ING Hartford Marathon

So much for taking it easy and just chilling out at this marathon. I had applied for elite status way back when, before the achillies issues cropped up. When I found out I didn't get elite, I was happy. That meant I would be able to run a low pressure race. And while I stil was righ on the starting line, I was planning on an easy race. When the race started and thhings felt pretty good. No pain at all in my achilles . So I decided to make my comfortable pace a little faster. The first mile was 7:00 and it felt like the entire race was passing me. I decided that I needed to slow down a little more only to run the next mile in 6:59. But there was a little down hill as the course made its way out of the down town Hartford area so I was not to worried. At just about mile 3, I met up with a guy trying to qualify for Boston. He needed to run 3:10 and had missed it at his first two attempts. I decided to run with him and see if we could work together to run his BQ time. We chatted for a while and then settled into a steady 7:00 to 7:10 pace. It was a perfect pairing. He knew that I could run the time he needed. Me having him next to me kept me from getting ansy when other women passed me.

The courde wound through downtown Hartford, along the river, back into downtown, over the river and back along the river. Then it was time for a long out and back to mile 18. It was prettu flat with only a few rolling hills. That made keeping even splts easy. We were both tracking at each mile and we were models of consistancy. Regardless of what the other runners were doing, we stayed right between 7:00 and 7:10. So there was a bit of yoyoing but we stuck to the plan and stayed on pace.

At mile 10 we did a body check. He was feeling good and was looking forward to the next 10 miles. I was handling the distance and pace better then at the ADTM but my calves were a little tight. But things were going well and the pace felt good. Time to takle the middle miles. We were on the out and back section of the course and looking forward to seeing the race heading in the other direction. And the leaders were moving. Finally it was our turn to head downhill and start the major count down to the finish. We were also still hitting the consistant pace with only a few bobbles.

At mile 20 it was time for another check in. He was still doing great and was ridding the was of excitment of reaching his goal. I was starting to feel the efforts of the prior miles and knew I would need to slow down a little before the finish. So I told him if he was feeling good and I started falling off the pace to just go. Do not wait for me. Sure enough at mile 23 it was time to slow down. I went from 7 min miles to 830s so I would not completly destroy my legs.

I cruised across the finish in 30956. I was the last person to run sub 310 from the gun. And while i was a long way from the winning time of 241 I still placed third in my age group and made it to the top 15. Not bad for another example of how not to train for a marathon. In all serousness Hartford was a great race. It was well organized. The course while a little twisty was well marked. I also felt like there were plenty of aide stations and plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. I would recommend this marathon to anyone. Senic with both big city ammenites and rural charm. There were also lots of spectators all over the course. I am really happy that we did Hartford for our CT marathon.

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