Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Report: Married PR

Judging by the cramps in my legs, it was clear my decision to break away from the pace group was premature. The tag-team pacers overtook me on Main Street, with less than a mile until the finish line. My limp-shuffle was making it difficult to end on a strong note.

I pulled away from the five-hour pace group just before Highland Square. An acquaintance, who just got into running this year and who was running the final leg of the five-person relay, had just passed me. He was alternately running and walking, and I picked up the pace to say "hey" to him.

I had hoped I could hang with his pace until the finish, but after chatting a bit he easily pulled away. Knowing that the remainder of the race from the square was net downhill, I decided to just keep pushing and see how far under five hours I could finish.

The last big hill, just after the 25th mile marker, was my undoing. My left calf suddenly began to scream. I managed to reel it in to avoid stopping, but my compromised stride slowed me down considerably.

Shortly after making the turn onto Main Street, Pacer Jim and Pacer Paul caught me. They got ahead of me, but then Jim urged me to pick it up. My calf calmed down a bit to allow me to separate again. I heard Paul say I looked strong.

It was painful, but I continued pushing. The hurt would be over soon. Just before the 26th mile marker, I saw the Enthusiast and Martini on the sidelines. Then the Enthusiast's (nee, our) family. Their cheers carried me into Canal Park.

The clock read 5:05 when I crossed it, but having started near the back of the pack I knew I had a bunch of banked time. My chip time was 4:58, less than a hour slower than last year to set my married PR.

Oh, and I negative split the race.

With a combination of a big crowd ahead of me and two bathroom stops, my split at 13 miles was 2:35 clock time. To get in at 5:05, I had to run the second half at 2:30. The Akron Marathon does not record the split at the true halfway point.

I wish I could say my fastest miles were at the end, but those came while trying to catch up to the pace group after stopping twice to use the facilities.

Some Observations
I had a good time with the pacers. I joked around and chatted. I saw two barefoot runners. I tried to encourage anyone who looked like they were struggling. I slapped a couple high fives with kids. I didn't see any beer on the course to sample. The crowds were great as always.

The weather turned out to be perfect. It never rained, so my modified trash bag goes back into storage. My blister didn't bother me during the race, but I had a nice blood spot on my shoe afterward. I got wicked cramps after the race, but my cheapo diabetic compression socks solved that issue. Post-race beer was Dogfish Head Punkin.

This year's medal and my bloody shoe
on top of my unused trash bag.  


David said...

Well done sir.

C said...

David took the words right out of my mouth. Congrats.

Carolina John said...

Great job V! Anything that ends with Dogfish Head could only be so bad.

BrianFlash said...

Congrats on the married PR!

Now you can let that trash bag go. It won't be bad to say goodbye.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Great job!

Robin said...

Congrats on the married PR! Great post-race beer choice for the season. And the trash bag, you know you now need to see just how long you can really hold on to it-it's the stuff of legacy!

Nitmos said...

Way to drag the proverbial ball and chain all the way to the finish! Now, go take the garbage out.

Did you forget to fold over your nipple Band-Aids to save them for next race before they lose their adhesive? Curiously, no mention of this.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first Married Race and the fine choice of post-marathon brew.

DesiGujju said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Junk Miler said...

Congrats on your sub-5! Too bad you bled all over your shoes. Know what would have prevented that? No shoes.

Next year, I suggest going for a sub-4 so you can brag about taking an hour off your MPR.

Kelly said...

Nice finish, exactly one more than me this year.

Ironman By Thirty said...


For some reason I find it hilarious that on a shoeless hippie's blog that rarely posts pictures, the one picture you post is of your shoes.

Enjoy the married life!

B. Jarosz said...

Congrats on the nuptials, and on pushing through and finishing well!

(PS - nice brew choice, too!)

Jen Feeny said...

Kevin's comment was brilliant! LOL!

Congrats on the married PR and sub-5! You'll def better that next go around I have no doubt!!!

Laura said...

Congrats on the wedding and the race! I am most impressed by the fact that they had Dogfish Head at the finish. I really enjoyed Akron but could not stomach the crappy beer they were offering at the stadium.

B.o.B. said...

i missed this post and i am sorry! congrats on your race! now go rest. (ok so i saw that you did take some time off. lol)