A Balance, Redefined

TOU Marathon

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Location:

Vestavia,AL,USA

Member Since:

May 31, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

Marathon Top 10 Finishes: 7 Bridges ('15), Utah Valley ('13), Salt Lake City ('08), Top of Utah ('07), and St. Louis ('04). Ran around the equator (24901.55) in 4,388 days.

Personal Records
Marathon 2:39 (SLC '08)
1/2 Marathon 1:12.30 (Provo River, aided '08)
10K 34:16 (Track, sea level '00)
10K 33:15 (Des 10K, aided '08)
8K 25:32 (Crack of Dawn, aided '13)
5K 16:44 (Track, sea level '00)
5K 16:07 (Running of the Leopards, aided '12)
 

Short-Term Running Goals:

NYC Marathon November 3, 2019 done 

London Marathon October 3, 2021 done

Tokyo Marathon 202#???...

And my largest challenge to date, raise $20,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my cancer survivorship and in memory of those lost to blood cancer...
DONE! $26,403.70

https://pages.lls.org/tnt/al/london2021/awende

Long-Term Running Goals:

Enjoy being a Masters Runner.

Get under 3 hours one more time...

Personal:

Grew up outside Chicago and joined the blog while I lived in Salt Lake City. Now living outside Birmingham. I am married with two daughters. Wife thinks I'm crazy for doing marathons. And yes I am crazy I'm a scientist for a living...

Click to donate
to Ukraine's Armed Forces
Miles:This week: 16.00 Month: 151.44 Year: 1036.19
RM 090416 Lifetime Miles: 136.06
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 200.18
Nike Vaporfly Pink Lifetime Miles: 105.22
Saucony Rides Blue A #34 Lifetime Miles: 36.00
Saucony Rides Blue B #35 Lifetime Miles: 28.44
Saucony Rides Blue C #36 Lifetime Miles: 29.25
Brooks Launch Blank #34 Lifetime Miles: 29.50
Brooks Launch Gray #36 Lifetime Miles: 29.00
Brooks Launch Grey #37 Lifetime Miles: 31.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
17.0027.200.000.000.000.000.0044.20
WM 090416 Miles: 0.64Saucony Rides #6B Miles: 12.00Asics DS-Trainer #5 Miles: 4.00Adidas Adistar (flats) #2 Miles: 28.20
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 49.00Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00

Rest day.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.000.000.000.006.00

AM: Direct commute run.  Had to start work by 6am. 2.5mi

PM: Treadmill progression run. Started at 8min pace then increased 0.1 mph each 0.1 miles. 3.5mi

WM 090416 Miles: 0.26Saucony Rides #6B Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.000.000.000.004.00

Single: Campus commute run. Slept in this morning.

In honor of Jon and Cody's summaries here is a very quick rundown of my training...

So this round (despite the slow start and no weeks over 75mi) I still have my 3rd highest cumulative mileage.  I also have a good 150 miles over last time preparing for TOU. However, I have the least workouts and pace work. We'll see what happens...

Year 18wk prior
Race Time
2001 676 Chicago 2:52:28
2002 689 Chicago 2:47:34
2003 621 Boston  2:55:30
2004 845 St. Louis 2:45:43
2005 1095 Chicago 2:45:21
2006 668 Las Vegas 3:00:21
2007 993 Logan TOU
2:40:20
2008 1271 Salt Lake City 2:39:50
2008 1197 St. George 2:47:28
2009 1144
Logan TOU
???

WM 090416 Miles: 0.26Asics DS-Trainer #5 Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.000.000.000.006.00

Single: Blah. I may as well have been wearing a lead suite. My initial plan was for one "quick" mile, then one pace mile, then just finish... I guess my body is conserving everything for Saturday because I just could not get turnover this morning. MG overlook. Avg. 9:22

WM 090416 Miles: 0.11Saucony Rides #6B Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00

Rest day.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
1.001.000.000.000.000.000.002.00

Just the tune-up before the storm.

Adidas Adistar (flats) #2 Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Race: TOU Marathon (26.2 Miles) 02:49:16, Place overall: 16, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
0.0026.200.000.000.000.000.0026.20

Chapter 10

 

There’ll be another

 

Preface

I knew it was bound to happen, not all races can live up to your expectations. That being said I think I’ve handled this as best as I could. Here is the story of my ’09 marathon. As is my usual tradition, marathon race reports are a time of reflection for me on my year in running and life in general. Last year ended in defeat with a critical injury not one month out from what was set to be my fastest marathon. It hit me hard and life filled in the gap. The birth of my second daughter (on my birthday) was a great addition to my daily life and really adjusted my priorities for the coming year. Also, the knowledge that my current salary support was ending in June did not help matters any. The good news is that I was awarded another three years of funding starting this month and my second daughter is already 9-months old, happy and more importantly healthy, so all and all the year was a great one. But as I mentioned my priorities changed a lot this year and my only goal for running was to not get re-injured. That was until Des 10K and TOU1/2, both just off my PRs from the previous year. This and the knowledge that I’d put in the 3rd most total miles leading up to this race than before any of my other marathons, though the least number of workouts. In fact, I’d run 150 more miles than when I ran a 2:40:20 on this same course just two years earlier. This being said my three goals all shifted 5 min up the month before the race than what I was planning when I registered. Going to the line my A STD was 2:35, B STD was 2:40, and C STD was 2:45. Also, I was seeded 15th so I wanted to get at least 15th place. I did however know that some faster people were not seeded and that could affect place.

 

The Race

            I left work an hour early so I could spend a little time with the family before heading north. Then after dinner I hit the road for the drive up to Logan. Stopped briefly at the expo to pick up my number and drop off some water bottles. The race director had graciously agreed to place these at some of the aid stations (though this isn’t typical for this particular race), more to come on this later. I also ran into Steve A. and spoke with him briefly and saw Sasha on my way out the door to the local high school track. As has become tradition for me I did two miles on the track to shake out my legs from the drive and get a good pace in my mind. I do an 800 warm up then 4 quarters at a “good effort” without checking my pace and then an 800 cool down with some stretching afterwards. The post-run glance at the splits had me very encouraged the effort felt easy and I had hit 87, 85, 86, 85 or about 5:43 and since my A STD goal pace was 5:55 with most of it downhill my hopes were flying high!

            After the gaunt at the track I headed over to Cody’s. He had been kind enough to host me again for my stay in Logan. Cody, Sasha, Jon and I spent the next hour or so talking about running and plans for the next day and then I hit the sack. Very interesting thing, it was the first night I have ever slept through before a big race. Usually I’m waking up every hour. But to my surprise the next thing I remembered was my alarm going off at 4:30am to get to the buses. The four of us from the night before carpooled to the start, boarded the buses, and enjoyed the ride to the start. After meeting up with some of the other bloggers, a few for the first time, I was getting ready to go. It was nice to meet some people for the first time face to face, JD, etc. We knew the race was going to be stacked from some homework Jon had done and saw four Kenyans at the start and knew that the top 20 men all had PRs under or about 2:45. My plan was to just run my race and try my best to hit that 2:35, if I fell off and got a 2:40 so be it.

            To my surprise, even with all the big guns the first mile was rather conservative. Paul jumped out to the lead with the Kenyans, Sasha, and Nick and a few others close behind and to my surprise I found myself in a fairly large chase pack. The first mile was only about 5 sec fast so I felt good. Soon after the chase pack started to split and I had to make a decision. I opted to go ahead with the faster group. This probably didn’t happen until about mile 3 or 4 but whatever. I knew as long as I was not up with Jon but not losing too much ground I was probably still doing good for the 2:35 pace. As we approached the 7 mile aid station I knew one of my bottles was going to be there. So here is the story on that. St. George has an elite water station. I had contacted the race directors for TOU and asked if they had something similar. They said no but that they could help me out. So Sandra and Kaitlyn decorated bottles for me. They added a little flag with both my race number and the aid station. Then they wrote something encouraging on the lid and taped a GU to each. Now as I approached the aid table it became clear that I was the only person who had asked for this. I am very thankful to Bob for making this exception. The volunteers found it very funny and as I approached they all started yelling out that number 15 was coming and to get the bottle. It was handed off and I took my GU and continued on. It really gave me a surge of energy and put a big smile on my face. Although part of that smile was embarrassment…

            The next three miles I was still feeling pretty good and I was very happy to see ~59 min on the clock as I passed the 10 mile mark. I knew I was still in pretty good shape and I could still see Jon and I think it was Steve A. on long stretches of road. However, somewhere within the next mile my legs just did not feel “right”. I think it was the lack of speed work. I was in half marathon shape but my body was beginning to tell me I better go back to Oz if I think I am in marathon shape off of mileage alone. The next 5 miles I held it together more or less, only deviating from pace a little. Through the half I was still on pace for a sub-2:36 (if a flat course). Around mile 15 or 16 Joe W. and his buddy passed me. Almost in the exact same spot on the course as they passed me on the half marathon. However, today I had no inkling that I could hang with them even for a mile and just watched them quickly gap me. During the next mile Vance and someone else passed me. He gave me a very encouraging string of comments and though I appreciated it, they just went in one ear and out the other. During mile 18 something very strange happened and both my legs and mind switched off. There was a very obvious change from racing to running and I just seemed to give up. Through mile 19 I was still on pace for a sub-2:40 (again assuming a flat course) but it didn’t matter, I don’t like to admit this but what crossed my mind was that the race was over and I wanted to only finish and not hurt myself for a non-PR effort. By mile 21 the lead woman passed me (way to go Nan) but soon after I passed one of the Kenyan’s who was having an even worse race. By mile 22-23 Cody passed me and though he encouraged me to come with, his comment on this being a death march was much more to my mentality at that point. I continued on and appreciated the cheers of people telling me how good and strong I looked though I just kept thinking I had to look like death. The people at the aid stations throughout continued to be great and the stations with my bottles all got them to me without a hitch. I really appreciated it and their enthusiasm and the knowledge that Kaitlyn and Sandra had spent so much effort on them were the only things that kept me going.

            I finally made it to mile 26 and saw that I could still break 2:50 so I put in just enough effort to do that. I made it to the line in 2:49.16 in 26.28 miles by Garmin, this was good for 16th place. So I missed all goals…

           

Final place 16th overall of 2027 finishers

3rd division (at least I came home with a moose)

Final time 2:49.15

Average HR 176, Max HR 191.

 

Wrap-up

            What next? Another marathon of course! I’m planning two for next year, a tune-up in the spring to wipe this race from my memory and then something fast in the fall. Races to be determined, depends on money and schedule. I’m happy with the year and despite some pain in my knee today and some very sore muscles I think I made it through the training year in one piece. Thank you to all the bloggers that have supported me through my recovery. I think I’m back. Now to get back into marathon racing shape. Also, many congratulations to all the bloggers that had great days. A few others had races similar to mine but they all seem to have taken them the same way. Not too devastated just move on. However, there were also a number of bloggers who did VERY well. Paul, for winning the race out right: You really deserved it and I’m so proud of your dedication. Jon, for a huge PR and winning his age group: You ran a race I hope to mirror in the near future. Thank you for the great example. And the blogger women for sweeping 1-3! Nick for a great 4th place finish behind some stiff competition, Cody for sticking it out even when running through the killing fields (i.e. passing my dead body), JD for coming to the line after 10yr and shaving 15 min off of his PR, Sasha and Steve for tune-up races on their ways to much better performances at St. George. I know I’m missing other people and I’m sorry…

 

Pace for: GOAL ACTUAL Avg.
Mile Split Split TOTAL FINAL HR
1 5:44 5:39 0:05:39 2:28:13 172
2 5:47 5:46 0:11:25 2:29:38 180
3 5:52 5:48 0:17:14 2:30:27 182
4 5:49 5:57 0:23:10 2:31:47 181
5 5:51 5:57 0:29:07 2:32:35 182
6 5:53 6:00 0:35:08 2:33:24 182
7 6:04 6:02 0:41:09 2:34:02 183
8 5:40 5:53 0:47:02 2:34:02 181
9 5:51 6:06 0:53:08 2:34:41 178
10 5:55 5:57 0:59:05 2:34:47 181
11 5:59 6:11 1:05:15 2:35:26 180
12 5:45 6:02 1:11:17 2:35:38 179
13 5:43 6:06 1:17:23 2:35:57 178
14 5:44 6:00 1:23:23 2:36:03 177
15 5:49 6:04 1:29:27 2:36:15 177
16 5:53 6:14 1:35:41 2:36:40 178
17 5:52 6:27 1:42:08 2:37:24 178
18 5:52 6:28 1:48:36 2:38:04 175
19 6:18 7:03 1:55:39 2:39:29 176
20 6:09 7:15 2:02:54 2:41:00 173
21 5:48 6:52 2:09:46 2:41:54 172
22 6:04 7:12 2:16:58 2:43:07 172
23 6:12 7:26 2:24:24 2:44:29 173
24 5:58 7:45 2:32:09 2:46:06 169
25 6:05 7:38 2:39:47 2:47:27 166
26 6:01 7:35 2:47:22 2:48:39 172
26.2 1:22 1:54 2:49:16 2:49:16 172
GOAL 2:35 2:40 Actual Diff. from 2:35 Diff. from 2:40
Avg. 5:55 6:06 6:26 0:31 0:20
1st Half 1:16:35 1:19:03 1:18:05 0:01:30 0:00:58
2nd Half 1:18:25 1:20:57 1:31:11 0:12:46 0:10:14

0:01:50 0:01:54 0:13:06 Positive split!!!  

Adidas Adistar (flats) #2 Miles: 26.20WM 090416 Miles: 0.01
Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50Weight: 0.00
Comments(11)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
17.0027.200.000.000.000.000.0044.20
WM 090416 Miles: 0.64Saucony Rides #6B Miles: 12.00Asics DS-Trainer #5 Miles: 4.00Adidas Adistar (flats) #2 Miles: 28.20
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 49.00Weight: 0.00
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