Tobacco Road Marathon - RunMarathon

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Cary, North Carolina
United States
FS Series
48F / 9C
Total Time = 4h 09m 51s
Overall Rank = 529/1052
Age Group = 30-35
Age Group Rank = 51/71
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3am and had waffles and a bagel before heading out to my parents. We left their place just after 4 so there would be plenty of time to make it to the race. Well, we made it to the parking area with plenty of time. Got in line for the shuttle bus and it moved pretty quick. Everybody was smiling and talking and ready to start this thing. Shortly after beginning our journey to the race site, the bus stops??? It's dark, there wasn't a street sign and there were cones EVERYWHERE. We just rolled our eyes as he backed up 20' and made the turn. Didn't think anything else of it until he stopped at the next intersection and turned the light on to look at a map... and then the next intersection... and the one after that. Finally, he just stops. No intersection in sight but he stops. That's when everybody gets really quiet and starts looking around... it this guy serious? He's got ONE job to do this morning: drive some runners 6 freakin miles... and he's failing miserably! He actually backed up a 55 passenger bus nearly a quarter mile while other cars are going around us on the left. DEAD SILENCE on the bus! Eventually we did make it to the race site in time and met up with the rest of the tri-warriors.
Event warmup:

Didn't really warm up or have any intention of doing so. I stretched a little but figured the first few miles would be my warmup. The garmin was freakin out because there were too many heart rate monitors in range. I've always used a race belt but opted to pin the race number on this time. I found it less annoying this way. Ate a pack of chmops and went to the bathroom one more time since the bus situation (in addition to the retarded bus driver, there simply wasn't enough of them and people were still coming in after 7am) caused a 15min delay on the race starts. When they were ready for us to start heading to the starting line, I found my 4:15 pace group and was ready to run.
  • 4h 09m 51s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 32s  min/mile

I ran the first 5 miles or so bouncing between the pace group, Pete, and Maria. The first couple miles was tough because it was so crowded and there were too many people doing that stupid "run 3min and then walk" crap. I had to use the bathroom so ran a little faster so I could get back to the pace group when I finished. I didn't realize there was only going to be ONE bathroom every 3-4 miles. It took longer than expected because there was a line and my hands were too cold and hard to move with any dexterity. I didn't sprint to get back to where I was but I did run alot faster than I would've otherwise. Found the pace group and then Pete 2 miles later. Ran with him until about mile 20. I had my fuel belt with water and gu gels. I also grabbed water and gu at several of the aid stations. I never felt hungry or thirsty so felt I handled the nutrition pretty well. I felt some blisters forming about halfway through. There was some knee pain around mile 19 but only lasted 20minutes or so. I never hit the wall at mile 20 everybody talks about. Having said that, the last miles went by so slow. From mile 24 to the end was the hardest 2 miles I have ever ran. When I felt like I had ran 10minutes, I looked at the garmin and it said it had only been 1min and a half. It was nice there was more support and spectators on the last couple miles... we really need them. Every muscle in my body hurt but I had planned to pick up the pace a little for those last 2 miles. When I got to those miles, I just tried desperately to keep the pace I was at. So much pain... but I was in good company. Everybody hurt. There were so many people barely shuffling their feet or walking those last miles. As much as I was hurting, I passed quite a few people coming to the finsish. Until today, I've always found it hard to believe that people can run so far only to walk the last mile. Now, I UNDERSTAND. I never walked and I kept my pace under 10min/mile the whole way (that statement makes me incredibly proud to say) but there are no words to describe what those last 2 miles were like. Then, you see the finish line and your cheering section and they call your name... and the pain goes away. It's the greatest feeling in the world. Ran HARD the last 50yards down the chute and passed one more person before finishing :)

Post race
Warm down:

Walked back up the hill where my parents and Trish were. Waited to cheer for Maria and Pete as they came across the finish line a few minutes later. I stood still for a while because it just hurt to much to do anything else. Took my shoes off and when I could, I tried to sit down very, very slowly and it felt like everything was cramping up at once. Ate a sandwich from home and had my recovery drink. Made it back down the hill and got a massage. It hurt but felt so good just to be able to lay flat for 10mins.

We were ready to head back only to find out there was nearly a mile walk to the bus stop. Not a big deal unless you just ran a freakin marathon! Then we got to wait in line. Hungry, thirsty and in so much pain, we waited in line. The 15 busses went down to 8 for after the race. It made no sense and pissed EVERYBODY off. It was worse for others but we still waited about an hour to get on the bus. At least they knew where they were going this time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't know. I felt I was well prepared and well rested for this race. I know running faster to make up time for stopping at the portajohn is discouraged but I really don't think it affected my time more than a few minutes at most.

Event comments:

I didn't think there was enough bathrooms on the course and the bus situation was unforgivable. But all in all, the race volunteers were great, the course was well marked and there were plenty of aid stations with water/gatorade/gu. I can't wait to do it again (although I'll probably stay at the host hotel which has their own shuttle)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-01-24 12:00 AM
04:09:51 | 26.2 miles | 09m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 51/71
Overall: 529/1052
Performance: Good
1 09:40 2 09:21 3 09:39 4 09:21 5 09:37 6 08:52 7 08:49 8 09:26 9 08:56 10 08:50 11 08:54 12 09:29 13 09:50 14 09:06 15 09:07 16 08:52 17 09:17 18 09:16 19 09:29 20 09:20 21 09:55 22 09:35 23 09:41 24 09:33 25 09:24 26 09:50 0.31 (09:31)
Course: ~3 miles of road before going 20miles on the Tobacco Trail followed by 3miles back on the road to finish
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %2.5
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4