Saturday, August 2, 2008

My First (and likely last) Marathon

I ran the Frank Maier Marathon this morning.

I am not a big fan of racing on roads, but I had no reason not to run. I was planning a 25-30 mile run today anyway, and the race start was about 200 feet from my front door. The race started at 7am and I rolled out of bed at 6:40. I wasn't even registered for the race yet so I only had time to throw a waffle in the toaster and head out the door.

At about 6:50 I walked up to the registration table chewing on my burnt waffle (why does a toaster set on #3 cook bread just right and burn the hell out of a waffle?) and asked to sign up. The conversation that unfolded was amusing:

registration lady #1: are you pre-registered?
me: nope
registration lady #2: have you run this race before?
me: nope
lady #1: have you run a marathon before?
me: nope
lady #2: are you ok, you look cold?
me: sorry I'm fine, I just woke up 5 minutes ago.
lady #1: did you train for this race?
me: a little bit.
lady #2 (in a half whisper to lady #1): make sure he signs the waiver.

I ran most of the first half really slow. Not much faster than long slow training pace. I think my first 8 or 9 miles were at about 7:20 pace. I got kind of bored with that and decided at about mile 12 that I would run the rest of the race as a tempo run rather than a long slow distance run. I went through the halfway point in 1:32 and finished in 2:49:59. I've got a little more speed than I suspected right now. I was surprised to bust out a 1:18 second half as comfortably as I was able to. I never felt like I pushed beyond a comfortable level and I have no fatigue beyond any standard 3 hour run. I doubt I will ever run a marathon as a focus race (at least not anytime soon), but today did make me a little more curious than I've ever been to see how fast I could do a marathon. With marathon specific training and a 100% race effort I think 2:30 would be pretty definite for me. How much faster I could go than that though is hard to say just based on this one "training" marathon.


Anonymous said...

Good story!

Oh no, your gonna get addicted to road marathons.

Awesome job!

WynnMan said...

This topic you mention of is very serendipitous to what I have been conjuring for awhile, particularly in the last week and interestingly enough, the same goals as you for the marathon (2:30 or cracking it). I think what keeps me from committing to it is the more strategic road training involved, fewer races, and most importantly... missing all of the trail races that find away that fall into place and look so fun!

Maybe one of these days I'll give it a shot though. However more experience running in general will give me better odds if and when I do decided to try and tackle it down the road. I'd rather run up a mountain or down a technical trail htough (:

have fun at Resurrection.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

you're an animal but shouldn't you have left by now to run across the continent for Shawn's wedding?! LOL

Ya know... theres something called the Olympics in 4 years that you could train for. I've got an 'in' with Ryan Hall and can get you his training schedule!

Andrew said...

DUDE... what Geoff doesn't mention in the blog is that... HE WON THE RACE!!!

Here's an article from the race w/ results!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

I would have thought the Juneau running clubs (or at least the volunteer people who "run" things) would know they have one of the best long distance runners in the country living right in town.

Anonymous said...

Can you please enter into the Boston Marathon! You could totally win it. You'd be the first American do to do in Years!!!! Do it!!

carlhutch said...

if only i could ride all day on one burnt waffle.

im in awe of what you do,good luck this week......sub 21 ????

Geoff said...

david j.,
nope, aint gonna happen

yep, don't think i could ever get away from trail/mountain runs long enough to focus on marathons

andy, dave, and steph,
you're all too kind. i wish i had the talent you all talk about, but instead i'll keep doing my best with what i've got. for now this is keeping me mostly under the radar here in juneau, which is just the way i like it.

i did get some more calories in me during the race, the burnt waffle was just the only thing i found time to eat before.

mostly just trying to have some fun this weekend... but sub 21 is very likely. it's a fast course so i'll maybe even be a couple hours faster than that. we'll see. not trying to kill myself though with wasatch only a month away.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking more like 18 hrs. About 11 min miles, you could do that in your sleep :) hopefully no injuries creep in after getting beyond 60 miles, new territory.


Jill Homer said...


Geoff forgets to mention that his first ultramarathon was a hundred-miler ... a 21-hour Susitna 100. And that race, although flat, went somewhat badly for him. I'm scared of what he thinks he could do with the experience he has now and a course that isn't frozen over. :-)

Anonymous said...

Geoff - Ben and I both totally loved this post. Your description of how you entered the race is classic. We love how you can run 42km in such insanely fast time and yet be so mellow and demure about the whole thing. Reading about your adventure exploits are totally entertaining. Thanks for blogging them.