Thursday, August 09, 2007

Been There, Done That


Omsk, Russia. Sat, Aug 4, 2007
My Dear Reader, I’m terribly sorry for this delay. Here I am with a Bad but True story of my first marathon race, which I accomplished in the Heart of Russian Siberia, a place where thousand people had been sent to meet their death. I survived, but with truly disappointing final time.
Garmin time: 3:56:58
Net time is not clear yet, but I bet it's +/- 3 seconds, we used so called ChampionChip there, so I pushed start button on the Tool as I passed starting line, almost 4 hours later i pushed Stop.
So, after all those qood quality weeks of training, Who has a name of Rubbish Runner now?

We are – me and Paul, American diplomat in his late 40’s from Astana, capital of Kaz made a tough trip to Omsk, Russia. Got there right the day before the Big Day. Paul is experienced marathon runner with PB time 3:14! We registered, got our bib-numbers, T-shirts, some materials about Siberian International Marathon. The whole atmosphere were excited, we even saw, met some people from Spain, Germany, States. We were told that there would be good Pacemakers for those whose Target time is: 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15.
Of course I choose 3:30 pacemakers – those guys will run with Red balloons.
2 Red Balloons as eluding hope to get to a decent time.

This is going to be a Good day. I have to show my best; finally I’ve been working on this several past months. Dinner in the restaurant, eve before the Big day was a good “Fuel my stocks” event. Paul made a good prayer and here it is – Luxurious Russian sturgeon – Man, was it so good. Heavens, would it be useful for me tomorrow? Let’s see.

Mile 01: 8:27 crowded, we just started the biggest race in Siberia
Mile 02: 7:45 passed Big bridge and follow 2 Red Balloons
Mile 03: 7:45 feel good, Red Balloon pacemakers are obviously faster than they have to, I don't really care about it, they are ahead of me but any time I can reach them
Mile 04: 7:27 combination of hills / downhills made it faster
Mile 05: 7:31 not that fast! You already "compensate" first slow mile
Mile 06: 7:50 this is what I need,
somewhere here we "attack" hills ("i won't let this hill beat me!") - this is one of mistakes. Coach told me to take 'em easy
Mile 07: 7:45
Mile 08: 7:47 steel feel good.
One of fun entertainments we did on the run was making “High Five” slapping someone’s palm from the cheering crowd. People stand on both sides, some of them applause, some acclaim. I scream in reply: “Spasibo Omsk!”(Thank you Omsk!). Paul wants to learn and practice in his Russian, so he repeats. I would say that no more than 20% from the crowd were optimistic about hitting High Five. Paul tried to learn local people and did it well, keeping in the same time sub 8:00 pace and cheering me up too! Thanks a lot! Some people obviously skeptical about High Five. Children – those are Great Creatures with pure and open hearts – they Love to make High Five, they scream and yell and jump as they are excited that men from the Race need they support.
Mile 09: 7:58
Mile 10: 8:03 still good, but catastrophe is almost here
Mile 11: 8:13 do not see Red Balloons anymore
Mile 12: 8:08
Mile 13: 8:14 I started to whine here:
R: Paul, I have to walk
P: Keep on going
R: I can’t. I really need to walk to that water spot. Man, I can’t.
P: “Can’t” is a Four Letter Word.
Never forget it: “Can’t” is a Four Letter Word.
Mile 14: 8:27
Mile 15: 8:50
Mile 16: 10:24
Mile 17: 9:38
Mile 18: 8:58
Mile 19: 8:38 I drag to get to 20 miles mark
Mile 20: 12:14
Mile 21: 9:31
Mile 22: 9:34 I didn't hit the Wall
Mile 23: 10:18 I knew I would finish
Mile 24: 10:23 here I tried to concetrate to make last 2 miles non-stop. Failed.
Mile 25: 10:37 left quad is slightly spasming, nothing serious
Mile 26: 11:13 pain in left toe
+0.6mi!: 5:06 @ 8:31 pace.

I pass the finish line, 2 sec later Paul did.
This nightmare under the hot Siberian sun is over.
This is my exaggeration, not a nightmare at all, it wasn't that hot on the race day, avg.temps were about +26C/79F or so.

Totals (Mr.Garmin):
3:56:58, 26.59mi, avg.pace 8:54, avg.HR 155, max.HR 173
More details from Garmin software center are here.
Bad, Bad and Ugly. It just blows!
Man, next time I’ll be better.
Week Su 7/29 - Sa 8/4: 40.59 miles (including marathon).

5 days after the race, my left thigh muscles still hurt and not recovered. I already passed this comical period when walking downstairs or getting off the bus is a real problem and you walk down just as an invalid. My left big toe still blue as it was right after the finish line and I just let it go to see if I loose the nail on it. Need some time to recover. Ready to keep on running. Soon. Very soon.

P.S. Ran today (Thu, 8/9) actually I walked and jogged to the lake without anything, no HRM, nor GPS. Still my left hip stinks - need more time to "repair" it. Swam and felt that my nail on the left toe is absolutely dead and ready to be torn off soon. Do not judge me strict and let me take two weeks off.

- Thank you everybody for Great Support!
- Thank you Coach! I wasn't good this time, hope I have a chance to make it better next time.
- KamsahamniDa Paul! Unforgettable race and trip to the Heart of Russian Siberia.
- Happy Running to Everybody!


Thomas said...

I know you're disappointed, but do not apologise! You don't have to say sorry to anyone. The marathon is a very tough race, that's why we do it. The first marathon is always a learning experience. You'll get it right eventually.

What I would have done differently if I were you:

1) a longer taper
2) you started too fast. If you're goal was 3:30, you should never have gone faster than 7:50. If the red balloon guys are running too fast just let them go.

We usually say "never again" immediately afterwards, then do it again anyway.

Andrew said...

Way to finish Rus! Tough race and a learning experience.

olga said...

Aw, sounds so familiar! It took me about 6 tries to be able to pace, although my marathon times stayed around same mark every time, whether I took off at under 8's or paced wisely. It just feels much nicer to finish negative splits:) But the first one was about the same.
Yep, you don't owe anything to anybody. Always a lesson, no failure. Recover well and pick your next target!
Congratulation on concurring first monster!

Assyl said...

Hey, man! Wuussupp? How are you doing up there? Long time no see and no talk! Ain't that so?! So, I see you are not catching up with your updates lately, why so, dude?! I am surprised! Perhaps you're at a biz trip again. So, I'm very glad I've got a chance to write to you! So, hope to get ur replies soon, buddy! Peace Never, never quit!