Monday, November 3, 2014

Santa Clarita Marathon

While this race was a stepping stone on the way to LD50 in April and bigger things in 2015 it will go down and quite probably the most sensibly executed race ever. As noted in a previous post my goal was 3:43, that was an 8:30 pace. It was a fairly arbitrary goal based on how the 13 weeks of training had gone. I was floating around from an 8:35 (3:45:02) to 8:25 (3:40:40) pace and in the end just settled on splitting the difference. If I ran a sensible race I would achieve it.

Some basics for people who want to know:

  • Granola, yogurt and a cup of tea for breakfast
  • Cup of coffee in the car on the way.
  • No warm up or stretching
  • Handheld water bottle with High5 (like Nuun carried the way round, refilled twice)
  • A gel every 38 minutes, 6 in total
  • Saucony Kinvara 5, Inferno Shorts and Shirt

Becca, who was running the half, suggested I follow the 3:45 pacer which seemed like a good idea. After some milling around and the national anthem the race started and we off. The Pacer went out a bit fast and the first 2 miles were some of the fastest for the race. Around M8 or so he ducked into the restrooms and I lost him. Becca caught up with me and gave me one of her gels, I was worried as I hadn’t seen any on course and had already taken the only one I was carrying. From there I ran on by myself. Around M10 I headed to the porta-john, this only added 30 seconds to the mile split so it was ok.

The Half and Full Marathon start together and at M13 the half runners turn off towards the finish. There were 1450+ half runners and less than 350 marathoners so as you can imagine the course got a bit empty for the second half. My concerns over gels were put to bed from M14 onwards. I made a point of stocking up when I saw them, much to the surprise of the Volunteer, when I grabbed three from her in one go.

I had set my Garmin 910xt to show 2 data fields, Lap Pace and Lap Time, this way I could check in on myself during each mile and ensure I was on track. My goal was to be as consistent on my splits as possible. Overall I wasn’t focused on negative splitting the course, I really wanted to run a solid 26.2 miles one mile at a time. With hindsight I wasn’t passed by anyone from M12 but I picked up a lot along the way.

Becca had left her Mountain Bike in the car with a view to coming to find me on the course and she caught up with me around M18. I was very much in the zone and just plugged away passing people as I went. The race course is pretty flat, there are some gentle ups and downs and a couple of short sharp hills as you come out of the footpaths that follow dried river beds etc. It’s a twisty turny course with plenty of double backs. It’s very varied and there is always a change of view just around the corner. Fortunately the more boring areas, industrial park etc are early so they go by without any worries.  

image I got to the point where the wheels had fallen off in 2011, around M21, and maintained my pace without issue, neither speeding up nor slowing down. Miles 23 and 24 were a bit gritty but once I was past those I knew I was good. At this point I was catching Half Marathon walkers and the route took you over a couple of foot bridges which led out the the finish. I picked up the pace in the last .2 of a mile and crossed the line.

The official numbers etc;

  • Overall: 68 out of 350
  • Men: 63 out of 240
  • M 45-49: 15 out of 37
  • Age/Grade: 61.17% Place: 75
  • Finish: 3:42:01 Pace: 8:28
  • Chip Time: 3:42:01
  • Gun Time: 3:42:45

What I am really pleased with is this;

  • 5.5 Mile: 0:45:31 Pace: 8:16
  • 15.3 Mile: 2:08:49 Pace: 8:25
  • 21.5 Mile: 3:00:18 Pace: 8:23

Here are the splits graphed, remember I was looking for consistency, if I take out my 2 slowest and 2 fastest miles my variance is 18 seconds per mile for the remaining 22 miles.

imageBecca managed to grab a couple of good photos along the way too; 

 IMG_0997 IMG_1003

By no means a PR but a well executed plan. If want a week by week play on my training you can see it on this page.


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