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Running Background:

marathon photoI decided to run this particular marathon because I wanted to set a PR.

Training:

I didn't follow a specific training program. I made my own program running 5 days per week, averaging 55 miles per week, with 11 long run's -- with 3 of those being 23 milers.

Race Day:

I was trained to run a 3:20 PR. The weather forecast had conflicts from about 10 days out where it could have gone either way. In the end we had another unseasonably warm day with a start temp of 62 degrees 78% humidity, and a finish temp of 84 degrees 39% humidity.

I am not a good runner in the heat despite doing many long runs over the warm summer months in similar conditions. The way I got through my long runs was keeping a much slower pace and getting started at 5am, well before the sun came up.

I started out ahead of pace putting in a few miles well below 7:38 per min average that I needed to set my PR. After this, I was able to settle down and ease into my even splits and get my race on track.

The crowds were simply amazing. Like nothing I have ever experienced. Lots of support and it was a really great experience.

As the mile progressed I felt OK and was taking in as much water and gatorade as I could as I knew that hydration was going to be key given the terrible heat. I made it though the half right on pace with 1:40 and was still feeling good.

Miles 14 and 15 wore me down and the negative thoughts crept in. I knew I was not getting enough fluids so I tried extra hard to knuckle down and get to the next aid station and drink lots. I drank as much as I could on the run at the next stop and hoped to turn the race back in the positive direction mentally. It just was not enough.

I stopped running at mile 17. I was really bummed as I knw at this moment the PR is history. The decision was do I simpy pull out or do I try and get hydrated and finish the race. I am not a quitter so I walked to the next aid station with my HR screaming and drank about 6-8 cups of water. Soon I was much better and started running slowly again at about an 8:10 pace.

This was the rest of my race, slow run to each water station and then drinking as much as I could by walking through each aid station.

I am glad I stuck with it. A 3:40 marathon is respectable, but clearly not what I had set out to do. I had to accept the conditions were not favorable for me as I am a cool weather runner.

Recovery:

No recovery problems. I took 3 days off. I did not push my body to the limits as you do when you race as the conditions were not right to do that. I had tender quads for a couple of days and that was it.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Nathan Hydration Belt
I used the Nathan 4x10oz hydration belt.
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Nike Vomero
I ran in the Nike Air Vomero 3 running shoes.
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Energy Gel
I like the Power Bar Energy Gels - Tangerine Double Caffeine.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

After having run 3 marathons, the distance becomes much more manageable, and not nearly as intimidating as the first time you do this. Now running the race itself is more calculated and enjoyable as I know what I am doing and what to expect.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run another marathon to set the PR I trained so hard for. I signed up for the '08 Philadelphia following this race.

Looking back, I wouldn't do anything different for this race. I did the best I could and would do the same again if that is what I was dealt on race day.

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