.

Mile 18 - 5:41 (1:38:43)-  I don't think I really got a tailwind this mile, I think that the wind just wasn't really hurting me this mile.  I was at least happy that I was going a little faster.

Mile 19 - 5:58 (1:44:41)-  Not happy to see that my pace went right back where it had been once we got some more wind.

Mile 20 - 6:09 (1:50:50)-  My first mile slower than 6:00.  I wasn't too happy with this, but I was still trying to hold on.  I was now worried about the guys coming up from behind, although I still could not see them.  I was about 2-3 minutes behind the leader Jose.

Mile 21 - 6:19 (1:57:09)-  I was having trouble keeping the contents of my stomach in.  I think that I reacted poorly to my drinks, and when I picked up the last one at mile 21 I couldn't drink any of it.  I took one gulp and almost threw up.  Instead, I started swishing it in my mouth and spitting it out.  That seemed to work.  I was holding down water fine, so I started drinking that at every aid station thinking that maybe I got the osmolarity off with the bottles I mixed.  Water should help speed up my system helping it to absorb nutrients.  I notice after this mile that 3rd place is now visible and he is closing in on me.

Mile 22 - 6:27 (2:03:36)-  Still ahead of 3rd place, but not by much.  He caught me shortly after I hit this marker.

Mile 23 - 6:21 (2:09:57)-  The 3rd place runner passes me during this mile.  I try to stay with him for a brief moment but can not do it.  He pulls maybe 5-10 seconds ahead by the end of this mile.  When he passes I ask him how far back 4th place is.  he thought maybe a minute.

Miles 24 & 25 - 13:10 (2:23:07)-  I didn't feel like I had slowed down an additional 14 seconds per mile during this stretch (6:35 average), and as with earlier I will attribute some of the slowdown to the wind getting stronger, but it is hard to say how much was from the wind and how much was from fatigue.  At mile 25 I could see 4th place, and he was closing in on me.  I did not want to fall out of the money, because I needed to pay for my trip, and I couldn't afford the trip otherwise.

Mile 26.2 - 7:41 (2:30:48)-  I really dug deep to stay in front of 4th place and I increased the effort this mile (6:18 average to the finish).  Once I got going faster it felt sustainable, so I was kicking myself a bit, wondering if I was just weak mentally.  Could I have stayed with the second place finisher when he passed me and mentally I just gave up?  Could I have maintained the pace better from mile 20 to the finish instead of slowing down so much?  I partly wonder this because the wind was stronger during this mile than during any other mile of the race (I think that we got one of those 40 mph gusts of wind during this mile).  As we turned onto First Street heading to the University of Illinois football stadium I looked back and I knew that the guy in 4th would not catch me.  Just to make sure I pushed as hard as during any other time in the race trying to fight the wind.  I felt as if I were standing still the wind was blowing so hard.  I turned into the stadium off of first street, and ran into the finish with a time of 2:30:48.

Once I crossed the line a woman came up to me asking if I was the 3rd place marathon finisher (half marathoners were finishing too, so it was hard to tell) but I didn't have the chance to tell her.  As soon as I finished I lost my breakfast and everything else that I drank during the race.  I puked 5 or 6 times until there was nothing left in my stomach.  I was then escorted over to the media guy to give a little interview of sorts and a little while later I was given my award for finishing third place ($800).

My legs felt decent enough after the end of the race that I was able to jog over to the elite athlete room where I left my stuff pre-race, and then to my hotel so that I could shower.  I was surprised that I didn't feel like I had hashed my legs completely.

Overall I have mixed feelings about this race.  I am obviously disappointed with the time, but I am happy that I payed for my expenses (hotel and airfare) by finishing third.  I think that the wind cost us 5-6 minutes overall, which would have given me a 2:25 without the wind.  If I would have paced myself better I probably would have been in the 2:23 range without the wind (I pushed myself too hard in the first half trying to stay within striking range of the OTQ which cost me later on in the race).  This is not bad, but it is a far cry from the 2:19 I was shooting for.  I obviously still have some issues that I need to work on, and this race was a good indicator for what those issues are.  I am encouraged that I can run a 2:25 equivalent marathon even with a minor blowup (minor, but extended as my first mile over 5:50 was mile 16).

Now it is time to get to things.  I know I still have the OTQ in me.  Things went better this time than they did in November (even with the wind) and if I get back to the drawing board and work on my weaknesses the OTQ will come.

So, the official results have me at 2:30:56 (8 seconds slower) and have me 10 seconds slower than my watch at the halfway mark and the 20 mile mark.  I think that our chips started early because there were 2 mats and we crossed the first before starting at the second just a bit later.  I will go with my watch time, because that is probably more accurate.

Saucony Kinvara Miles: 29.20
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks Axiom Miles: 46.95Adidas Adizero Miles: 62.50Asics Gel Ohana Racer Miles: 53.90New Balance 758 Miles: 16.60Nike Free 5.0 Miles: 44.40Asics Speedstar Miles: 42.20Pearl Izumi Surge Miles: 3.20Saucony Kinvara Miles: 49.80
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements