Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Gusher Marathon 2012

This was my "A" race so I wanted to run a serious marathon this time which meant I wasn't going to
run with my GoPro cam, make unnecessary stops, or slow down to chat with other runners like I did for the Houston Marathon. My original goal was to break 4:29:15 and beat Oprah's time but I saw that one of my good running buddies had just completed a marathon in 4:23 so I adjusted my goal to run a 4:20. I found this great site that when you input your goal time it will calculate progressive splits for the 26.2 miles. So I wrote the splits on my bib: Miles 1-2(10:19) 3-9(10:05) 10-17(9:55) 18-25(9:42) 26-26.2(as fast as I could!) and would follow it as closely as possible for the race.

The weather initially called for 80% rain and warm temps but on race day it was just about perfect weather conditions starting somewhere in the 50s and actually cooling down as the day went on. The course is a 2 loop course around Lamar University and Downtown Beaumont.

Miles 1 - 2

There is a little bit of a shuffle at the beginning but once we pass the timing mat everyone is off and running. I stuck to my plan of running a 10:19 pace as closely as possible which meant many runners were passing me during these miles. I had to keep telling myself most of them were running the half and I had a LONG way to go so I should just stick with the plan. It was nice running around the Lamar campus and I did end up chatting with a few running friends along the way.

Miles 3 - 13.1

These were all strong miles I kept having to tell myself to slow down because I was going faster than my prescribed goal pace but I figured it would be time in the bank for later if I ever slowed down. There aren't many spectators out in the downtown area because they close if off to traffic. When I did see some people especially at the water stops I would interact with them by saying thank you, giving them high fives and call for some cheering. Around mile 12 I was running next to a half marathoner and she looked over at the other side of the road where some marathoners had already started their second loop and she said to me without looking at my bib "Poor saps they have to do this whole thing again!" I told her I know I'm one of them! She smiled and I helped motivate her to the finish line. I ended up crossing 13.1 miles in 2:11:23.

Miles 13.2 - 18

After seeing all the half marathoners finish it gave me some energy and I was running fast through the Lamar campus. Because this was a 2 loop course I could see the half marathoners on their last miles on the other side of the road and I would cheer them on telling them "one more turn to go" "you got this" "less than mile to go." Heading back onto MLK parkway my feet were hurting a bit but I kept focusing on my pace and because my plan called for progressive splits I was passing marathoners one by one which of course gives you a boost with each runner passed. I saw one of my running friends around mile 18 and he was cramping up and struggling. I offered him my GU and ran with him for a bit trying to motivate him to keep pace with me but he soon fell off. I wished him luck and continued my journey.

Miles 19 - 22

These miles were tough only about 100 runners were in the marathon so we were all spread a good distance apart from one another and it was almost like you were running alone in an abandoned city. Good thing I had my music on me because whenever it got tough or I felt my pace slowing I would just focus on the beat of the music and it would get my pace going. 

23 - 24
Back on MLK parkway and the little "hills" that it provided really gave my body a beating. I saw another runner struggling so I yelled at him "C'mon we got this!" and he sped up to a good pace which actually motivated me to run and try to keep up. Mile 24 was my worst mile of the marathon I had to walk for a bit as my left shin started cramping up on me. I was so close and I knew if I kept on running I could get my 4:20 goal so I tried my best to shake it off and eventually powered through and shook off the cramp. 

Miles 25 - 26

Again tough miles getting back into the Lamar campus I was just focusing on running forward with all my energy and not giving up like I did last year where I walked most of the last 2 miles and it cost me a PR. I ended up seeing my brother on the course and he was about 4 minutes ahead of me but it gave me the motivation to power through the pain.

26 - 26.2

I make the last turn and see some friends cheering me on and I'm hurting bad but this lifts my spirits and I start hyperventilating a bit and start getting emotional but shake it off so I can finish strong. I have the last long stretch to go and people at the end are cheering for me. I give it my all and run as fast as I can towards the finish line and notice a big group of my friends are at the end really cheering me on and as I cross the finish line it was just about the best feeling in the world. Usually at the end of my races no one is waiting on me but this one I was surrounded by friends congratulating me and giving me hugs. It was a bit overwhelming but in a good way. Definitely made for one of the best moments of all my 7 marathons. 

So I had beaten Oprah and followed my plan for the most part and gotten a new PR by 17+ minutes Official time was 4:21:50 I ran the first half in  2:11:23 and the second half in 2:10:26. 

Splits: 10:03, 9:58, 9:58, 9:59, 9:48, 10:05, 9:47, 9:50, 9:58, 10:20, 9:33, 9:34, 9:48, 9:17, 9:38, 9:42, 9:45, 9:56, 9:57, 9:32, 9:30, 9:35, 9:53, 10:58, 9:09, 9:53, 10:22(0.63)

Whats next? The Dallas RnR half marathon on March 25 where I'm pacing my friend for her first half. Should be a good time :)


  1. You looked strong finishing!! Great job!!!

  2. Thanks Sarah!!! Glad yall were there to cheer me at the end it really helped!

  3. I'm not sure how I ended up on this page to read this, but I'm so glad I did! It was inspiring and helpful to get a walkthrough of a marathon when I'm working up to going for one myself. Thank you!

  4. Glad you enjoyed it JillyJelly! Definitely look into that MARCO marathon calculator it seriously was the reason for my successful marathon. Good luck on your training and on your future marathon.

  5. Great post! Thanks for sharing your marathon story.
    Awesome sign: "Beat Oprah: without pooping" LOL

  6. Great Job Jeremy. Seriously, you are an inspiration, and an awesome person. I am glad to say I have met you.

  7. Great Job Jeremy. Seriously, you are an inspiration, and an awesome person. I am glad to say I met you.

  8. Just saw this on FB! You are inspiration and have come so far! Keep it up and keep inspiring!

  9. Funny thing...just saw this on the GTS Facebook page and thought you looked familiar. I remember watching your GoPro video of the Houston Marathon just a couple weeks ago as I was preparing for my second Half Marathon in Galveston. Great video and great story, thanks for sharing! Good luck in the RnR Dallas!

  10. Thanks April! Will you be running the Gusher Marathon this weekend?