Monday, April 23, 2012

Windstrong, Windtastic, Windderful: The Lansing Marathon Race Recap

The weather was beautiful. Mid 30s. But the wind was noticeable early. The Redhead was there to cheer Lam and I as we were preparing to run the inaugural Lansing Marathon. Before the race we heard several speakers expound positively about “Lansing’s first ever inaugural marathon.” *And somewhere deep in the Department of Redundancy Department buzzers were flashing wildly.*

Soon the race began and we were off. I, as expected, pretty much blew my race strategy early by going 6:40 for mile 4, and then backing way off with a 7:21 for mile 5. At mile ten I wanted to be 1:10:50. I was 1:11:10. And I was happy with that considering over 6 of the first ten miles were into a wind that was steadily gaining momentum. From there on out, I didn’t look at my watch again. I was running on feel and I was feeling good.

Between miles 16-20 the runners headed directly into an even stronger headwind as we ran through the MSU farms. And this part of the race really wiped me out. Several times I was actually blown back or off to the side during this stretch. I could tell I was working hard keep my pace. By the time I got to mile 22, I knew the extra energy expended during those several miles into the wind (reaching over 20mph) were starting to take their toll. The last four miles felt rough. I held on pretty well, but I could tell I was slowing down.

Still, I never stopped and felt I pretty sure I was on pace for a PR. So…how did I do? First, one quick caveat; there are some good things about getting older. Like…your BQ qualification time jumps 5 minutes. Or stays where it was a year ago. And so, I’m happy to say I accomplished two of my three goals, I got a PR and a BQ. A 3:08:xx. I was a little shy of my ‘sneak in under 3:05’ goal. After the race I checked my watch and saw I was on pace through 22 miles, but the last four, including several parts into an even stronger wind plus some natural fatigue were too much to maintain that sub 3:05:00 goal. Who cares, I’m still very very excited.

A few last things. On Saturday, after the expo, Lam, the Redhead, and I did a little motivational chalking on the course. You can check out some of our witty remarks. We even left little love notes just in case this guy decided to cheer on his fellow runners.

(Lam doing a little motivating)

(You get what you vote for)

On race day I was very grateful to see several friends cheering me on…including the legendary Nitmos. My sister Gunior and the Redhead were right at mile 26 to give me some final inspiration—which was extremely needed. Check out these awesome signs. Also, a special thanks goes out to Neophyte who ran the half and was there to help stabilize me after the race.

It was also a good day for the Redhead who not only got a PR but was the first female finisher in the 5K! Check out her amazing story.

I was sad to discover that Lam was unable to overcome his foot injury suffered a few days before his travels out here. He made the difficult but smart decision to DNF after courageously toeing the line and setting a great pace. Having had to make a similar decision myself before, I understand how he feels. I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with Lam. He shares a similar outlook on approaches and perspectives to running, and I’m am hopeful he will get his foot better soon and return to Michigan to visit us again!

My left foot has four blisters, one of which is rather large, while my right foot has one huge blister—not to mention a few other running related minimal but somewhat uncomfortable ailments. I used socks I had worn several times before and the same shoes I had used on all of my long runs. Still, by mile 15 I just had to admit to myself that I was going to be the proud owner of some painful blisters after the race. Later Sunday I was reflecting upon the sensation of running and knowing you are forming blisters. I think it goes something like this: Foot uncomfortable. Forget about it for a bit. Foot hurts and you are positive you have blisters. Forget about it. Pain returns and you wonder how you amazingly forget about it just a few moments ago. Forget about it once more. Pain back again and resumption of wondering how you ever managed to forget about it. Repeat until race is finished. Oh the joy of running.


Vaudiophile said...

Look up the wind mph for the day, and run some calculations for the miles against the wind. Calculate out time loss to drag factor (ignore those wind at your back miles), and you'll probably have your 3:05.

Man I'll be good at excuses when I'm a real runner someday.

Redhead Running said...

Even with bastard wind violating you, you still kicked major ass! I am so freaking proud of you! I love you!!!

P.S. Please do not gain back all the weight you lost during this week of gluttony.

Nitmos said...

I saw some of that chalk work but that photo above shows me I missed even more. And thanks for putting one of those notes on the precise spot where my daughter works safety patrol each day. She will literally be standing on it. Fortunately, I don't believe she knows what a Nitmos is.

Great run into unpleasant conditions. I was glad to not be racing that day!

Aging has its privileges...if you just maintain speed at this point, you'll BQ forever.

Now, does your blog go dark for 4 months until the next race approaches?

Viper said...

Congrats on the PR and BQ! Sounds like a chilly race. Cheers!

LAPT said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am SO thrilled for you. :-) Hopefully I'll get to see you and Morgan in Boston again soon.

Kandi said...

Congrats! After all that craziness with the course changes, it all worked out for you on race day. Did the course ever get certified?

Neophyte TriDuRun said...

Congrats again on the PR and BQ!! You obviously ran a great race, even with the violating winds!

Jess said...

Congrats on the PR. Your blister thoughts are on point!

Joanna said...

Congrats on the PR, especially with those weather and blister conditions. That's awesome!! And hell yeah for the BQ!!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Haha - love Red's comment above. All in good fun. Nice work on the marathon, Spike.

tahoegirl said...

Stupid wind. Congrats on another BQ. Hope to see you and Red at 5/3 in May. Enjoy your Cheez-Its, Better Mades, Swiss Rolls, Oreos, and all the other little pleasures in life.

Runnin-From-The-Law said...

I, too, saw the chalk work. Nice.

And fabulous job yesterday. Sometimes abandoning the plan and going on feel does work.

And thanks again for the restaurant tips. I enjoyed Lansing!

Ironman By Thirty said...

Congrats again on the BQ and PR! I biked in that wind so I know how brutal it was. Way to stay tough out there.

Maybe when I am old like you I will finally get my BQ ;) haha

The Laminator said...

Awesome job Spike! I only ran 8 miles and still felt very violated in that wind...and that was so much earlier in the day when it wasn't as strong yet.

At any rate, thanks so much for your hospitality this weekend. It was a most fun trip and I learned so much about running, life and sports in Michigan from you.

As surely as there will be Lansing Marathon V2, I'll be back to reclaim my marathon medal. In fact, that might have been the primary incentive behind my I'll have an excuse to come back!

At any rate, congrats on the PR and the BQ. Take care of those blisters and the bottomless candy bowl and Iook forward to running with you soon!

B.o.B. said...

i'm late to this congratulations party! congratulations!!

your line about the redundancy dept was spot on. gotta love race announcers!

and the blisters. yep. forget about them momentarily and then remember again's a vicious cycle.

did i say congrats yet? congrats!!

p.s. lemon cake book is thus far really good!

Greg said...

I don't know about you, but I would rather deal with hills than a cold wind. Awesome job and congrats on the PR!

Candice @ I Have Run said...

What I wouldn't give to spend the race in your head. Nice job on the PR and BQ! You rock.

Candice @ I Have Run said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jordan said...

The wind was pretty fierce down here Sunday morning too, I don't envy you having to run straight into it! Good job making it your bitch though and rocking a PR and BQ!

I hear you guys are heading to KZoo in a couple weeks for the Borgess run! Hopefully the wind is absent that day.