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Up Topic Training / Marathons / Rob in the Heartland
- - By rob26.2 Date 2017-09-27 10:27 AM
When I heard that Blazer, Nooner and Doughboy were running a September marathon in Omaha, I was excited to join in the fun.  It's only a 3-hour drive and Mrs. Rob was happy to get rid of me!

My running this summer has been going well.  About a year ago, I decided that I would force myself to always take at least one day off per week.  In the 17 weeks, since the Joplin Marathon in May, I had 10 weeks over 60 miles, 10 long runs of 18+ miles and 9 days of speed work.
I have been battling achilles tendonitis and knee-itis since April and my calf that gave me fits over the winter would tighten up occasionally.  Every night I would ice and elevate my legs while Mrs. Rob forced me to watch HGTV. :roll:  During the day, when I thought of it, I would ice while I was at my desk.  On my days off I would take 1 Ibuprofen (yeah, only 1).  The issues did not get worse and really did not improve either until my vacation in late June when I took 3 days off in a row.  After that, I continued with the ice and once-a-week-Ibuprofen. I started doing heel-raises on the stairs and added other stretches before every run.  Gradually things improved and by race day, my knee was good and my achilles pain was minimal.
I got to Omaha on Saturday about 5 minutes before the arrival of Doughboy and his incredible brownies.  15 minutes later we picked up Blazer with her wonky calf.  About an hour later Nooner arrived with his vast knowledge of Omaha beer and restaurants.  We went to a local tavern for lunch and chose to sit indoors since outside it was 90+* with a dewpoint in the high 60s. :cry:  After lunch Doughboy stopped at an ice cream place, bought a bowl of Mojito ice cream with 4 spoons! It was awesome.  After a couple hours of rest and a short nap for me, it was time to eat again! Rick’s daughter, Susie joined us for dinner.  It was good to meet her and I found out she shares her Dad’s passion for beer.

Race morning it was 70* but at least there was some wind :tryingtobepositive:  The forecast called for a high of 90 with plenty of sun so this was no day to try to run fast.  I decided to just run by feel and try to stay comfortable.  There was a serious uphill in the first 2 miles with other ups and downs until mile 5, when the route was basically flat. Following are a few comments and thoughts:

In the first couple miles, I was 20 feet behind a fellow Marathon Maniac and I noticed his legs were kind of going all over the place.  At one point I got closer to him and I could hear his right foot hit his left leg/foot on EVERY. SINGLE. STRIDE. :shocker!:  Crazy Legs was a good runner though, he stayed ahead of me for about 10 miles.

After the big, early, uphill I was very consistent on my splits.  Miles 3 through 20 were from 7:30 to 7:45 except for a 9:33 mile after a Porto stop at mile 6.

Almost all the race was on a paved running trail winding around and through Council Bluffs, Iowa.  There were zero spectators with the only crowd support coming from aid stations and relay exchange points.  It was a life-saver when we could run into the wind.  There were some areas with a tailwind or a protected area that were just miserably hot.  Of course, it got worse later in the race.

A large part of the trail section was an out-and-back with a couple shorter out-and-backs thrown in to make it more aggravating.  Within a couple miles of the furthest turn-around, I started counting the returning runners.  Then, I forgot to keep counting and lost track. :roll: I did see an old guy that had a pacer sign early and then no sign later.  I figured I would have to pass him to win my AG.  After the turn I started looking for my fellow Runangoers.  I saw Chris first and he said I was in 12th or 13th place.  That was nice to hear but I had no plans to try to speed up.  I saw Rick about a mile later and he said he left Cathy back near the ½ split and he didn’t know what she was going to do.  A couple miles later I looked ahead and saw a woman wearing a maroon singlet (Cathy had on a maroon TX A&M singlet). So, I pumped my fist in the air and screamed out “Let’s go Aggies!!!”  There was no response and as we got closer I was getting a weird look from someone who was NOT Blazer. :blush:

Mile 21 brought the first 8+ mile split since the early part of the race and my pace gradually got slower to the end.  My final mile was just barely under 9 minutes.  I saw Cathy hobbling about ½ mile from the finish. :sad:

Finally, marathon #86 was done; finishing 3:27:52 (7:56 pace).  I was 9th overall and 1st in my AG. :happy: It turns out the old guy that was ahead of me was a pacer and he was not eligible for an AG award. Ha! The AG award is a magnetic bottle opener, which will be useful. 

Post-race was more beer, more food and the leg-stiffening drive home.

Today is 3 days later and my achilles, which was sore post-race, feels good. My calf is tight, but not bad and my knee is good.  I plan to pick another race later in the fall and shoot for a fast time.  I would like to run Boston again in 2019.

This weekend was another reminder and confirmation of how great the running forums have been in getting all of us together at different races. The FEs are always so enjoyable causing the races to become almost secondary. :hug:
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2017-09-27 10:48 AM
You ran passed me like I was standing still......though I almost was standing still! 

The New Years Double in Allen, Texas is a fast, flat race with lots 'o Maniacs.  You would have a place to stay, great local beer and I am certain an excellent FE.
Parent - By Ed [us] Date 2017-09-27 11:02 AM
Nice job & congrats Rob!  At least you didn't have anyone screaming at you with 1/2 mile to go!  :laugh:
Parent - By Beastie Girl [us] Date 2017-09-27 11:07 AM
A large part of the trail section was an out-and-back with a couple shorter out-and-backs thrown in to make it more aggravating.
:laugh::cry: This sounds like my worst nightmare race.

Congrats on the AG win! That's a speedy marathon in crappy conditions! :cool:
Parent - By cowboyjunkie Date 2017-09-27 12:42 PM
Well done!
Parent - By Doughboy (spamkiller) Date 2017-09-28 12:43 PM
I saw Chris first and he said I was in 12th or 13th place.

Counting down the few people ahead of you was a great distraction while it lasted!

Thanks for meeting me at the airport and for the great company last weekend. You ran an impressive race given the conditions. And wow, I never thought I'd see the day when I'd welcome a head wind in a race. :shocker!:

Keep that knee and Achilles healthy!
Parent - By Eric1970 Date 2017-09-28 5:06 PM
Great job and congrats on the AG win. That's a great time in those conditions. Glad that the calf behanved.

If I get to the point of running another marathon, I've set a goal to qualify for Boston 2020 when I turn and get more time.: pbbt:
Parent - By nooner [us] Date 2017-10-02 8:48 AM
You ran a great race in pretty horrid conditions. I hope you are able to find another one this fall to see what you can pull off in better conditions.

The rest of the weekend was a lot of fun! Thanks for being our Uber driver!

The rest of my states are pretty far from you (except for the last one) so it will take a little more work for you to join in on any of those but I will keep you posted now that you have a little easier time getting away from home. I will be doing Idaho in a couple of years and it's close enough to Yellowstone that you might be willing to come out for that.
Up Topic Training / Marathons / Rob in the Heartland

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