Sunday, May 18, 2008

GB Marathon - Favre wouldn't fade in the 4th quarter like this!

I successfully completed my twelfth marathon today in Green Bay, WI. In the end, it was my third fastest time. I take pride in finishing strong in all of my races when I can. Unfortunately, I suffered a classic marathon fade today. Nevertheless, it was a solid effort and a positive race experience.

First Half: 1:33:45 – Second Half: 1:38:15
Finish Time: 3:12:00 – Positive Split: 4:30 (Ouch!)

See all the splits below.

The weather today was very favorable. Temps were in the mid-40’s at the start. The winds would become somewhat of a factor later in the race.

First half of the race was pretty strong. I felt very good and I thought I was on track toward another near-PR performance.

In fact, if you check out the race plan I posted yesterday, I came in through the ½ point exactly on the money at 1:33:45 to the second, as planned! How’s that for race execution? It would not matter in the end, however.

The backslide really began at mile 17 when we hit the bridge across the Fox River. Although the winds running along the Fox River were very challenging from miles 17 to 23, I know the winds are not the reason I faded. It merely was the tipping point. I simply could not hold on for the life of me.

Once we hit the path along the river heading back to GB, the best I could muster were 7:20-25’s. It was extremely frustrating. Then the doubt set in and things started to slip even further.

The mile markers disappeared after 23, which was the lone organizer faux pas of this race. Had I not had a BQ in the bank this year, I would have been really upset since I didn’t know where I was.

My final 3.2 miles would be comprised of avg pace of 7:55. This included a jog around Lambeau among the aura of the historic greatness of many NFL champions.

Bottom line: I simply was not in 3:07 shape today. As I feared, I think the zany schedule and the lack of tempos caught up with me. My training was too imperfect for me to keep the PR streak alive.

I also made zero stops to the porta-cans, so I cannot even blame that for a second half meltdown. Wait, the excuse monkey wants to say: "Hey, you just did have a baby 2.5 weeks ago, which obviously messed up your sleep and taper for this one!"

It’s all good. I am very proud to have run another marathon, put up a very respectable time and add yet another state to my repertoire. So my P.R. streak is officially snapped at FOUR: A marathon, a ½ marathon, a 8k and a 10k from Feb through April.

I would like to think I made little Alivia proud, as I thought about her a lot during my 28-hour journey away from home.

Race Evaluation

Green Bay put on an extremely well-run and and enjoyable marathon. I recommend this race to anyone who wants a medium-sized field in a small, but well-known city and the experience of running into to an NFL stadium. What’s more, the course was decent and really pretty flat.

I was able to score a last minute local GB hotel by calling around yesterday morn. They had shuttles running to the start and the gear check was well handled. There was even a free pasta party included to race entrants inside the Lambeau on Sat eve. Running into legendary Lambeau on your 26th mile = priceless! Summary: Very good race - and only $85!

Come to think of it, I have finished marathons in two NFL stadiums now; the first being Heinz Field in Pittsburgh back in 2002 and 2003.

Up next, I will run into Soldier Field for the popular 10-mile run here this weekend, which will make THREE NFL stadiums covered. Pretty cool, huh?

Editor's Note: Ryan will not run a step before the Soldier Field 10-mile race on Saturday.


Cheesehead Runner said...

Congrats! Hope you got to see some Cheeseheads!

johnking said...

haha love the editors note. Congrats on the finish...thats all that matters sometimes!

wayfool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wayfool said...

hey ryan... awesome race! Considering everything you've been through in the last couple months (more job responsibilities, becoming a daddy), I'd say you left everything out on the race course and ran a courageous race. Your fade wasn't too bad, so I don't think you're fitness was that far off.... I think the wind took more out of you than you think. Enjoy the next week off!

jen said...

Congrats Ryan! Great effort out there. I agree your fade wasn't that bad. You're definitely allowed to play the newborn-at-home card, but I don't think you need any excuses, you did great. :)

And think of it this way: Daddy PR! Fastest race since becoming a father. :)

Chad said...

Ryan, nice job. Sometimes not PRing is enough to motivate you for the next one.

Your splits really tell the story. Right at mile 18 you slow 15-20 seconds per mile and then again at mile 23. Similar to my Boston splits this year.

yumke said...

I don't know how you do it, juggling so many things and yet manage to crank out great mileage and amazing race performances..

Arcane said...

Still pretty good time. You weren't at your peak with the Boston taper and everything, but you have a more than legitimate excuse!

robtherunner said...

You gave it all you got, Ryan! Like you said, a very respectable marathon time. Enjoy some rest before the 10 miler.