Monday, October 18, 2010
I'm not sure when or why people started calling Columbus Cbus, but it does seem to work. So of course the Columbus Marathon can also simply be called Cbus.
Well over 20 Medina County Road Runners made the trek, and as predicted, it was a blast. Our little carload included Debbie, Brad, Michelle, Nancy and Dan Daubner. Brad was able to get all of us, *and* all our stuff, into his SUV. We were able to adhere to Debbie's *rigid* schedule for the trip and our time on Saturday. That meant getting to lunch, the expo and then dinner as planned. Dinner at Buca's was still more fun.
We lined up for the group photo, then lined up for the race and were off. The weather was almost perfect: upper 40s at the start, and mostly 50s during the course of the morning's running. I never felt too warm or too cold.
Except, that is, for the arm-warmer problem. Charles and his family made tie-died arm warmers for everyone from old tube socks. A little reluctantly, I wore mine for the first several miles. They actually felt great for most of that time. By about mile 8 or so, they started feeling too warm. I mentioned to Debbie that I didn't really want to throw them away, so she suggested I stuff them in my shorts. My response was, "people might think I have a problem." She suggested the back of my shorts, and my response was, "people might think I had a *different* problem." With no better options available, I did toss them. At that point I did feel fine again, temperature-wise.
Several of the early miles were with Debbie. I made a pit stop, but caught her again. We saw the governor in beautiful Bexley at about the 4 mile mark. The plan was for Brad, Debbie and I to stick with the 3:20 pace group, at least for most of the way. Brad wanted to try to qualify for Boston with a 3:15, however, so he started to get ahead of us fairly early on. Debbie and I were just ahead of the group when they caught us at about mile 8 or 9. I stayed ahead of them, but Debbie fell back.
I picked it up a bit more, and was probably a minute ahead of the group at the half-way point in about 1:38:40.
A few weeks ago I ran some pretty good late-summer races, including the Crim 10-Mile and the River Run Half. Based on my times at these races, I thought I was in pretty good shape, and had a shot at improving on my spring marathon times. It would be tough to beat the 3:13 I did in Cleveland, but I thought I had it in me. But then I found myself in Romania. I always seem to eat too much when I travel, and this trip was no exception. To atone for the increase in calories, I tried to run more, and of course this just exacerbated the tapering problem. So my plan for Cbus was to try to run with the 3:20 pace group and "see what happens".
By the time I'd reached 13.1 miles, however, I was starting to think 3:15. That would take pretty good negative splits, but I thought it was possible. I picked up the pace a bit, and caught Brad when we were going through the OSU campus at about mile 16. We stayed together for a while, but he was struggling and fell back. I hit mile 20 at pretty close to 2:30. I would have to pick it up even more in the final 10k.
I did manage to run still slightly faster than I had been. I didn't quite do 3:15, but I did the next best minute: 3:16 (and 13 seconds). In that second half, and especially that final 10k, I'd given it all I had.
3:16 is pretty good, and I'm happy with it. But would it have been better if I didn't travel? If I wouldn't have run 40 miles the previous weekend? It's hard to say.
After a fun after-the-race get together at Max & Erma's, it was back into Brad's vehicle, and onto the road again. Amongst other things, we discussed burnout. Several MCRR runners were at least somewhat unhappy with their runs, and a couple had to drop out with injuries. Debbie especially felt Burned out (notice the capital B), after all the racing she's done recently, she had a tough time in the second half. Brad was a bit disappointed too. Michelle, Dan and Nancy, on the other hand, were fairly happy with their runs. What about my 3:16? I could try for a faster marathon at Inland Trail next week, but considering the burnout factor, am thinking better of it. I do have Stomp the Grapes Half in three weeks. That should be enough.
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