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Up Topic Communities / Masters / Stowe Marathon Summary and Report.
- - By keithlong_nm (elite kenyan) [us] Date 2006-09-15 6:43 AM
also posted on Running times forum

Just back home from 10 days in the northeast, so this report is a little belated. I have a summary at the beginning to save you from reading the whole novel if you don't want to  .

Summary: Time was 3:26:48, 7:54 pace. Age graded time was 3:10:17 for a PLP of 66.7%. I was 8th overall and 3rd in my age group. I did qualify for Boston, so managed to salvage something from this effort.

Ok, on to the report:

This was supposed to be a sub-3 attempt, so I was not even in the ball park with my effort. I have a few excuses, like I didn't feel good the whole week leading up to the race, and had diarrhea (moderate) for 2 days before, and a low fever the nite before, but still should have done better.

We started in very pleasant conditions, about 40 degrees at the 8:15 AM start last Sunday. It was a small race with only about 100 people entered. Stowe was beautiful with the leaves changing and the grass very green. No one really went out hard, I stayed just off the leaders for the first mile which I ran in 6:53, right on sub-3 pace. There was also a relay that was running at the same time, so it was hard to tell the relayers from the open runners. I was 5th overall at the mile split, but found out later that all but one of the runners in front of me were relay runners.

We were on an asphalt recreation path for the first 5 miles or so until we entered Stowe itself. By now I had lost contact with the leaders, and was running with another guy who was on about the same pace as me. We hit the 6 mile mark with 7:02 average pace (42:12). At this point I knew sub-3 was going to be tough, but still thought I could run sub 3:15.

After a quick uphill through Stowe, we were back on the rec path until about mile 9 where we cut off through a parking lot and onto Luce Hill Road. This was the start of a big hill, about 7-8% grade for 2 miles. I ran the hill miles at about 8:20 average pace, and they were really no trouble, still feeling very good at the top, but here is where the problems started. We went down the other side of the hill which was just as steep. I ran those 2 downhill miles at about 7:30 pace, but they really hurt my legs, especially my shins. I never really recovered from this.

At the bottom, we went back onto paved road for about a 4 mile loop. I was still running ok, still in 2nd overall at the turnaround, although I knew I would not catch the leader as he was at least 1/2 mile ahead of me. I ran through the next few miles, 14-18, fairly easily at about 7:25 pace. Was passed here by a relay guy, who was nice enough to tell me he was in the relay and not the open.

Was starting to struggle around mile 19. At mile 20, we went back into Stowe and up a long, but not too steep hill. Here the guy I had run the whole race with was able to go on and get away from me. We hit the rec path again for the final 5.5 miles, and this is where the wheels fell off. My splits got continually worse, going from around 8:00 to over 11:00 for mile 25. I rebounded a little in mile 26, and finally finished. The last 3 miles were really tough, went into mile 24 in 3rd overall, but got passed by a bunch of runners in the last 2 miles.

Not sure why I couldn't do better than this. It was a tough course, (they are talking about removing the hill next year), but it wasn't that tough. Being a little sick of course didn't help, but I felt pretty good on race morning. Oh well, it gives me something to shoot for next time.

Keith
__________________
Next - Pecos Valley Roundup 20K, Roswell, NM 11.04.06.
Parent - By JetGirl [us] Date 2006-09-15 8:08 AM
Keith, I'm sorry that the race didn't go as you had planned, but a big Congratulations on qualifying for Boston!  That is terrific.  And...in my book, you are one fast guy!  Thanks for a very interesting race report!
Parent - By murphy26.2 Date 2006-09-15 6:08 PM
BQ!!!! Congratulations - thanks for sharing your race report!
Parent - By NErunner [us] Date 2006-09-16 8:15 PM
While your effort didn't land you your sub 3...it did reward you with a BQ...and third in your AG!  Runners are soooo hard on themselves...you'll be back next year, and get that sub 3. 

Thanks for the report!
Parent - By rgreen45 [ca] Date 2006-09-17 7:01 AM
A great effort Keith, and a good story as well. I well know the feeling of the wheels falling off but we do bounce back. Running off road, even on a smooth path, slows you down. I learned this when JHFenton and I ran the Virginia Creeper Marathon. The first 2 miles in on a road (to let the field spread out), and the next 24.2 miles is on the old Virginia Creeper railroad bed. It's a very smooth pathway, but still takes extra effort.

You ran a smart race even though the legs never recovered from the downhill. I know when fatigue hits my legs, the downhill hurts worse than going up.

The BQ is great and don't put too much into wondering why the race wasn't all you wanted it to be. Remember that in training, we know the terrain, road surfaces, hills, etc. Any race outside of our stomping grounds adds time-robbing variables and unknowns. This event had many.

You did good.:grin::grin:
Parent - By rungear [us] Date 2006-09-17 8:00 PM
congrats, way to go on the BQ!  :happy:
Parent - - By Kymoose [us] Date 2006-09-18 5:31 AM
Keith...I think your feeling ill with a fever, diahhrea, etc. played a huge part in your marathon.  Your race times at the shorter distances are indicative of a sub-3 so I know you have it in you.  Your body was fighting something germy and a marathon is a tough demand under those conditions.  Still though you BQ'd and ran well.  Does this mean I'll be seeing you in Boston 2007?
Parent - By keithlong_nm (elite kenyan) [us] Date 2006-09-18 5:41 AM
Probably not on for Boston in '07.  Think I will try for the sub-3 at the Lost Dutchman marathon in Arizona in mid-February.  However, I reserve the right to change my mind! 

Keith
Parent - By Grey Beard Tom [us] Date 2006-09-18 6:04 AM
Fever and sick the days before and you still BQ!!!   That is a real testiment to your training.  You should be very proud of that!

Tom
Parent - By joerunner (100 mile stud) Date 2006-09-22 10:25 AM
Your experience sounded  a lot like what I went through last June.  I think one factor is the small field size.  I found it very hard to keep up the pace I needed for goal with nobody else around me in the late miles.  Maybe that happened to you too.  Congrats on your BQ.
Up Topic Communities / Masters / Stowe Marathon Summary and Report.

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