Saturday, June 23, 2012

Anchorage Marathon - 2012

A quick recap from Anchorage Marathon.

I wasn't going for record times but wanted good strong grit from this race. Fitness hasn't been at a high since Houston back in January, tapering wasn't ideal with a fishing trip the entire week prior with lots of beer and late nite cards, and 10 days of mostly no running ending the week prior to fishing (about half from being too busy and half from a sprained ankle) - I was figuring I was around 6:25ish mpm marathon pace. But peak fitness wasn't my goal. My goal was all about having a good strong with all I've got kinda race - I didn't get that in Boston where I felt I'd squandered the opportunity giving into weak thinking - and that mental wimpiness has been knawing at me since. I wanted that all-out race at Anchorage. And I got it. No weakness any part of the race today. Gave all I had.

Ran the highest average heartrate for a marathon at 162. That's 1.5 bpm higher than my highest in the prior 14 marathons (which happenned to be 2008's Anchorage Marathon). Whether or not HR is any indication this was my grittiest effort or not I won't debate. But it sure felt as gritty as any race I've done before - I'll take it.

9th place overall and so glad I had a recent birthday so instead of 4th in the 40-44 AG for nada. I get the gold medal in the 45-49. Cool beans. 2:55:37 finishing time - about a 1 minute negative split. Temps weren't ideal averaging mid 60s - but soo much better than Houston running - felt great.

Here's the splits:

Distance Split time Avg HR
1 6:12 150
2 6:34 162
3 6:43 162
4 6:50 162
5 6:24 162
6 6:44 161
7 7:00 162
8 6:20 159 trail
9 6:25 158 trail
10 6:38 159 trail
11 7:14 160 trail
12 6:26 159 trail
13 6:55 160 trail
14 7:49 160 trail
15 6:28 158 trail
16 6:17 161 1/2 trail
17 6:24 161
18 6:22 162
19 6:29 163
20 6:39 164
21 6:44 164
22 6:30 163
23 6:33 164
24 6:36 165
25 6:41 166
26 6:51 169
26.48 2:49 (6:01) 173 (175 max)

1st half 1:28:18 160
2nd half 1:27:19 163
2:55:37 161.6

Temps - Start/End 59°/68°F
Elevation - +672 ft, -769 ft.

A negative ~1 minutes split - my second ever negative split with the first being this same race in 2008 with a -37 second split (2nd half is a little faster with more downhill and less trails). I think the HR was raising as the temps were creaping up last 10 miles. Execute pretty much as planned - back off a touch through the trails then step it up again after they were done - easier to see that in the HR data - pace data bounces all over with hills variations start to finish. Clearly the fitness is off 4 years ago with a 10 minutes slower time - but as a race - I think I ran it about as good as I could with what I had in the tank. Course factors add about 5 minutes on this race (trails and hills) plus the temps probably added 1-2 minutes from the ideal so I'll call it a ~2:48ish equivalent flat marathon - which is about where my fitness reads were saying the prior week. Good enough for me to feel good about.

I ran this race my favorite way of running a race - no indication of pace - only HR - and like a robot just stick to the HR plan I've proven in the past I can sustain without worrying about the clock. Worked like a charm most of the way through varying terrain until last 10k or so where it felt OK to take it a bit higher. Not usually possible with most races that give constant updates along the way of the time but this race was small enough there were no splits given anywhere so I could rig the Garmin to just give me HR and distance with high/low vibrating alerts when I drifted too fast or slow - my prefered way to run these things.


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