The quick and dirty: For those who don't want to read a race novel, I mean long race report. I ran 3:09:29 (7:14 pace, BQ!) placing 193rd overall, 175th among men and 11th in my Age Group (20-24).
The Training: Going into training for this marathon, I had a base of roughly 700 miles (since January) including a half PR (at the time) of 1:31:52. I followed Pfitz 18/55 very closely, missing very few workouts. Through out the 18 weeks, I averaged around 45 miles, with 8 weeks above 50 miles. Four weeks out, I ran a 1:27:30 half, giving me a better idea of my goal pace for Portland.
The Race: I felt really good going into this race. I woke up around 5. Had some gatorade, a banana and a peanut butter bagel. Then I got ready for the race. The nice thing about racing in your town is being able to stay home until just before the race starts. I left my apartment around 6:25 and jogged the half a mile to the start. The weather wasn't great. Temps were good, low 60's. But the rain came down like no other. I guess this is Oregon so...it happens.
I had some high hopes for this race. My previous and only other marathon was RnR Seattle last year. I had almost no base and peaked at 42mpw. It showed as I struggled to a 3:54 finish. Given that I had knocked 9+ minutes off my half PR and had a lot more mileage under my belt I decided to shoot for Boston. I knew I could run that pace for a half. I figured if I crash and burned after that, I'd still have 2+hrs to run the second half to a PR.
Mile 1-9: I decided to start the race with the 3:10 pacers from Team Red Lizzard (local club). My plan for the race was to stick with them till the half, reasses there and every 2 or 3 miles after that. Had a couple of shotbloks around mile 9. Didn't see some of the mile markers so there are a few sections grouped together.
Mile 10-13.1: Decided the pace group was going a bit too slow for my liking. They were running an even effort race (even splits adjusted for hills). While I think this is a good idea, I couldn't bring myself to run slower up the hills. I wanted to run a more even pace. Seeing as this was a flat section of the course, I felt it was a good place to put some distance on the group. I actually hit the half way point right when the pace group planned to (1:34:18), but they were not with me.
Mile 14-18: I hooked up with a guy named James to run this section. It made the miles go by much faster, including the hill from about 15.5 to 17 miles. The hill wasn't as bad as I had heard. Don't get me wrong, it still hurt and I was still forced to slow down for it but it wasn't too bad. I had a couple more shotbloks around mile 18.
Mile 19-23: I decided to pick up the pace and bank a little time here. It was a mostly downhill section back to the downtown area. As the splits show, I was a little to anxious to pick it up during mile 19 and I paid for it during mile 20.
20-8:10 (paying for mile 19)
Mile 24-26.2: These last 3 miles hurt. A lot. I had to dig to keep the pace I did. Around mile 24 I heard people start to cheer for the 3:10 group. I expected them to catch up to me. I was trying to hit even splits, them even effort, but with the same time in mind. It was inevitable that we met at some point. Rounding the corner at mile 26, a few guys moved past me. I tucked in behind them and used their energy to pull me through the finish, ahead of the pace group.
I couldn't really believe that I had just done that. Its still a little surreal to me. When I started running xc in high school, I couldn't hold 7:14 pace for 3.1 miles. Now, I had just held it for 26.2 miles. Ever since I started running half marathons, Boston has been a goal of mine. I never thought I'd have the speed to do it until I was older. A 3:10 just seemed out of reach. I mean, until this year my half PR was only a 1:36. So to qualify, I'd have to run a half PR and then do it again. A year of hard work and lots of miles changed all that.
Official Splits: 10k-44:42