Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hard Corps Marathon

Yesterday i ran the inaugural Hard Corps Marathon, on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  This was my first regular marathon since NYC in 2007, so i was pretty psyched to run.  Ultimately, i had a fairly mediocre result (3:18), but i still enjoyed the event.  Also, because of the relatively small field i had my best overall finish in a marathon (15th).

This marathon is run entirely on the Camp Pendleton grounds, primarily on a road that parallels the coast.  Pendleton is a scenic place and most of the race was in view of the Pacific Ocean, so i'd give high marks to the course.  The weather was decent, but it was a windy day, and the northward part of the run was nearly into a headwind.

I'v been dealing with bursitis in my left hip for a while now, but other than some annoying pain it didn't affect me too much.  The wind though slowed me down.  I had planned to try staying at about 7 minute/mile pace, but the wind in the first half was just too much.  I got through the first half in around 1:35.   After we turned around and headed southward, i was able to speed up a bit but i still couldn't manage much better than about 7:15 or so.  I felt pretty good up to 20 miles, and i figured i could run negative splits and finish in around 3:10.  However, the finishing miles are uphill and it started to take a toll.  Around mile 23 i started to feel nauseous, and i stopped to walk for a while because i thought i was going to throw up.  I didn't, but i had a hard time getting my pace back up.

The finishing hill surprised a lot of people apparently, since despite my slow pace i still passed about 5 people.  Unfortunately, i also got passed a few times.  I was a bit disappointed in my time, but my main goal was to qualify for Boston 2010, which i did comfortably (at my age, i only have to run sub 3:30).

Overall, it was a nice event.  Good course, good organization, good volunteers, and probably the best event shirt other than my 2006 Boston long-sleeve.  The only organizational glitch they had was that the parking was surrounded by the course, so it was hard to leave for those of us trying to get out before the final runners were off the course.

I plan to take a long break from running so that i can finally heal my hip.  I'm not sure *how* long, but i'll probably be on the order of months.  It's gonna suck.

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