At yesterday's marathon, I made my second BQ time and a PR by a full second! Unofficial results showed my time as 3:35:40! The first BQ I made was at the HMRRC Winter marathon in February with a 3:35:41. Following that race I was extremely sore, my legs cramping and burning after. At the time I said “wow, no wonder people don’t do this too often—it HURTS! Today’s race? I feel great! My legs don’t feel any different from a slower race, and it certainly was not because of the course—believe it or not, it was a tough one!
In 2009 I ran 18 marathons, and the BQ alluded me repeatedly. This year, in all the non-doubles (or extremely challenging courses) I’ve run in the low 3:40’s and 2 at 3:35. Thoughts on this? Well when I first crossed the finish line I thought “holy crap, carbo loading on tequila works!” (see last post) While I’m not completely writing off that theory (and will not until extensive testing is done), I have to think there may be alternative reasons for the speed I’ve found this year.
- My friend, the Mill-O-Death. About once a week I’ve been doing speed work on the treadmill and recently I’ve also started doing some crazy hill repeats on there as well. I’ve never been a big fan of the death-mill, but I have to say, speed work goes by much quicker on there and I’m not facing the brutal sun and 80 degree temps, which have often dehydrated me in the past.
- 2010 Miles in 2010. I’m a little behind because of the ankle injury I had at the beginning of the year, but I’ve been steadily increasing my mileage, and that seems to be working well for me.
- Pressure is off! Since I made the first BQ, a serious weight is off my shoulders. In fact, before the race this morning I said “I really don’t feel like running today,” so apparently not caring and taking some pressure is a good thing
The Delaware Marathon is mostly a double looped course (with a little extra before the first loop) run in Wilmington, DE through their downtown are, some parks, partially in a zoo, and through a little suburb. Overall this is a REALLY great marathon, organizationally.
When I found out there was a half marathon and a marathon relay, and all 3 races were run on separate courses that still managed to merge in areas then split off, I thought, “uh oh, somebody (me) is getting lost." I was very impressed that there was never a time I thought, “um where do I go?” especially in areas where the marathon course crossed back over itself. The volunteers were great and the course was extremely well marked.
The marathon course is new for 2010 and I thought it was fantastic and FAST. It’s full of winding, rolling hills and very little flat. It’s very scenic and extremely fast. When we came though the first loop, I had a look at what the ending would be… the last 3 miles were going to have 1 good-sized hill, but primarily a SHOT down to the finish. Pshhh yes! Coming off those down hills, we had some flat area to start the second loop, followed by a tricky area of back to back hills, but once we were through there I knew the last 3 were solid. Knowing all this gave me a lot of confidence and helped for pacing purposes for the last 12 miles or so.
This race had serious focus on the marathoners, even though there was a half and a relay. The spectators went crazy over the kids in the yellow bibs (marathoners) especially the women. There was also a special section in the marathon booklet that highlighted everybody who was running their first marathon and listed all the 50 staters with their # of states completed! This race has some history with the 50 staters- it began because DE had no marathons, and the 50-staters needed a course to run! They also put up signs for all the 50-staters on the course (I didn’t notice because I’m too ADD with my garmin).
Also, they had a bunch of marathon T’s made with really cool running slogans (ie. “26.2 been there done that—Delaware Marathon”) with ALL of the 2010 marathoners listed on the back under “Class of 2010.”
Overall, FANTASTIC race and highly recommended! If you’re looking for a first time marathon, this one will make your experience even more special!