Very good day to race. Love the cool rain, wind was not a factor. My hands were too cold, had trouble grabbing water, peeling bananas and opening gel packs. I was going to wear a loose rubber glove over my cotton gloves which probably would have been perfect but I forgot them. I knew I was going to have hand trouble and I did. This was frustrating but it is insignificant to my PR today. I reduced my old PR by 2 minutes 56 seconds. More than I hoped for. I love it when this happens because there usually are no surprises when it comes to finish times and more often than not, disappointment. Not today, I am SUPER HAPPY with how the race went today. My goal was to improve last months PR at the Salt Lake marathon of 3:20:06. My BQ is 3:25 and I wanted to hit one of the early registration windows which would be 3:20:00. I did it and then some.
I wasn't sure what I could do today being that I just went all out a few days less than a month ago. No way would I have ever set a goal of PR'ing by almost three minutes.
This begs the question, what if I hadn't raced Salt Lake? Or, maybe it helped, making me stronger a month later? I'll probably never know, too many variables at play, at least in my mind. But ... Fritz has won SL and Ogden back to back so something must be at play here.
I forgot to do this last year so I had to reinvent my morning routine for this race. It worked. Out of bed at 2am and out the door at 3:30. Had plenty of time. Parked on the other side of the bridge and walked 1.25 miles to the buses. I enjoyed the walk there and back and completely avoided the traffic mess on 24th and Lincoln (I think). Next time bring a mylar blanket, maybe a cushion. Poncho should also be a staple even when it's not raining.
My strategy for this race was to come out and run the first half at a 7:36 pace or maybe a tad better to put myself in position to hit sub 3:20. Mission accomplished, 1:38:16 at the half. This is about a minute and a half ahead of schedule. The table is set, If I can stay sub 7:37 each mile I've got it in the bag. I still felt like this was possible.
My next 4 miles began to worry me. Mile 14 has most of the "big hill" and mile 15 has the remainder with a little downhill relief. I went 7:43 and 7:51. I knew I was going to give up a little time here so I wasn't worried. The next two miles (16 & 17) were mostly downhill so I wanted to get back to those 7:30's and 7:25's. Didn't happen. I was very concerned here because I just couldn't do it, I went 7:42 & 7:42 again. I was afraid I might be unraveling.
Thank you Preston! Why this? Why here, Why now? In the field before the race Preston said to me "be confident, that's the coach in me talking to you". I remembered that and I was not going to let my confidence be shaken. Mile 18 to about 23 is a nice steep downhill and my legs were still strong. I saw the sign just past the dam that said Ogden 8 miles. I knew the terrain and I took control of my confidence. Mile 18, 7:17. YES! Now I'm taking back chunks of time and I feel strong enough to keep hammering. Mile 19, 7:33, still under my goal pace but I feel I can still go faster and pick up time. Mile 20, 7:33 again. Still happy, still very confident. Mile 21, 7:28, lovin' the sub 7:30's, Mile 22, 7:14 ... YES. Huge chunk right there! Mile 23 7:18, now I'm thinking "wow, I may be able to get a few minutes under 3:20. Stay focused, watch the foot strikes, don't slip, don't trip, don't slam into the chubby half marathon walkers hogging the road. (very big pet peeve)
I miss mile marker 24, oh know, I really need to know what's going on here. I don't feel fast at all. I'm hoping to be 15 minutes at mile 25, that would be ideal. I was 15:16 so I averaged 7:38. Very happy about that. Hang on, don't blow up, don't trip. Mile 26, 7:27. I almost can't believe it, 10 seconds faster than goal pace. The last .2 I know should only take 1:30 (that's a 7:30 pace, got that memorized). I'm throwing down all I've got but it takes me 1:39, that's the equivalent of an 8:15 pace. Good thing it was only .2 long.
.2 1:39 (8:15 pace)
1st half 1:38:16
2nd half 1:38:54