Monday, May 3, 2010

Eugene Marathon and Beyond

Bib Number: 537
Age: 47
Gender: M
Location: Portland, OR
Overall Place: 131/2333
Division Place: 16/170
Gender Place: 113/1252
Time: 3:05:07
Pace: 7:04

1- 6:49.2
2- 6:42.6
3- 6:53.6
4- 6:41.0
5- 6:58.8
6- 6:49.7
7- 6:46.8
8- 7:01.4
9- 7:02.9
10- 6:55.6
11- 6:57.4
12- 7:00.8
13- 6:53.6
14- 7:02.3
15- 7:00.5
16- 6:55.3
17- 6:57.1
18- 7:06.8
19- 7.15.5
20- 7:05.6
21- 7:09.1
22- 7:16.9
23- 7:24.4
24- 7:32.0
25- 7:32.9
26- 7:23.2
0.2*- 1:53

First half: 1:30:15
Second half: 1:34:52

Aching hips, tight, painful knees, sore heel and those two god-damned blisters, one on each foot right behind the big toes—those are the things that make me want to throw in the towel on chasing Spiridon. I drew just a shade over a minute closer to the Greek at yesterday's Eugene Marathon. Not much progress. A 3:05:07 is a PR for me and hell-yeah I'm proud of it. And the race in many ways was, as races tend to be, a total gas: a great adventure, a grand opera, an epic novel in my own mind. Yet I'm pissed off, too, because if I'd been thoughtful in my sock selection I would have worn a pair I know don't give me blisters. I've run wet 50-milers and avoided blisters. I'm not a blistering guy. Today, however, blisters cost me because I didn't make sure to wear the right socks. How lame is that? These are quarter-sized, ballooning blisters. Big mothers. They began to bother me around mile 10, became downright painful around mile 15, and over the last three or four miles prevented me from running freely. It sucked, because while I didn't have enough to break three hours—let me repeat, I was not going to break three hours yesterday—I did have more to give. I would have been a minute or two faster, which isn't meaningful as far as the Eugene result goes: the race was there, on the course, from start to finish, no addenda, explanations or excuses. But that stupidly lost time matters as I ponder whether to make a go at three hours again. There's a part of me—the aching part—that wants to think I've reached my limit, pushed it as far as I can go. I see these folk who were born in Reagan's second term—when college was already in my rear-view mirror—scampering by and think: I'm too old for this, too old and beat up. But. But, but, but. I know I had 3:03 fitness yesterday. Again, that doesn't mean I get to pretend I ran a 3:03. It is enough, however, to tempt me into thinking I can get under three hours, which, by the way, I'm counting as catching Spiridon, even though it really isn't. Sorry, Spiro. We're all kicking the Greeks these days.

*They obviously added some distance onto that post-Mile-26 marker stretch to make the course certified. I ran that part hard, probably close to 6:00/mile pace, so 0.2 miles would have taken me 1:20-1:30.

Sunday, May 2, 2010