Sunday, December 16, 2012

Race day memories from the Honolulu Marathon 2012...

I can't believe it was exactly a week ago that I ran this year's Honolulu Marathon and I've finally got my official photos to relive the race day memories.

Running my first ever Honolulu Marathon
Running Honolulu Marathon 2012
Waking up at 1 am to eat, wake up and shower, our running team gathered in the hotel lobby at 3:15 am for the start of a very long day.

T2: Team to End AIDS runners before the Honolulu Marathon
T2 Team to End AIDS Honolulu Marathon runners 2012
We walked to the Starting Line and everything kicked off with fireworks at 5 am.

Honolulu Marathon Start Line
Honolulu Marathon start 2012
Honolulu Marathon start line fireworks
The firework display was pretty spectacular, but when everyone was turning around, taking photos and gawking at them in the sky they slowed the rest of us down.

Starting in the morning dark
Running Honolulu Marathon 2012
Looking back on the race, I'd do a few things differently like take my scheduled walk breaks more frequently, which I didn't this time because of the sheer cluster of people at the start and also the inability to do so when running up Diamond Head in the dark.

Time for a walk break
walk break Honolulu Marathon 2012
I usually train with a water bottle, but for race day I use a disposable bottle to start the race and skip the first few water stops, then bin it later to free myself up as the race progresses.
Honolulu Christmas Lights
For Honolulu the minute I threw my water bottle away I regretted it, as it was so muggy and then I didn't see a water stop for miles (or at least that's how it felt).

Another regret on the day was that I didn't get a chance to take the Hawaiian scenery in as much as I'd have liked, which was the whole point of running the Honolulu Marathon.
The first two hours was in the dark, which was fun to see the fireworks and Christmas lights of Honolulu, but when my knee started to hurt my focus shifted onto just finishing the race.
The annoying thing is that my knee had been getting much better of late and my 20 and 23 mile training runs had passed without any major incidents.
Running Honolulu Marathon 2012
The only thing I can think is that the air pressure on the flight may have affected it somehow, or maybe it's just one of those things. But sometimes you have a good race, other days you have a bad one.

Running down Diamond Head
I thought those hills for the San Francisco Marathon this year was hard, but Diamond Head certainly aggravated my knee on the way up and wasn't a pleasant thing to face at miles 24 and 25.

Feeling the pain in my knee
I think with the look on my face this photo really sums up how much I was hurting in the latter stages of the race.
But I kept checking my watch and my pace was looking OK for what I needed to finish sub four hours (in fact my average pace was 8:58).
The last 1.2 miles seemed to stretch on forever to that finish, but finally I crossed that line in Kapiolani Park in 3:55:06 and achieved my goal, and my second fastest marathon time ever.

Crossing the Finish Line
Overall I was 1,162th out of 24, 412 participants and the 965th fastest of 12,532 men. I'm quite proud and pleased with that result (and at least I remembered my protective band-aids, so I didn't have bleeding nipples like the man blocking all my Finish Line photos).

My official race time 3:55:06
After the race it was time to pick up my finishers medal and t-shirt for the 40th Honolulu Marathon and start to celebrate and relax.

Infinity pool at the Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu
After a post-race drink with my teammates, I recuperated in the gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Sheraton Waikiki, plus ventured into the salty ocean to reinvigorate my worn out leg muscles.

Pool at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Maui 
The next day after a much deserved sleep, it was off to Maui for further rest and relaxation. It was my first time in Hawaii, so I think you'll agree I managed to fit quite a bit in for my inaugural visit.

A week later my knee is still sore, so I'm looking forward to a nice epsom salt bath later, plus a deep pressure massage this week to have get me race ready again.

Let the countdown to my 3rd L.A. and 5th Marathon begin...

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