Monday, December 10, 2012

Honolulu Marathon

Whooee!  70 marathons in 50 states!  It’s done.  It’s at once a relief and a cause for celebration.  I get a little choked up thinking about it.  I’m writing this the afternoon of the marathon, on a plane to Atlanta, where a major hematology conference is in full swing, and some people there will make a small deal of it because 69 of those marathons came after my cancer diagnosis.  As I write, though, I’m tired and exhilarated.  Hoist a pint for me.

My Girls:

They both finished the full marathon.  This was their first full marathon in two or three years, and I am so impressed.  I went back to get them for their last two miles or so, and was quite surprised at how well they were charging up Diamond Head Road after already running 24 miles.

My Race:

A little over a week ago I caught some kind of respiratory bug, with a slight fever and plenty of coughing.  “Productive.”  I’ve been to the doctor for a Z-Pak, to help reduce the chance of a secondary infection.  The fever is gone, and I feel well enough, but the cough is still there.  As a result I hadn’t trained in any form, no runs, since 8 days prior to the race.  That’s probably not a good way to head into a marathon.

Beyond that, the Honolulu Marathon is very warm.  At this time of year the forecast seems to be a low of 71, high of 82, with a chance of showers, every day.  Today was no exception, although the wind can vary and we did have a nice stiff, cooling, wind that fought us going out but gave us a boost heading back.

According to my watch I finished in about 6:06:42, which is 37 minutes longer than I had hoped to need.  Of course it doesn't matter - this race is open for as long as the slowest runner is out there, and I finished ahead of thousands, 96th of 283 in my age group.  I should be happy with that time, and I am.  My speed today was limited by my body temp, which I estimated by how flushed my cheeks felt.  After Mile 15, I only ran when there was shade or when the blistering sun slipped behind a cloud.

Near the end I saw a little old Japanese man going by and made a comment to him.  He responded in Japanese, so nothing was communicated.  However, he then drew the figure 8 and then the figure 6 in the palm of his hand.  He was 86 years old and was passing me!  Big smiles all around and off he went, uphill besides.  He’s my hero.

I saw quite a few Team in Training (TNT) runners and thanked them all for running to save my life.

Whining: None, really.  Nothing hurt.  I did have a rightward lean as I ran, a failure of some sort in core strength, I suppose, but it actually got better toward the end.  No cramps this time - I wore my water belt and was very well hydrated.  I took five gels and maybe seven or eight salt tablets.

Honolulu Marathon:

It’s BIG, 24,295 runners.  Someone announced that it’s the second biggest marathon in the country, although I think both NYC and Chicago are bigger, and maybe Boston.  In my opinion, this race was at its limit, too, because I did have some difficulty maintaining my pace at times in the first ten or eleven miles.  Marathoning was a contact sport today, with some inadvertent light bumping, by me and others, just to get past groups of people.

I liked the marathon.  If I lived in Honolulu I’d probably run it every year.  However, the weather there is better for sunbathing and surfing than for an intense endurance sport - I heard several sirens and saw the ambulances racing by.  Because of the heat, the race started with fireworks at 5:00 am, well before any glimmer of sun, but visibility was no problem as the city is well lighted at night. All in all they did things right, and what a LOT of volunteers!

Water was ice cold, and in fact you could get water with ice in it.  Cups were large enough for the extra water that everyone needed.  Sponges were plentiful.  The finish area was well organized, with food still available after almost nine hours.

Splits: 12:33, 13:17, 24:22 (2 mi), 25:52 (2 mi), 12:16, 16:15, 13:56,, 25:27 (2 mi), 26:34 (2 mi), 10:47, 13:39, 15:40, 14:04, 32:45 (2 mi), 15:22, 16:18, 30:41 (2 mi), 15:26, 28:49 (2 mi), 2:44, total 6:06:48.

Dedication: I dedicated this race to my friend Margaret, who is currently in recovery from  her autologous stem cell transplant, just a few days after receiving her stem cells back.  These are the down days - please offer a prayer for Margaret at Mayo Clinic.

1 comment:

:) said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog, both for the race reviews and for the local running too (I'm from Minneapolis).
CONGRATULATIONS on your 50th state. I hope you'll keep running and writing!