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St. George Marathon

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Woods Cross,UT,USA

Member Since:

May 01, 2006



Goal Type:

Age Division Winner

Running Accomplishments:

Current Running Life:
5k: 17:50 (2010 NSL)
10k: 38:20 (2007 Des News)
1/2 Marathon: 1:23:30 (2009 Provo Half)
Marathon: 2:53:46 (2007 St George)

Short-Term Running Goals:


Long-Term Running Goals:



Daddy to 3 great kids - 16 year old son and 11 year old twin daughters

I do not know what tomorrow will bring but I do know it will start with a run.

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Saucony Grid A2 Lifetime Miles: 125.40
GoRun2 Lifetime Miles: 53.70
Adrenaline 2014 Blue (1) Lifetime Miles: 442.70
Adrenaline 2014 Red (1) Lifetime Miles: 429.20
Race: St. George Marathon (26.2 Miles) 02:53:46, Place overall: 129, Place in age division: 31
Slow milesFast milesTotal Distance

After I ran the St George marathon in 2005 I came up with a 2 year plan: run the Utah Grand Slam in 2006 to gain a lot of marathon racing experience; run the 2007 Boston marathon; take a shot at a sub-3 hour marathon at the 2007 St George marathon. I knocked out the first 2 goals without too much of a problem and only had 1 left. After Boston, I decided to take a break from focused training for a while and only use a 12 week training program for St. George. I maintained decent mileage during the summer and set PR’s in a couple of 5K’s, a 10K and a ½ marathon. Once my 12 week program started, I never really got into a groove. After missing one of the biggest planned training weeks due to illness, I started having my doubts about sub-3. I ran another ½ marathon and got another PR but it was not as fast as I wanted it to be to give me the confidence to go for it. I decided to take training up another notch and ran 4 weeks without a day off. I averaged 75 miles per week and started feeling good Ran one more 5k heading into the taper which wasn’t as fast as I expected and took a blow to the confidence. All my shorter race times predicted close to a sub-3 hour marathon. Some predictors were just over 3 hours and others were just under. Finally decided that since there was not a secondary goal I was going to go for the sub-3 and accept the crash if it occurred. I even painted “Sub-3 or Bust” on the back of my car window before the drive to St George just to put a little more pressure on myself.

I slept well the night before the race and I felt better physically and mentally than I have before any other marathon. Took one of the later buses to the start line so that I didn’t have to sit around in the cold. About 10 minutes before the start of the race, I stripped down, vaselined up and headed to the elite starting corral. Only stood around for a couple of minutes until the bullhorn went off indicating the start of the race. Everything seemed to be perfect.

Because of the nature of the course, my plan was to run a little faster than goal marathon pace for the first 6 miles, give some time back on the climb up Veyo and the smaller climb through Dammeron Valley. Wanted to hit the half in 1:31 and run a 2 minute negative split.

For the first 7 miles I went completely by feel and ignored the mile splits. I averaged 6:35/mile which was 10 seconds per mile faster than I planned. I felt good and well in control of my pace so I wasn‘t concerned about going out too fast. The eighth mile includes the climb up Veyo. Ran this in 7:28 which is exactly what I planned. The next 4 miles include the climb through the Dammeron Valley. I averaged 7:04/mile through this section which, in hindsight, was a little slow. It felt like it was getting colder and I was worried that I was starting to dehydrate. Heard the same comment from another runner so I figured that I was alright. Started to pick the pace up again and ran miles 13 and 14 in 6:39 and 6:40. Hit the half in 1:29:20 which was 1:30 faster than I planned. The strangest part of the race to this point was that the miles seemed to be clicking by faster than any race that I have ever run. In fact, when my Garmin beeped and I went to check my mile 8 split I was actually on mile 9.

Miles 15 and 16 are my favorite miles on the course because they have big downhills and fast splits are exactly what you need mentally at this point in the race. My splits were 6:15 and 6:08. I really struggled through miles 17 through 20 last year so I was kind of expecting the same. I felt a lot better this time although I started to experience the first bouts of extreme leg fatigue at mile 19. Despite the tired legs, I averaged 6:38/mile for the 4 miles. At this point I started doing a million calculations. If I slow down to 8:00/mile, can I still finish under 3 hours? If I continue the same pace, how fast will I finish? Of course at this stage in the race, I’m sure that none of my calculations were right. Hit mile 21 in 6:14 and I started to feel it. My pace no longer felt smooth and my legs were burning. I start to feel a head wind and a few people pass me. I really think that the wheels may be falling off because my hands are starting to tingle and this is the first sign of the wall for me. As the wind picked up, I realized that I was in no man’s land. I see a small group of runners ahead so I surge to catch up to them. It seems that the surge shook loose whatever was holding me back because I suddenly felt a lot better. Mile 22 split was 6:38 and I was ready to open it up for the rest of the race.

Hit the next miles in (surprisingly) 6:21, 6:25 and 6:20. With the 1.2 miles to go I start to lengthen the stride a little and let go. Ran mile 26 in 6:17 and the last 0.2 at a 5:45/mile pace.

Finish Time: 2:53:46

First Half: 1:29:20

Second Half: 1:24:26

Overall Place: 129/5,154

Gender Place: 106/2,926

AG Place: 31/465

I am completely shocked with my finish time. I honestly thought that I would be lucky to sneak under 3 hours. The only regret that I have about the race is the almost 5 minute negative split. The second half of the race was only 30 seconds slower than my half marathon PR which was on a notoriously fast course. I would have never predicted that I could run the second half that fast. Looking back, I really don’t think that there is anything that I could have done differently. Now I have to figure out my plan for the next 2 years.

From RivertonPaul on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 09:43:15

Andy, Great job!

I've always enjoyed your blogs, and you inspire me to train better, blog better, and run better.

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 09:45:56

Awesome job Andy. I didn't see you at the finish, but looked for your name in the newspaper results the next morning and was really thrilled to see you got it. Your mileage has paid off. Savor it, then on to sub-2:50!

From Cody on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 10:36:05

Great Job Andy! I was glad to meet you if only for a minute. I am impressed that you shattered your goal by over 6 minutes. HUGE! I knew you had it in you. You still have many more PR's left.

From Cal on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 11:35:54

Congratulations Andy! You nailed it and then some!

From Maria on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 14:54:28

Congratulations, Andy! Your splits show that you stayed strong to the end. Even with the downhill in St.George's course you're in sub-3 shape, so you can be confident. Remember all those blog entries where you said how you felt sluggish, slow, etc. Meanwhile, the miles were going into the bank regardless, and now you finally saw the result!

From Jon on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 16:00:41

Nice job! Crushed your goal and your PR! As for feeling bad about the 5 minute negative split- Paul Peterson also had a 5 minute negative split, which means you did it just right (like an Olympian!)

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 16:12:44


Good work. What a breakthrough! I looked up your time in the results, and was ready to start dancing. You were the blogger that seemed to be doing everything right, but was not getting the results you deserved. Finally they came, I think some people have a nervous system that learns slower than others, but if they are patient, they eventually end up closing the gap with those who respond to the training right away. I think if you can live through 75 miles a week for a while without injuries, you might find a sub-2:50 in you, or maybe even sub-2:40 after a while.

From Superfly on Tue, Oct 09, 2007 at 17:45:05

Good race Andy. Your hard work paid off with a great race. Way to PR big time! Keep it up and you'll be looking sub 2:40 in 2 years.

From Craig Green on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 17:15:28

Hey fellow 2:53 marathoner! Good job on the race. I thought it was interesting to see your splits. It looks like we both ran a smart race with negative splits. Watch- we'll break 2:40 next year.

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