#302 Albany Marathon Marathon

Marathon #302 - Albany Marathon done! Probably my earliest ever finish, was back in the car well before 11:00am! This was supposed to be a PB attempt race for US State #45 but been nursing a few niggles so was always going to be unlikely, that didn't stop me having a go though so thought I would go out with the 3:15 pace group and see how long I could hold on for. Transpires that was about 200 yards as those guys were going way too slow! So with a bit of life in the legs (probably the first time since the New Year) I thought I'd live with with 7:00 milers, and go for a sub 3:00 instead! lol The problem with the "Traviss Suicide Pacing Method" (Patent Pending) is that failure is built in and after 10 miles in 75 minutes I think it was it all started going horribly wrong, like, dang, my legs are sure feeling tired, 16 miles is an awful long way to hang on! lol So a bit of a struggle from about there, still managed a US PB of 3:40, but was hopeful of a bit better, oh well, its nice to be a bit disappointed with 3:40 anyway!


When I do trips to the US these days I try to fit in at least one new state in my "50 States" quest and as this goes along of course this gets tougher and tougher! I'd noticed that Albany GA was the weekend before Graveyard 100 so that made for a nice little trip to fit in a new state and a 100 miler that I wanted another crack at. OK, I then complicated it later by adding in Little Rock, but that's another story. The marathon promised a flat fast run and for a long time this was going to be a PB attempt. But coming in to the race I didn't feel I was in PB shape, a few pounds heavier than I ideally would have liked and a lack of training miles whilst I rested up meant I wasn't hopeful, but hey, I'd always try!


The expo on the Friday night was pretty small, took a couple of minutes to pick up the number and the pale yellow shirt which is quite nice, but really not my colour! However the freebie samples from the event sponsor "Snickers" were welcome, although no actual Snickers bars! But the energy bars/protein bars type thing, welcome, but would have preferred the real thing!

The logistics of this one were pretty easy as the start was by a huge car park for a convention centre so didn't worry about getting there too early, about 75 minutes, and rather concerningly only saw a couple of other cars there. Always a mild sense of panic when this happens, but saw a few runner types milling about nearby so grabbed the A1 parking space and within 15 minutes the place was full of cars, I guess I just beat the rush!

The morning was cold and bright, but promised to warm up a fair bit towards a forecast high of 70F so basically short sleeve shirt, run like the clappers to get warm and then see what happens! lol

I positioned myself fairly close to the front and as soon as we were off I was feeling pretty good, whilst there were some real quick guys who just vanished quickly there really wasn't much going on positioning wise where I was and in no time I lost the 3:15 pace group I'd vaguely been thinking about living with. I fell in with a bunch of guys and a couple of girls who seemed to settle down at 7:00 pace and that felt OK so off I went. Quite possibly the first time I've clocked a 6:xx mile at a marathon on the flat!

I slowed marginally but was through 5k in not much over park run type pace but gradually the pack pulled away and I let them as I went to about a 7:15 pace but was feeling good and the miles fairly sped by. Hit 10 miles in 75:xx which I think is my fastest split to that point and was having good thoughts about a PB. It was about this point that I stopped to fill my bottle up, that just kind of broke my stride somewhat, maybe only took 15 seconds but never quite regained that momentum. The 7:xx slipped off my Garmin to be replaced by 8;xx and even with a real hard effort I just couldn't regain the former speed I had and fairly quickly my mileage times drifted off so that halfway was reached in about 1:43.

From then on in it was all a bit of a struggle really, the day warmed up, I slowed down and the thoughts of a PB drifted away. I was at least hopeful of a better time than at Malta the week before, thinking maybe 3:35 was on the cards, but even that proved to be beyond me, although that was at least partially explained by the course reading somewhat longer, almost half a mile in fact. Rather odd when they're both supposed to be certified courses. By mile 23 or so the day was really beginning to warm up and I was out of gas, drifting home in 3:40 odd in the end slightly disappointed, bearing in mind the start I had. But on the other hand that's a real good solid hard tempo run, followed by a long slow fade! But a US PB not to be sneezed at I suppose on reflection, more freebies at the finish and was changed and driving before 11:00! Has to be another PB!

Things I Learnt

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