Sunday, May 16, 2010

Green Bay Marathon 2010 Race Report

May 16th, 2010, 8:00am,

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Temperature 52F-60F, 64%-55%, Sunny

Background:

Post-Honolulu I needed a couple of months to mentally recover. I had run four marathons in less than three months. Once I had recovered I began to look for a target race. I did not want to run Eugene again.


While I might never run a marathon in all 50 states I want to knock down as many of them as possible. Green Bay would give me another state, had great reviews on marathonguide and seemed like a fast and flat course. So I committed to visiting the land of cheese and football.


My training was not great but I did get in a few 20 milers... My race timings in Bloomsday and the Tulip 5-miler werre not stellar to say the least but I remained optimistic. Then during taper I got wussy and tried to avoid the rain by running on the TM. I never learn! I injured my calf on a tempo-run :( [This would later become a tear which would keep me out of running for 2+ months after the race].


My goal going into the race again was a PR i.e. a sub-3:17... I guess irrespective of my training or fitness level I was always going to give that a shot...


Pre-Race

Not much happens in Green Bay EXCEPT football. It has a huge football history and goes by the name "title town". While I'm not a huge football fan, I did not want to miss out on the "experience" ... I took the Lambert field tour and explored the Packer museum. Vince Lombardi was their legendary and inspirational coach... We all can do with some inspiration!


I got in a two mile pre-race warm-up run... I could feel my calves and it was not that easy to get into pace. Pre-race day runs have never felt great so I was not unduly perturbed.


There were pasta-feed tickets with my bib (even though I had not paid for them) so I had a quick bite. Free is always good :p


Eric, Julie, Elisa and Robyn had made the trek to GB too! We met up at a local Italian place for dinner... Charlie and Michael were partaking in the experience, being supportive husbands :) Hanging out with them enhanced my race weekend!


Race:

I lined up with Eric, Robyn and Elisa. I lost them within the first mile and was running by myself.

The course progressed through the residential neighborhoods. There was pretty decent crowd support!

mile 1: 7:40

mile 2: 7:37

mile 3: 7:29

Luckily, my calf was not bothering me. I guess the race day adrenaline does carry you through quite a bit...

mile 4: 7:24

mile 5: 7:37

mile 6: 7:33

mile 7: 7:32

mile 8: 7:21

mile 9: 7:37

mile 10: 7:30

mile 11: 7:31

mile 12: 7:37

mile 13: 7:34

half: 1:38:52

Hmmm... I knew the PR was not going to happen...

mile 14: 7:41

The course entered a bike path. This reminded me of Vermont and Eugene. I remembered RunningFatMan aka Dave. I had run with him for a bit during mile 14 of VCM '05. Little did I know that it would be the last time I would see him. He had committed suicide soon after, unable to cope with issues that challenged him :( I often think of him when I hit mile 14 of marathons :(

mile 15: 7:41

mile 16: 7:42

mile 17: 7:50

I cannot forget the sight of the Pelicans as I crossed the bridge. I had to come back to this spot after the race... There are some race moments that you never forget and this was one of them!

mile 18: 7:58

mile 19: 7:53

mile 20: 7:59

En-route Lambert the course had started to get back to the residential neighborhoods. There was very little shade. The bright sun and heat (not drastic but not optimal) was beginning to take its toll on me...

The 3:20 pace group passed me which is never encouraging :) Having had three straight death marches at NYCM, Seattle and Honolulu I was determined to have a respectable finish this time around...

mile 21: 7:57

mile 22: 8:19

mile 23: 8:06

mile 24: 8:14

mile 25: 8:10

mile 26: ??

Running a loop around the hallowed ground of Lambert field was cool. We got to enter through the entrance as the players do... Not too many get to retrace these steps! Even though I was struggling I tried to enjoy the experience.

mile .22: ??

I met everyone at an ale house for lunch...

Elisa narrowly missed her PR. Eric got a solid 3:12 and Julie justified her elite status coming in 9th OA and 2 AG which bagged her two medals! Robyn DNFed to save it for another run.

I checked out the Green Bay zoo and headed home to Seattle after a reasonable effort (my 5th fastest marathon finish)...


Results:

Chip Time: 03:23:57 @ 7:47

Gun Time: 03:24:11

OA: 216/1790

Male: 187/1079


Reflections:

I am writing this report exactly six months after I ran this race... Therefore, while the memories of this experience have faded I've been able to reflect on what it means to have run this/a marathon. For four months after the marathon I did not run at all. I had to recover from the calf tear. Once I recovered, I never managed to get back on a schedule. I was travelling quite a bit and there were other distractions.


I always knew this but it's another reminder... "Running" a marathon is non-trivial. It requires commitment, discipline and a certain level of fitness. Someday perhaps I won't be able to do it anymore. So while I still can I'm going to be ecstatic each time I cross the finish line - you never know one of these might be my last :)

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