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Grandmas Marathon - RunMarathon


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Duluth, Minnesota
United States
72F / 22C
Sunny
Total Time = 4h 27m 51s
Overall Rank = 3473/6875
Age Group = M 19-34
Age Group Rank = 1012/1647
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 5:30 and got some PB toast in me. Took a quick shower to wake up, got all greased up and geared up and headed out the door. Took the shuttle to the start line, downed my Red Bull, hit the porta-poo and found the 4:15 pace group.
Event warmup:

Dude, its a 26.2 mile run. Isn't that what the first 10k is for?
Run
  • 4h 27m 51s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 13s  min/mile
Comments:

As we approached the starting line I had the definite "holy crap I really am doing this" moment. The starting chute was wicked crowded but we were able to find some room right away and settled into a very comfortable pace. The first 5K ripped off mighty quickly and I met Dianna with whom I clicked instantly. She was a total hottie 38-year-old mother of three. She wanted me. BAD. I can tell these things. We found a happy place just ahead of the pacers since we both were getting very claustrophobic if we were too close to the pacers. There was a consistent throng of people right behind them but plenty of clear road in front so why not pace the pacers, right?

The pace continued to be comfortable through 10K but I could tell that we were going to get pretty hot there on the pavement with the abundant sunshine - there wasn't a single cloud in the sky and an occasional breeze. At one point early on in the race, our pacer said "ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the last shade on the course" and not a truer word was spoken! Somewhere along this stretch, we passed Al Franken who is running for Senate in MN. HIGH FIVE!!! He's good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him!

I took my first AccelGel at about 45 minutes and had planned to take them at 45 minute intervals but I found myself lagging somewhere in the middle of mile 10 and wondered why. DUH!!! I forgot my 1:30 gel. Stupid Mistake #1. After taking that in I felt lots better and powered through the 11 mile aid station. It was here that I lost Dianna and never saw her again. :(

The halfway mark came and went uneventfully and I was still feeling good through the next couple of miles and managed to chat a bit with some of the other 4:15 folks. Downed another gel somewhere around 14. Somewhere around 16.5 was the beginning of some cramping starting with a side stitch. I tried running through it and doing some deep breathing but was having trouble getting it to go away and just as much trouble hanging on to the pace group so I decided to walk a bit to see if it'd go away. It didn't entirely but I was able to run again. By then, the pace group was well ahead of me and I didn't feel like I had the juice to catch up to them. I don't know what the cause of the cramp was but I suspect that I was drinking a little more than usual or drinking more but at longer intervals than in training. Aid stations every other mile after mile 3 is very different than my usual drink every 10 minutes practice in training.

The next few miles were more or less a blur though I do remember watching two people go down. The first had a whole medical team around her and my friend who came through 15 minutes or so later said an ambulance came through the course for her. The second was just after we turned onto the expressway a bit after the 18 mile marker. A woman was hanging on her friend and stumbling like a drunken sailor. I told her friend to set her down on the ground, which she did, and then yelled for medical since there were a bunch of law enforcement types just a couple hundred feet back at the intersection. I really felt bad for not stopping to help but there were people who actually could help nearby. Still, I sure hope she was OK. I was feeling pretty hot at this point and starting to feel some light muscle cramps. I knew for certain that I was going to regret not having Endurolytes with me. HUGE Stupid Mistake #2. The one wonderful and glorious thing that I'd never used before was the cold water soaked sponge. Sweet, wonderful sponges!!! Just being able to wipe some of the salty crust off my face was so refreshing.

I don't remember much of 19 - 22 before Lemon Drop Hill other than the HUGE group of drunken twentysomethings and that it was really friggin lonely out there. I got a calf cramp somewhere in here that had to be stretched. I also remember that it was here that I heard the first of "Lance". This dude had his name in big letters on his shirt and was getting TONS of shout outs. By the time we hit 25 I was so sick and tired of hearing it. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!! I mean Lance. Stupid me should have put my name on my shirt...

I was walking the entire aid stations, which were LONG, drinking a little water, holding and then chewing some ice and then grabbing sponges. Mile 22 is Lemon Drop Hill which isn't all that steep or long but is not what one wants or needs at mile 22! I ran up about 90% of it and walked for a bit and then yelled at myself for pussing out and to HTFU and get moving. The rest of the way in was pretty much just a test of my mental fortitude, which is not usually very fortuitous. I'm proud that I took only one or two walk breaks other than the aid stations when the desire to walk was VERY strong. But I figured it hurt about as bad to walk as it did to run so why not run?

So, right about mile 25 you take a left to head out of downtown down the hill to the lake. Down. The. Hill. Seriously, I usually love running down hill but at this point my legs were just fried and I was hunched over like a 90 year old woman and it seemed that everything was cramping up, especially my mid-back. I got to the bottom of the hill and found Mike, a friend from the pace group, and pulled him along with me. He was struggling, too. After only a couple hundred feet with him, my left hamstring cramped entirely. DOH! Couldn't it wait another half mile when I was finished?!?! I got that stretched out a little and after walking and jogging figured out that it felt better to run a little faster. Weird, but I'll go with it. I tried to pull a few more people with me the rest of the way in so that I'd have somebody to run with but they all would run a few steps and then walk again. DAMN IT, PEOPLE!!! You're not helping! :) A few people sprinted by in the chute which just means those a-holes sandbagged it for 26.15 miles. I crossed the line with a terribly forced smile that probably looks more like I'm trying to take a crap but at least I didn't look down at my watch! The pacers told me that I was totally going to have the finish line high (fucking liars!!!) but the overwhelming feeling I had at that moment was relief that I didn't have to run another step!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the race went. I think that hooking up with the pace team was critical since I was able to get some time in the bank before the wheels came off and had people to talk with and distract me for the first 2.5 hours. I think I also did myself a favor by setting tiered goals. My "perfect race" goal was 4:15 and I understood that this was probably going to be hard to achieve my first time out. That's why I had three more goals: 4:22, 4:30 and FINISH. I beat two of my goals. So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.
What would you do differently?:

#1 - Work on drinking strategy to make it better match what the race offers
#2 - Bring Endurolytes or something similar
#3 - NOT get dropped by the pace team
Post race
Warm down:

Milled around, collected my medal and tee, and tried to drink some water. I sat down in the massage line for a bit but couldn't sit down that long without totally cramping up or passing out. I managed to get some potato chips in me and a couple bites of ice cream but, like most races, it takes a while for me to be able to stuff my gob like normal.

Event comments:

Seems odd that we didn't see aid stations at every mile 'til mile 19. Otherwise, Grandma's is a brilliantly run event. 3 races in two days with something like 15,000 participants.




Last updated: 2007-10-16 12:00 AM
Running
04:27:51 | 26.2 miles | 10m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/1647
Overall: 0/6875
Performance: Average
Course: Point-to-point from Two Harbors to Duluth.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2008-06-23 3:45 PM

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Elite
2515
2000500
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: Grandmas Marathon


2008-06-23 7:27 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Pro
4675
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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Holy crap, you really did it!!!  Great race Tom!
2008-06-24 10:06 AM
in reply to: #1484298

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Elite
3518
20001000500
Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Nice race dood!!
2008-06-24 12:30 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Expert
834
50010010010025
Medina, MN
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Nice race Tom. I still can't quite imagine for running for 4+ hours. When's your next one?
2008-06-24 2:25 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Extreme Veteran
502
500
Woodbury,
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon

You rock, Tom. Nice race.

Now, I can't help but note that your goals and logs are conspicuously absent of any planned, well, triathlons. Go and register for something. If you're just going to be a runner, y'know, coolrunning.com is just down the road... 

2008-06-24 5:57 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Elite
3687
20001000500100252525
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Nicely done Tom. You set out to achieve a goal and you kicked its azz.  Congratulations.


2008-06-24 11:00 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Veteran
120
100
Walworth, WI
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Way to tough it out! I was planning to run with the 4:15 group but got crowded back to the 5:30 group at the start. I managed to catch the 4:15s in the first few miles but felt so good I though I'd try the banking strategy myself.

Well done!
2008-06-25 1:31 PM
in reply to: #1488129

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Champion
10001
50005000
, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon

Awesome run and you totally need a "Matchman" t-shirt.  You're really funny as usual.

2008-06-25 1:37 PM
in reply to: #1487174

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Elite
2515
2000500
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Johnny Bee - 2008-06-24 2:25 PM

You rock, Tom. Nice race.

Now, I can't help but note that your goals and logs are conspicuously absent of any planned, well, triathlons. Go and register for something. If you're just going to be a runner, y'know, coolrunning.com is just down the road...

Wow, tough crowd.

I'm thinking of Turtleman or St. Paul for my TRIumphant return to the multisport scene. The rest of the summer has managed to fill up with other stuff that, unfortunately, conflicts with other races.

There, you happy?

2008-06-25 2:39 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Resident Curmudgeon
25290
50005000500050005000100100252525
The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Nice race, great job on your first one! I swear one of these days I'm doing Grandma's, now I know who to come to for advice!
2008-06-25 8:10 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Elite
3002
20001000
HURRICANE, Utah
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Great time for your first marathon!  Congrats


2008-06-26 9:00 AM
in reply to: #1484298

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Master
2808
2000500100100100
, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
I can't believe you used "Al Franken" and "smart" in the same sentence.
2008-06-27 10:46 AM
in reply to: #1484298

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Master
1978
1000500100100100100252525
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon

I had no idea Stuart Smalley was gonna be a Senator!

BIG CONGRATS TOM!!!  You are a marathoner now!!  So...thinkin' about a 50K now? 

Great RR, it was like being there.  And funny too!  Good stuff!  Hope you're recovering nicely now!  WOOHOOO!!!

2008-06-27 12:14 PM
in reply to: #1494351

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Elite
2515
2000500
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Q - 2008-06-27 10:46 AM

You are a marathoner now!! So...thinkin' about a 50K now?

How about I start with another marathon and see if I can get to the finish in a little better shape?  

2008-06-30 11:57 AM
in reply to: #1484298

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Extreme Veteran
832
50010010010025
Podunk County, MN
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon
Congratulations, Matchy!  Nice job!  I heard it was a hot one...
2008-06-30 12:57 PM
in reply to: #1499028

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Master
2249
200010010025
Colorado
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon

I'm proud of you. 

 

Your race report is so awesome.  You make me giggle.



2008-06-30 8:03 PM
in reply to: #1484298

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Extreme Veteran
410
100100100100
The Great Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Grandmas Marathon

You should have joined me in the lake...seriously. It was WAY cool!

 Glad to know another BTer was there. It was a GREAT race. One of my favorites!

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