Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Twin Cities Marathon Report

Here is the report for my recent race, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. It's in two parts. Part I is the nutshell version with the basic stuff on just the race and Part II is the expanded detail oriented version covering the entire trip. If you only have a minute  hit the first but comeback for all the good stuff later...

Part I

This was my third marathon, period. And the third in the last twelve months. I knocked 61 minutes off from my first to second and at Twin Cities I shaved off another 38 minutes for a new PR and broke the 4 hour mark. So in my first year back running consistently I have managed to slice 99 minutes off of my marathon time. Suffice to say that I am pleased with my results. I do want to mention that there were some righteous performances from fellow Rush Runners. Brandon BG Gardner blazed a 2:52, Dave Kelley was on his heels at 3:05, Marilyn Caufield ran a 3:12 to place fifth in her age group. She got her name in the Pioneer Press, the St. Paul newspaper. Tony Matthews followed that up with a 3:13, Craig Adams 3:18, Ali Rush 3:26, Mike Rush got chicked by his wife at 3:28 and Shannon McFarland finished in 3:32. I was next at 3:54 and fifteen other Rush Runners finished as well. Shout outs to Steve "Doc" Kimbrough, Jimmy Randolph, Ivan, Giovanni and Eduardo for completing their first marathons. Doing a long race with such a large group was a first for me and was a great experience. Already tossing ideas around for the next one. 
The event is well organized and run, as would be expected from a 30 year old classic. Plenty of well manned and stocked aid stations, plenty of company with thousands of fellow runners at the start, great traffic control and outstanding spectator support. The course is quite scenic once you get out of the Metrodome area and into the neighborhoods about mile two. The course is PR friendly but there was a bit more uphill elevation the last 10k than I anticipated. The Twin Cities seems like a cool place to visit and I wouldn't hesitate to spend a four day weekend there with the family. 
As far as my performance I have to say that the key was being steady with my pace. That was the plan going in and I executed it pretty well. I stayed hydrated by hitting every aid station until the last 10k where I skipped a few only hitting them every second mile. My fueling was consistent every 5-6 miles with GU gels and I also used a Vespa before the start and again about 25k into the race. Besides breaking the 4 hour mark another goal was to finish strong. Mission accomplished. I ran negative splits over the final 10k from an 8:58 mile at mile 20 down to a 7:40 to cross the finish line. My knee held up better than expected and feels the best it has in quite some time today. I did visit the Rocktape booth at the expo to get a tape job from the reps. I have to say I think there may have been something to that. During the race the biggest issue was lower abdominal pain at the site of a hernia surgery that kicked in by the halfway point. My feet were barking pretty good including my achilles and my hip flexors were sore as well. Today all of those are good, the only lingering soreness is in my quads. 
I do have to pass along a word of advice to anyone considering traveling a long distance for a marathon. Sitting in a vehicle for 10+ hours the day after is maybe not such a good idea. At every gas or pit stop the soreness was more and more noticeable for both me and my wingman, Robert Standridge. The thought of driving home the day of the race was even worse. Just be prepared for your body to rebel a bit if you put it through that kind of abuse and then ignore it for a period of time. While I don't feel this was the absolute best I was capable of it's a big step in the right direction and a nice confidence booster. I have many folks to thank including my family for putting up with me spending the time I do training. For my training buddy, Brian Wilmoth, much appreciation is due. I wouldn't be the runner I am today without your support. Mike Rush, Drew Connor and the entire Rush Running staff for letting this dork hang around and ask questions and not showing me the door. There is not a better locally owned and operated running store, period. My brother in law, Martin Philip, for being a cheerleader all the way from Vermont and a great example of what a runner should be all about. And of course my Pop who shares every step with me.

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