2009 Space Coast Marathon Personal Race Report

The 2009 Space Coast Marathon was great, my third marathon this year (of a planned two). I had bib 472 and finished in 4:26:55 which is about 20 minutes better than my previous best (my first, Baltimore 2008) and just shy of an hour better than Baltimore this year (about 40 days prior) with a low grade fever and upper respiratory infection.

My official stated goal was a 4:30:00 (10:18/mi) and I started out aiming for a 4:28:00 (10:13/mi) with a 4:25:00(10:06/mi) being my stretch goal. I entertained the thought of 4:22:00 (10:00/mi but that was ridiculous).

My notes for the race:
Weather was perfect. Beautiful course a bit more hilly than I was expecting in the first half for a "mostly flat course". Pre-driving on Friday was a great idea. Pacing was a little erratic particularly in the dark and generally faster than plan. Warmup was poor and basically getting the bag to drop-off. Targeting ~10:13/mi. Looking to drop 5-10s/mi at 16/17 and again at ~23/24 with a level effort sprint from ~26 - end.

0.25 Splits show closer to 10:00 with a substantial number < 10:00
1.00 Splits show closer to 9:55

Up through the half it felt like almost nothing. Best half ever at 2:12 (by 2-3min and effectively on pace). Paced back up to Rebecca (race partner I found on the road) from 13.5 to around mi 17 (1min toilet). A couple of slightly slower miles running recovery (10:16,10:20). Last 10K tried to pick up to minimum 10:00/mi and had to dig to maintain.  Last few miles felt more hilly, walked water from cup to finished drinking on last 5Kish. Took a walk towards the end of mile 24 ~ 30s for the final miles. From ~25.5 - end I pushed picking up speed to the line. Nearly tossed my cookies at an avg of 7:27/mi for the last 1/4 mile.

Used Hammer Perpetuem orange and cafe late (caffeinated) at ~2 scoops/hr. Concentrated to 1hr per-fuel belt bottle switching bottles at the half. Took a risk here going with a thinner concentration and adding in the new flavor w/caffeine without training with it.

After the south turn had some "cold stomach" and a few times a little bit of stomach discomfort that passed relatively quickly. At this pace water stops were about perfectly placed with generous portions (too much at times). With 1hr fuel bottles I didn't take as much (or always) water with fuel every 20. Last 10K reduced water consumption to ~2 swallows while running. ~3 while walking.

May have had tail wind on the south bound leg, definite head/cross wind from ~22 felt very strong from ~24 (probably wasn't). Need to get faster to finish before the wind picks up.

Had a 4-5 small slices of pizza and killed remaining fuel (very little, good job staying on plan!) right after I crossed the line.

Hit the recoverite almost immediately after finish. Next time remember blender bottle and don't freeze recoverite. Didn't thaw at all in race bag. Mixed up emergency supply in bag and tore off the corner to drink.

Hit my legs with the T-roller while I sat and cheered people over the line. Noticed after cheering for a string of people my HR elevated and the tip of my nose was slightly numb. HR stayed elevated (in general) and raising legs over head was good for nearly instant 20bpm drop. Went to medical just in case and BP was generally normal.

Left foot and shin ache, muscles feel fine, achilles a little tight two days on. Stairs seem like nothing (better training and recoverite?)

All gear worked out, wore disposable running gloves from Baltimore but didn't dispose of them. New Nimbus 10, Halo hat, short shorts and LAWS half shirt, L/R low cut socks, fuel belt, Garmin 305 and RoadID. Switching bottles at the half was great, thinner fuel was easier to take when I wasn't feeling as fresh. Tried mixing things up wearing headphones and listening to music for the first time in a race (I think it help me keep up the pace later).

May need a smaller fuel belt. This one starts to bounce half way through longer runs (water weight loss slims me down?). Some inner thigh chafing, think I lost some bodyglide taking off shell pants before start. Blister on pad of 4th left toe, faster gait for longer distance, different stride pattern due to shin and foot discomfort? Forgot to put on sunscreen got a bit of sun not burnt and can't tell anymore. Missed having C- on the course cheering glad she went fishing with her Pop.

Other Thoughts:

I'm very glad I didn't try to go with the 4:30 pace group. They passed me around 2.2mi stuck with them for about .25 noticed the pace was closer to 9:18 than 10:18 and watched them disappeared into the distance. Caught up at the north turn around ~6.6 to hear the leader say oops, looks like we are a minute fast again as the remains of the group started walking. (In the end I see a group of people 4-5 finished right on 4:30 including the pacer but I think the group started much larger)

I ended up talking to a few people who noticed the 4:30:00 pace sign on my back who observed that they couldn't hang with the 4:30 group and got dropped out the back. I allowed that the group seemed way too fast and while I was running a bit faster than 10:18 targeting around a 10:13 that I would be happy for some company. This was how I found my race partner (Rebeca) from miles 4 - 22.

This is the first time that I strictly ran my own race. I picked a pace and a plan (and tried to stick to them). Went out on pace but ended up going faster than plan on the intervening miles even with checking my pace regularly and trying to adjust. Not surprisingly my pace kept drifting towards 9:45/mi which is a pace I currently find comfortable for medium to slightly longer distance runs. The music was OK, with non-isolation headphones I was holding conversations just letting the beat be some background noise. I would love to be able to have the otherwise identical race again sans music to see how it would have gone.

I need to thank my wife for putting up with me scheduling a last minute marathon in the middle of our thanksgiving vacation and all the neurosis that come with the last few days of pre-marathon prep. Not to mention needing to pack for a marathon on top of everything else. I also need to thank everyone from Potomac River Running and the Ashburn Area Running club for all the support and company on the road during training this year.


Have you tried SportShield, it normally it not would not wipe off so you would not have the chafing problem you mentioned. Tom

Posted by Tom Judd on December 04, 2009 at 01:25 AM EST #

Thanks for the suggestion. It doesn't appear to be available in my immediate vicinity (Leesburg, VA). If I see it I'll try to remember to pick some up.

Posted by Shawn Ferry on December 04, 2009 at 02:21 AM EST #

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