Scotiabank Calgary Marathon - RunMarathon

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Calgary, Alberta
12C / 54F
Total Time = 4h 17m 30s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This RR is going to be a gripe session, for the most part. It will be full of excuses and justifications but rest assured I know the fault lies with me and my goal was well within my reach.

My pre-race routine was running 95.6k a week for the past 23 weeks. It was running a 10k and HM in crappy blizzard drifting snow conditions. It was reading advanced Marat honing and following the 55-70 mile a week plan and hitting every workout, except for 2 due to illness. It was running a 10 mile tempo run in 1:19 flat, given me a Mcmillan prediction of a 3:41. It was marathon pace runs, long runs, tempo runs and 5k interval runs. It was a Marathon Pace run of 29k done a month ago at a 5:36 pace, 26k at 5:32 pace. It was a 50k done in February in 5:52 a PB by 26 minutes (and this was just a long run, not done at race pace). It was prioritizing completing the training to put myself in the best position to do a sub 4 hour marathon and redeem myself from my 4:18 last year. It was early mornings and late night runs. It was sacrificing time with my family.

It was a nice 2 week taper, until last weekend where I spent 20 hours building a retaining wall and putting together ikea furniture which left me strangely spent for the whole of last week. It was weeks and weeks and weeks of less than 7 hour sleep per night. It was dinner the night before, fish veg and rice. It was less than 6 hours sleep the night before..... . It was getting up at 5:00 a.m. to get eat some more rice, have some tea, get to the MACS in time to get a Gatorade. (It was staring at the 2 types of Gatorade and wondering, WONDERING, what they were handing out on the race course only to forget about this wondering). It was getting to the race an hour early, getting into the porto potty, putting on my race shoes, filling my fuel belt with the sugar laden Gatorade. It was hearing O Canada and knowing I was ready for this.
Event warmup:

None. I watched the race start, headed to the porta potties, waited in line for 12 min (they had the 10k starting 30 min later so all the 10 kers where there). Started about 14 min gun time.
  • 4h 17m 30s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 06m 06s  min/km

I started at the end, I doubt anyone started after me. No crowds, no bottlenecks, went out a little fast for the first 300 meters then reigned 'er in. Saw buddy barefoot Neil at the start, good to see him there. Anyways, settled into a 5:40 pace. This was my pace. This was my sub 4 marathon pace. This was slower than the 5:21 that Mcmillain seemed to think I could do, which I know was no way. This was even slower than the 5:32 pace that I used in all my MP long runs. This was the ace in my hand. This was the pace that would guarantee success.

I sipped on my Gatorade ever k. The aid stations were every 3k or so. Grabbed the Gatorade at the aid stations, it tasted watery, and I shoulda knew, I did know, but I ignored it, THIS IS NOT THE SUGARY GATORADE YOU WILL NEED TO EAT GELS. Felt okay, little achy in my legs by a lot fresher than I felt all week. My breathing was slow, my pace constant. Sipped some of my Gatorade, drank one small cup at each aid station.

Felt good, passing everyone, think 2 people passed me. Taking my time, following my pace. Garmin seemed off by about 100 meters according to the signs so I figured 5:40 is good to get me sub 4. Lots of people. Kinda cool to start so late, I saw all the HM walkers, some big people out there, good for them. I was not one of them, I had been (well not that big) but I was big, but this was my time, I am in the best shape I have been in. Just cruising by people, not sure if they are HM or marathoners but yeah, just sailing, feeling good. Feeling soooooo good.

I pass the 4:30 pace bunnies at 13k. Walk breaks. Good for them. But I am not 4:30 today folks, I am sub 4. I figured I should hit the 4:15 pace group in the last couple k, looking forward to that.

The big hill is at 14k. 1.5k or so, I zoom up, keep passing people, little labored breathing here but a good cadence and a good pattern to my breathing. I CRUSHED THAT HILL.

I was worried, because after the hill last year my pace started to fall. Not this year, actually dropped it down to 5:39. Actually, before the hill I was 5:39, at the top I was 5:40, then a couple k later 5:39 again. Then even 5:38 and 5:37 as going down a little hill here and there. Keep it together I think, don't rip it open yet. I bring it back. Run in to Rob, we leap frog a bit, he started earlier, I let him go, I know I will catch him later, I have been running 95k a week, he hasn't, I will do 4 hours, he will be lucky to do 4:15. My legs are getting sore though, feeling heavy coming up to the HM, what is with that? Shake it off, strange though. Hit halfway at 1:59. NICE. Last year was 2:02 and then I just fell apart.

Not this year, I am strong this year. So strong. My stomach starts feeling a little weird, I get a cramp here and there in my side the Gatorade is sloshing around, I skip an aid station. I have these weird cold sweats, is that that Hypotremia.....hmmmmm, whatever, forget about it. Have finished half my Gatorade by, 25k or so. Rolling course here, some up, some down, not too much, but my legs are heavy, drink at the next aid station, was that 26k, I think so. Oh, and here is where the light-bulb finally goes off. Around 27k. Dude, you need some sugar you fool.

29k, the wheels come off. Just stop dead in my tracks. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Drink my last two bottles of Gatorade, so sweet compared to the other stuff, mmmmmmmmmm, too late though.

I had still been passing people, these people start to pass me back. I walk/run/stumble to the 30kish aid station, 2 gels. Down the giant hill, digesting those gels. Manage to run almost all the way down the hill, lol, slower going down then up. Back to walking/running. I was so miserable that words do not exist. Bottom of the hill is like 9 k out. I look at my watch, maybe 4:12 is there, probably at least beat 4:18. But the legs won't move, just shuffling along.

Walk here, walk there, get to the next aid station, another gel. Feeling better now, but hating it you know. All this work....FOR NOTHING.

Pace has fallen way off between 33-37. Barely can run 1k at 7 min pace. But getting stronger still, have another gel. Then I can hold a 6:45 for about a k. Guess that is better. Brain starts working a bit better and it is looking like even 4:18 is out, at least at a 7 min pace with walk breaks.

I am past the point of deal making or justification or Goal BCDEFG. I am so far down the Goal chain that, dude, I passed a med van and thought, what the hell. lol. But I never. I mean I wouldn't. But only due to embarrassment. Dark places.

Shuffling along. lol, then the Pace Bunnies or should I say Angels came. The 4:30 group had caught me. I just latched on. And of all the things that these people could be chatting about, the pace bunnies and this Maniac, were talking about goal times for races and how it takes the fun out of it and makes you forget what the point of running is. Then the Maniac says, oh, I have never even done a sub 4. I could have just died. Here I am, feeling super duper sorry for myself for failing at my sub 4, for thinking that I am useless, for considering never even trying a marathon again because what is the frigin point if you are either slow or stupid, and these guys are talking about how much they love running, and chatting with people, and having a great time. And the pace bunnies were awesome, so much encouragement, so much yelling, and hooting, and keep it up and go go go go, and you can do it and YOU ARE A MARATHONER, I mean shouting this stuff at the top of their lungs. And it was fun again. It was really fun. And I felt good. And I was running faster, first to keep up and then just because I could. lol

Saw Neil again at 38k, lol, oh my, I must have looked like death. Trudging along trying to keep up with the 4:30 group, lol. Too funny, the look in his eye, lol, I knew I looked bad. He took some pictures, hope he posts them.

So finished in 4:17. Finished strong...ish. lol. I finished with a smile, which I seriously doubt I would have had the Pace Bunnies not found me, those folks saved me an easy 5-10 min.

What would you do differently?:

Well, not be dumb. Take some gels. I didn't want to because I they don't make me feel super great. Stupid. Get some sleep the night and week before. The other thing is that my diet was horrible for the week before. For whatever reason I didn't feel like eating. I would eat only bread and fruit for lunch and breakfast and then an okay dinner. Strange week.
Post race
Warm down:

My family came, my parents came. Really it was great. Felt bad because I was so far off my goal time that they probably thought I got hit by a bus or worse. The sun was shining. Hung out with Rob. The post race grub sucked, chips, bananas and beef jerky and juice. Give me PIZZA! Anyways, ate it, watched some awards, got home around 1:00 p.m.

Didn't "void my bladder" until 3:00 pm, almost 4 hours post race. Not good. Hydrated. Pulled some weeds, mowed the lawn. BBQ pork chops for dinner and roasted potatoes.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor fueling strategy. the Marathon is a unforgiving beast, I know what that means now.

Despite the positive experience at the end of the race I am so superbly disappointed. A wasted opportunity. I had this. This was mine. I threw it away.

Day after.....impressions, I feel even worse about the race and even better. KM 1-29 were 29-37 crushed my 37-42 built it back up.

ETA....I had a great time training for this. It felt good to chase something. It felt good to follow a plan. I have felt pretty crappy about the whole thing for about 27 hours now but I am done. I am not sure if it is possible for the result to be both the most important thing and the least important thing.....although that sounds like something only someone who failed would is how I feel. I love to run. I do. I will try again. I may be less cocky the next time though. Lesson learned, class dismissed...for now.

Event comments:

I only give it a 4 because of the lack of pizza. Not sure if that is fair. Real good race.

Last updated: 2011-02-04 12:00 AM
04:17:30 | 42.2 kms | 06m 06s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: nice, with some hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4