Mercedes Marathon - Run

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Birmingham, Alabama
United States
Birmingham Marathon, Inc.
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 31m 32s
Overall Rank = 927/1026
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 92/98
Pre-race routine:

The wife and I drove down the afternoon before the race. We stayed at the Sheraton which was walking distance to the start. The hotel was nice. Our only complaint was a lack of restuarants close by espically since Kami-Con and a Cheerleading event were also in town for the weekend. You would think being right there at the convention center there would be more eatery's. Anyway, this was my 1st Marathon so my goals were pretty simple finish in 6 hours or less
and don't finish last in my age group. The race started at 7am I got up at 5:30 and had a bonk bar, bagel, and drank a Hammer Sustain energy. Got a shower and good stretch in. I loaded up the fanny pack with a bottle of water, a bottle with Hammer Perpetuem, small squirt bottle with Hammer fizz, a bonk bar, and a few gels. We then headed on down the start.
Event warmup:

When we first got down to the start it was a little chilly (I think high 30's). I used the gloves provided in swag bag to keep my hands warm. We found our way to the Trak Shak pace folks and got between 4:45 and 5:00 groups. A shout out to the Trak Shak folks they did an outstanding job with pacing the groups and keeping everyone motivated. We continued to stretch and take some pics while waiting for the start.
  • 5h 31m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 39s  min/mile

The run went as well as I expected it to. I hit the wall at about mile 17 but just kept plugging away. When I did have to walk I tried to do it on the downhills and keeping running on the up hills. It was a little mentally challenging seeing all the 13.1'ers heading to their finish as I was starting my 2nd lap. I'd be lying if I said, I did not think about just jumping into their line and calling it a day. But, I had put to much work in preparing for this day. Besides I had talked my wife into doing this and she was out a head of me. She would have killed me if I quit at 13.1. The other thing that mentally messed me up was seeing that my time at the 13.1 mark was only about a min off from my previous 13.1 finishing time. For an instance in the back of my head I asked myself if I was going to fast but I was feeling good so I motored on. Starting at mile 20 I was tapped out on my carry drinks so I hit the aid stations for water. I tried the power-aid once, just to sweet after drinking Hammer all day. At mile 22 my stomach started churning for food, bonk bar to the rescue and of course more water. I also grabbed a small piece of banna. I liked the fact that they had a variety of different things out on the course to eat, trail mix, gummy bears, banna's, ornages, dough nuts at one part and some folks with beer toward the end. I did not take on those, although the beer was tempting. Anyway, miles 22 and on were just shear grit my teeth to get it done. Every muscle and bone in my body hurt but seeing that finish line was worth it. . .
What would you do differently?:

- Stick to my fueling plan a little better instead of waiting until mile 22 and feeling hungry to eat my bonk bar
- Train harder
Post race
Warm down:

Took on fluids and ate a banna

Once on the road back home stopped at Hardee's and had a burger...

Post race day 1 hurting real bad but spun on my indoor cycle trainer for an hour and feel way better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm still a Cylesdale and need to up my pace.

If I did it again I would move up on the Hal Higdon program I used to get ready. I used a modified beginner program and would move up to Novice or INT 1 to go faster. . .

Event comments:

This race was well run...

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Last updated: 2014-02-17 12:00 AM
05:31:32 | 26.2 miles | 12m 39s  min/mile
Age Group: 92/98
Overall: 927/1026
Performance: Good
Course: The course was challenging but fun. It is a 2 lap course around the city. I reviewed the topo before the race and was anticipating the hill sections miles 7-9(17-19) but pretty much the majority of the course was hills of one sort or another. I did like the fact that the course took us through different parts of the city which kept the views interesting.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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