Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Avenue of the Giants

My official chip time was 3:19:49. I thought the race was great, it was a beautiful course, shaded with some rolling hills but for the most part, the uphills did not feel hard with the exception of the last uphill right before the finish, and alot of the course felt like it was downhill or flat. I really felt in the groove for about 80% of this race.

The race started and I fell into step with a guy named Bob who was shooting for a time a little faster than I was but he was planning on starting slower then picking it up. We ended up running together for 16.5 miles. We also picked up a guy from Columbus and a local gal who ended up being the first master.

The first half of the race had more uphills than I had expected and the road was in really bad need of a paving job, infact, you didn't want to look to long at the gorgeous scenery for fear of tripping. Even though there was a lot of uphill in the first 6.5, I was really in the groove and the miles were flying by. When we turned around, we started picking up the pace and going with the flow, our little group was all feeling really good through these miles.

At the halfway point, I saw Jim and Scooter which put a little bounce in my step! We made a right hand turn and headed up the hill over the bridge. Soon Bob and I ran into a guy from one of the local running groups, I almost didn't recognize him at first. The three of us ran together for a while in a really nice rythme. Around 16.5, I started having problems. We had just passed a water stop when I started having trouble breathing. This has happened before, at the end of the Mississauga marathon just as I was crossing the finish line, but never during the actual run. Anyway, I wasn't sure if I should stop so I tried to relax and breathe deeply and within a minute or so, my breathing returned to normal. This happend about 4 more times during the race, and I tell you it was quite distressing. I used to use an inhaler but haven't needed it for years, guess I should get one just in case. Around the same time as the breathing trouble started, my heart rate also jumped up 10-15 beats. I was in the high 150's - low 160's for the first 16.5 miles, then it went up to the mid 170's and stayed there until the end of the race.

I still managed to hold onto my pace pretty good until mile 23, then I really started slowing, with 25 and 26 in the low 8's!

I know this is a certified course and the distance is accurate, but there was no one yelling splits, so I relied on my Garmin for pace and distance. Well my Garmin gave me 26.73 miles for the race which came out to a 7:29 pace. So what happened? Did I really run almost a half a mile extra due to all the turns or did my watch just over estimate the distance? I kept thinking the mile markers were off and eventually everything would even out, but as I got closer to the end I realized that it was not so. A little bit of a dissapointment since you think you are on pace for a certain time but then have almost a half mile more to run!

Here are the splits and official finish time
4. Joann Pavlovcak San Francisco, CA 43 F 37 3:19:49 7:37 2 / 21 22 / 416 4 / 181 3:19:51 7:37 0:02 0:48:20 7:26 2:26:05 7:27 BMQ

So 7:27 pace when I paced the last turn around at 19.60 miles, and overall pace was 7:37.

These are the splits my Garmin gave me.

This is the course and the course profile. Notice the red arrows, that is the 'killer' hill, it wasn't bad on the way out, but on the way back it was torture :)

Before the start of the race.

Rolling through the half way point with my posse.

Not much further now!

And on to the finish!!


E-Speed said...

Ooh it looks beautiful. My garmin did the same thing at Boston. From now on if I use it during a marathon I am going to turn off the autolap and do splits and just use the average pace as an estimate. I think it is hard to run a full marathon at all the tangents and inevitably we run farther.

Great job! Hope you get that breathing figured out!

Joann said...

I'm running the Nike Women's marathon in October, think I might take your suggestion and turn off the autolap for that one.

The Salty One said...

Great job, Joann! And you are adorable as ever. I miss you!!! You can easily run an extra 1/2 mile in a marathon--it's just 1/52nd of the distance! What a bummer, though to realize you still have a 1/2 mile to go!! I can't even imagine.

Anyway, recover well. We can virtually train together this summer for our fall marathons! Fun!

Joann said...

I'll be in C-Town August 15th-22nd, so get your running shoes dusted off and ready to go :)

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