Sunday, November 04, 2007

Metro Silicon Valley Marathon - San Jose CA

Well I don't normally do road marathons. But I would like to do Boston Marathon once. So I signed up for this relatively flat local roadrace in order to qualify for Boston for next year. As a 43 yearold, I needed a 3:20:59 to do so (you get 59 seconds grace over the nominal standard). I planned to race conservatively: just run 7:30 miles and finish in around 3:17. This is a simple way to plan splits: just 15 minutes for every 2 miles and one hour for every 8.

One of the other nice things about this race is its on the morning after the "fall back" for Daylight Savings Time. So it felt like we were starting at a civilized 8am instead of the nominal 7am. The weather was absolutely perfect as the sun rose and it was 50 degrees out.

I felt so good at the start that I accidentally ran the first mile in 6:40. I slowed down after that but was still running too fast. Michael Bauman, a very frequent marathoner and optometrist from Visalia, pulled alongside with Sarah Kummerfeld (who would finish third woman). He was talking nonstop and was a bundle of energy and good cheer. We all wanted to run around 7:30 pace so we ran together for a few miles, turning onto the Los Gatos Creek Trail around mile 5. Once on the trail we had to dodge the cyclists, pedestrians and baby strollers. This is a very unfortunate feature of this race: the lack of dedicated space for it. I felt good enough that I pulled away around mile 8. I got to the halfway-point high school at 1:33, still running around 7:10 per mile. Last year, I just did the half marathon and finished here at 1:30:29.

Though the race is mostly flat, there were some actual hills leaving the high school before we turned back onto the trail. Now we were facing the oncoming runners. I still felt good until around mile 20, which I hit around 2:25. I started to feel the effects of the pounding at this point. Plus my right glute, which has been injured for a while, started to tighten up. In order to insure a Boston Qualifier (i.e. not cramping and having to hobble to the finish as I saw some others doing), I slowed to 8 minute pace. I finished in 3:15:33, which would have been a qualifying time even if I was a dew-eyed 35 year old youngster, 35th overall out of 726 runners. At the Vegas Marathon in a couple weeks, I'll try to maintain 7 minute pace as long as possible, and run under 3:10.

I stopped off for a free massage at the finish to handle the tight glutes and hamstrings. Then off to Santana Row for a great meal and a day of relaxing in the Indian summer sunshine.


Blogger Brian Rook said...


Damn, my-man...

Well played and congrats.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Brian Hawkinson said...

Nice job out there! Goin' to Boston...

You were probably one of those that blew past us as I made my approach into Los Gatos...

Impressive time...

7:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Rook said...

Do you even bother training during the week based on the frequency of your long runs on the weekends?

If so, what sort of mileage do you log and at what pace?

6:46 AM  
Blogger Brian Hawkinson said...

Yeah, I always wonder the same thing. I have read about other people who run marathons every weekend or two in a weekend and so on who still manage to train 40-50 miles during the week.

So I second his question... How many miles do you log in for training?

11:47 AM  
Blogger Adam Blum said...

I think you'll find a lot of ultrarunners are less structured about workout plans. When healthy, I try to do my 10K trail loop with 2000 feet of climbing that I do from my backdoor every morning. Mostly because its fun. I also try to bike to work when possible (one or two days a week). When trying to peak for a race I throw in some track workouts a few weeks out.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Brian Rook said...

Thank you for your thoughts.

I am somewhat 'stuck' in my approach to running longer distances. Currently I am averaging about 7:30 miles for 4-10 miles but want to be able to run 8 minute miles over the course a full marathon.

I guess I need to follow the speed workouts in my current program...

10:10 AM  
Blogger Adam Blum said...

You probably know this already, but if you're not racing every week then you'll want to work in a long run on the weekends, but take it slow on those.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Brian Rook said...

I am a newbie (been only running for about 1.5 years) and have only run four races (St. Louis Half twice and Chicago Half twice) but am signed up to run my first full in February. (Austin, Texas Full) I'll follow that up with another full in April, October and November. (St. Louis, Chicago and New York fulls)

I run a minimum of 20-30 miles a week, including a longer (8-10 mile) run on Saturdays when I am not training for a race.

I am currently following the Furman Institute running program (I did the Ryan Hall program for Chicago) which has me running only three days a week but a significant distance on the weekends. (I run 5, 20 milers during the 16 week program)

Yeah, I know, 20 miles is NOT a long distance when you're running ultras... give me time, though. I hope to run an ultra by the end of '08. :-)

Again, congrats. Your accomplishments are not to be taken lightly. Running those distances, with that frequency is no joke.

1:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home