How did I get the name theBrainrunner?

Well it's a long story but I'll keep it breif. On November 3rd, 2008 I was getting ready for work and passed out in the shower. Luckily, my wife was home at the time and ran upstairs to find me and after having trouble reviving me she then called the paramedics. After an ambulance ride, followed by a CT scan, then a helicopter ride to another hospital I ended up having surgery to repair a ruptured Brain Aneurysm. 5 months later I had two more aneurysms clipped. I was thankful to be alive, as 40% of ruptures are fatal, and 66% suffer from some permanent neurological deficit. I use to be a runner in High School, and after I had recovered from the surgeries I wanted to be healthier than I had been at that time so my wife and I started running again. Every time I run I'm thankful to be alive and able to be outside doing what I love. Thus, theBrainrunner was born.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My First 1/4 Marathon

Over my life, I've run several half marathons with my next one coming up in May, but I've never run or heard of a quarter marathon before this race. My wife signed us up for the Sam Costa quarter marathon, as a training run for my upcoming half. We both like the races as they keep us motivated and pumped up. There's also a half marathon at the same time, but we opted for the quarter.

Never having raced this distance before (6.55 miles),  I thought about my goals going into the race and came up with a formula for what I thought I should be able to run. My last half marathon was run in November of last year with a time of 1hr 57min 31sec, and my last official 10k was in June of last year with a time of 59min 15sec. So I did some math on the way to the race, and figured out that I should be able to run an 8:54 pace and finish in just under 58:30.

It was 28 degrees outside and I was planning on wearing a long sleeve tech shirt and shorts, but thankfully I brought some other clothes with me just in case. On the drive, I noticed some flags and trees blowing significantly in the wind and I kept thinking that maybe it will warm up a little before the race start at 9:05am. But the closer it got to start time the more I realized that it was not in the cards. So, as I climbed in the car to change into my running shoes I also grabbed my tights and a second long sleeve tech shirt. With the windchill it felt like it was 19 outside, so I was happy to have the extra layers.

At a little after 9:05am the half marathoners started out on their course, some of which we would share over the 1/4M distance. At about 9:10am we got our instructions, warnings, and the countdown to the start of our race. With 317 runners in my race I started toward the front middle of the pack.

Within the first quarter mile there was a sharp turn and a steep decline where I could see the race leader begin to pull away from his contenders, and he was flying. (The winner ran a 36:28 for the course) The course wound through some neighborhoods and onto a bike path. At the first mile I realized I had gone out much faster than what I thought I should have with a split of 7:57. I thought that I was going to pay for my faster pace later. I tried to taper back my pace a little as I pushed on, but I had put together a really great playlist for this race so it was hard to slow down. Then mile number two came and went with a 7:58 mile. But, I felt good and didn't feel like I was pushing it too hard so I decided to try and keep a steady pace. If I felt like I was pushing too hard, then I would have to slow down. At this time though, I already had about a minute cushion in my pocket, so at the very least I would be able to catch my breath and get back at it.

Making a left hand turn after mile two, I was confronted with a decent hill, climbing over 50 feet in less than a half mile, which may not seem like much, but Indiana is a fairly flat state. I've not begun to work on any hill training as of yet, but I don't think I did terribly. I just shortened my stride and tried to increase my turnover a little. Mile three was finished in 8:28. The hill wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be and I kept pushing on.

Miles 4 through 6 were about the same, and nothing major happened. However, I did get the pleasure of grabbing a cup of Gatorade that was mixed heavy on the powder and light on the water. WOW! That's a shocker to the the taste buds. The splits were 8:11, 8:17, and 7:59 respectively.

The last .55 miles were ahead of me and I knew there was a good hill waiting for me near the finish line so I picked up the pace trying to push it home. I finished my first 1/4 marathon in 52min and 9seconds.

After my wife finished, we went to check the official times and found out that I finished 3rd in my age group and 39th overall. I even won a little plaque for the age group finish. My hope is that I can carry this forward as I prepare for one of my "A" races in May. It was a great day, and as much as my time goal being beaten means to me, it means even more that I can get out there and have fun running.

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