Dallas White Rock Marathon Race Report

Briefly before I give you the GOOD, The Bad and The UGLY I want to congratulate Jay over at Tri2Thrive for winning the movie The Distance:  A Triathlete's Journey.
Friday - December 3, 2010
On Friday my goal was to get down to the expo for packet pick-up for Karen and I ,and then cruise the floor looking to drum up some interest in Marathon Makeover.  Lesley from Racing It Off and I had been exchanging text messages because she was going to be there the same time as I and we could meet each other in person as opposed to the blogger world.  She was kind enough to take a picture of it and send it to me.
Friday night Karen and I typically go to the restaurant in our neighborhood for Happy Hour and we continued that tradition.  The plan was to have some pizza and head home.  Well the chicken wings were there and so I consumed a few, but home early and relaxing on the couch.
Saturday - December 4, 2010
The plan for today was to get down to the expo so Karen could walk around and take it all in.  We were going to meet up with Juan and head down there.  From there it was off to the hotel and relax before the blogger meetup at Coal Vines for dinner and relaxation.
We toured the expo floor for about an hour and a half which culminated in the purchase of these beauties.  Can't wait to try them out.  Plus, they are red so I will run like my feet are on fire.

Saturday night we met up with Lesley (Racing It Off), Allison (Just Tri and Finish), Jon (Emergence) and Coach C(iRuniTri) at Coal Vines for a pre-race discussion of fueling and pacing by Coach.  Plus lots of pizza consumed by me.
In bed and asleep by around 9:15pm and the alarm was set for 4:04am.  I like to rise early and get my breakfast in so I don't have the full feeling and try to run.
Sunday - December 5, 2010
The alarm goes off on the clock radio and the blackberry and I'm up.  I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth when I hear the alarm go off again.  Must have hit snooze and don't want to wake Karen up so I run out of the bathroom to turn off the alarm and she is stirring.  I turn the corner and BAM right into the side of the bed.  Welt and cut....great way to start race day.
Into the bathroom I go to eat my breakfast and have some time to think about the race.  I did not want to turn on any lights and allow Karen to sleep for another hour or so.  Breakfast consisted of granola with some chocolate chips and milk, half a banana, toast and coffee.
I go through emails, especially the one from coach with my pacing so I know exactly what I need to do.  I am memorizing the email so there are no excuses when I cross the finish line.  Don't go out to fast, stay around 7:57/mile, then after a few miles drop to 7:53-7:56/mile.  Hit the hills at 8:00-8:15/mile and at mile 20 if feeling strong drop back down to 7:53-7:56/mile.  I got it.  Memorized and ready.
Karen wakes up, has breakfast and while she is doing that I lay on the bed and close my eyes to envision all the things that I am going to endure.  Pain, joy, speed, spectators, runners, walkers, cold, sun, etc....I am prepared.  I am ready.
We take the shuttle to the race and check our bags in.  It was a cold, brisk morning.  I believe it was around 35 degrees at the start of the race and wasn't going to get much warmer than that.  Somewhere in the mid-40s was going to be the temp at finishing time.  I had on a cycle jersey (so gels can go in the back pockets), PRR shirt over top of that with sleeves, smaller black shorts, asics DS, sauchony headsweats trucker cap and sunglasses.
I walked Karen back to her corrall where we saw a neighbor and Allison.  Gave them all fist bumps and wished them luck,  Kissed Karen good-bye and told her she is going to do great.
I got up to corral B and saw Jon.  Stood next to him until the start of the race.  He was going to go out at 8:00-8:15/mile he told me so as we moved closer I wished him good luck and then we were off.
Miles 1-5: First mile was hard to get a bearing on my speed.  Running in the crowd and trying to find that tempo to stick to was difficult.  Then all of a sudden there was the Mile 1 marker.  Wow that was fast.  This is going to be a great race, I think I got 3:29 in the bag based on how quickly that mile showed up.  Maybe because I was so distracted trying to find a running partner as well as maintain my pace that is sprung up on me.  Mile 2 got there just as quick and I looked down and I was at 15:51 for the first two miles.  According to my Clif Bar wristband I needed to be at 15:58 so I just banked 7 seconds on that goal.  Miles 3 through 5 were somewhat indescript.
There wasn't much elevation change and I maintained great form and my paces were 7:53, 7:55, 7:42.  I had picked up 24 seconds on my goal time.  After 5 miles I was 31 seconds ahead of my 3:29 goal.
Miles 6-10: This was a climb that lasted all of these 5 miles.  It is not a vertical climb but a slow gain of 100 feet over the course of the 5 miles so it was not noticeable but it was still there.  At this point we are running through a gorgeous area and the volunteers and the crowd was terrific.  They were yelling and screaming for everybody.  The bands were out in full force.  I played to the crowd to yell louder.  I was feeling so good at this point.  Well, except for the fact that I could feel my bladder getting full.  I had taken a gel at mile 4 and mile 8 with a few sips of water and now I was feeling the need to go to the rest room.  I started scouting out port-o-johns but then I remembered coach telling me to learn how to pee and run b/c I would need to do that during the 70.3 California or later during the full IM.  So I tried to do that and well, stage fright hit.  There were big crowds and I didn't want them to see that.  I did manage to get some out, but not nearly enough.  So how do you pee and run?  I tried to do the multiplication tables and push simultaneously.  Again, it worked for a trickle but not enough and all of a sudden the body was calling for #2 from pushing.
Miles 6 through 10 were run at: 7:57, 8:00, 7:57, 7:53, 7:46 - net gain on goal of 17 seconds which is now 48 seconds through 10 miles and feeling very very strong....outside of the need to use the bathroom that is.
Miles 11-15: From the pushing of trying to pee I could feel it was time to go to the potty.  I see these orange port-o-johns just up ahead....or so I thought.  I round the corner and it is a group of runners wearing orange.  Uh-oh were did those port-o's go?  I look behind me and they aren't there.  Duck off into the woods here?  (Let me say that miles 12 through 21 are around White Rock Lake - my home course and the sight of my 1:41:16 PR for the DRC 1/2 in November.)  I kept running and all of a sudden, like a mirage, the orange port-o's showed up.  They were there between miles 12 and 13 so you have to run uphill to.  As soon as I get to them they are all full.  There were 4 and no one was coming out anytime soon so I proceeded to relieve myself right then and there.  The door opened and I jumped in and went number 2 and out the door I go, I need to stick to my PR time and I know I lost about a minute in the port-O.  Not happy, but I find some guys to keep pace with and get me going again.  Plus the lake has no elevation to it so I know I can keep going and going fast.  That bathroom break would have made Jimmy Johnson's #48 Pit Crew proud.
My pacing for miles 11-15 were 7:41, 8:00, 8:46, 7:49, 8:01.  Net I lost 27 seconds on my goal, but still had a surplus of seconds but now it was 21 seconds....damn bathroom break.  No stopping and I was at around a 2 minutes surplus of time.  oh well....can't control everything.
Miles 16-20: At Mile 19 to mile 20 I knew we would be facing some serious uphill climbing and I wanted to have momentum going into that.  I also knew that at San Antonio last year I hit the wall at mile 18.5 and needed to clear that mental hurdle.  I had joined in with a pack of runners that were talking about their pacing and had just completed the last mile at 7:56 so I knew these were the guys to work with.  Prior to them I had caught onto a girl who had great form and was running smooth but I ended up passing her because she was employing the run/walk method, and since I had not trained that way I did not want to try to incorporate that now.  I found a guy with a chase the dots shirt and I just focused on chasing those dots, but he soon began to slow down too much and I passed him.  Running with these guys was perfect and I was on cruise control until right around the mile 19 marker.  Low and behold there is Coach.  She is going to pace me now and get me through mile 22.
As we get to Mile 20 I reach in my back pocket to get a GU out and it goes flying.  I kicked it about 20 feet in front of us and coach scooped it up and handed it to me.  Perfect.  Especially considering that at Mile 12 prior to the bathroom break I had dropped another and was concerned about not having enough nutrition for the run.  Since I had been lucky so far there was a spectator or volunteer on the course with a snickers bar in her hand and I grabbed it as I ran by.  I stuck the bar in my mouth (fun size) but decided not to chew it and just let it melt in my mouth.  This worked great as it was calories and sweet.
The pacing at this point had slowed down as the pain was starting to gather in my legs and it was tough.  Thankfully coach was there and she had the best words ever.....THIS IS WHERE WE SAY WE CAN.  THOSE THAT CAN DO AND THOSE THAT CAN'T DROP OUT.....there was no way I was dropping out even though I was being passed.
Paces for miles 16 through 20 were 7:58, 8:00, 7:58, 8:09, 8:35 -- net of -48 seconds on my goal.  This put me in a deficit of 27 seconds.  I was still under 3:30 though.
Miles 21-25: Coach left me after mile 23 but I was good at that point because I had other motivation.  I had dedicated mile 23 to a friend (Melissa) who had run the marathon the year prior but knocked out at this mile marker because of kidney stones.  She had run 22+ miles with kidney stones and mile 23 was to her.
Miles 20 through 23 are a climb.  All uphill and you can feel it.  My knees were not able to pump and while I had a great arm swing it wasn't helping me to get through the uphills.  Coach gave me some encouragement that my form looked great even though I was exhausted.  That helped push me some and as we neared the Mile 23 marker she told me it was all mine and that I could do it.  Swiss Avenue was downhill all the way into the finish line.  News to my ears.
It was on Swiss Avenue that I picked up another runner.  She had a pink hat on, sunglasses and blue KT tape.  That is all I remember of her except that she had great form.  I picked her out as the tug boat that was going to carry me home.  Then.....what is she doing?  Is she stopping?  WTF?  She stops to stretch but I kept on going.  About a minute after that she passed me again.  A few minutes later she stopped.  This kept going for miles 23 through 25.
Pacing for miles 21-25 was 9:11, 9:39, 9:48, 9:32, 9:20 -- net loss on goal of 7 minutes and 30 seconds.  Add in the 27 seconds from the previous 5 miles and I am now at a loss of 2:57....that equates to 3:36:57....I will take this for sure as it is still below my original goal of 3:40.
Miles 25 - 26.2: This is where it all gets easier.  You know you are done and I had learned a lesson from a buddy that you can make your body to anything for a mile.  So I start to run as quickly as my body would allow me to.  Now, the cat and mouse game with my pink hated friend is still going on.  I see my buddy Juan at around Mile 25 and we start yelling and he tells me I look great and have great form.
At mile 25 I tell pink hat that you can make your body do anything for a mile and as the rabbit she takes off.  I see her walking at mile 25.5.  I pat her on the back and tell her she cannot walk the rest of the way.  It is only 3/4 of a mile and she can give me that.  I was helping her, but little did she know she was motivating me.  I will say that after that I never saw her again.....man I wanted to just beat her but she provided great motivation.
Once we were within the 0.2 miles of the finish line and the crowd are going crazy your pace picks up and you forget about everything that you just went through.  Nothing mattered anymore as I was going to be a 2x marathoner in just a few moments.  Not only that but I was going to set a PR that KILLED my San Antonio time.
I crossed the finish line and was ecstatic.
Final pacing for Mile 25-26 and 26-26.2 was 9:08 and 8:56....lost another 2:08 seconds on my goal but I still crossed in:
I missed my goal time of 3:29 but beat my previous best by 50 minutes and 5 seconds.  No shame in that and I know what it takes to run that time and to improve on that to qualify for Boston.
Thanks goes to the following people for inspiration and motivation:
My wife Karen - for understanding what I wanted to accomplish and supporing me along the way (her race report will be out soon.)
Lesley, Jon and Allison - for meeting me at Coal Vines and providing a good and relaxing time the night before the race
Coach C - for providing a great pacing schedule for me to get me to the finish line and for telling me shortly afterward that I can qualify for Boston and we will work toward that goal
Melissa - for providing me the anger I needed at mile 22 leading up to mile 23 to beat White Rock for you.
Iron Bob - 2x attempt at White Rock beat him he told me and I was not going to let him down
Fifty for Bill - lost her Dad at a young age like me and is running 50 marathons in his memory.  I did it for my Dad as well, but thought about you and your dad along the way as well.
Jen Roe - a runner who has lost 80+ lbs and is running her first marathon in June in San Diego.  Suck it up Buttercup
Julie @ Hotlegs Runner: Ran her first marathon on Sunday as well and had her in my thoughts to not let her down.
To all of you that sent me good luck wishes throughout this journey it was appreciate and much needed.  I am going to give Boston a shot in 2011 and I will learn, be inspired, be motivated by all of you and your journey's.
Thank you for reading and in the coming days I will post the things that I would do differently and focus on in 2011 to get to Boston.

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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