After two almost full 12-week training plans (since October), a couple of mid-plan races and PRs, and lots and lots of tempo runs, progression runs, long runs, easy runs and hill workouts, race morning came.
As I've done for the past four years, I rode my bike the mile or so downtown to the start area. This year I made it in time to see the start of the marathon, and got a few good pictures of it:
Got to say Hi to a couple of people before the race - A friend who's on my Odyssey team was doing the full, and I'm glad I got to say hi before he set out. Peter Lubbers was there with his sons, who were doing their first marathons and half marathons - great job, guys! And ran into Ryan of activereno.com, who was doing the half as well.
So, I was feeling actually pretty calm as I got lined up a couple rows back from the start line. I think I've done enough races now that I'm kind of nonplussed by the whole race atmosphere - which can be a good thing. Said hi to a few people around me, and we were off.
Took off pretty fast through the initial downtown section - I kept my watch on "current pace" display for the first mile to try to keep it in check. Managed to hold it to a 6:36 to the first mile, right near the Booth street bridge - where Chris was waiting for me.
I'm pretty fortunate to have a friend like Chris, who's willing to come out and pace me. He was there also for my last two PRs, in Roseville and Davis earlier this year. This time, he brought along Fred, who's kind of Reno running royalty - and recently won his age group at Boston. They were nice enough to tow me along for most of the race.
After the first mile, I tend to look at the "cumulative pace" readout on my watch - if the overall pace creeps up, I know I'm slacking off. for the whole rest of the race, that number was right around 6:50 - 6:52 was my magic number to break 90 minutes.
(click through to the Garmin Connect website for more detailed stats)
The Rock 'n' River course is out and back - in this case, the first half heads upriver and the second half is overall downhill. That allowed me to keep the pace below 6:50 for the last five miles. I actually felt really good until about mile 11, when (right after telling Chris that I felt pretty good) I felt a twinge in one of my hamstrings. But that went away. After mile twelve I had to dig even deeper, but somehow managed the last mile at 6:43 pace to finish (according to my watch) at 1:28:12. Still waiting on official results, but that's a PR by about 4 minutes, and a goal of breaking 1:30 that I've had for 4 years.
Met up with the rest of Team Library Dork after - Amber did the 5K, coming back from a back injury, and Dave rocked the 10K. We all adjourned to My Favorite Muffin for some much-needed sustenance.
The we scooted back to my house for what some might consider the main event - a tasting of fruit beers. Amber had brought back a blueberry ale (and a couple others) from Boston, and Chris had a Dogfish Head Aprihop and a cherry and raspberry from New Glarus Brewing. Those two were the definite standouts - the cherry tasted and smelled like cherries fresh off the tree. Amazing stuff.
After the late breakfast and having no lunch (took the kids to see a matinée of Rio) I'm getting pretty hungry. I think I deserve a burger at this point.
Great to see everyone out there - thanks to all the race volunteers and organizers for putting on a fun event.