Thursday, October 20, 2011

Atlantic City Marathon

Ok sports fan, I know I didn't write about Nation's Triathlon, but there wasn't to much to write about.  The swim got canceled, the bike was really fast, I didn't run that well and somehow I still beat Jason.   I did have a lot of fun with the Team in Training people and loved to raise money to fight against blood cancer, but really nothing really big happened at the race so there was really nothing to write about.  So after that I set my eyes straight to my next race which was the Atlantic City Marathon.

The race was suppose to be a short little vacation for my wife, daughter, and I and a shot to make Boston.  The course is said to be flat and fast, and a good chance for most people to get to Boston.  It isn't a very large race I think 740 people or so were in the race.  There were no big names that did this race, I don't even know if they had an elite section, so I thought this would be a good chance to get to Boston.  One thing about the Boston, that many people know now is that they lowered the time requirements for my age group from 3:10 to 3:05.

Well anyways on to the weekend events.  Lisa and left the house around 9 or so, dropped Cola, the dog, off at my Mom's and headed out to AC.  We got there around noon or so checked-in to the hotel room, and went down to the expo.  The expo wasn't that big it also wasn't that small either, it was just a normal old expo.  I bought two pairs of socks and some gels for the race.  We took my daughter swimming in the hotel pool and then we went to dinner were I met up with Andy and Howard from the HAMS.  We caught up a little bit and talked about the race the next day.  We finished that dinner said good-bye and went off to get some shut eye for the night.  Lisa, Bex, and I were staying in the hotel, and Howard and Andy had a condo near the Boardwalk.  I set everything out for the next day shoes, socks, shorts, and top.  Went to sleep and that was the end of the day.

I got up around 4:30 or so, and I had this ear thing going on in my ear, it was like I had water in my ear from swimming.  It is probably just a normally ear infection (I still actually have it and it is kind of annoying if anyone knows what it could be let me know or if I should just go see the doctor), but hell I paid for this and the show must go on (and it was just my ear nothing major there is it?).  I got some food in my stomach and got ready and we headed down around 7:00.  Lisa and I went on the boardwalk and we saw everyone filter in around the start line (it was cool and a slight wind nothing major).  They did the normal starting stuff, and the gun went off to start the race at 8:05.  I was off and a pretty comfortable pace I looked at my watch (I had it this time, unlike Gettysburg) it said 6:45, I felt good I was going at a good pace what could go wrong?  Oh yeah, this is a marathon not a sprint, everything could go wrong.  The first section of the race, which was around 8 miles or so was at the north end of Atlantic City, all through the streets, there were some uphills, but nothing major.  There was this one other thing that I really never trained for nor did I know how to, it was the dreaded wind.  The wind gust were like 9000 mph (ok there were not that bad, but they felt bad)  every time we headed into the wind I notice my time would drop, a lot.  However, I kept a pretty good pace at 6:50 for the first 8 miles or so, then we headed south on the board walk and that is when I felt the wind.  There was a headwind from mile 8 to 16 that I just couldn't get past the wind.  I was hanging in around 7:05 mile pace until about mile 13 and then the wheels sort of fell off the wagon.  I kept going through the pace telling my self just hang in there if I could keep my pace around 7:15 I could still set a PR for the race.  I got close to the turn around and saw the leaders of the race on there way back, this was about a mile or so until the turn around, which I kind of thought was odd that I was only two miles back from the leaders?  But again there are no pros no elite group just weekend warriors and die hard runners like myself.

Well I finally got to the turnaround and out of the awful headwind, and I said thank God, that was awful.  Thank God I don't have to do that again.  I was heading north back to the boardwalk and then at mile 17 the race turned left onto some side streets were I was racing against the headwind again.  I think this is were the wheels really fell off, I conceded that I will not set a PR and I should just be glad if I survive.  I decided to run from water station to water station get a drink and get going again.  I accomplished this until about mile 25 or so my legs were cramping and the pain got to me.  I started walking for about 30 seconds and then running for a few minutes.  I did this to the finish line and finished with 3:20:27 or something like that.  Nothing to brag about and nothing to get me to Boston.  Again it was an unsuccessful attempt to get to Boston, but as the famous saying goes "It isn't the number of times you fall that counts, it is the number of times you get up that does." (or something like that).  I probably will do Harrisburg Marathon and try again one more time this season to get to Boston, before I really start my Ironman training for 2012.  Well after the race I caught up with Howard he did a 3:30 or something close to that, and I never did catch back up with Andy, but I know he finished because I just read his race report.

Well anyways for the rest of the weekend, Lisa, Bex, and I went shopping at the outlet in AC and had dinner at Johnny Rocket's which was comped for us by the hotel because of the marathon package which we got (we kind of had to fight for it (it is a whole other story, ask me about it sometime if you really want to hear about it), but we got it at the end of the day, and the people at the hotel were actually really nice to us, and I would recommend that hotel to anyone who wants to stay in AC anyway).  Oh by the way we stayed at Bally's.  Well we left on Monday morning and that is the story for this time.  Hope you enjoyed it, and hope to see you guys out there training sometime.