Sunday, April 15, 2012

Martian Marathon: A new PR

On April 14th I ran a half marathon and the kids did the Mini Marathon and Cathy ran her first 5k since she was in high school.

The kids have been training since February. The deal was if the kids log 25 miles before the race, then they run a final 1.2 miles and get to say they ran a marathon.

Kids loved it.

My last training ruin had felt good and I wanted to break 1:50 but I set an 8:30/mile pace instead. I have logged 2700+ miles on RunKeeper but I had never used coaching and recently I have disabled all audio cues. I essentially start RunKeeper when I start the run and then switch to Audible and don't drop back into RunKeeper unless I want to pause (phone call, record idea in Voice Memo or Twitter) or I reach the end of my run. So literally with minutes to spare before the starting gun I went into the coaching menu in the Start screen of RunKeeper and set an 8:30 pace:

Then I dropped into my settings and turned on Audio Cues. Here are the settings I used:

Turns out, current apace and current split pace was a bit redundant, so next time I will skip the current pace and just use the Split Pace. I did not get prompts about total distance or total time. I wanted the cues to only be about speed, nothing else. Especially given that the race organizers were marking off each mile.

Kudos to RunKeeper for making the coaching and audio prompts so simple that I could get it set up 90% right the first time I ever used the feature. I am probably one of the first RunKeeper users. You can read my review of RunKeeper Pro (the old version that cost $10 but added some features) RunKeeper 2.0 and my review after logging 1,000 miles. But even as the program is about to turn 4(as in years, not version number) it continues to surprise and delight me. What an incredible amount of value for a free program.

Now about my race. I love the Martian Marathon. It is perfectly organized race. The race organizers should be proud. The atmosphere is light with a lot of people wearing antennas or costumes

The race route is a flat road race that is primarily a there and back on Hines Drive a pleasantly windy road that follows a tributary of the Rouge River. You don't get to see the river until the last three miles when you cross it twice on some surprisingly flexible bridges.

I started out feeling good but by mile 2, my left foot started increasingly feeling numb. By mile four I was seriously considering taking a DNF. At mile 5 I pulled off the course, took off my shoe, massaged my foot for 10 seconds, or so, I then retied them, significantly looser than before. When I started running again my foot was no better, but a couple of miles later it was definitely getting better. And by mile 8 it was totally normal. Strange.

My pace was consistently ahead of the 8:30 goal, with only 4 splits being too slow.

And my RunKeeper time was 1:51:49. The official chip time was 1:51:36.9 (so I guess it takes me 12 seconds to take my phone out of my pocket, unlock it and stop RunKeeper):

I was 52 of 148 in my Age/Gender division and 446 out of 1791 overall. That barely edges my PR. I ran a 1:51:53 at Dexter-Ann Arbor in 2009. 

I still want to crack 1:50.

Final Note: I finished just ahead of Jeff, of He gave a pretty bad review of the Martian, but I think he's wrong. I had a great time and thought the race was top notch.

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