Saturday, October 30, 2010

2 years later and Sub 3 is COMPLETE!

24 Oct 2010- Chuncheon Marathon, South Korea-

Well it was 2 years ago when I completely lost my mind and spontaneously did a marathon. You can go back and read that blog if you want to know why it was so crazy. Lets just say I had no idea what I was doing and ran 18 miles 4 days prior to the race. So 2 years later 2 marathons under my belt, I think I have wised up a little bit but not much ;) A few people that know me well can vouch that I still make some poor decisions leading up to races, but I am having a blast with racing my butt off.

Chuncheon was not on the radar for this year but I got my assignment to Korea and was not able to push it back. I had to turn down my slot on the USAFEurope team to run AF Marathon so immediately looked for another marathon since I had already started training. I got with my "logistical manager" Des in Korea and had him get me signed up for Chuncheon. I kept up the training and had a good core group out in Turkey to train with. I couldn't have got to where I was in terms of being prepared for this marathon with out the help of them.

Leading up to the race my body was feeling good week in and week even though I was racing a lot. I had been getting good results and hitting the marks I was aiming for and on occasion pushing to hard, my point that I still make bad decisions. Then the week before I got a bad feeling that I was starting to get worn out, my body wasn't feeling "great" like it had been and I just took it easy trying to get as much rest as I could and make sure the last runs leading up to the race were at a nice easy pace.

We headed up to the race the day prior and stayed at a small hotel right downtown Chuncheon. It was only about 3K from the race start and we didn't even know it. We has went out to dinner the night before and I went with the sure choice of Pizza Hut as it hadn't failed me in the past. I had the seafood pasta and ate a good salad, all followed up by Cold Stone. Enjoyed a Shiner Bock when I got back to the hotel and then called it a night.

Race morning was the typical morning, took care of business, ate 2 bowls of oatmeal, 2 banana's and the ritual race coffee. I made it there in time to hang out with the Seoul Flyers and have some good pre race chat with some great people. One guy flew all the way out from the states to run and it was his first visit to Korea. He had previously ran Pikes Peak a month or two prior and said it was BRUTAL. I was starting up in the "B" wave so I headed over to the start area a little earlier than everyone else. I got up there and go situated and before I knew it we were off and running.

Not much to describe about running 26.2 miles. The one thing that did happen is I started running this race WITHOUT a purpose. I was at mile 2 and I thought to myself WHY am I running this race. I had realized in the past how much more these races meant if I raced for something or someone. I thought to myself for a split second why I was running this race and it clicked. The night before at dinner I was with a guy that I have raced with before. He was a friend of Des's and we have now became friends. This guy is a true inspiration, I will not put his name out here but once you read these few lines about his story you will be inspired. He has been doing running events/tris for quite some time if I remember correctly. He has a family of 6 wonderful kids, with the older ones starting to do tri's/running events as well. His wife recently up and left him with all 6 of the kids. He stepped up to the plate and is raising all 6 of the kids while still holding a job and providing for his family. He hadn't really been able to train for the marathon but had been swimming everyday at lunch, the only time he had to get a workout in. As we were at dinner the conversation came up about his kids ages and there was a gap between 2 of them of about 5 years, if I remember correctly. I made a comment about the gap and he responded with we had another one but he passed away. That is when it sunk in and I felt bad, the kid died when he was 2. At that point it hadn't really clicked that was who I was running for the next day but it caught up with me at mile 2. I decided to run this race for a kid that only lived a short life and couldn't live to run a marathon. He is what kept me going through the last few miles when the going got tough. When you think you have it rough, just think of not knowing everything you know or having everything you have, because there are less fortunate people out there. Too the guy that is raising 6 kids and making the best out of every second of life, keep up the good work! You are a TRUE INSPIRATION!

The scenery was beautiful, the fans were great and the hills were NOT what I remembered. Maybe since it was my first marathon 2 years ago I didn't know the difference between hilly and not hilly, but it definitely was NOT flat. The biggest disappointment was the last aid station was at 37K and nothing after that. I had to stop and ask people on the side of the road for Coke/Pepsi. I was hoping that I could get some at an earlier aid station but no such luck, bad on my part for not seeing what they had at each aid station. As for the generous Koreans that let me have some of their Coke it was greatly appreciated. I think it was too late but still I was thankful for it. I started falling apart at mile 24.5-25 and was just trying to hold on. I stopped and walked a few times during that period and then realized that sub 3 might slip away so I better just man up and finish the race. I sucked it up and ran out the last 1/2 mile and crossed the line in 2:58:12. It was a great feeling and I was pleased with the day. Although I thought I had a lot more in me and a low 2:50 I was extremely happy to break 3 and get a Boston Qualifying spot all in one race. It was a PR by 13m42s, which I was extremely happy for. From marathon 1 to 3 it was a PR of 26m48s.

Time- 2:58:12
13.1 Mile Split:1:25:10
Overall 98th/12,020
Age Group- Unknown

Mile Splits-
The Course:
The Seoul Flyers gang before the race!
Myself sporting my cool new Yokota Striders beanie with the guy that came over just for the marathon and had previously ran Pikes Peak earlier this year.
When I came across the first group of crazy Seoul Flyer Cheerleaders around 30K. Man was I happy to see them! Thanks STEPHANI AND EMILY! **Funny Story** I hadn't met Emily prior to this race or even since the race but knew Stephani. As I was coming up Stephani was yelling and screaming for me once she realized it was me and Emily was like do we know this guy? I just chuckled and actually was feeling good at this point so that is why there is a smile. Once I passed Emily made the comment to Stephani "WHO IS THAT GUY? HE IS KINDA HOT!" That is when I really started laughing and at 30K it made for some good entertainment. Thanks GIRLS!
Probably about the time I was laughing about what Emily had said......

Around 41K I saw Zu and she took this pic, different feeling from 30K and definitely not a smile on my face.

As always I want to say a special thanks to everyone that has supported me through this crazy journey. This Sub 3 wouldn't of been possible without a few key individuals. First my "logistical manager" Des for providing transportation and lining up the hotel and entry. Elissa for taking the time to sit down with me and lay out a modified Hal Higdon plan that brought some unknown speed to my legs along with a little muscle. You were a tremendous help and a great training partner out in Turkey. And lastly everyone out there that absolutely hates seeing me do well, I know you are out there and I thrive off of your negativity so keep up the good work!

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