Saturday, May 9, 2009

2009 Fargo Marathon

This was a great run. The weather was perfect for running (low 30's at the start, high of 50 by the end and completely overcast) which helped keep the heart rate down.

This entire run started up as being an experiment. I've been following an Ironman triathlon training program as my primary focus for the past 20 weeks. I thought it'd be entertaining to see if 20 weeks of Ironman training would get me through a marathon. To top that off, I decided to tweet each mile of the marathon using the Tweetie application for iPhone.

This was my first trip to Fargo and my attempt to knock out one of the states in my 50 state marathon goal. Getting there was a cinch: 3.5 hours straight northwest on I-94. When I got there I remembered I forgot to book a hotel room so I had to be a bit creative with my room & board situation. But I'll get to that. Once at the Fargodome I found a nice spot to park near the start of the race. It'd be a great place to set up home base.

The expo was great. Below are some shots of the expo I took. The Fargodome really has a lot of room to accommodate for an expo.

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The expo was a lot of fun. I even had a chance to meet one of running's great athletes: Dick Beardsley.

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After the expo I went back to my hotel room (which happened to be my car), set up camp and slept the rest of the evening.

Sparing all the details, everything went without a hitch. The run was a lot of fun and I actually finished. I was sore in places I haven't been sore in a while but the sense of accomplishment was still there. I'm working on my running technique and I'll have to say it really helped me out. A coach at the expo, Gerard Pearlberg, talked at length about form and how we should be pushers instead of pullers. I've always been a puller so I decided to take the marathon as practice for this push method. And I have to say, it worked. My hip flexors didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought they would and I felt amazingly strong until nearly mile 22. That's when I hit the wall. And for someone who's longest run up to that point was 11 miles, I thought that was pretty darn amazing.

Amazingly, I finished in 4 hours which is about my average. That got me to thinking and I'm still thinking. If I work on strengthening my glutes and start focusing on my form like the coach suggests, when I start training specifically for marathons I may actually qualify for Boston. Heck, I may even hit my real goal which is a sub 3 hour marathon. That'd be something. I'd like to get this done at the end of my 30's but there's not going to be an artificial timetable on it. I'll get there when I get there. You cannot make a tree bear fruit before its time. Nor will I get to where I'm trying to get before it's time. My role is to keep pushing and keep aiming for that goal. Eventually I'll get there.

But my final note on reflection is I'm surprised how "in shape" triathlon training has made me. I didn't think I'd be anywhere near my typical average time but I was. Hmmmm...

Sorry this was such a poorly thought out essay. I've got some things to get done and need to get working on them. But I hope the essence of the message gets through.

First off, my stats.

Now, the course map:

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