Treasure Coast Marathon -
Tom's time: 2:42:05, 1st place overall (my time 3:39:50, 36th place overall)
(the one where I get to see my son beat me by nearly an hour and couldn't be happier about it)
3:39:50 (garmin distance 26.36, 8:20 pace), official 8:23 pace
Miles 1-7: 7:52, 7:59, 7:56, 7:52, 7:59, 7:55, 7:46
These were the good miles (for the most part), although I think sometime around mile 7 my legs felt more tired/sore than they should this early into 26.2. I had time for just a short warm up before the race (running down the street from where I was dropped off to the starting area). Hit the POP line and then saw Tom, Jenny, and Andy and then saw Jessica and Dani Charlotte while getting to the start line area. It was already very windy so I was wearing a hat and arm warmers in case I got cold while waiting. Was going to take them off before the race but lost sight of Andy and Jessica.
First mile felt good, like I wasn't trying, pace was right where I wanted it to be. I sometimes struggle to get on pace but did not have that problem today. Still dark at this point but light was just around the corner. Mile 2 was also good, just a little slower but I was good with that, wanted to keep it steady. Miles 3 and 4 a little faster with mile 4 same as mile 1. I seemed to be right in the pace range I wanted.
Crossed over the first bridge (two bridges on this out and back course for a total of 4 crossings) and made it over to the start of the loop on the island between the two bridges, this was also where mile 9 was at the loop exit. Andy was there and I tossed him my hat and arm warmers (I'd been carrying them since about mile 2). We went down a short gravel road, through a gate and then back to pavement. There were little tiny hills in this section that went through a residential area with big old trees lining the street.
I picked up the pace a little for mile 7, which would be my fastest mile at 7:46 and unfortunately my last sub-8:00 mile. Was heading north at this point and although somewhat protected by the trees was feeling some wind. There were two women running together that came up behind me gradually. They were chatting away while running like it was effortless. I tried to hang on for a little bit once they passed me but soon let them go. A couple other people passed me.
Miles 8-13: 8:02, 8:24, 8:14, 8:15, 8:08, 8:28
Continuing north on the island, mile 8 was pretty close to 8:00 and I thought, ok no problem as long as I can keep the miles between 8:00 and 8:11 I'll be good for sub-3:35 (BQ) and maybe I'll even pick it up a little bit in the final mile which sometimes I can do. But, mile 9 was not any better and pace slipped some more. However, with the end of mile 9 I was at the loop exit. Saw Andy again and asked how Tom was doing and was told he was in the lead. Turning back onto the main road heading east I felt a boost, picked up the pace slightly to 8:14 pace. Was now at the top of the second bridge. Going down the backside of the bridge pace went back under 8:00 again for a bit. Not only was there the downhill of the bridge, but at the bottom there was a sharp right turn where the course ran on an access road to the base of the bridge to a parking lot for fishing access.
Hitting that turn around and heading back up to the main road, I lost a little bit of steam again with the 8:00 slipping away but still a decent 8:15. Course was now near the hotel so I started looking for Jessica and the baby (they didn't make it back out, the 4:30 early wake up meant a later morning nap). Then there was a little out and back down a sidestreet next to the hotel. For whatever reason, pace was better for mile 12 at 8:08.
Mile 13 started back on the main road heading east followed by the elbow in the road to head north, so it was a mix of easy running and then the start of the north wind. It didn't feel too bad at first but seemed to start picking up more and more. A couple more people passed me around this time.
Miles 14-17: 8:43, 8:53, 8:53, 8:23
Wind continued to be bad, it felt like it would never end but I knew the turnaround would make it better but it didn't feel that way. Just after passing the mile 14 marker I could see on the other side of the road, the light mounted on a bike. Looked like it was the bike they used for the race leader, heading south a few miles after the turnaround. And then a little bit behind the bike I could see Tom. I yelled out to the guy on the bike and pointed behind him "That's my son!!". I wasn't sure if he heard me so I yelled it again and this time the guy on the bike said "He's doing awesome." I was a little worried it might have distracted Tom but he seemed pretty focused. There was a guy about a minute or two behind Tom. Was hoping that Tom could hold him off and not get outkicked by someone drafting him but that would not be the case, the gap would only widen.
A woman passed me by around this time, coming up behind me slowly. She was wearing headphones and head down kind of tucking into the wind. I tried to say hi to her but she was pretty focused and slowly pulled ahead.
After the boost of seeing Tom in first place I felt some renewed energy for maybe about a mile until the wind was dragging on me again. The aid stations had bottles of water and some had bottles of gatorade. I had been carrying an almost full bottle of gatorade for a while. I looked at it and then stopped running. I walked for a bit while slamming it down, then got going again. That short walk break was really worth it. I got back the time I lost for the walk break, and ended mile 16 at the same pace as 15. Picked up a little bit of momentum and got to the turnaround and then got a little faster after that ending mile 17 in 8:23. I had some hope at this point if I could get back some speed, combined with the faster early miles I might have a shot at 3:35.
Miles 18-21: 8:18, 8:15, 8:24, 8:20
My legs were previously tired, but now I didn't really feel them, they were just sort of there. Miles 18 and 19 were decent, both under 8:20. And then finally miles 20, where some say the second half of the race begins. It was a little bit slower, so the 3:35 feeling was slipping away but at least I was still moving. Then sometime around mile 21 was across the street from the hotel and I saw Jessica standing there holding the baby and calling out to me. Once again I felt some momentum, with the pace a few second faster but still had two bridges and 5 miles left to go.
Me at mile 21, Jessica took this from across the street.
Miles 22-26.2: 9:09, 8:51, 8:37, 8:49, 8:33, 0.36@7:46
At the start of the first bridge I saw the woman with the headphones who had passed me earlier. She and a couple other people had slowed down going up. I felt pretty good going up the first one and then down the other side. I was thinking ok, this isn't so bad. On the way out, we had the loop around the island between the bridges, but this time it was straight through. So, then the second bridge was a bit tougher this time and the mile ended near the top so I didn't get back the pace I lost. Oh well, this bad mile of 9:09 wasn't really that bad. I took each mile basically a block at a time, or a bend around the corner or whatever I could focus on. Part of the last full mile was well as that 0.2 was a straight shot down the road. Then just like that it was done. Made it just under 3:40, so at least I was in the 3:3x's even if just barely.
Jessica and the baby were at the finish line and she was able to get a video of me finishing. I soon saw Andy and asked how Tom did. He had won! The whole thing, by about 8 minutes ahead of second place guy. It was a windy day that made for tough condions for many of us, but somehow it didn't slow him down, or if it did we'd have no way of knowing.
Jenny convinced him to ring the "PR Bell" even though in theory he could have run any pace and still "PR'd" but I think everyone agreed this was a legit PR, first race or not.
Tom, Jenny, and I
Jessica and I with baby Dani Charlotte
Our support crew, my older son Andy