Friday, October 30, 2009

Marine Corps Marathon - Race Report

In case you're wondering or if you haven't checked the results yet, I ran a 2:41:33 at the Marine Corps Marathon and Armed Forces Marathon Championship.  Army took 3rd Place.  Air Force (1st) and Navy (2nd) both put together a very strong team.  Air Force had their top 4 runners all under 2:30 (team results here) and Navy had the overall race winner of 2:21. 

It's true when they say the marathon is 2 races, a 20 mile run and then a 10k race.  I put in a good first 20 miles and then just fell apart big time in the last 10K.  I'm not sure what really happened.  The wheels just fell off after I hit the 20M mark.  I never cramped up in the last 10K, but my legs did feel like I was carrying 10 pound leg weights.  It could be either that the few up and downhills early in the race took the legs out, or my body and legs just wasn't fully recovered from Berlin.  Probably a combination of both. 

My race plan was to go out slightly slower than Berlin for the 1st half, about 5:54-5:56 pace, and then slightly increase the pace later in the race if I was feeling good.  I did exactly that.  I reached 10K in 36:54 (5:56 pace), 15K in 55:05 (5:55 pace) and the halfway mark in 1:17:16 (5:54 pace).  I think what went wrong for me is that I increased the pace a little too much following the halfway mark.  I ran miles 14-18 at 5:56, 5:52, 5:46, 5:51, and 5:50 pace.  At 20 miles, my time was 1:57:57 (5:54 pace and on track for a 2:34 marathon).  Not long after I hit the 20M marker, the legs started to feel like bricks.  No more sub-6:00 pace for me.  I ran 6:10-6:35 pace for miles 21-23.  I told myself that if I can just hold 6:30 pace for the last 3 miles than I could still salvage a decent marathon.  Of course that didn't happen.  I struggled through the last 3.2 miles in 24.15 (7:35 pace) and finished with my slowest time since 2005 (not including Grandmas which I did as a long run).  I'm still very happy with my overall race despite the substandard time.  Here are my splits:

Distance / Time / Split
5K 18:16
10K 36:54 (18:38)
15K 55:05 (18:11)
20K 1:13:15 (18:10)
Half 1:17:16
25K 1:31:28 (18:13)
30K 1:49:42 (18:14)
35K 2:09:02 (19:20)
40K 2:30:58 (21:56)
Finish 2:41:33

It's now time to rest and fully recover from 4 marathons in a year's period (Oct '08 - Oct '09).  No running for at least a full week, maybe two. 

Amsterdam Marathon (19Oct08) 2:35:37
Hamburg Marathon (26Apr09) 2:34:33
Berlin Marathon (20Sep09) 2:34:06
Marine Corps Marathon (25Oct09) 2:41:33


Thomas said...

Coming so soon after Berlin I think it's not too big a surprise that the legs did not have a lot of spring in them after 20 miles.

Greg said...

Yeah Wayne, after running 4 high quality marathons this year, I'd say you deserve a week or two off. Nice job, now rest up and get back after it next year.

Neil Culbertson said...

Wayne, I can only imagine going that fast over that distance. I admire your work ethic and thoroughly enjoy following your running career. Keep up the good work, figure out if less marathons in a year will work better. I'm certain there are some exciting times ahead for you! I'm in awe.

Love2Run said...

Well done Wayne. That was a big ask of yourself so soon after Berlin. Take a break and enjoy the recovery.

Wayne said...

Thanks for all the comments guys. Taking some time off in the first couple weeks was a smart move.