Sunday, October 12, 2008

2:42:30

That's my new marathon p.r.! I just ran it today in the Spokane Marathon. Gina and I drove up from Sisters yesterday to visit my fam, so of course I had to fit in a race. Conveniently, the Spokane Marathon was this weekend. I had wanted to run it for a few years, but it never quite fit my schedule.

With 1,700' of climbing and equal descent, it's a tough course, and it's also very pretty. With no specific marathon training any time recently, I entered it wanting to run around 2:50, kind of a training race in my CIM preparation. (The kid with me is 19, running his first marathon, we're at mile 8; he ended up over an hour behind me; I felt bad for him, but like all of us, he'll learn!)

After a 7:02 first mile in 27 degree weather, I was cold so decided to speed up earlier than I originally planned, mainly to warm up. I just kept getting faster and faster all day. Here are some random splits that I remember: 3 - 19:38, 7 - 45:20, 10 - 63:50, 13 - 1:22:11, 20 - 2:05:00, 22 - 2:17:27, 26.2 - 2:42:30. There were 2 or 3 sub-6s somewhere in there, I think in the high-teens and low-20s. I was feeling good.

Anyway, when I finally realized I wasn't going to slow down, but just keep getting faster (somewhere around 20), I did some math-on-the-fly and realized I could actually get a p.r. So that became my goal and I went for it pretty hard to the finish, with my last 10k in 37:30 - which included the infamous "Doomsday Hill" from Bloomsday. The hill did nothing for me, speed-wise, anyway. It was fun flying by the hordes of 1/2 marathoners that had just joined the marathon course.

Finishing strong...and I even look like a runner!

I ran focused and with a purpose the last 30 minutes, and even got a slight case of tunnel vision in the last mile. That was kinda fun! I eventually wound my way back to Riverfront Park, weaved through oodles of people out playing, and found the slightly chaotic finish line. I say slightly chaotic because there were lots of 1/2ers finishing right around me and I came up to the finish so fast, I don't think they were really expecting me so they tried to point me into the 1/2 chute. I just went to the right one and then they figured it out.

I was stoked and tired when I finished. After 30 seconds, my mom found me and I had to lean on her while we walked to a seat. It felt so good just to sit there in the sun, warm and happy. I had just averaged 6:12 per mile for 26.2 of them and I had won. It was good. (Local celebrity!)

After winning uber-tough Crater Lake Marathon 2 months ago, then today's p.r. and win on another challenging course, it makes me realize that apparently I like the tough road marathons. And that running lots of miles in the mountains, with hardly any specific speed work, helps get me fit for said road marathons. Perhaps I'm on to something.

Now I have a little dilemma. I had originally planned on training hard the next 8 weeks with a specific goal of sub-2:40 at CIM. Now, after today's race, that seems kinda sand-baggish to me. Perhaps 2:37? That would make for a nice, round 6-flat pace. But that sounds pretty fast and intimidating. Opinions, suggestions, ideas??

One short note on the shoes I wore: Exactly 9 days before the marathon, Paul Curran sent me a new pair of tester shoes from END Footwear. END is a new, green, running shoe company out of Portland. Their goal is to make the greenest shoes possible, and very light shoes in the process. The model I'm testing is the YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), which weigh in at a svelte 8 oz, so they're light. I put about 60 miles on them in the week before Spokane, and I liked them so much that I decided to wear them for the race. Well, I loved them in the marathon, too! They're light, flexible, cushy, very light meshy upper that hugs my foot nicely, and best of all, they're fast! Zero blisters, and now, a day later, my legs really aren't beat up. I'm lovin' em. (Goat has done at least one write-up on END Footwear, too.) Watch for END in specialty stores in the near future -they're a good company and one that I feel good about endorsing. And, with my 2:42, that currently makes me the END Footwear Marathon World Record Holder! Pretty cool.

21 comments:

Trail Goat said...

So much for chillaxing the rest of the fall!? Way to go Colonel! That certainly moves you up the trail ultramarathon marathon PR charts.

Note to self: Draft Meissner early in next year's fantasy ultrarunning draft.

padre angulo said...

great work sean. congrats on the new PR. that is smokin fast!

Trail Goat said...

In the comments in suggestions camp: learn the lesson that you can run damn fast on negative splits. Check the topo: it's a bit faster on the front half. Go out in 1:18:30 for the first half if you want. DO NOT GO FASTER! Realize that it's your goal to go out that fast and don't let the crowd of fast runners or the hill sack your strategy and have you go through in 1:16 'cause you're feeling good. Of course you're feeling good at that point.

Rod Bien said...

Wow!!! Awesome job, old man! That is smoking fast. These road marathons may be your calling! You are sure good at them. Big congrats on an amazing run and WIN.
Yeah, go fast at CIM. Its a great marathon to do that at. You'll smoke that course.

Peter Lubbers said...

Wow, Sean. Awesome running!
Looking forward to see you break the 2:40 mark at CIM.

Darin Swanson said...

Great job and focus. Smoked the course and the other competitors...next guy 13 minutes back! Equally amazing is that you can do math on the run! :-)

My advice:
With the training of the next 8 weeks your body will be ready to do those 6 minute miles...just stay relaxed but focused like Spokane.
Go into CIM as a trail runner who has the speed in those last 10 miles to break it out...I agree that the negative split is the way to go. You will feed the speed as you pass the runners just trying to hang on :-)

saschasdad said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate all of the kudos. And I really appreciate the advice from Goat and Darin. You both definitely make a lot of sense - I'll have to remember that in 8 weeks. Thanks.

Makita said...

Wow! Way to go, Sean! You smoked Spokane! Congratulations on the PR and the win!

I'm just a novice so I don't have much advice re: CIM. I'm confidant you can achieve your goal, though.

:D

Ty Draney said...

Atta boy roady! Way to rock it. I'm hoping Paul sends me a pair to try out also...

KellyRoy said...

Sean all I can say is WOW! You are doing great on the hard marathons. CIM should be easy for you to PR, but but not to be negative, Boston should have been a sub 2:40 also. You said the last mile you were seeing tunnel vision, so you were pushing it to the limits, which is what you want to do. Saying that go for the PR and the sub 2:40 but take baby steps. That way the next time you do a marathon you can PR again and just keep having great experiences.
As far as training until then, what ever you have been doing is working! Keep it up.

Meghan said...

Dooooooood!

So this is what you've been up to! Huge congrats, Sean! You ran smart, yo!

Hmmmn, I think you will go way below 2:40 if you run with the same intelligence.

Hope you had a fabulous Tuva Tuesday! Hah!

Meghan

William Swint said...

Sean, great job on the 2:42! That's sick.Looking forward to seeing you at the Mcdonald Forest 15k. My goal is to finish before you are done and half way back to Sisters.

Brad Mitchell said...

Great time Sean - run smart and run your own race in your attempt at 2:37; you may be pleasantly surprised! Tear it up.

Grae Van Hooser said...

Don't make CIM a dilemma for yourself if it doesn't need to be. No need to over think it. If you feel you can hang with 6 minute pace, go for it. Strap on a watch and stay on pace. At CIM you can get rolling the first 20 miles. Just stick to your goal pace as long as you can. The only uphill that is what can be considered a "pace killer" is going up and across the bridge at about mile 23 or 24 miles,right before you hit down town. But by then the piano on your back is already fairly heavy, and like any other race, you put your head down and run to the end feeling like you can't take the pain any longer. But by then you'll be across the line. :)Grae

RunColo said...

Sean, awesome!

Jen Segger-Gigg said...

Congrats on a great season! Nice running. Enjoy the new PR but remember that it just means you have to get even faster at the next one!!! Cheers - seegs

Rick Gaston said...

Hey Sean, I'm an occasional lurker on your blog. Just came out to say, freakin awesome on the marathon time. Love hearing/reading about ultra folk doing well in the marathons. Good luck at CIM.

Jamie Donaldson said...

Congrats Sean! That's pretty fast for an ultra runner :)! WOW!

Trail Goat said...

Colonel, glad I could offer some advice from the slow and steady school of running. :-)

Ooops.. I hadn't even noticed that you ran in the YMMV. They ARE A fun shoe. I got them the first day of the summer Outdoor Retailer show and ran the Uphill Challenge in them the very next day. I've been using the YMMV (or their water loving brother, the WOW) regularly for my recovery runs ever since. They also go on when I want to run some fast stuff. Thanks for the shout out, too. I also did one write up about END Footwear as a company (http://blog.irunfar.com/2008/07/end-beginning-of-sustainable-footwear.html) and will be posting a second part of the END company profile soon. Their good people trying to do good things.

Hart said...

bad ass

muddygirl said...

Hey Sean,

Great race!!! Good luck at CIM - it's a totally different course than Spokane. I think your strategy of doing negative splits will really work in CIM because it's flatter, or downhill in the 2nd half. There won't be hills to vary the stress on your legs, so save them a bit in the beginning. Have a great one!

PS It was great to see you (briefly) at the state meet - your kids did great! Kelly (one of the other ones)