Today was the Omaha Marathon and State #40 on my Tour De US! If you read my last post I mentioned that judging from the 2009 results, this looked like a FAST course-- and I was definitely NOT wrong! After my 3 full weekends off from racing, I knew I was feeling good but I had no idea I was capable of ... 3:23:58 (unofficial race results). Prior to this race my best time was 3:34:09.
To tell ya the truth I'm not exactly sure what was SO fast about the course. My garmin clocked 26.32 so it wasn't a short course. There were some BIG hills between mile 6 and 13, so it wasn't a completely flat course either. The one benefit I felt was NOT being in high altitude, which is how most of my races have been lately.
Apparently I wasn't the only one that had a fast day. Even with a 3:24 I only took 6th overall (unofficial). That kind of time on a medium-sized race like this should have placed me, but these women were fast-- we're talking top 3 all under 3:20! Craziness. I was able, however, to take first in my A/G! Jeff Galloway presented us with our awards (pictures to come later).
So when I DO manage to PR, I like to analyze why it is I may be improving my time and hope to learn valuable lessons-- I may as well get something out of the 50 states besides missing toenails. Some of the changes I've made since my last PR (University of Okoboji Marathon, circa July).
1) Rest- I took THREE weekends off from racing. I've done this before with 4 being my longest streak away from the marathon distance, but a little rest never fails to benefit a race!
2) Group Speed Work- In this recent post, I mentioned that I had been doing speedwork with a running group out of Mojo Running in West Chester, OH. Coach Bob has had us doing shorter mileage speed work (400 m to 1 Mile sprints) than I've been used to (Yasso 800's and mile repeats). I think these shorter distance and running most of them at 6 min/mile pace, have gotten me very comfortable running in the low 7's.
3) POM Wonderful? I have written about it yet, but POM wonderful DID come through with a package to sample. I've been drinking a bottle after every workout. I'll post when I'm finished and have put some thought into it.
What Does this Mean?
Well this means 2 things to me...
1) If I can run 3:24, I CAN run 3:15! Ok, at least sub 3:20. I had goals to get to my current time around May of next year... I'll have to reevaluate my goals now.
2) Boston Marathon... Wave #1! The 2-wave start of Boston was split just about where my old PR was-- so next year could have gone either way. I think with my new time, I have a much better chance of being in wave 1!
That's it for the night! Post-race thoughts, race ratings, and official results coming soon!
"Run to Win" -Meb