Monday, January 15, 2007

Houston Marathon results...

Well, I continued on my trend for the year. (Having a good race marred by an unpleasantry)

Of course, the weather was perfect. The woman set a course record for the full marathon, and a new US record was set in the men's half marathon. I always joke that they put the average temperature on the literature to entice runners from other states, but that the weather has varied between hot and humid and arctic chill. Luckily, this year we managed to get the weather right in the middle. It could've been 10° cooler, but that would really be complaining.

My prerace training wasn't ideal because of my cruise and wrist. But having done 17 Houston marathons in a row, I had to toe the start line for number 18. Things were going brilliant until the 10K mark, when I hit a seam in the pavement. This time I fell down on my right side, hurting my hand, elbow, shoulder, and the back and front of my chest. The guy running next to me said, "Gosh, are you okay?" I said, "yeah" --- and after running about three steps, feeling the impact of my flying forward roll and seeing my bleeding hand, I revised that to, "No, I really hurt." I got patched up at the 7 mile medical tent and kept going, but I'll have to admit I was thinking that 20 miles was a long way to go at that point, especially after I missed my wife at our usual 8 mile rendezvous.

I ended up finishing strong at 4:55 (4:50 chip time) - just a one minute per mile fade off of my planned 10 minute pace over the last 20 miles. Medically, it's not that bad, but I did go to the post-race medical for only the second time in 18 marathons, and my chest hurts worse than my legs, if you can believe that. Still, the time was a twenty minute improvement over last year...

Funny story, I joined a training group and have consistently run at the very back of the pack at a 10 minute pace all year. I was the guy constantly cajoling the others to run the actual workout instead of speeding through. Some weekends, I would come in last, a half an hour behind the next closest guy. I passed two runners from the group two miles from the finish. I wonder if I should tease them a bit?

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