Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baltimore Marathon 2012 - Race Report

I am so tired of not executing the Baltimore Marathon I  can stand it. Let's get this out of the way, I had my worst ever marathon with a 4:03:59 finish (yes the GW birthday marathon was slower, but I used it as a training run for the National Marathon). I could almost copy the post I made last year for the race report.

I overestimated my ability and once again ran a positive split. Now, truth is that if you've run the Baltimore Marathon you'll know how difficult the second half can be. I have feared that if I ran a slow first half I could still have the hills from Patterson Park to Clifton Park and Lake Montebello take the pace out of my legs (but I don't really believe it - I just haven't done it).

The four miles from Camden to the Maryland Zoo at the start were uneventful. I stayed what I thought was in myself.

  • Mile 1: 8:43 (HR - 
  • Mile 2: 8:35
  • Mile 3: 8:50
  • Mile 4: 8:33
I think that miles five to nine from Druid Hill Park to the Harbor gave me the idea that I could hold this pace throughout and I know better.
  • Mile 5: 8:15
  • Mile 6: 8:48
  • Mile 7: 8:23
  • Mile 8: 8:27
  • Mile 9: 8:30
Going around the Under Armour plant made tell myself that run a great first half means absolutely zip in a full marathon. I say this because I started to feel the fatigue in my legs and I hadn't even really climbed the hills yet. I smiled passing the half marathoners all the same. Going around the harbor to Fells Point gave me another hint I was in trouble. Sometime earlier I got well in front of the 3:50 pace group, but during this phase I heard them and was beginning to get passed by them.
  • Mile 10: 8:50
  • Mile 11: 8:56
  • Mile 12: 8:47
  • Mile 13: 8:46
  • Mile 14: 8:39
  • Mile 15: 8:36
Oh the dreaded climb to Lake Montebello from mile sixteen to twenty laid into me as bad as ever. I resolved to not walk, but just slow as the hills got to me. I felt a small victory because I didn't give in.
  • Mile 16: 8:48 
  • Mile 17: 9:19
  • Mile 18: 9:48
  • Mile 19: 10:17
  • Mile 20: 10:15
Okay, victory short lived. I made a deal with myself that I could walk at the next water stop at mile 20 something and after that these little compromises were easier to give myself. Soon I was taking walk breaks without giving myself permission, just because I wanted to. Thanks to the numerous runners who encouraged me to get it together and finish. I surprised myself my somewhat going for a strong finish with a mile to go even though I still felt like garbage. 
  • Mile 21: 10:10
  • Mile 22: 10:14
  • Mile 23: 11:25
  • Mile 24: 10:22
  • Mile 25: 11:57
  • Mile 26: 9:17
  • Mile 26.2: 2:25/7:57 pace
Overall another race where I felt like I didn't run it right. I now think that as good as training felt, I didn't do nearly as many miles as a strong performance requires - at least for me. As far as race atmosphere goes, I still love the crowds and the pass of the half marathon start. 

I feel like the Finish Festival has fallen far since my first race here in 2008. I used to like the Phillips crab soup and felt like I could get food pretty easily, but I stood in line with literally hundreds of other people and watched it not move for around a half hour until I went to get the beer tickets and found another line on the other side that zoomed in to get food much faster. They also feel the need to move the bag pickup and beer line every year for as far as I can tell no reason. 

I got my finish beer this year and it was a Blue Moon variety. I sipped it a few and promptly gave my other ticket to someone else and poured it out. I barely wanted the beer and felt that the Michelob Ultra from my first two races was about the only thing I want to stomach after exercising for four hours. Perhaps its because it is really just beer flavored water. Nevertheless I want that brand brought back or I will skip the post-race beer until I can get home and take a nap.

Blah blah blog. I am looking forward to the off-season. I'll start putting something like a plan together next week.

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