Sunday, September 23, 2007

It just doesn't get any easier


It's over! The results are here.

3:25:45 which is an acceptable result considering my training (more later on the lack thereof)

5/14 in 50-59 age group and out of the medals but I won a box of chocolates and got a free hat for BQ'ing (again)

And it doesn't get any easier after 18 marathons and you'd think it might (more thoughts on this later too ;-)

Now for a few gory details before I keel over from a lack of beer and ice-cream.
Basic observations:
  1. Crazy zig-zagging figure 8'ish or maybe crazy 8 layout with lots of loops and turns where you'd run with the 5 or 10kers and then against traffic as the 1/2 marathoners came the other way. There was also a lot of overtaking of the 10k and 1/2 runners who had earlier cutoff's than we did. We got a good tour of the city if you happened to be looking around but my eyes were mostly on the pavement and runners in front of me.
  2. Heartrate, the reddish line shown as a % of max, was up there in the 80-90% range as I'd expect for this kind of effort but I paid little or no attention to it during the run. I ran by effort but more of a "what kind of effort can I sustain and make it to the finish line without crashing and burning (ie walking)
  3. Hills (green line)! Did I mention that any idiot that runs a marathon with hills is an .... idiot! Yes, me! Miles 20.5 to 24.5 were not fun to say the least. Why is it there always seems to be more uphill than downhill on a loop course?
We interrupt this blogcast for a delicious ice-cream break. Mmmm!!

The race or at least what bits stick out for me now:
  • Good starting weather conditions with fog and mist for 1st hour and then bright direct sun for the remainder bringing the temps from about 15C up to about 22C. Despite carrying a bottle and exchanging it along the route as well as drinking at most water stops (every 2 miles) I still got dehydrated
  • No warmup besides some stretching while standing in the bathroom line minutes before the start. The plan/idea was to do a cutdown warmup 1st 6 miles starting at 8:00 pace and working down to about 7:30 but this was quickly out the window with the 1st 2 miles in 7:30 each. Duhh!
  • With the 'warmup' behind me I settled in with a local Saint John runner, Vince who was going for about the same pace and times as me. We then proceeded to rattle off a bunch of 7:30's up until mile 10 when I backed off and told him to go ahead. He said, "Sure, see you later around mile 21 where you usually pass me" which turned out to be very prophetic.
  • For the next several miles I managed somewhere between 7:44 and 8:10 pace but it was really starting to seem like alot more work. I hooked up with a runner from PEI for a few miles but no luck today in finding any women to run with although I was passed by the #2 and was unable to respond. She couldn't have heard me anyway with the headphones plugged in.
  • Around mile 19-20 it really started to get difficult and I was reduced to simply putting one foot in front of the other and refusing to allow the body to overrule the mind and begin walking. My focus was on keeping the arms moving and counting exhales as the mile markers seemed to come slower and slower. And they did with the hilly section from mile 21-24 with splits of 813, 823 and 839 despite slowly increasing average heartrate.
  • Around mile 23 I rejoined with Vince as he expected and we struggled along together for another 1/2 mile before I completed the predicted pass as he faded a bit.
  • Mile 25 was a downhill 8:01 followed by a rolling struggle of 8:20 for mile 26. The final 0.2 was all downhill and the Garmin tells me it was sub-7 pace but that seems hard to believe.
  • The finish is always so sweet. Can I really stop now? And I don't think I could run another step.
After the finish, I didn't feel that great and started plying water and gatorade despite feeling a bit queasy. On the advice of one of the volunteers, "You look a little pale, Mike", I then made my way to the medical tent so I could at least sit down for a minute. It was so nice to sit down! After a bottle of H2O and sports drink I was checked over by the doctor and told that I could move on when I felt ready. Feeling a bit better I then attacked the food table with vigor, starting first with a very strong cup of Tim Horton's coffee and followed by basically everything on the menu.

Well that's all for now. I'm pleased with the result considering my checkered training over the summer. My mileage was good but there was a lack of much structured speed or marathon paced work. It might be time to take a bit of a break from all the training but that will have to wait until after MDI. It's only in 3 weeks but I can't wait to get on this beautiful course with my best running buddies and I'm sure my legs and feet (blisters) will heal by then ;-)

Have a great week all!


UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

Good job Mike!

I don't think it was lack of training, but lack of latching on to a female runner...

MDI should be a breeze after this one. Take it easy, enjoy the beer and ice cream, rest up, and we'll see you at MDI very soon!

Hey, you can't hit a home run at every at-bat.

DawnB said...

You did good Mike!! congratulations I never thought there were any doubts about you BQing :)

Arcane said...

Congratulations on the finish of what appears to have been a tough race.

Quinto Sol said...

Nice training 'thon...

Thomas said...

Most people couldn't even dream of running a BQ just like that. I hope you'll recover quickly.

So, it's true that it doesn't get any easier? Damn. That's not what I wanted to hear.

Jamie Anderson said...

Big congrats Mike! Nicely done! Very impressive performance, and done with that hilly buttkicker of a 20-miler we did just one week before your marathon. Excellent. Rest up and see you in a few weeks.

Andrew said...

Great job Mike! The lack of women really made it difficult. Odd how those final miles become a super chore.

See you in three weeks if not before!

Michael Jay Dotson said...

Fantastic job!!...and all with no specific speedwork no less. I can't believe that you're doing another one in 3 weeks. When I read your report I thought I was reading about MDI. It was only toward the end that I realized that this was only your warmup race.

Recover well.

Grellan said...

Very impressive training run for MDI. Is there any specific reason, other than madness, for running the two so close together.

I so look forward to the "all you can eat" part at the finish.

Mike said...

Wonderful BQ Mike. I was glad to read about this one. Congratulations.