Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Utah Valley Marathon

On June 11, 2011 I ran the Utah Valley Marathon. I'm using the picture above for a couple of reasons. First, the runners in the Hope Valley Marathon are angled downhill and that was the theme of this marathon. I also felt like I took along with me the spirit of the TTC, Durham, and the Bull City Track Club. There were a lot of folks rooting for me from NC and I really felt those good vibes. I even think that all the support helped me overcome what was a pretty tight and sluggish day of running. When I was trying to loosen up the legs before the run, I never really could. I felt tight jogging, stretching and even during the entire 26.2 miles. Some days are just that way--tight.

Like I said, I never really felt all that great during the race. It was downhill and that did not seem particularly helpful. It started at 6,000 feet and dropped to 4,500 feet which I thought would be a huge help, but a physiology guy informed that altitude numbers like these probably account for 3-5% drop in performance.

My feet were throbbing in the second half of the race. Here are pictures of me slogging it out. It didn't help that the first half of race was all asphalt only to transition into a concrete slab for the last 13 miles.

All complaining aside, I set a PR by seven minutes from Umstead in April and by 20 minutes from my best road marathon. Even feeling sluggish I was fit enough to keep moving at 6:30 pace throughout the race. I attribute my success to 70+ mile weeks since January and a peak training week of 100 miles in early May. My first and second half splits were only 90 seconds apart. So the numbers were good, but I felt that on a better day I could have gone more than five minutes faster. I ran 2:50 and had a great time with North Carolina friends, Bob Callanan, Holly and Dave Plotts. I had never been to the Provo area of Utah and it was a great weekend getaway.

I thought I would be done with the marathon for a few years, but sub 2:45 is well within reach. I think it will happen on Patriot's Day with a handful of BCTC folks all trying to run fast and enjoy the Boston buzz.
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