Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 self-transcendence marathon: race report

on tuesday, as i drove over the tappan zee bridge and headed over to rockland lake, it felt like i was playing hooky from work with a tuesday morning marathon! the 2007 self-transcendence marathon was on a friday - and, while i technically missed work for that one too, it just seemed as if that was the kick-off a long weekend! the 2007 edition was tough, in terms of weather. as i drove over the bridge 2 years ago, the rockland shoreline was hidden behind a wall of fog - which set the stage for what would be a very hot and humid 26.2 miles.

my 4:27 finish in 2007 went into the books as my slowest marathon. this time around i planned to make amends for that poor showing with a sub-4 hour finish. the course (8.75 loops of beautiful rockland lake), under normal weather conditions, can generate some fast times. there were three aid station spread out across the (just under 3 mile) loop. the sri chinmoy organizers also had musicians on the course, including those who played drums, a violin, a sitar, and even dedicated clappers! it was a fun, upbeat scene!

the morning didn't have an auspicious start - as i crossed the field to pick up my bib, my feet got soaked from the wet grass - argh. i went back to the car and switched into dry socks. on the way back, i said hi to tammy and then chatted with al, as we waited for the conch to sound the official start. my first mile, 8:15, was too fast under the circumstances. my goal was to run as many 8:30 miles as possible. there was an outside chance at a 3:45 finish, but wanted to use this event as a long training run.

to that end, i wore my ipod and listened to phil lesh for all but the last loop. the first 4 loops were phil and friends at jones beach, summer 2008; the second 4 loops were phil and friends (w/joan osborne) at bonnaroo in 2006. the last loop was all green day - "21st century breakdown!" in addition to the good music, the course brought back great memories because i've run it multiple times with katie! lots of positive karma that morning!

my five mile split, 42:23, was just under an 8:30 pace. during the next 5 miles my pace slowly crept over that 8:30 target - my 10 mile split was 1:25:29. from that point on i would run precious few sub 8:30 miles. i reached the half marathon in 1:52:41 and it still possible to run a 3:45 race. fifteen miles passed in 2:09:11 and then i reached 20 miles in 2:52:42 - with just over 48 minutes to hit 3:45. even with a strong assist by green day, my 25 mile split of 3:35:43 left me less than 10 minutes to cover the remaining 1.2 miles.

while i came in well below the 4 hour target, i missed 3:45 by more than a minute. still, the 3:46:02 shaved more than 40 minutes off my 2007 finish! that alone, made me incredibly happy with this performance. except for mild dehydration, i didn't seem any worse for the wear. during the race i only drank water and cytomax. except for a couple of watermelon pieces and a handful of raisins, i didn't eat anything during the race.

it was fun to see tammy out on the course, as well as staci too. but i didn't see eliot - nor did i catch sight of dave (who came in 3rd overall with a 2:46!) - out there. this may have been a result of the wearing the ipod and listening to my music. in 2007, sri chinmoy not only officially started the with his blessing, but he was out on the course and cheered on the runners throughout the morning. sadly, he passed away in 2008, and his inspiring presence was missed out there.

because katie had field hockey try-outs that day, i couldn't stick around to socialized. on the drive home it felt like i should shower and head into the office for a few hours that afternoon! so seems that the heat did get to me after all - ha! luckily, i came back to my senses - work would still be there on wednesday ;D

here are some race photos.

check out tammy's race report.
check out staci's race report.


Staci said...

You were cruisin' around the Lake :)

After last year, I swore I would pick up the pace this year and finish closer to 4 hours, but I just get sucked into having fun - ah well, such is life ;)

Mike C-NJ said...

Nice run, this was my 3rd year running. Good job getting sub 4.

Runner Tammy said...


Nice job on bettering your previous Self Transcendance Race! You were hauling both times you passed me.

The race is really alot of fun and I am bummed it took me several years of marathoning to do it. Considering how close it is to my dad's place (2 turns and < 5 miles), I should have done it years ago!

And playing hooky was an added bonus.

Take care,

Laura said...

Congratulations! Shaving that much time off is great :)