Runners Forum - Kick Runners banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<span style="font-family:Arial;">Wow, surfing around, looking for someplace with a sense of community, which the active site is definitely missing...and it looks like I found it here. What a relief. I usually lurk in boomer forum (I'm not old enough) and check out race reports and look for fellow runners heading toward races I'll be running. But in December, I ran the Honolulu Marathon...report follows...</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Cliff Notes version</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Goal:</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:40</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time:</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">4:13:47</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place: 2,229/20,836</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Really long version:</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">For some reason, ever since I started seriously considering, let alone actually running, marathons I've wanted to run in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Hawaii</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. This is sort of ludicrous since I live in the frozen wastelands of</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Alaska</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">and train there all winter. But then, I ran a marathon in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Florida</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">a couple years back, so it isn't any more ludicrous than that. In 2007 I had already managed to run 4 marathons, three of them under 4 hours. Getting myself into that sub-4 crowd was my hope at the beginning of 2007, and I did that with more than 9 minutes to spare in my first race of the year in January at PF Chang in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Phoenix</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. My hope for the later part of the year was to take my training to another, slightly higher level, and aim for</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:40</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. Or at least beat the president (he ran a</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:44</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">some years back).</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I struggle to train through the summers due to my job, but I managed to squeeze in the runs more this summer than at any time in the past. I'm closing in on the end of my highest mileage year ever as a result. But there was a significant hiccup on the way. Starting in August, I lost five weeks of training to an intestinal ailment that was never diagnosed. After suffering through those weeks, I was not sure where my training would leave me by the time the Honolulu Marathon arrived...</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Training through October went fairly well, but my marathon-pace workouts were not progressing as well as I would have liked. I was beginning to think that it was unlikely I would finish in anything like the time I had hoped for. But we were going to Hawaii 2 1/2 weeks before the race, so I had time for some marathon pace work during the taper and would get to see how the weather affected me. The initial news was good. I ran faster than I had been, and did so quite comfortably. This often happens when I leave coldsville, probably in part due to the simple fact of taking off the cold weather layers and running with shorts on again. In the weeks leading up to the marathon, I had two stunning (for me, after the past few months) workouts. One was a 9.2 mile run out and back where I went out at</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">9:53</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">pace and came back at</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">8:07</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">pace. Hmmm...maybe I am in shape after all! My last MP tuneup was an 8 mile run 6 days before that involved 6 x 1 mile. I ran them in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">8:30</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">,</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">8:30</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">,</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">7:30</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">,</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">7:15</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">,</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">7:00</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">,</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">6:45</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. Wow! That felt great!</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:40</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">here I come!</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Or not. Wednesday before the marathon, the intestinal ailment returned. Now, of course, I don't know that for a fact. It could be a separate and unrelated illness. But it has sort of waxed and waned ever since the initial five weeks, just never got as bad as that first five weeks were. Now, it was getting back into that debilitating level. Uh, oh. Thursday, not good. Friday, feeling a little better. Oh, good. I'll be ready. Saturday we traveled from the big island to</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Oahu</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">(when will I ever learn not to schedule travel the day before a marathon? I always say I won't do it again, and here I was...just a short trip, I told myself...), raced to the expo to get my bib, and I felt pretty good. Dodged a bullet with that little episode of belly pains. I thought.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I do want to interject a note about the expo into this dreary self-absorbed monologue. The expo was bizarre. I had read that the race was really filled with Japanese runners. Well, the expo was almost a foreign enclave. Very interesting, but totally different and much less to look at than the PF Chang expo last January, which was the only other big one I'd been to. The PF Chang expo was much more interesting in terms of a greater variety of stuff to look at and shop for. I'm not usually too interested in shopping at expos anyway, but that was my impression. But the second thing about the expo that was very different was that many of the booths were completely in Japanese. I still don't know exactly what the little patches that people were putting all over their legs for the race were for, but they're endorsed by Paula Radcliffe. It really gave the impression of being in an expo in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Japan</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. Sort of fun to have a foreign trip without having to go through customs. My favorite thing about the expo was the exhibit of photographs from previous races. But then, I'm a photographer, so I would find that interesting...</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The weather forecast was for rain showers, but I'd been running in all sorts of weather, including heavy rain, since arriving in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Hawaii</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">, so that didn't scare me. As race day approached, the forecast seemed less and less wet. How nice!...and wrong...</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Since they start the race at</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">5 am</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">, I'd been running at</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">6:30</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">to try to get my system ready for early mornings. That at least seemed to have worked fine. But it still seemed pretty crazy setting the alarm for</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:20 am</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. Ouch. I got up, applied bodyglide liberally, with lots between toes, added some sunblock on top of my nearly shaved head in case the sun came out (and since I was running with a visor as a nod to the temperatures), scarfed a protein bar, and headed to the start. We were staying right next to the finish, so I had to cross the street and catch a bus to the start. There was a certain hint of mist in the air, but mostly just evidence that it had rained. Big puddles everywhere. We were shepherded into lines for the buses, which pulled up and loaded with nearly military precision. I eventually made it to the head of the line, got on a bus and had just sat down when...the heavens opened. Absolute drencher. There I was, thinking I had really timed it well. What a relief. After getting dropped off at the start I was wandering around with my 20,000 closest friends when...it happened again. Not sitting on the bus this time. Oops. For a few minutes I was thinking that it was okay, but not too bad since it was 70 degrees or so. Then, I started actually feeling cold. Quite cold. The only time I was cold during my entire visit to</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Hawaii</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">was standing in the rain waiting for the race to start. Well, and after snorkeling for an hour or more...but that is solved by just getting out of the water...whereas I wasn’t fully in control of that at the marathon since the water was coming to me…</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The downpour ended, and I started to warm up again and moved out to the start area. As you would expect, there were a lot of people in the start area. Like...20,000. Now, I'm not the fastest person around. Nor am I the slowest. So I looked around and started working my way toward the front from where I was near the back. I settled in at around halfway between the front and back. That probably wasn't the best place if I had been serious about running a</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:40</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. More on that later. As the start time neared...the heavens opened again. This time, the announcer was imploring runners not to take cover since the race was about to start. I stood and shivered through it again, surrounded by fools like me that were out there without the traditional garbage bag clothes on (but in my own defense...I wear those because I don't want to be cold...I hadn't really thought 70 degrees and raining was cold...but I see now that I was wrong. Well, okay, it isn't COLD, but it is cool...) and a lot of people that were peering out at us from beneath their plastic bag shelters looking at us like we were the kids that were going to be held back a year in school.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Finally, off we went. After all that. I was intending to use my HRM to control myself since I bonked so hard last June. The first few miles were surprising for two reasons. One, there were an unbelievable number of runners and walkers to pass. And two, when I finally found a mile marker and looked at my time, I was going pretty slow...hmmm. Hindsight regarding the problem of passing runners suggests that at the very least I should have been more generous with my starting line placement. While I don't consider myself fast, my goal time would have put me in the top 10%. So with 20,000 runners and me being in line after about 10,000 of them, I would have had to pass 9,000 of them. Wow.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">But I hadn't gone too far when it was obvious that</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">3:40</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">wasn't in the cards unless I got a serious second wind. Just didn't have it. I was hoping to keep my HR below 150 to about 10 miles and below 160 to mile 20. I just kept along with that in mind, not feeling great but not feeling terrible, and weaved and darted around and through people. Sometime around mile 15 was the first time I realized that I wasn't spending all my time figuring out how to pass people. I also realized that if I got a second wind I could maybe make a decent showing out of it. That was a foolish thought. I laid down my only sub-9 mile of the day at mile 18 and my HR crept up to 163 at one point during that mile. Usually when I see a number in the 163 or 164 range it is only a few minutes before my legs start to rig. Oops. Of course I thought perhaps since it was a race I could carry that for the next 9 miles, but I thought wrong. I paid dearly (though thankfully not truly bonkishly) for that little indiscretion, so at least I know that the original plan was probably okay. I also started to experience waves of chills then hot flashes. I don't expect it was menopause, due to my gender, so at that point I was realizing that whatever illness was affecting me I certainly hadn't sailed completely clear of it. Miles 22-24 were tough, even with my HR back to 157 or so. Oddly enough, but the time I got to Diamond Head, the vaunted final challenge, I was feeling better and had no trouble running up.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The weather was pretty much the same all through the race. Cloudy with the occasional downpour. The downpours felt great while running. It seems like there were about three real rains during the race. In contrast, there was about 30 seconds where the sun came out on me. It was just long enough to remind me how fortunate we were that it was cloudy. Like having an oven opened up as I ran by. I was unable to find all the mile markers, especially the first few miles and the last few, so I didn’t manage to keep track of splits for all miles. And the first couple aid stations were so congested I totally skipped them. By the end of the race, I’m usually skipping aid stations because there’s usually a couple minutes afterward where I feel slightly queasy while running and at that point I just like to be free of that sensation. Not this time. I was thirsty by then, so I was still grabbing Gatorade at mile 25. Result…ran down the final stretch, including the finish, with a side stitch. As usual, ran right past my family without even seeing them. They thought I saw them. They said they looked right at me. Oops.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I staggered across the finish with a clock time in the</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">4:20s</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">, and a chip time of</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">4:13:47</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">, which exactly matched my watch. I heard later that they were complaining about the timing system. I don’t know anything about the reality of the problem, but I can tell you my times were recorded accurately and I liked the system because it is just a little paper strip with a magnetic strip in it. So light it is like it isn’t there. But the race director is making a big deal out of apparent problems with the timing system. I have a suggestion for him…but it isn’t the timing. It is the finish area. A total embarrassment. The worst finish area I’ve ever seen. The runner-only area is just to get a shell necklace and a medal, after which you wander out into open area with booths of all sorts, most of which are private concerns arranged by travel companies bringing runners over from</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Japan</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. Finding a finishers shirt is an exercise in patience with little to assist you. I finally found somebody else who had been there, they pointed me in the right direction. Then I walked a while until somebody else could redirect me again. After about the third time, I eventually found it. Never did find any food for finishers. Oh well, I didn’t want to run in</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Hawaii</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">due to the finishers area. But after my experiences at PF Chang and</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Salt Lake City</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">, both of which had really nice finisher’s areas, I expected a larger, obviously commercial race would be, if anything, better. Wrong on that count.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">So, I stuffed my face in the privacy of our hotel room, took the kids to the pool where we got rained on again (though not very hard…), went back and took a nap, sat out on Waikiki Beach and let my legs relax. A truly perfect after-race day. My legs kept having miniature cramps, little tiny sections of muscle would cramp for a second or two. It was funny to watch. I showed my wife, she thought it was…odd…</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Would I do</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Honolulu</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">again? Of course! But my expectations for this race would be pretty low. If I was in PR shape (which I think I probably was this time, but it was sort of irrelevant given how I felt that day…) I still wouldn’t expect to run a PR here. The crowding was phenomenal. I’m convinced there were walkers lined up directly behind the elites. Absolutely no corrals to help with orderly running for the pack. The conditions weren’t bad, but that brief moment of sun was an eye-opener. If the sun was out, it would cost me at least a few minutes, maybe ten or more. If we ever recover financially from this trip, and are foolish enough to make another to the sunny</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Sandwich Islands</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">, I’d like to try the big island international marathon at</span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Hilo</span><span style="font-family:Arial;">. I read on marathonguide that there was a race there a few years back where six inches of rain fell during the race. That would be an experience. Might have to run with the snorkel turned upside down…</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Troy</span><br><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">For anybody who really wants to see the play-by-play of my not-so-stellar race-in-paradise, here-it-is:</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Honolulu Marathon<br>
Miles Time HR<br>
1-2 20:51 141<br>
3 9:43 148<br>
4 9:30 150<br>
5-7 29:08 151<br>
8-11 38:25 153<br>
12 9:19 153<br>
13-14 18:53 154<br>
15 9:46 154<br>
16-17 18:16 156<br>
18 8:57 159<br>
19 9:22 158<br>
20 9:15 159<br>
21 9:43 159<br>
22 9:58 158<br>
23-25 31:10 153<br>
26 9:22 154<br>
26.2 2:10 155</span><br>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
<b>Rhoon</b> I remember you from CR. Glad to see you found your way over here. Sorry Honolulu didnt turn out like you wouldve liked but theres always the next marathon.<br><br>
Nice report though none the less. Was like we were right there with you. ALthough with your times, Id be a bit behind <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Rhoon,<br><br>
This is a very nice report. Sorry to hear it was not what you had hoped for. It seems like a lot of people had slow times (I listened to the online radio broadcast of the event - and heard that even the elites were slow this year). From your training times, you're due for a break out marathon soon under better conditions.<br><br>
Thanks for all the detail! Very helpful.<br><br>
--e.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Frankie, Hi "e", Thanks for sharing my day...It has been very interesting to hear tales of other people ending up slower than usual in that race. I spent enough time that I had to be well acclimated (we'd been in Hawaii 2.5 weeks before the race), my runs were getting better, and I didn't have any trouble with the temps leading up to the day. Bizarre. I've sworn off coffee now to see if perhaps I just have a system malfunction from java overdose...I'm hoping that's not it because I like mochas, but I'm hoping that is it because it is an easy fix. Sigh. Meanwhile, I'm looking at my possible work assignments and hoping I find out earlier than normal if I'm going to be sent out of state for any meetings this winter/spring. It's a lot easier to train for a known event...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,268 Posts
Sorry it wasn't the race you were looking for - but Hey! You got to run in Hawaii! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> (And it sounds good to me!)
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top