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<span style="font-size:large;"><b>Race Report - Bay State Marathon</b></span><br><b>October 14th, 2007</b><br><i>Lowell, MA</i><br><br><b>SHORT VERSION</b><br>
3:37:43 gun time, 3:37:15 chip time. NEW MARATHON PERSONAL BEST (PREVIOUSLY 3:42:41).<br>
248th out of 717.<br>
67th out of 128 men aged 30-39.<br><br><b>LONG VERSION</b><br><br>
This was my 4th running of the Bay State Marathon in Lowell, Massachusetts. I ran my first Bay State in 2004 just one month after running the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2005, I attempted to qualify for the Boston Marathon during the Bay State Marathon, and ran a personal best, but blew up at mile 19, and struggled home. In 2006, I just ran it to see what I could do, and set a personal best.<br><br>
For 2007, the Bay State was an after thought really. During the summer, I followed the Pfitzinger/Douglass 18 week, up to 70 miles per week program while I was training for the Equinox Marathon. My plan was, if I was properly recovered from the Equinox Marathon, I would run Bay State, and try to run a personal best. After the Equinox, I was going to follow the Pfitzinger/Douglass 4 week plan between to marathons to get ready for the Bay State.<br><br>
That was the plan anyway. The Equinox ended up be a real disaster as I'm sure must of you know. I wasn't able to finish the Equinox due to illness, and was only able to complete 12.7 miles of the Equinox. That fact would be a big factor in what happened today.<br><br>
The 4-week plan essentially uses your first marathon as your last 20+ mile run for the second marathon. Obviously, that didn't quite work out in this case. I attempted to do a 20 miler one day during the 4 week plan, but I had run a 1/2 marathon just 3 days before, and had very sore legs by mile 13 on that training run. The rest of the plan had gone well, but the lack of a 20+ miler in the final 8 weeks really concerned me heading into the Bay State.<br><br>
Race morning, I awoke to nearly perfect conditions for running. I was greeted by sunny skies and 43 degrees at the start with a 41 dew point. By the time I finished the race, it was 55 degrees with a 37 dew point. The wind was not a factor early in the race, but it got stronger during the race, and became a factor as the day went on.<br><br>
For today's race I decided to run in compression fit spandex shorts, and a Nike Pro DriFIT tank top. I pinned 4 GU energy gels to the belt of my shorts with the plan of taking one at mile 6, mile 11, mile 16 and mile 21.<br><br>
The course for the marathon is available online <a href="http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=170349" target="_blank">here</a>. It is billed as a "double-loop" course. Marathoners run 3 miles out, and then start the first of two loops from the Rourke Bridge to the Tyngsboro Bridge, then they cross the Tyngsboro bridge, and run back on the other side of the Merrimack River to the Rourke Bridge. Runners cross over the Rourke bridge the first time, and return to the Tyngsboro bridge. Upon crossing the Tyngsboro bridge, runners then run to the Aiken Street bridge where the runners cross over the bridge, and finish on the ball field where the Lowell Spinners play their home games.<br><br>
I got to the starting line, did a quick warm up run, and then stretched out trying to get the body loose for the day. I was feeling pretty good so I decided to try to execute my plan.<br><br>
I lined up probably too far back, as when the gun sounded, I was having to hold myself back because of people around me who weren't running the pace I wanted to run. Early in the race, I saw a friend who I talk running with online. He was easy to spot, he was wearing a bright pink tank top with the words "Breast Cancer Sucks" written on it. He is a cancer survivor, and his wife is fighting breast cancer, and this year he has run 49 marathon distance or greater races for her. I tapped him on the shoulder and introduced myself. His dedication and strength are simply amazing.<br><br><b>Mile 1 - 8:44.6.</b> This includes my chip time. In actuality, the mile was probably more like 8:17.6. It was tough getting out of the pack of runners. I was feeling pretty good, but when I saw the 8:44.6, I was not happy. I was trying to run 8:00s. My heart rate was much higher than I was hoping for. It was 171 and averaged 166 for that mile.<br><br><b>Mile 2 - 7:57.8. 16:42.4</b> I felt better about this mile. I was finding my desired pace. It felt too fast though. My heart rate at the end of that mile was 170 and averaged 167.<br><br><b>Mile 3 - 7:54.3. 24:36.7</b> Okay, the pack of runners was about to thin out. See, this race has both a half marathon and a full marathon. The half marathoners course turns right at mile 3 while the full marathoners go straight. That was going to be a big help. At the end of mile 3, my HR was 168 and averaged 166 for the mile.<br><br><b>Mile 4 - 8:01.9. 32:38.6</b> I was near my desired pace. I was okay with being slightly over the 8:00 mark because this mile has one of the few hills on the course. It's not a killer hill, but it's enough to let you know it's there. My heart rate at the end of mile 4 was 164 and averaged 166.<br><br><b>Mile 5 - 7:59.4. 40:38.0</b> Still maintaining my desired pace. I was feeling okay. In fact, during this mile, one of the local high school coaches told me "You're looking relaxed." I told him "I'm trying hard to be relaxed." The mile felt pretty good. The heart rate at the end of that mile was 165 and averaged 166.<br><br><b>Mile 6 - 7:58.5. 48:36.5</b> The pace was still feeling good. Just before I hit the mile marker, I grabbed the first of the energy gels that were pinned to my shorts. The heart rate was at 168 and averaged 167 for that mile. I was still feeling pretty good.<br><br><b>Mile 7 - 8:07.2. 56:43.7</b> During this mile, I wasn't able to maintain the pace, and that was going to be a theme in the coming miles. See, until I hit the half marathon mark, I didn't want my heart rate to go over 170. So, I was trying to manage two competing goals, the heart rate vs. the pace. I knew if I ran the pace and it was too hard, the body would blow up late in the race. I opted for the heart rate. At the end of mile 7, it was 167 and averaged 167.<br><br><b>Mile 8 - 7:59.0. 1:04:42.7</b> Back on pace, but it was tough to maintain the pace. I still felt my breathing was good, but I was starting to notice a bit of stiffness in the quads. The lactic acid might have been building up. At the mile marker, my heart was at 169 and during the mile it averaged 167.<br><br><b>Mile 9 - 8:09.6. 1:12:52.3</b> During this mile, we went over the Tyngsboro bridge. The bridge felt awkward and seemed to shift a bit under our feet. I was not the only one who had thoughts about what had happened in Minnesota. The bridge goes over the Merrimack River. I joked to someone "I'm glad it didn't collapse, it's a marathon, not a triathlon." The heart rate at the mile 9 mark was 169 and averaged 167.<br><br><b>Mile 10 - 7:59.6. 1:20:51.9</b> I was back on my desired pace, but that was going to be the last mile that I would run at 8:00 or under. My heart rate kept jumping into the 170s, and I wanted to maintain less than 170 until the turn at mile 13.1. At the end of that mile, my heart rate was 171 and averaged 169.<br><br><b>Mile 11 - 8:06.0. 1:28:57.9</b> At this point I was no longer able to hold the 8:00/mile pace. At least not with my heart rate in the desired area. But I knew I was still on a personal best pace. So I wasn't too disappointed. As I hit the marker, I grabbed my second energy gel from my belt. At the end of mile 11, my heart rate was 168 and averaged 169.<br><br><b>Mile 12 - 8:06.5. 1:37:04.4</b> Consistent pace for this mile, but the heart rate was higher than I would have liked. Some of that was caused by the fact that the gel didn't open very well, and I had to really struggle to get the gel into me. That meant having the gel packet in my mouth longer than I liked, and it effected my breathing. At the end of the mile, my heart rate was 173 and averaged 170.<br><br><b>Mile 13 - 8:12.6. 1:45:17.0</b> I went over the Rourke Bridge during this mile. It has more of an incline than it looks like. During this portion I saw some of the slower half marathoners, and I did my best to shout "Good Job" to every one of them who were going the other way. I was also starting to notice in this mile, the wind was starting to come up. The heart rate was 174 and averaged 173.<br><br><b>Half - 0:52.2. 1:46:09.2</b> I was through the halfway point. And now it was time to go back up to the Tyngsboro bridge. This was going to be more difficult though. The wind had picked up, and it was a headwind. At the half marathon, my heart rate was 172 and it averaged 172 from mile 13 to the 1/2 point.<br><br><b>Mile 14 - 7:19.9. 1:53:29.1</b> - Note, this is the time from the half marathon point to mile 14. I struggled a bit here. The hill that had slowed me in mile 4 had slowed me again here. When I got to the mile 14 marker, my heart rate was at 179 with an average of 175 for the time from the half marathon point.<br><br><b>Mile 15 - 8:11.9. 2:01.41.0</b> - During this mile I saw the guy who had told me I looked relaxed. I told him "Not so relaxed this time." He told me "You're still looking great." I also saw my first walkers in this mile. I started to pass people who were struggling. I finished the mile with a heart rate of 174 and an average rate of 177.<br><br><b>Mile 16 - 8:18.2. 2:09:59.2</b> - I was starting to feel it a bit more here, and was slowing down, especially with the wind. I was still trying to manage the heart rate and keep it in the 170s until mile 20. Just before I hit the mile 16 marker, I took my 3rd energy gel. Then, I joked with a couple of kids at the water stop. "Mile 16. Is this where the real race starts?" It was met with blank stares. The heart rate was 175 at the mile marker and 176 average for the time.<br><br><b>Mile 17 - 8:16.5. 2:18:15.7</b> - During this mile I saw something totally awesome. 4 Shelby Cobras drove by us. As one who loves a beautiful old car I loved seeing them. I said to the runner next to me "Isn't that cool?" He said "Oh yea." The wind was definitely a factor. At the end of 17 I had a heart rate of 179 with an average heart rate of 177.<br><br><b>Mile 18 - 8:21.3. 2:26:37.0</b> - I was feeling it more and more at this point, especially the head winds. I finished the mile with a heart rate of 180 with an average of 177. That was higher than I wanted to be. I figured it was the wind that had done it.<br><br><b>Mile 19 - 8:19.0. 2:34:56.0</b> - During this mile, we crossed back over the Tyngsboro bridge. Once over the bridge, the wind was more of a tail wind than a head wind, though it wasn't 100% at my back. I was still hanging tough. The heart rate was 179 at the marker, and averaged 178 for the mile.<br><br><b>Mile 20 - 8:24.1. 2:43:20.1</b> - A tough mile. I was really starting to feel it. There was a sign on the road at the mile 20 marker. Someone had painted "The Wall" on the road. I was hoping not to hit the wall at this point, but was concerned with the heart rate. I was now at 180 with a 179 average.<br><br><b>Mile 21 - 8:25.3. 2:51:45.4</b> - Just before I got to the mile 21 marker, I got my last energy gel. I was really starting to feel it. The hips were sore, the quads were sore. I was trying to remain focused and trying to remain positive. A woman told me "You're going great." I told her "I've got this one in the bag." Little did she know my heart rate was at 179 and averaged 180 for that mile.<br><br><b>Mile 22 - 8:26.6. 3:00:12.0</b> - I kept telling myself at this point, I have the PR in the bag. I can slow down if I have to. I was really feeling it. The heart rate finished at 179 and averaged 180 for that mile.<br><br><b>Mile 23 - 8:36.0. 3:08:48.0</b> - Partly by choice, and partly because I was starting to fade, I slowed down during this mile. The lack of a 20 miler in the recent past was coming back to bite me. But I tried to focus on things I could control, and not worry too much. The heart rate was 178 with an average of 179.<br><br><b>Mile 24 - 8:51.1. 3:17:39.1</b> - Less by choice, and more because I was really hurting, I slowed down during this mile. I finished the mile with a heart rate of 179 and an average of 179.<br><br><b>Mile 25 - 9:21.3. 3:27:00.4</b> - Oh shit. Right after I passed the 24 marker, I got a nasty cramp in my left hamstring. It felt like someone had jabbed a knife into my hamstring. I stopped to walk and try to loosen it. That's when a young lady wearing a Merrimack Valley Strider's shirt said to me "Keep moving, it will loosen up." She was right. As soon as I started running again, the pain stopped. If she is reading this post, thank you! I was really afraid to try anything tough during this mile. I just took it easy. The heart rate ended at 175 and averaged at 176.<br><br><b>Mile 26 - 8:53.4. 3:35:53.8</b> - During this whole mile I kept saying to myself "Where the heck is that damn ballpark?" The race finishes on the baseball field where the Lowell Spinners play. Just before I entered the park, I saw my parents shooting pictures. At the 26 marker, my heart was at 181, and averaged 180 for the mile.<br><br><b>Finish - 1:49.2. 3:37:43.0</b> - I entered the ball park and did my lap around the park. As I came down toward the finish, I tried my best to put on a little sprint. There wasn't much to give though. I saw some friends that I talk running with online and they were screaming loud for me. As I hit the line, I pumped my fist and said "PR BABY". It was a new personal best. I don't know the heart rate data at that point, but it was high.<br><br><b>Recov-1 - 3:38.3. 3:41:21.3</b> - I sat down got a bottle of water and had the timing chip removed from my shoe before getting my checked bag with warm clothes in it. I was tired and sore, but tried to make sure to thank the volutneers at the finish. I made a point to thank the medical staff. After what the paramedics did for me in Fairbanks, I'll never forgot about those folks again.<br><br>
I went up into the stands and found my friends, and we waited for our other running friends to come in. The man who I mentioned with the pink shirt finished strong. His 49th marathon this year.<br><br>
It was a PR by 5:26. I think it could have been a much larger PR if this had been the goal race, but since it wasn't I'll take it.
 

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Great job. Glad to see you get a PR out of all of that training. Looks like you guys had fun visitng too. Congrats!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1"><br><br>
Nice job EQ. Great race and report. Nice PR as well!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5">
 

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Way to go EQ!!!!!!! You are improving each year and that is very important to note. You did awesome. You even conquered the lil leg cramp <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> I am so proud of you.<br><br><br>
ps. take your medal to work tomorrow <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> its hawt.<br>
pps. i love how you always put a clothing report in your race reports.
 

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GREAT job EQ! I'm really proud of you!<br><br>
ROCK STAR!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/headbang.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headbang">
 

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Nice job! Your "triathlon" joke made me laugh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Fantastic, EQ! Congrats! I'm glad for you that you got a great race in after the Equinox. That's awesome!
 

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Nice job - Definately a sub 3:30 in there. Still need to figure out the last 10k without a slow down, but you worked hard and deserve the PR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all,<br><br>
While I was sitting here thinking about it, I realized many of us this year have suffered DNFs in races that we wanted so much to run well at. I can think of at least 5 of us who have DNF'd a goal race this year.<br><br>
So, if you'll all indulge me, I'd like to dedicate this race to all of us who have had to DNF in a goal race this year. May my example today show you, as it showed me today, that putting it behind you and getting a new challenge in your mind is a great way to move on and achieve your goals.
 

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Awesome awesome RR EQ...YOU DID AMAZING!!! Woohoo!!!!!!! WTG WTG WTG!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
So what's next??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> hehehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, she's blonde, she's beautiful, and I work with her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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great job on the race today EQ, and even more importantly good luck at work.
 

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Hey, nice job. Someday, teach me about heart rates and stuff. I've never even considered any of that.<br><br>
You're a wicked good runner. You keep cranking out these PR's too.
 

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Way to go EQ!!! It was a pleasure watching you finish today and hangint out with you. We definitely have to get together for some runs in the near future. Congrats on the PR. You earned it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1">
 
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