Monday, March 5, 2012

Little Rock Marathon - 2012

My elite racing bib gives new definition to elite.

What a great race in spite of my not running a great race.  The Little Rock Marathon has what is a pretty weak standard for what is considered an elite.  Over 40 and sub 2:55 can get you there.  My personal best is 2:44 and I ran 2:48 back in November so I got in as an "elite".

We drove in Saturday and toured the Old Statehouse Museum and enjoyed the pre-race dinner.
Kids in front of the Old Statehouse Museum.  Nice museum.

I must admit that it was great fun to be so spoiled at a marathon.  I tried not to let it go to my head but as we were being escorted the thirty steps from our nice cozy warm-up area to the front of the starting line I did begin to feel like a little bit of a big shot.  They were so nice and treated us so well.  But then again, they treat everyone well and I think LR is the best marathon in the country!
Picture of the start line just as the sun is coming up!  Celebrate!

The gun fired and off we went.  I tried to run very measured and if I am having a good day, then usually I hit the first mile in about 6:10 to 6:15.  So we are running and I feel like I am going at a pretty easy pace and at mile one I look and I had just run a 5:59!  Whoaaa!  Slow those horses down.  So I slowed down a bit and the second mile was 6:04!  Alright, that's it, this is going to be a PR day and it is time to go with it.  I was really cruising.  This is the type of day that only comes every three or four years. 

I was running strong and then at mile 5 my sciatic began hurting but only slightly.  Not that unusual, maybe it would stay away.  But then we hit some hills and I was hitting around 6:20's.  Still good enough for a 38:20 10K.  No longer sub 2:40 pace but still PR pace.

Ran strong for a couple of more miles and then around mile 9 and 10, sciatica let me know it was back.  I hit the half in just 1:22:50.  PR pace is around 1:21 but we were into the hills now and my stupid sciatica was not allowing me to go any faster than 7:15.  People were passing me and it was frustrating because I knew I could be running sub 6:30 up that hill. 

As the race continued, the sciatic would flare up and then kind of subside but I was never able to really race again.  I could only try to sustain a 7 to 7:30 pace which I did but only after some suffering.  I hobbled in at 2:57 and change but it was still nice to finish another marathon and to have the whole family there waiting for me.
On our way up Pinnacle!
Afterwards we celebrated and had a good time and then we made our annual trip to climb Pinnacle Mtn.  It may seem crazy to go climb Pinnacle after running a hard marathon but it actually helps shake things out a bit.  We have so much fun scrambling over those boulders all the way to the top.
At the top!
Another fun year at Little Rock.

Jim back at the bottom with Pinnacle in the background.

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