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<b>TRaining Run and a PR !!</b><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">USAF Marathon Report</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><b>Race:</b> USAF Marathon</span></span><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><b>Location:</b> Wright Patterson AF Base / Dayton, OH</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><b>Date:</b> 9/15/07</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Last year, my brother, who’s a Captain in the USAF qualified for a relay team to represent his base and then to represent his training command. So, I toyed with going up there and running the half at the same event. But, it didn’t work out.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">So, when I set up my fall schedule, I assumed that he would again qualify to run the relay again at the USAF Marathon, and I decided to work the race into my schedule. Although, this time, I was prepared to run the full marathon distance.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I decided to use this race as a training run for my fall goal race, the Marine Corps Marathon. Yes, it was a cool benefit that I would end up with medals from these two service events. Even a little cooler since one of my brothers is a Captain in the USAF, and my other brother is a captain in the USMC.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My goals for the race in priority order:</span></span>
<ul><li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Don’t get hurt - check</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Run Training run pace – check (8:44 pace for the whole)</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Finish Strong – check</span></span>
<ul><li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 21 – 8:12</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 22 – 8:16</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 23 – 8:23</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 24 – 8:00</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 25 – 7:44</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 26 – 8:21 (got some leg cramps)</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Final .21865 – 6:44</span></span></li>
</ul></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Negative Split – check [Out – 1:58:35 (9:02); In – 1:50:17 (8:25)]</span></span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">maybe a small PR – check 3:48:42 [about a 3:25 PR from my 1st marathon back in April]</span></span></li>
</ul><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I did this race right in the middle of the meat of my marathon training schedule. I did a quasi-mini taper last week only running twice for a total of 16 miles. On this coming Tuesday, it’ll be back into training with another 50+ mile week.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Needless to say, I’m tickled with the way things turned out.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I drove up to Dayton from Birmingham all day on Friday. Did something like 4 or 5 conference calls on my cell phone on the way up. That actually made the time go by faster. Once in Dayton, I went straight to the expo for packet pickup and to meet up with my brother and his relay team mates. We were scheduled to eat at the 5:30 seating for the pasta dinner over at the USAF museum, but there was no way were going to make that. The captain of my brother’s team had all of this teams meal tickets and he wasn’t there yet to pick up his packet. Instead of riding in the van all the way from Sheppard AFB, in Wichita Falls, TX, Dave and another racer flew to Wright Patt in a T-38. So, we waited for them to get there and pick their packets up. We made it to the museum for the 7:00 seating. After stuffing ourselves with pasta and salad, we took a quick walk around the hangars a looked at planes.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My brother decided to crash with me in my hotel room in order to free up some space in the other rooms that his team mates had reserved. We drove over, checked in and made a quick Wal-Mart trip to get some breakfast stuff.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The alarm went off way too early the next morning. We went through the usual race morning ritual and then drove over to the museum for the race start. It was cold! We drank some coffee and waited until the last minute to bag check our stuff in order to keep our pants and jackets on the longest. After hitting the porta-cans for the last time, we separated and I went to the start around 7:15.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">My first good move of the day was finding a tent just behind the start line. The tent was there for the pace team and it had a propane heater in it. So, I just invited myself in and hung out by the heater while they did the prerace ceremony. At 7:30 the wheel chair people were off. 5 mins later, the marathon started. Somewhere up there near the front was <b>PacerChris</b>. Me, I was milling around with the 4:00 pace group. We crossed the start line 35 seconds after the gun and were on our way.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">We did the typical chit chat and introductions stuff around the group as we motored on. This was good for me since I really wanted to hold back to a 9:00 pace for the first half of the race. That mission was easily accomplished. And, the miles clicked by with little fanfare.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Around mile 11 I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to go the distance without a pit stop. Unfortunately, this was going to be more that just watering a tree. Just before the mile 12 marker, I saw 4 porta-cans. That was going to be my move as long as there wasn’t a line. So, I timed it perfect and dove in just as another guy was coming out.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">After, I felt like a new man. I had been running in front of the 4:00 group and they had passed my while I was in the pits. I recognized a few guys who had fallen off the back of the group. Turns out they had done something similar. So, I started to bridge back up to the group.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">I knew that I wanted to be 1:57 at the HM marker. Turns out I was about a minute behind that. Oh well. After the HM marker, I allowed myself to pick up the pace. I caught and passed the 4:00 group within 400 yards of the marker. I wished them well and set out to run down the 3:50 group.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">I kept an eye out for someone that I could pace off of, but couldn’t find anyone who was moving at my right speed. By now, I had noticed that the mile markers were off from my Garmin. In the first half of the race, they were right on within .03 of a mile. I was wearing my Timex ironman on my right wrist so I could manually keep track of splits along the way.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I really felt good between 15 – 20 and had to hold myself back from running faster. I had told myself that I could go all out from 22 to the end, based on how I felt. I also knew that there would be a large hill to climb to get up to the 23 mile marker.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">My brother had run the first leg of his relay. So, I had asked him to meet me later on the course and run in with me if he wanted to. So, he met me at the last relay exchange point around the 19 mile marker. We ran the next 3 or so miles together. I was feeling so good that he just couldn’t hang with me after pounding out fast miles in the early part of the race.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">So, he and I parted ways around mile 20 or 21, we were on the rolling road, just before the first of two big hills going towards mile 23.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Anyway, after we parted, and I hit the bottom of the hills, I started climbing them like a mad man. I know that I ran very low 8:00 pace going up both hills. I was just gutting it out and passing people like crazy. I thought of <b>Voo</b> who had to scream at people to get the EFF outa the way when he was at Flying Pig.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">By now, the course had rejoined with the HM course, so there were a lot of walkers. After getting to the top of the first hill, I spotted the 3:50 group up in the distance. I dropped it down another gear and knew that I could catch them. I did catch them just before we started down the curvy hill heading toward the flat finish.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My quads felt good so I screamed down the hill. I could see the finish off in the distance. After passing the 3:50 group, I saw that there was a group of pacers running together. I overheard them discussing the mileage marker screw up. Whatever that was.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Back through the gate and onto the base, there was another aid station. Quick observational note about the aid stations. First, the people working them did a great job, lots of great themes, lots of music, lots of energy, plenty of anything you would need, they had water, Gatorade, gels, fruit, Vaseline (are there carbs in that?</span> <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><span style="font-family:Wingdings;">J</span></span> <span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">) They had people handing the stuff out on both sides of the street too. But, there were so many aid stations, I mean you couldn’t go a mile sometimes without there being another one. That’s not really a problem; I just had to plan to skip a few here and there in order to get into a good tempo.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Into the last mile and the wind is picking up. My legs are also starting to cramp up, but I know that I can hit my goal if I just keep going. I was still down in the low 8:00 pace while heading towards the line.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The finish running between all of the historic planes is cool, but the fact that you have to run a giant U to get there instead of going straight into the line is kinda cruel to the mind. You can see the finish, but you have to go away from it, and then make 2 90 degree right hand turns in order to get lined up.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Making the last right had turn for the final .2 miles, I heard a guy coming up behind me. He was breathing hard and sounded like he was moving fast, so I start to kick it out. But, that was too early, couldn’t hold that pace, so I slowed a bit on my way to the line.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">All in all, I was totally pumped. I had run this race as a training run and proven that I could not fade at the end. In my first marathon, I felt like things deteriorated quickly around mile 23, and that I just held on until the end. Emotion and adrenaline was the only thing that I had to get home with in that race. Here, while I didn’t feel great, due to the cramping, I was pushing myself successfully and had a sub 8:00 split at the mile 25 marker.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I hope all of this bodes well for what I can do in 5-weeks time and with a proper taper and on a flatter course. We’ll see.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">So, that’s my USAF Story.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><b>Interesting story about my brother’s relay team (skip if you’re not interested)</b></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Here’s a quick side story. So, my brother was on the Sheppard AFB relay team. They had scoped out the competition before the race. Last year, his team and finished 2nd or 3rd relay team overall, but 1st in the Open relay class.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">This year, they were signed up in the military class and knew that last year’s winners from Laughlin would be the main team to beat. The Laughlin guy was leading Dave (leg #2 runner for the Sheppard team) by about :20 seconds when they passed me out in Fairborn.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">When I met up with my brother, at mile 19, he said that he thought that they would end up 2nd OA and 2nd military. Laughlin had almost a 2:00 lead on them at the final exchange. We both said that Rob (Sheppard runner #4) would have to make up :30 per mile in order to take the lead.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">But, that’s exactly what he did. He ran 5:45 mm pace while the Laughlin anchor was running approx 6:15. Rob caught and passed the Laughlin guy between miles 25 – 26. Both runners knew that it would be an all out sprint to the finish. The Laughlin guy decided to try and recover behind Rob and see if he could get him at the finish. But, Rob held on and won by :20 seconds. Awesome…Right?</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Well, I tell you all of that to tell you this. When the results were posted, there’s no Sheppard team listed, there’s not Laughlin team listed. If fact, there’s quite a large number of relay teams missing from the results page.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Well, Mark’s team knew they won, and the Laughlin team knew that they won. BTW, based on their watches and calculations, they had run a 2:39<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Mad">x. We figured that they would get the results sorted out, so we went out to the cars to get bags and get ready to leave. As you can imagine, these team awards are prestigious to the bases and commands who are involved. And, Mark’s team needed to stay for the awards ceremony to get the trophy and the picture for the base newspaper.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">A quick check of the results 5 mins before the awards ceremony and still no Sheppard and no Laughlin listed. So, off we go to information and then to the scoring van. They had no idea what was going on. While we were standing there, relay guys were still coming across the finish line and we noticed that they timing pads were not beeping when they crossed. The relay teams used a different kind of scoring chip than the regular marathon and half marathon runners.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Here’s where it gets kinda crappy. So, Mark and another of his team mates stay to discuss the scoring while the rest of his team, me, and other guys from his base who ran solo races go to get seats at the awards ceremony.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">To make a long story short [I know, too late <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">] they guys running the awards ceremony didn’t know that there was a scoring snafu. So, they jus proceeded and gave the award to a team finished 21 minutes behind my brother’s team. Those guys go up there, get the big silver bowl, shake the General’s hand and pose for a picture.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">We of course, watch all this. We’re curious to see if they get up and leave. Sure enough, after about :45 seconds at their table, the all stand up and start leaving. They have the award wrapped up in a towel. Dave, the team captain, goes to talk to the awards people. Meanwhile, two guys from my brother’s team follow the other team out of the tent and confront them.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Turns out that they knew there was a scoring problem and they knew that they didn’t win, but they took the award and left anyway. No one stopped them.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">After all of this, it didn’t look like there was going to be a quick resolution, so I said my goodbyes and got in my car to start my journey home.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">A couple of hours later, I talked to my brother and found out that they were declared as the winners. Digital photos of the finish line with the race clock visible confirmed their finish time. They did get their picture made up on the podium, but 4 hrs after the awards ceremony and of course, they didn’t get the award. Someone will now have to track it down and hopefully get it shipped to their base.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">As of last night, the results showed their team in first, but other teams were still missing from the list. What a mess. The scoring people should have told the ceremony people that there was a problem. Moreover, the team that didn’t win and knew that they didn’t win should have had enough class to not accept the award.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">I told my brother that it’ll make for a good story to tell over beers. His team and the Laughlin team were really good sports about the whole thing. If fact, they were just pumped up about the epic race that they had been involved in. It was totally cool to see the two teams stand around and talk like buddies after the race was over. The only thing missing was the beers.</span></span><br><br>
 

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Damn, <b>Tim</b> - great job/PR! It sounds like it was a great experience (worth the long drive!), and the connection with your brother is always a plus.<br><br>
Congrats!!!!
 

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Wow, <b>Tim</b> - great job! Looks like you're going to have a kickbutt race at MCM in 5 weeks.<br><br>
And that just sucks about the relay chip timing snafu. You figure smaller or newer races might have such a thing, but I take it USAFM has been around awhile and done this event for many years. Nevertheless, it's great that you got to be able to run with your brother.
 

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Good strong finish, that should be a confidence booster for your goal marathon. It's also a good story for me to read and think about how I want to do my half in November. Finish strong, finish strong.
 

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Great job Tim!!!!<br><br>
And about the scoring problem...same thing happened to Theia and Maria and me last year. We won our relay division at the Danskin Tri we did, but there was a scoring problem and we didn't get announced. I was so upset, since it was likely to be the one and only time I'll ever win anything! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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So this was just a training run? I see....so why am I so happy for you and the results? <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/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Great Work, <b>Tim</b>! Congratulations on a brilliant effort.
 

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Great job - an 8 minute negative split?! That's a damn good sign for MCM. What's your goal there? Hopefully you'll have weather similar to what we had on Sat as it was just about perfect.<br><br>
I should have coordinated a little better trying to connect with you, or at least found out what you were wearing or looked like so I could cheer you on at the finish! I had a minivan full of people finishing at various times, and once we met up I had to get home for some Dad duties. I'm glad you and your bro had a successful race.<br><br>
Re: the results - one of my friends said he thinks a guy in the top 10 actually changed to run the half marathon because he typically finishes in the 5 hour range, so those results may be squirrelly as well as the relay! And those mileage markers - what was up with that?! At one point the half & full were side by side, then the next mile the half was first and then 50 yards down the road the full, then the reverse for the next mileage marker!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all,<br><br>
PC - MCM goal, something in the low 3:30s if I can hold that all the way to the finish. I'm going to go with the 3:30 pacer. Do you know that pacer, I think MCM is Cliff Bar Team.<br><br>
No worries on the no meet up, I know how it is with the Dad duties. Originally, I had planned to drive all the way home in order to limit the impact of my race on the lack of "Dad Time" for the weekend. But, DW, said that was crazy to do that long drive after having run the marathon, so I drove 4.5 hrs to my parents house in Knoxville, watched the game and ate a steak that my dad grilled for me, and then drove the last 3:45 home the next morning.<br><br>
The mileage markers were crazy. I saw when the half and full markers got off from each other and thought: "If the HM course is an out and back, how can the markers not say aligned? what are they going to run that's different between here and there?"
 

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Absolutely gripping race report! You ran a very intelligent race - and came away with the results that show it. Congratulations on a very nice job. (And good luck on your goal race).
 

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Nice training run!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<b>Tim</b> - not bad at all. . . for a training run. . . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> I'm so impressed!!
 

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<b>Great Job!!</b> Have you thought about getting a BQ at RCM? If you wear that skirt, and call yourself "Tima" you could easily get the 3:45. j/k<br><br>
Seriously, I look forward to seeing you at RCM. You might reconsider the running w/ me though. No way I could hang with that kind of performance.
 

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The half marathon had a little bypass loop section in it that we didn't do (check the map if how I'm writing this doesn't make sense)... but that doesn't explain all of the drift in the markers. That was part of it, though. That said, I'm quite sure that the full was the correct length. Now... I started off with the 3:50 pace group, and some of the runners were really REALLY uptight early on because they thought the mile markers were off. At first, it was because they thought the aid station numbers were mile numbers. Then some of them got grumbly because they thought the half markers were for the full. THEN there was the typical thing that happens in every race... someone with a GPS starts getting twitchy because it doesn't match up exactly. Pace group guy (also named Pacer Chris) tried to get GPS person to relax. Anyway, I pulled away from this group about M3 because they were really bringing me down <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">.<br><br>
The results are a little wacky. My time has been adjusted by about a minute, for example.<br><br>
Tim - YOU DID GREAT. Looks to me like we might have run near each other, at least in the second half. Good job... and good luck at MCM.<br><br>
Tip for MCM: it is very different from AF because it is over-the-top crowded, especially at first. <i>Carry a water bottle</i> so you can bypass the first 2-3 aid stations. If you try to utilize those stations, you will get stuck in the crowd. Toss the bottle after that.
 

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I think Scott is the pacer for 3:30 at MCM - he's outstanding so you follow him and you'll be right around 3:29:30 or so. He also ran on Sat at AF - just messing about and he ran somewhere around 3:10. His bio is on the website - <a href="http://www.clifbar.com" target="_blank">www.clifbar.com</a> under Play, then Marathon Pace Team.
 
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