Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blog Roll - Steve Osaduik


Looks like we missed the good weather out here by one day. It is overcast but much warmer and the sun is managing to poke through a bit. It is true that race conditions were not the best yesterday, however compared to the race conditions I have seen at the Victoria Marathon there were many similarities. There was a light rain through out much of the race which didn’t bother me at all. The wind was low but still present, this was the thing I was most concerned about so at least it wasn’t very windy. The temperature was a bit cool but it didn’t really affect me at all till later in the race, about 30 km on, and now that I have read that the temperatures dipped as the race went on I can confirm that I felt quite a bit colder towards the end of the race even though I kept on my hat, sleeves, long smooth toe socks and two layers of running vests.

As I look out the window right now the sun just came out and it is only 9am here right now and there is a flag down by the water and it is whipping furiously so if I had a choice I would still choose to have raced yesterday in the relatively calmer conditions.

Throughout this week I felt that I adjusted quite well. I never felt great on any given day but I didn’t feel really bad either, I felt most days though a bit dizzy and light headed; which I attributed to a bit of jet lag, so I ignored it and told myself that when I get to the line and into it I will feel fine.

The race started at 12:30pm at the Ojiyama Stadium and followed the track for 700 meters before we made a right outside of the stadium and onto the course. I have never started a marathon that started and ended on a track but I liked it. before the race I was able to watch dvd’s of previous years of this race at the athletes lounge and saw that even though we were running a marathon the leaders still clipped around the track at the start in around 64-66 seconds so I made sure that I sat back and took it easy at the start. As we passed the track part and approached the exit for the road section of the race the pace rabbits kept going around the track while spectators and officials yelled out they were going the wrong way. I couldn’t help but laugh.

As we got going out on the course there were plenty of spectators along the road way and I got tucked into a group of Japanese going at a decent clip. I wanted to hit any where from 5:06-5:09 pace for the first half of the race and at this point I was running 5:11 so I chilled and settled in for a few km’s to see how this group would go. There was a bigger group of 15-20 guys just up ahead of us and the pace was not getting any quicker so I slowly made my way up to them and tucked in right at the back. We were running 5:09 pace at this point and I felt really comfortable and was happy to just tuck in. However at around 9km I felt the pace starting to lag again already and I made a decision to go from this group and tuck into another group just up ahead of about 4-5 guys. This would be the way most of the day would go as it turns out.

I noticed that I felt good but it was early and I would have liked to have been able to tuck into a group and relax but as I moved up through the field groups would disperse and people would either drop of and back as I passed them or the odd guy would take off to chase the leaders. I was feeling decent and running smoothly, at 5:10 pace which was a bit slower than I wanted, but I wanted to be patient and people were coming back to me already before the 15km point so I just focused on reeling people in.

As I reached 15km I passed one japanese guy who decided to tuck in right behind me; this was the first guy that I passed to do this. At first it was fine I figured he would hold on for a bit and then fall back. However as I went passing 16, 17, and 18 km and still picking off people who went out either too quick or who were having a bad day this guy that had tucked into me was right on my back and just sucking off me as the wind picked up a bit. I looked behind me a few times trying to give the hint that I was not cool with this anymore; I even ran from one side of the road to the other to see what he would do. He still just sat it and waited clipping the back of my heels a few times. As we hit the half way mark I split through in 1:08 something and as I still felt good I thought I could probably bring in the second half at the same pace or possibly even a bit quicker.

Shortly after the half way point was the 180 degree turn around and I took it easy around the cones as it was wet on the road way and at this point the guy I was breaking all the wind for got a couple steps on me, I don’t think on purpose, and I tucked in behind him and I’ll tell you it made a difference. We went along for a few more kilometers and I was still feeling pretty good but not so good that I wanted to pick up the pace too much. A few more kilometers passed and a few more runners came back to us as I noticed the pace was dropping off too much. So I went around the runner I was following and pushed the pace up and sure enough he tucked right back in behind me, but at this point I didn’t care because sitting back and letting the time slip further and further back was not a good option. As I reached 30km I kept reeling people in which kept me motivated and moving forward and the guy sucking off my pace was slowly falling back from me so all this spurred me forward.

I was still feeling decent but not great and my pace was slowly falling back a bit as the temperature dipped I was feeling colder and colder and my legs were starting to stifen up a bit. My right IT ban was the first to get tight and I noticed it for a few kilometers but it didn’t bug me that much, however it felt like it was forcing me to change my stride just slightly. Even though the temperatures were cool I made sure to grab all my bottles and I was good at getting to all of the 8 bottles I had set out until the sixth one came, I made a grab but it was too slippery to get a good hold of and fell through my fingers to the ground. No big deal though as I was getting in a good amount of fluid at each of my stations I was not worried about missing one out of the eight.

As I reached 35 kilometers I stopped thinking about time as much and started really concentrating on the bodies in front of me coming back slowly. These guys were dying but not as bad as the ones I had been passing throughout the race at this point so they were going to take a bit more of an effort to reel in. My right calf and left hamstring were getting tight and I developed a good cramp in that right calf but at this point it didn’t really bother me that much; I had a mission and that mission was to pick off more guys and move through the rankings and to get to the stadium and the finish as quick as I could.

As I saw 37, 38 and 39 km pass I new one last drink station was coming up, I did grab my bottle and took some of it, then I looked at the sticker on it to confirm that I was at the 40.4 km mark and it was. I took a few more sips and chucked it to the side as I was coming up to another runner struggling just a bit more than me. I was surprised at the way no one to this point really made much of a dig as I passed them. I kept telling my self that this is what you want to do and how you want to feel in a big championship race if I am lucky enough to get to one. After 40 km I started looking for the stadium and I was ready to be done with this race. My legs were cramping and I was tired but I wasn’t dead and whether that is good or not I am still not sure, maybe I could have ran a bit faster at the start but who knows.

I saw a clock at the near the end of the race and it said 2:11 something and I thought for a minute that I was only about 1200 meters from the finish and began to think I may get in at 2:16 or maybe just under, but I was a bit further than 1200 meters away, it is funny how your mind gets screwed up the further you get into a marathon.

There were two more runners up ahead of me I thought that I might be able to reel in before I got to the stadium, but as I got closer and closer to the stadium I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I entered the stadium and still had 600 meters to run. I saw the two ahead of me but it was too much area to make up at this point; I would have to be happy with my position and a run of 2:18:29. As I made my way up to the athletes room I saw on the TV that I had come in at 16th place; this gave me a little bit of a lift, I may not have run as good as I would have liked but i did compete and finished strong and I didn’t drop. The race director seemed happy with my placing as well so it looks like I may be invited back again next year.

Well that’s it I have a long flight home to get to now and hopefully this taxi driver can figure out how to get to where I need to go.