Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week of 5-18-2009, Stillwater Marathon race report

Most of these days were previously mentioned, but whatever:
Saturday:6, wanted to make sure I wasn't cramped after 2 days of car travel, ran around 6:30s
Sunday:35, marathon in the morning, 3 mile cooldown @ 9/mile when I got home, another nearly 6 mile run later at 9 pm just to ensure that I'm not going to cramp and will be good to start reupping mileage tomorrow
Total: 60 miles, though over 58% of the week's mileage was in one day. hah...

Stillwater Marathon Report:
The important stuff: Time: 2:52:55, Place: 3rd/533.
The time may be debatable. Officially it says 2:53:00 right now, but the clock, my watch, and the announcer all said 2:52:55 when I finished, so who knows why it says 2:53:00 online...

I thought I had a sub 2:50 right now and I'm still pretty sure I do, but in hindsight, this was not exactly a PR course, so I'm actually surprised to have beaten my Boston time now that I'm finished. For those of you familiar with the Druid Hills, I'd liken this to a marathon version of Dreaded Druid Hills 1ok; there were some flat sections, but very large portions of the course contained monstrously terrible hills. I counted at least 6 hills that were equal or worse than Heartbreak Hill and a number of other smaller ones that still took their toll. I split 1:25:0x for the first half, but my quads hurt around mile 10 already since the first 10 miles contained a large majority of the terrible uphill sections. The 2nd half could've been relatively fast (other than 2 absolutely atrocious uphills and a few other fairly bad ones), but the first half was so terrible that the 2nd half was more about survival and I ended up doing the second half somewhere around 1:27:50, not the negative split I had envisioned being possible. I managed to run on pace for a 2:50 until around 18 or 19 and it's a good thing that the biggest downhills were in the last quarter because I was just focusing on surviving as best as I could coasting through the last 4 or 5 miles. How did this happen? Well, my legs weren't really a big problem in the 2nd half. I made sure to have elecrolytes pre-race and 1 and 2 hours in, but my energy just got sapped. I took one gel a few minutes before the start and another at 5, but after that, all I had was gatorade. I had planned on one at 5, 10, energy beans at 15, and another gel at 20, but my stomach didn't feel good and any consumption just sounded terrible, so I kept putting off taking any sustenance until "after the next water station", despite my knowledge that doing so was slowly going to kill me. The fact that I was able to run another 9 miles reasonably well later in the day is a testament to how good my legs feel at this point and really shows the importance of taking gels incredibly consistently. I definitely could've gotten more out of my legs if I had more energy, but the lack of gels limited my energy and that directly slowed my race. I have vowed numerous times not to let this happen, but it has happened again. I'm not totally sure if I could've broken 2:50 if I had taken my other 2 gels and the beans, but it sure would've gotten me close. As far as place goes, I was in 4th for quite awhile, though I didn't know this until the half since there were 20-milers, half-marathoners, and 12-kers scattered throughout the course and i wasn't always sure who was who. When someone said I was in 4th around the half, I made up my mind that I absolutely needed to finish on the podium. I held 4th for awhile and bided my time and finally caught 3rd place when he succumbed to a walk in the last monster uphill at mile 19. Unfortunately, someone blew by me at around 22, bumping me back to 4th and another guy took me at 23. Fortunately, the first guy that passed me was apparently just surging as he passed me and he soon dropped back again and I retook him. The guy that passed me at 23 somehow went on to pass everyone else ahead of me and took the win (he ran extremely conservatively and had a ton left in the tank), but I was able to take the guy that had been in 2nd when I was in 3rd) and finally jumped back to 3rd place with a mile to go. I finally was able to run a decent mile for the last mile (as opposed to a bunch of 6:50s to 7s for a handful of miles there), going from 25.2 to 26.2 in the low to mid 6's. I crossed in 2:52:55 and was pretty happy to have a PR and a 3rd place finish after being fairly certain by mile 10 that a PR wasn't going to happen on this ridiculous of a course. Overall, I'd give this a B+. The nutrition stupidity undoubtedly cost me a couple minutes, but I still finished 3rd and missed the win by less than 2 1/2 minutes (winner was 2:50:32). Undoubtedly, a ton of fast guys will try to cherry pick this thing next year and I'm sure a bunch of them will be surprised at the insane hilliness, but I'm also sure that the course record ought to drop with bigger fields and better competition.

No comments:

Post a Comment