By: Curtis Workman
The course is flat with just a few small hills and perfect for a PR. The race director did a great job and the race went off without a glitch. The town of Carmel is great with lots of charm and character. It’s nice to run a marathon where you can park within a 200 yards of the start and finish. Top notch!!
Race recap for Carmel:
I added Carmel in on my schedule originally to treat it as a training run but in recent weeks decided that I would go for a time somewhere between 3:15 and 3:20. My BQ is 3:25 (yes I am that old )
I really wanted to go under 3:15 to help my chances to get into Boston plus that would beat my current PR by a minute. I had thought about running with a pace group for the first time but they only had a 3:10 and a 3:20. I decided last week that I would go for the 3:14 by myself. Printed out my pace band and carried it around with me all the time (yes I am that obsessed).
The morning of the marathon was cool and windy (42 degrees with 15mph winds). The idea of running with a group and having the ability to tuck in the middle to avoid some wind became too tempting and I decided to run with the 3:10 group.
Ken was the pacer with a 2:32 marathon PR and a nice resume of races and pacing success. We headed out with about 20 in our group but soon dwindled down to 6 by mile 9. I ran side by side with Ken (so much for drafting) Mile 10 I had to stop for a bathroom break and ran 6:45 miles the next two miles to catch back up with Ken (on 7:18 pace). Do the math, I set a new PR for a bathroom stop. By the half mark we were just shy of our goal 3:10 and just a group of 4 runners including Ken. I remember thinking I wasn’t sure how many would be there with Ken at the finish but I would be one of them. I remember a link that my fellow Ambassador, Roman Pyasta, posted with a doctor talking about staying positive during the marathon. At mile 20 Ken had to stop for a bathroom break and told the two of us that remained to keep our pace and he would catch up. I maintained the pace until mile 22 and decided to pick up the pace and see if I could start catching some people. I ended up passing 6 people in the last few miles running my last mile in 6:55.
This was the first marathon I did not hit the wall in and had that strong of a finish. I had planned on a 3:14 in Carmel and then a 3:09 in Fargo. Now I have spent the day trying to re-evaluate my goal for Fargo in four weeks. The fastest pace group in Fargo is 3:15 so unless I find someone with like goals I will be on my own. It will a 3:04 or a 2:59 depending how the next few weeks of training goes.