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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've run AFM for several years now - sometimes as just a training run, other times as a pretty hard effort (though not all out) beore an October goal marathon. With the exception of the 1st time I ranit and one time when I went out stupid fast, I've run this race quite well. BQ'ed there for the 1st time in 5 years when I was just going for a 3:14, I broke 3 hours for the first time ever when going for a 3:02-3:03, so I had some good feelings gong into this run.<br><br>
A friend of mine, Bill, was looking to run about the same time I was. My PR is 2:53:31 set 2 years ago, and my goal for NYC is 2:45. I wanted to PR at AFM to kind of bridge the gap between 2:53 and 2:45 (going for an 8 minute PR just SOUNDS dumb to me!). So my goal was somewhere around 2:50-2:51 provided the effort was comfortable. Bill was looking to break 2:50 so we decided to run together at least the first part and see how we felt. 6:30-6:40 was the goal for us through the first 8 miles.<br><br>
I got to the race a little late (I had a minivan full of runners!) and connected with Bill at the front of the pack. The weather was perfect - after weeks in thehig 90's, race day was around 50 at the start, sunny and clear. We took off and are immediately behind about 40 people - I told him we'd pass a lot of these folks. 6:45 for the first mile felt fast but w were warming up. Uphill 2nd mile was 6:53 which was a relief - I wanted every mile under 7:00 and I igured that would be a tough one because of the long hill. M3 was 6:35 and now we're warmed up and getting on pace and on the flatter sections.<br><br>
The course was slightly changed and they had an out & back section soat about mile 9-10 we estimated we were in about 30th place. We turned and I got to see all my friends running - Mike going for a big PR (nailed it - 13 minutes!!), Dave, Scott, Rachel and Scott out for training runs, Nate running his frst marathon (3:29 - stud!) and Ed pacing him along. Bill and I started to pick up the pace from ~6:35 to 6:25 for a couple of miles. We hit the half in 1:25:39 by my watch - perfect for me, and Bill wanted to negative split to break 2:50. So now we start picking people off, hoping to get into the top 15 or 20. A couple of 6:15's and we're now rolling, still feelig really good, but also knowing there are hills at mile 20 and a big mutha at 22-23.<br><br>
Bill - for all his talent in running - cannot drink and run fast at all. Every water station, he'd sow don,I'd slack bac just a little and then he'd push to catch up. Around mile 16/17, I knew a water stop was coming so he got out ahead and then when he slowed to drink I'd catch up. So when he saw one coming, he'd pick up the pace. Around mile 19 he was one stepping me - staying one step out in front. We had told each other if one wanted to go hard, leave the other one so I reminded him of this. I felt like I was working hard enough to run 6:15 so when he started pulling ahead a little I let him go. He got maybe 10-20 yards ahead and that really helped pull me along. I wasn't hurting, but I could have been convinced to slow down! I took a gel, and looked to find some friends running the half marathon. This was a good distraction/motivation - I wanted to be hauling ass as I passed them so I kept the pace up.<br><br>
By this point we're around mile 22 - hill dead ahead. I had pulled back even with Bill and actually went by him though I could hear him right behind me. I figure I'm committed now - I've got a really good shot at breaking 2:50 and I felt decent so why not go for it - it might cost me a little at NYC, but how many times will I be at that point in a marathon feeling THAT good?! I start really pressing - not esy since we were weaving in and out of half marathoners (many with headphones on and running 4-5 across - good thing the road was wide, but the water stations wre a pain and I almost bowled a few people over!)<br><br>
6:31 up the hill - pushing HARD. I don't feel any cramping coming on and a few minor clibs and I knew I'd have a clear downhill to the flat final mile and the finish. Mile 24 was 6:06 and I'm totally focused now. A friend had come to watch the race and I didn't see/hear him until he grabbed my hand and yelled! Downhill mile 25 6:00 - I really wanted to go sub 6 there but I knew I had a shot at low 2:48 so I wasn't disappointed. One more mile to push - at this point, I'm running alongside the 2:00-2:10 half marathoners so it was very crowded. I couldn't tell how far behind me Bill was, Icouldn't see if there wee any marathoners in front of me to catch so it was just moving as fast as I could. I found ot later I did pick up another spot in the last mile so that was cool. 6:18 for the 26th mile and I ended up finishing in 2:48:05 - a 5:26 PR! I waited for Bill who was about 25 seconds behind me - a minute PR for him as well.<br><br>
I felt fantastic - when I ran my 2:53, I was completely spent when I hit the finish. This time, I wasn't sore, cramping - hell yes, I was tired and didn't feel like running a cooldown, but I felt really good. I ended up 11th overall, 2nd in my AG, Bill was 13th (the guy I passed followed me and Bill didn't quite reel him in).<br><br>
Though I may have cost myself a little at NYC - I bounce back pretty quick so with 7 weeks to go and given how good I feel today, I think 2:45 is more than realistic (2nd half was 1:22:26 - if I can run that two times in NYC, I'm there!). What helped TREMENDOUSLY was having Bill to run with - the first 15 miles just flew by - we never once looked for a mile marker, they just kept popping up on us. The weather was so good, and running together made it feel like we did a 17-18 mile warmup and then raced the last hour or so.<br><br>
Thanks for reading - I know it was a long report, but I'm a little excited!<br><br>
Final note - how did I celebrate? By getting home and then taking the family to King's Island and walking around all day!
 

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This is how I want to race my marathon! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/headbang.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headbang"><br><br>
Whoa. Just whoa. HUGE PR on a "training run."<br><br>
I like the decision you made when you realized your chances. Incredible teamwork with Bill.<br><br>
You'll have lots more competition in NYC to pull you along -- I already look forward to how you do there.<br><br>
Congrats. Recover well.
 

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atta boy Pacer!!!! Mr Armstrong meet MR. Pacer's ass...there is a good chance you are gonna be seeing it in front of you at the finsih!
 

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Nice job <b>Pacer</b>...Kings Island huh? Totally going to own NYC, and I think Duck pointed out you qualified for the women's Olympic trials!
 

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Damn dude, you really ran a spectacular race! Very impressed and very proud! I'm looking forward to running in your smoking tracks @NYC.
 

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Holy Carp Chris!!! Awesome job!!! I bow to thee. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

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Fantastic RR and superb race, <b>Pacer</b>! You have 2:45 in the bag!
 

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I was <i>amazed</i> at the number of sub-3 people at this race... you did great, of course.<br><br>
Did you see Chuck Engle? He came in second overall (though well behind the leader). However, he started BEHIND the entire crowd. He didn't blow by me until I was at M1... that's a tough way to start your day.<br><br>
Did you like that little out-and-back? I like out-and-backs because I like to see people, but I'm not sure why they decided to add that in <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused"><br><br>
Nice report. I hope you got to the food before the pizza was all gone. Ha.
 

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Fantastic race Chris! Very impressive. You <i>should</i> be excited! Congratulations!!!!!
 

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Amazing job-I remember looking at your training reports in that thread and being in awe. All that hard work definately paid off this time-Congrats<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Chuck came steaming past us at the top of the hill around 2 miles - he was humping along.<br><br>
Course changes - they cut out my favorite part - that little stretch in the woods just past the great water station at ~16/17, but overall I was OK with the changes. They wanted to make it more accessible to spectators - I maybe noticed ~10% more people. I did like the out & back because I got to see a bunch of people I knew (and they were behind me - even better!) I was glad they didn't monkey around with the course too much - I like knowing what to expect when I'm going for a fast time.<br><br>
I had hoped to stick around and chat with you and Timr, but I had to collect my minivan full of runners and get home.
 

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That's ashame... not so much because I wasn't able to grace you with my presence and wit <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">, but mostly because it means you missed some cool flyovers.<br><br>
That's one of the very unique things about this race. Course is kind of boring, but there aren't a whole lot of places where big flying machines buzz you.<br><br>
(the only other one I can think of is Bataan, where a spotter helicopter swoops the course all day long. It's not as inspiring as the Air Force planes, but it will rattle your teeth).
 

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Great report about a great effort!
 

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This effort by you only further strengthens my total man crush.<br><br>
Way to go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/headbang.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headbang">
 
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