Today we have a guest column from Scott Maulsby, Marathon Man.Scott finished the 2009 A1A half marathon in 1:51:39 which works out to 8:32 a mile. Below is his report on the race and his feelings on running, training and our mortal coil.
Here’s the thing about Scott, he’s a runner — a hardcore runner. He’s got half a dozen marathons under his belt. Generally we shun runners. Oh, sure, he claims to be a triathlete and even finished his first half-Ironman in 2008. But, we all know that tri crap is just to impress the ladies. He’s really a runner.
So, why does he rank front page space on PBBT? Embarrassingly enough, he puts in more cycling miles training for a sprint-length triathlon than many of us pure cyclists put in working up to a century. Heck, he has run 257 miles the first two months of 2009. I’m not sure all the PBBT cyclists have 257 bike miles in the log book yet.
We hate Scott.
A1A Half Marathon in Ft. Lauderdale
A1A Half Marathon Event Report by Scott
Usually my anxiety prior to the gun going off comes from the fear of not finishing. For the most part, that is all I have ever wanted to do.
I started running as a pre-requisite for boxing and didn’t concern myself much with what the clock said at the finish line. Pretty much just focused on getting to the finish line. 2008 was a recovery year. Surgery on my spine/neck kept me sidelined for most of the year. Then it happened. I finished a Half Iron in November and a marathon in December and couldn’t figure out what was next… I was bored. I was slow. Maybe I should take up badminton and forget about running…
2009: The Year of Speed
Instead, 2009 became the year for speed. Well, relatively speaking. I’m still slow, but faster. Decided to ask around. Get advice from experts and become teachable. With the help of a fellow PBRR club member, I trained for time rather than for finishing. There is a BIG difference. When it comes to running, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought VO2 Max was a really big movie theater. I thought ‘tempo run’ depended on what music you listened to. Fartleks only happened when I had too much protein in my diet.
So I followed the plan given to me by Superwoman (aka Janine Peart). It was tough. It was challenging. It brought back the passion I used to have for running before the surgery. There were little ‘mini goals’ throughout the week. It kept me motivated. Tired, sore, sometimes breathless. But motivated. When I beat my 5K personal record in January by more than three minutes I was hooked.
A1A Goal: A New Speed With a Reawakened Body
Then came the A1A. It was time to see if the nine weeks of training would pay off. Time to see if my trust in the taper would be validated.
You wake up at 3:30am in West Palm, drive like a zombie to Fort Lauderdale, park in a parking garage and head to the mass of people. Found a public bathroom just outside the parking garage and avoided the long port-o-potty lines. Las Olas Boulevard was buzzing with people. In fact, there were still people that had not gone home yet from the night before. Couples stumbling around in their ‘clubbing clothes’ and bar keepers cleaning up the streets. Of course there were 3,000+ runners too, but it was kind of fun watching the night owls.
It’s always nice to hear the calming voice of the legendary Dave Ragsdale on the microphone. Just confirms that you are in the right place with the right people. And the start is delayed due to a train. Don’t see that every day. When we finally hear the gun, I become obsessed with my wrist.
Superwoman Says to Target 8:15-8:30 Per Mile
Superwoman says I can handle 8:15-8:30 per mile. I’ve never gone this far at that pace. I’m usually in the high 9s or low 10s… Just counting the minutes for my legs to get heavy and the lungs to get weak. Mile seven and my mindset changes. I’ve got three, two-mile races to go. The wrist tells me I am staying in the 8:15-8:30 pace.
The course is beautiful but who really sees the course when they are running?
As the leaders and super fast people were passing by on their finishing miles, I see familiar faces from the club. I’ve always been amazed at the little ‘bursts’ a runner gets when yelling out a name or saying ‘finish strong Ian’. Then we make the left turn for the half-marathon and watch as the marathoners make the right. There is a small reflection of how happy I am that today is only 13.1. Then a small reflection on when the day might come that I can keep this pace for 26.2. Maybe someday…
Lungs, Check. Legs, Check. Finish Line, Check
With half to go, it finally sinks in that I am going to finish without the heavy legs and failed lungs. Instead of a smile, it’s just calm.
There is a chance to look back on the past nine weeks and to think of the people that guided me toward a new found passion. From Superwoman to Dr. Fox who helped me through minor injuries. It all came together.
Listen to the experts, be teachable, do what you are told, don’t give up. At the very end, Superwoman (who won the overall by the way…) catches up and pushes me through the last 0.2. That was fun! Laughing and running as fast as I could as to not let the ‘teacher’ down. On the outside, you cross the finish line ‘like you’ve been there before’. On the inside nothing but joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Personal Record on Half Marathon — By 13 Minutes
At the end of the day, it’s a new personal record — by more than 13 minutes.
Yep, that’s a mile per minute faster than ever before. Negative splits. And the last 0.2 at 7:21 when the coach was chasing… You take a moment, you thank God, Superwoman, Dr. Fox, your 3rd grade teacher, the volunteers and then you ask, ‘What’s next?’.
What is Next for Scott?
There is an Ironman in Scott’s future. Probably 2010.
In the meantime, we’re trying to talk him into becoming a personal coach. If you’re an elite athlete, you’re out of his league for now. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out or just starting to get serious, you couldn’t find a better metrics-oriented coach to get you motivated and make you better.