2012 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Recap

As the NY Marathon was cancelled this year and I didn’t want to waste all that training plus I was fund-raising for Team World Vision, I decided to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 3, 2012. The weather was around 35 degrees Fahrenheit and it was fairly crowded at the start line but as the race progressed, it really thinned out. It was definitely a weird race as they didn’t block all traffic and there were quite a few intersections where there were cops stopping traffic to let the runners through. I remember at one point, a lady was using her phone and didn’t see the cop and nearly hit him and the cop screamed, “GET OFF YOUR PHONE!”

I started with the 3:40:00 pace group but they started out a lot faster than I was planning on starting so I fell back to the 3:45:00 pace group who actually started out rather quick too. I decided to spend the first few miles just getting comfortable and finding a pace that I was comfortable with. Around mile 5 I caught up with the 3:45:00 group and then decided to keep going at a 8:15/mile clip or so. I caught up to the 3:40:00 pace group around mile 12 and ran with them through 15 before I decided to try to go faster. I was keeping a good 8:10-8:15/mile pace before mile 19 where I must have done the tangents wrong since I was 0.15 miles over and this resulted in the 3:40:00 pace group passing me. I tried to keep up but by mile 21, I hit a mini-wall and for the rest of the race I was really struggling. It didn’t really help that it started hailing/sleeting at mile 23 and started to drizzle/rain at mile 25.

At mile 25, I was in pure zombie-mode just trying to get to the finish line as it was getting cold due to the rain soaking my dri-fit running clothes. I picked up the pace but my calf muscles kept cramping up every few steps which became really frustrating. Mentally I was drained but I was trying to fight through the fatigue to just finish the race. I can definitely understand how Marathon’s can be a mental toughness game. For me, since mile 21 I was exhausted and remembering Chicago last year, around mile 16 I just basically quit, however this year, after 7 months of training I wouldn’t have any of that. I definitely did slow down after mile 21 and I took longer to restart running after each water station but overall, my pace slowed 20-30 seconds only which I was pretty happy with.

I really tried to shoot for under 3:40:00 but just couldn’t, however I was able to finish at 3:40:xx which was awesome. It was a PR of 25 minutes roughly and came out to be about a 8:25/mile which was about the pace of my training runs during the summer. Crossing that Finish Line never felt so good, haha.

Franklin Kuok Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Results

Behold! My 2011 Chicago Marathon Times!

So after over a year of waiting, I was able to finally get my 2011 Chicago Marathon times from my Garmin watch. All it took was me getting the brilliant idea of e-mailing Garmin the actual file and asking them to fix the file. Last year I just simply asked a question as to why the file wasn’t uploading correctly but never actually gave them the file.

Here were my individual mile splits:

Franklin Kuok 2011 Chicago Marathon Split Times

I can now definitely see why I hit the wall after Mile 16. I ran miles 7-11 way too fast, especially Mile 11. I also exerted a lot of energy at the beginning since I started in the Open Corral and was stuck with the 10:00/mile pace group. It’s really interesting to see actual individual mile times and I remember at Mile 21, right around Chinatown I was just drained. Miles 21-25 overall were not pleasant, I remember those being quite painful and exhausting. I’m surprised that I had any energy left at the end to finish the last half mile at an 8:00/mile.

3rd Chicago Marathon Finished!

10/10/10, 10/9/11, 10/7/12 – all done!

What a great race! I love this Marathon! Today’s weather was the best in the past 3 years (~35 F at the start, finished around ~52 F). However, I think a lot of my friends were not ready for it as most of us by halfway had some muscle tightness given that it was such a warm summer and no one was expecting this kind of cold weather. It was actually cold throughout most of the race and I’m glad I wore a long-sleeve plus a t-shirt.

I went to a World Vision dinner the other night and was totally inspired and I’m going to see if I can raise a few hundred dollars for the NY Marathon I’m running in November. For those that don’t know, World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that helps children & families in need. So definitely consider Sponsoring a Child to make a permanent difference in their life!

Week 10 – Tempos, Injuries, Heart Rate Monitor, Ramping Up

Week 1-9: 181.97 miles – 25:35:21 (8:26/mile)
Week 10: 31.78 miles – 4:30:08 (8:30/mile) | Last run: 14.47 miles – 1:56:09 (8:02/mile) @ Avg. HR = 162

It has been both an amazing and frustrating marathon training season the past 10 weeks + the 10 pre-training weeks. On the one hand, I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since I picked up running consistently again in my mid-20’s. On the other hand, I’ve been plagued with various running injuries that just won’t seem to go away. Shortly after my first entry, I had slight bout of tendonitis which went away after about 10 days of rest. However then I got hit with bursitis in my left foot and a potential knee injury, either way, I’m hoping that in the next few weeks everything holds up okay since I’m ramping up to averaging 32 miles a week for the next 5 weeks before tapering begins.

I bought the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor strap a few weeks ago and have been using it for all my runs and it’s pretty cool to use. I read Peter Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning book while I was in Iceland a few weeks ago and I’ve been following the heart rate table as best as I can for my 4 runs: Recovery, Aerobic, Tempo, Long Run. It’s definitely interesting to see how my heart responds to the different temperatures and paces that I run at. I must admit that running 11 minute miles on Recovery runs when I’m used to running 7 to 8 minute miles on normal runs isn’t pleasant but I’m standing by this Heart Rate Monitor training regimen.

Overall, while it has definitely been a frustrating season with these nagging injuries, I must admit I haven’t enjoyed running more than I am enjoying it now. I love running in the early morning and the city of Chicago is just an amazing city to run in. I’m also starting to get into biking and I’m definitely thinking about doing a triathlon in the near future. I think this winter I’m going to start swimming and maybe do my first tri sometime next year.

First Training Entry – Week 1 – 10 miler along the lakefront

Base Miles (10 weeks): 135.25 miles – 18:47:19 (8:20/mile)
Week 1: 23.56 miles – 3:08:56 (8:00/mile) | Last run: 10.02 miles – 1:21:57 (8:10/mile)

I’ve been training for the past 2.5 months and have gotten in about 135 base miles before week 1 of an 18 week training program that mixes Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Marathon training program with World Vision’s training program. Today was the last day of Week 1’s training and I ran with Team World Vision on a 10-mile long run. The weather was amazing and everyone was in high spirits since we finally got some reprieve from the scorching Midwest heat that we’ve been experiencing for several weeks now.

Having been training at about a 7:45 to 8:15/mile pace for my standard runs prior to my long-run I figured I would do around an 8:30 to 8:45/mile pace. That wasn’t the case, at all. In fact, the weather was perfect, 73 degrees or so with a cool lake breeze and I felt really good throughout the entire run. I ended up doing 10 miles at an average pace of 8:10/mile going at what I thought was a pretty easy pace (60-70%). It was a solid run for everyone and there was a great sense of running camaraderie.

The route was nice too, since having just moved to Chicago just a little over 2 months ago, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out too many routes yet. We ran to Navy Pier and then looped back and went 3 miles west of Castaways to the “Totem Pole” and back. It was pretty breezy and the waves were making some big splashes along the path which was fun and amusing.

Days like this remind me why I run and go through a pretty regimented training program in the summer to get ready for a Marathon. I love how you can run and explore different parts of Chicago and when the weather is nice, it just makes everything better! 17 More Weeks to go!

I'm in New York Marathon 2012

Chicago Summer Running