May 19, 2007
Another consecutive year of running the PV Marathon. I have a somewhat different strategy this year, because I am planning on doing the Sunmart 50M / Dallas White Rock Marathon double in December…and I am trying out a way to train for it.
In the week leading up to the marathon, I did a hash (also in PV) that had me crawling through a tunnel on my knees (ouch), and the day before I dropped a plastic bottle of oil on my left foot (it was less than half full, but it hurt).
My insidious plan for the marathon is that I am going to run at a steady pace (and walk all the hills) and then rest most of the day and spend an hour in the evening standing in the unheated pool to try and relax my muscles. On Sunday, I am going to get up and do my Long Beach Challenge Marathon course (which includes 2-18% grade hills in Signal Hill, that I did last year prior to the 50M in the Bay Area). This is my simulation for doing back-to-back long races. PV Marathon is no 50-miler, but it should give me that certain effect.
I end up running my slowest PV Marathon (but that was certainly the point), finishing in 4:33:29, right around my goal of 4:30.
I spend much of the day lying on my bed and not doing much of anything. In the evening, I take a book and a headlamp up to the unheated pool and I stand up to my waist in the (fairly) cold water. It’s not ice cold, but it helps quite a bit.
On Sunday morning, I don’t really want to get up and run another marathon, but I have made some arrangements with friends to meet me there and help me out. I carry my cell phone with me as well, so if I miss out on someone (or if they are late), then I can get/give updates.
The LB Challenge Marathon (made up by me) starts and ends by my condo complex and runs by the golf course off of PCH and Loynes, then through the CSULB campus and works its way over to El Dorado Park.
At Mile 7 (the start of the park), I am met by Dave Kuntz (a friend of Todd Byers that I have seen at A Snail’s Pace events and has also been somewhat active with AREC as well) and Sandy Draper (another A Snail’s Pace regular) who had both said they had never run in El Dorado Park before.
El Dorado Park is one of the largest city parks in the country. Without doubling any street, it takes up Miles 7 through 14. Dave and Sandy keep me running (especially when I wanted to walk). My halfway split is 2:17, and then I do start walking in earnest.
Laura and Chuck have said that they will meet me at the bottom of Hill Street in Signal Hill. Both of them ran Boston Qualifiers yesterday at PV and probably don’t want to run again particularly (I didn’t, either.), but said they would help out. When I get about a half mile out from the base of the hill, I call Laura and she says that they meet me, but they won’t be at the base of the hill, but will find me.
Hill Street is very difficult for me. When I get to the top, I actually stop and sit down for about 10 minutes because I am so very tired. I continue doing the route around the hill and up the second tough hill (Skyline, I believe) and they meet me just after that point (on Panoramic by the water fountains where I am taking another rest – those 18% hills are tough!). Laura and Chuck join my pity party all the way through to Joe Jost’s on Anaheim.
Joe Jost’s is probably the oldest bar in Long Beach (dates back to the 1920s or 1930s) and I feel like I deserve a cold one at this point. I think their small is about 8 ounces and that is perfect. When we get near Chuck’s apartment, they peel off and I head towards my last meet-up point with Bernard Dean Mills.
My timing is way off from what I thought… though my goal is just to finish and not do some rapid time. As I reach Redondo and Ocean, Bernard says that he was only going to hang out a few more minutes… because he was waiting a while (Bernard doesn’t have a cellphone). I tell them that at this point, I will have to walk the rest of the way, and like a great friend, he says that he’s there for whatever support I need to get through, and we’ll walk however slow or fast that I need to.
He accompanies me the rest of the way back and I finish in 5:55 (3 hours and 38 minutes for the second half), and then catches the bus back home.
I am encouraged by my result. It will obviously be different in running 50 miles before the marathon, but at least I have an inkling about what doing 76.2 miles in 30 hours will entail.