Rocket City Marathon 2014
The Kiawah Island Marathon
I am happy to report that the Kiawah Island Marathon was a success! I finished the race in 2:56:29, beating my PR by a full 3 minutes! I was even able to finish 1st in my age group and 12th overall. This is a huge relief considering the debacle of a race I ran 13 weeks ago in Tupelo. All the hard work and effort finally paid off!
As you know I went into the race fighting off respiratory issues stemming from a 3 week old flu virus. I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to do considering the impact this had on my training leading up to race day. And the start of the race was not easy with me not really finding my stride until mile 10.
From a strategy perspective I started out 30 seconds per mile slower than my average race pace. It was tough holding myself back and letting the group surge out in front, but this paid huge dividends during the back half. Like I said it took about 10 miles for me to find my grove at which point I was able to gradually drop my pace down to 30 seconds per mile faster than my average race pace. It was during this 12 mile stretch that I was able to chase down all but the 11 people that finished ahead of me.
So, that got me to mile marker 22. As with just about everybody, the last 4.2 miles is the most difficult part of the race. Everybody tells me my stride looks great and that I look so relaxed during this homestretch, but internally I am a mess struggling mentally with each step. The good news is I was able to finish this part of the race at a pace 15 seconds per mile slower than my average race pace. Which is a success compared to previous races. While I wasn’t able to pass anyone during this last stage of the race, I think its key to point out that I was not passed either.
All in all, it was a great race. Starting slow is definitely the right strategy in addition to making sure you get in those long +20 mile training runs that allow you to finish strong. Now it’s time to set my sights on Boston!