Calgary Marathon - RunMarathon

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Calgary, Alberta
5C / 41F
Total Time = 3h 59m 39s
Overall Rank = 402/971
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 63/116
Pre-race routine:

The week had sucked. I was coming off 3 hard weeks of training, running and biking. My body pretty much gave up on May 19 when i went for a run and could only manage 15 minutes. Now I don't normally taper, but, I mean, like this was a pretty powerful sign.

So took it easy Sunday. Took an off day on Monday. Was planning on riding to work and running a bit during the week.

Then my daughter got sick, I got sick (although not that sick). Ran Tuesday Friday and Saturday. Although not a lot. Felt good on Friday, felt fast and loose. felt like maybe I would get my sub 4, maybe faster. Little stiff on Saturday but no bother.
Event warmup:

Up at 5:15. 1/3 cup oatmeal, banana, 2 cups of coffee. I had hydrated well all week and on Saturday. Got to the race, mulled around a bit. Managed to get to the start about 2 min late, which is good for me, joined in with the runners.
  • 3h 59m 39s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 05m 41s  min/km


I started right in the mix, which I normally don't. Lots of space, notwithstanding the big start with the marathoners and halfers. So, going good, a little fast, about 5:28. Planned for 5:40, but the start is tricky so whatever. Feeling good. I felt good. Passed some people. Lots of space which is nice, lots of people but lots of space, no bottle necks.

Had a gel that I brought with me at 6 k. Drank at all the aid stations, slowing to walk for 5-10 sec to drink. Went well.

Had to take a leak from the get go nearly. Held out until about 12k, thankfully only time I had to go. oh well, better too much than too little. only cost me about 30 sec.

I planned on having a gel every half hour or so and the gel aid station was supposed to be at 12k and 22k and 33k, although wasn't very clear.

Anyways, first gel station was not until 17k. I was a little miffed, but feeling good. Got 3 at that station and was good with picking the gels up as the race went on. I think I had a total of 6 or 7 for the race which seemed about right, with drinking a cup of Gatorade at each aid station.

At about 18k I started to get sore. Like my legs were sore. I was still keeping the pace but I was sore. Which was strange because I had done longer training runs at faster paces. I had done 28k at 5:20 pace feeling smooth all the way on next to no fuel. The soreness was definitely a concern. I couldn't figure it. My breathing was on, my legs where moving, but my quads had this ache to them.

Hit the half a 1:58:??, felt good, I think. Or maybe it was around there that everything got a little hazy. The weather was overcast. It was like 5 degrees. There was no sun. I had on sunglasses. EVERYTHING LOOKED THE SAME COLOR. Blah. Everything was blah. This is a new course in a part of the city I don't know well. I had no idea where I was. I was just following the other runners. It was bizarre.

At one point between 20 - 30 k I saw a sign "Go Darren H." I was like, I am a Darren H. maybe that is for me. Who could I know. How many Darren H's are there. I finally concluded that I must be up in varsity near a friends house that goes past the course. But that was the OLD course. We were probably 10km as the crow flies from this guys house. Turns out I was near another friends house. Seriously, everything looked the same.

Anyways, I was playing with my laps quite a bit up to the half way mark. At the half mark I hit the lap button and left it. My average was 5:38 up to the half. Also, somehow I had cut the course by about 50 meters according to my Garmin, but I chalk that up to the twists and turns.

So the wheels started to fall off around km 34, slowed down to 5:58 looks like then things got a bit a better for 35 36 and 37 but still off pace. I didn't know it at the time as I was just tracking my average pace from the half way point and it was just slowly creeping from 5:39 to 5:41. I think. I don't really remember very clearly. Perhaps I was just looking at my total average pace watching it creep up. Regardless, in retrospect things were going sideways.

Which is funny because I was really starting to eat people up at this point. I don't recall passing tons of people after say the 8k point, a couple here and there, very few passed me. But now, I was just tracking people down. Like I was not feeling bad, I wasn't feeling great mostly just a giant case of the blahs, but I was okay just mentally counting down the kms to the finish (that being said, I think that is a relative feeling as I had been feeling pretty beat up from around 18k and had a serious case of the blahs, I guess the key thing is that it wasn't getting worse). The people I was passing, I guess they were just falling apart quicker than me.

Then came the last 4.2 km. So this is what happened. My buddy had run the HM and finished in 1:45. And, so there he is, somewhere in the 38km, there he is. HA. So cheerful. So, "go get them Darren". Meanwhile I could barely talk. So he starts running with me, smiling and chatting and laughing, you know, running in front of me sort of prancing like, looking back at me. I was probably the most miserable person there was. I mean, inwardly I wasn't super miserable, it hurt, and I was hungry, and my legs hurt, and I may even have wanted to stop, but I wasn't super miserable. But on the outside, I don't think I had said one encouraging word or cracked one joke since the half way point. I may not have said anything at all. I said next to nothing to my buddy. Just a groan or a grunt here or there. Regardless, having him there saved my race. Running with someone else just helps the pain go away. We just cruised passed people. I remember people saying, "nice job" or "keep it up" you know, the way you do at the end of a race where the wheels are falling off and you just are trying to stay in a good mood so you are trying to ham it up with whoever you are near. I said nothing to nobody. I didn't smile. I didn't look at them. It didn't even occur to me to smile or look at them, which is weird because usually in a race I am the guy kibitzing any chance I get, even at the end. I remember seeing people in races like that and thinking how rude they were, little did I know. Like I have been in the zone before on runs, but this was another level up from the zone, or what I previously thought the zone was. I so didn't realize it at the time though. In some ways it was just an extension of the rest of the race that I felt so disconnected from, like the only thing I knew was true was my legs where moving, everything else was just the same color.

I kinda regret not appreciating it at the time for what it was. Like I don't remember hurting in those last 4k. I remember hurting at 18k, I remember getting all miserable and at one point thinking what is the point to this whole thing, as I do in every race, although it didn't last long here. But once my buddy came and we started flying along, I don't really remember pain.

Anyways, flew through the shoot, barely making my goal. I like to think that I could have done it on my own, but I guess I will never know. I kinda feel bad about my personal pacer, but there were pace bunnies in the race and I don't think there was a rule against it. Part of me feels like it tainted the accomplishment a bit as part of the challenge in the marathon is the last 10k or 5k or whatever, that part of the race where you thinking only of stopping and you go to those dark places. I never really got there thanks to my buddy.

The last 3k were 5:18 5:31 5:28, prior to that my fastest k was the first km at 5:28. That is sick.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I was quite cold when I finished, could barely walk. Got my food, felt better, got my bag, got some pancakes, watched the awards and some runners finishing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I went as fast as I could. I guess I was sick the week before, that may have hampered things. I rode my bike too much in March April and May which cut into my running time, but that is how it is.

Event comments:

First time for the race. Good. Venue was a little crowded and the RD took some heat for it. But the Venue is a great one, just too many racers in the 10k 5k kids race and HM. All finishing at different times. I am glad I didn't finish 30 min later I would have finished with all the 10kers, and that would have bit.

The only thing that really grated on me was the gels, why weren't they were they were supposed to be.

Last updated: 2012-02-25 12:00 AM
03:59:39 | 42.2 kms | 05m 41s  min/km
Age Group: 63/116
Overall: 116/971
Performance: Good
ime Distance Split time Split distance Split pace Pace chg. last Pace vs avg. Elev. chg. 0:05:28 1.00 5:28 1.00 5:28 -0:11.67 -2 0:11:04 2.00 5:36 1.00 5:36 +0:08.01 -0:03.66 -1 0:16:41 3.00 5:36 1.00 5:37 +0:00.50 -0:03.16 0 0:22:16 4.00 5:34 1.00 5:35 -0:01.77 -0:04.94 +1 0:27:53 5.00 5:37 1.00 5:37 +0:02.28 -0:02.65 +9 0:33:32 6.00 5:39 1.00 5:39 +0:02.01 -0:00.65 -5 0:39:01 7.00 5:28 1.00 5:29 -0:10.32 -0:10.96 -2 0:44:36 8.00 5:34 1.00 5:34 +0:05.30 -0:05.66 +4 0:50:14 9.00 5:38 1.00 5:38 +0:04.03 -0:01.64 +6 0:55:50 10.00 5:35 1.00 5:36 -0:02.54 -0:04.18 -1 1:01:35 11.00 5:45 1.00 5:46 +0:10.05 +0:05.87 +11 1:07:14 12.00 5:38 1.00 5:39 -0:06.81 -0:00.94 +15 1:13:19 13.00 6:04 1.00 6:04 +0:25.33 +0:24.40 +13 1:19:00 14.00 5:40 1.00 5:41 -0:23.36 +0:01.03 -8 1:24:32 15.00 5:31 1.00 5:32 -0:09.01 -0:07.98 +15 1:30:15 16.00 5:43 1.00 5:43 +0:11.49 +0:03.51 +9 1:35:56 17.00 5:41 1.00 5:41 -0:02.02 +0:01.49 +14 1:41:46 18.00 5:49 1.00 5:49 +0:07.83 +0:09.32 -11 1:47:18 19.00 5:32 1.00 5:32 -0:17.02 -0:07.69 +9 1:52:59 20.00 5:41 1.00 5:41 +0:09.18 +0:01.49 +25 1:58:36 21.00 5:36 1.00 5:37 -0:04.90 -0:03.40 -15 2:04:19 22.00 5:43 1.00 5:43 +0:06.71 +0:03.30 +13 2:10:01 23.00 5:41 1.00 5:41 -0:01.84 +0:01.46 +6 2:15:38 24.00 5:37 1.00 5:37 -0:04.32 -0:02.86 -13 2:21:19 25.00 5:41 1.00 5:41 +0:03.99 +0:01.14 -14 2:27:02 26.00 5:43 1.00 5:43 +0:02.39 +0:03.52 -8 2:32:44 27.00 5:41 1.00 5:42 -0:01.66 +0:01.86 +6 2:38:40 28.00 5:56 1.00 5:56 +0:14.30 +0:16.16 -8 2:44:15 29.00 5:34 1.00 5:35 -0:21.56 -0:05.40 -17 2:49:56 30.00 5:41 1.00 5:42 +0:07.24 +0:01.84 -22 2:55:40 31.00 5:44 1.00 5:44 +0:02.36 +0:04.21 +5 3:01:24 32.00 5:43 1.00 5:43 -0:00.71 +0:03.50 -19 3:07:04 33.00 5:40 1.00 5:41 -0:02.90 +0:00.61 -12 3:13:02 34.00 5:58 1.00 5:58 +0:17.47 +0:18.08 +6 3:18:51 35.00 5:49 1.00 5:49 -0:08.95 +0:09.13 -1 3:24:43 36.00 5:51 1.00 5:51 +0:02.01 +0:11.14 -10 3:30:28 37.00 5:45 1.00 5:45 -0:05.88 +0:05.26 +5 3:36:08 38.00 5:39 1.00 5:40 -0:05.34 -0:00.08 -7 3:41:48 39.00 5:40 1.00 5:40 +0:00.26 +0:00.18 +2 3:47:06 40.00 5:18 1.00 5:18 -0:21.78 -0:21.60 +1 3:52:37 41.00 5:30 1.00 5:31 +0:12.44 -0:09.16 -7 3:58:05 42.00 5:27 1.00 5:28 -0:02.86 -0:12.03 +10 3:59:39 42.30 1:33 0.30 5:13 -0:15.31 -0:27.34 -2
Course: first year for this course. Meandering through the city. Lots of turns. One longish but easy hill at 12k or so. 3 or 4 steep descents. Lots of gradual climbing time. Lots of turns. Tons of turns. 2 u turns.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4