Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dallas White Rock Marathon - Personal Record & Boston Qualifier!

Earlier today I had the fantastic experience of running the 2009 Dallas White Rock Marathon, and loved it!  My reasons:
  • Beautiful course - especially around White Rock Lake.  I enjoyed the diversity between White Rock's nature and scenery and Dallas' urban landscapes;
  • Great pacing groups!  The 3:20 group helped control my normal impulse to jack-rabbit the critical initial miles.  Though I could not hold onto the group past the two "Dolly Parton" hills at miles 19-20, I appreciated the group tremendously;
  • Supportive Dallas spectators;
  • The topography of the course provided a moderate - but not an overwhelming - challenge that added interest to the course.
During this marathon I managed to simultaneously accomplish five goals:
  1. Personal Record with a 3:22:38 (by 3-minutes);
  2. Boston Re-Qualification;
  3. Marathon Maniacs Qualification;
  4. Surpass 2009 miles during the 2009 calendar year!
  5. Finish the marathon strongly (in the final six miles I passed 56 other marathoners, while only 3 passed me - link)
My pacing (not ideal, as I had a positive second-half split of 3:32):
  • Through 10K @7:37 - perfect - running with 3:20 pacing group;
  • 10K through Half @7:34 - minor mistake - too fast; ran a minute faster than the pacing group;
  • Half through 20.1 Miles @7:52 - Ouch!  "Dolly Parton" hills were tough!  Unfortunately, I lost the pacing group in the distance;
  • 20.1 through 26.2 Miles @7:51 - Kicked 'er in on the downhill stretch - feeling tired but in control.  Great support from Gloria, then as the clock ticked down I realized I'd just P.R.'d!
Factors which I credit for my White Rock P.R.:
  • I was more diligent in following the KenyanWay program incorporating guidance provided by Coach Sean Wade.
  • Losing weight!  Subsequent to my last P.R. at the Chicago Marathon two-months ago I'd lost five-pounds.  Importantly, I'd lost this weight not in muscle, but in fat.  Dr. Jack Daniels book and his VDOT correlations reveal the huge benefit of weight-loss to running performance (see this site for a great spreadsheet which simplifies the numerics).  Losing one pound of surplus weight translates - everything else held constant - to a predicted faster marathon time of one minute.  Adjusting for White Rock's two disadvantages - its hillier course and warmer temperatures - the correlation works as I believe a 3:20 would have otherwise been attainable.  Regardless, for both health and running performance reasons it's wise to lose those surplus pounds!
  • My Newton stability trainer running shoes.