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Redding Marathon - RunMarathon

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Redding, California
United States
40F / 4C
Total Time = 3h 19m 23s
Overall Rank = 13/165
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 3/20
Pre-race routine:

Big honkin dinner the night before at one of those all you can eat Chinese bufetts... awsome meal, crab legs, coconut shrimp, beef brocoli, shrimp scampi, stuffed mushrooms, oh my!

Drove back to the hotel and watched it start to rain... Watched the weather forecast of rain for the next week, not likely to let up at all during the marathon.

The morning of the race I got up, got dressed, put some body glide on appropriate areas, had 200 calories (GU Chomps, 90 minutes before race.) And drove up to the race start.
Event warmup:

Hit the porta potty, tried to stay warm, jogged about a half mile and hit a GU 10 minutes before the race. I then grudingly took off my waterproof layer and hung out in my tri suit waiting for the race to start...brrr. Raining, 40F, foggy, etc. I chatted with some other runners about things. I hadn't actually decided to go without some sort of waterproof top until the last minute after agonizing about it the previous week.
  • 3h 19m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 37s  min/mile

Oh my gosh what a day! 40F, raining all day and puddles, soggy shoes, wet, wet wet! I went with just running in my tri suit. This was the hardest race I have ever done.

I had a 3:30 minute PR on the first 5k of the race (20:00) (ya downhill)
A 6 minute PR on the first 10k (41:50).
A 7 minute PR on the first half mary of the race (1:35:00).
and a 30 ish minute PR on the full distance Mary (same course), which got me to a Boston Qualifying time by 37 seconds (3:19:23). Phew.

The vast majority of the race was in zone 4 and there was a total of 3500 ish feet of elevation gain.

The first 3.5 miles was steep downhill, working the quads and giving me a nice hotspot on the ball of my left foot. I was worried that it was blistered, but oh well nothing to be done about it. Legs were stressed by the downhill, but settled into a pace once it got flatter. Folks were passing me (there was a relay component to the marathon) and it was hard to keep my pace down as folks went by and hard to regulate due to ups and downs every mile (not excatly flat). So not only was it raining, but there was a fairly strong headwind for 20 of the 26 miles. I tried to relax and settle into a rythm, did so fairly well and then hit the uphill section of the course. The hills started out fine, but then got steeper and just kept going from mile 10 to 15 ish. I hit the hills fairly hard wanting to keep my target pace relatively intact. I knew I would lose some time here.

By the time I got back down on the flats I could tell that the initial downhill and later hills had taken quite a bit out of my legs. It was getting much harder to maintain pace and the seconds were startting to add per mile. I knew I was on pace at the half way mark and wanted to just stay as close as I could to my pace without loosing too much. I didn't have much of a buffer. I just kept trying to be close to pace. I passed my family at 18.4 miles and they cheered me on, Yay! Then I headed on toward the last significant hill. At mile 19 I had to increase my effort increasing my respiration from breating in once, out twice per three foot strikes to in and out per 2 foot strikes (Typically Z5 ish effort, although my HR did not reflect it, still Z4). When I passed mile 20 I figured that I would have to maintain an 8:00 per mile pace over the last 6.2 miles including the last hill. I wasn't sure I could hold the line. I pressed on, trying to maintain 8:00 per mile, and was able to so for the next 5 miles. The last 1.2 miles was tough, very tough. My get up and go had got up and gone. I just tried to salvage what I could. Then at around mile 25.4 I started the extra loop away from the finish line while being able to see the finish line, I had less than 7 minutes to make BQ time and .8 miles to go. I was hurting to the turn around and then just hit it for the last .4 miles rasing my HR to 174 and just pushing it. Then I hit the bridge, with a surface made of glass, wet glass, very slippery. I just tried to keep my pace (9 mph +) and not slip. I closed in on the finish line and ... 3:19:23.... (BQ 3:20:00) Oh my gosh... BQ by 37 seconds. Did it by sooo little, but did it. Any lack of execution at any point of the race would have resulted in not making the pace. My strength was gone, I staggered over to somewhere to sit for a bit. My wet body cooled down soo fast, I started shaking badly. I knew I had to get into some dry clothes.. fast, but my legs were soo dead. I sat there for about 5 minutes or so gathering my strength and then started hobbling to the car. By the time I got to the car I was shaking uncontrollably, bordering on tears I was soo cold. I climbed into the car and covered my face with a towl so my wife couldn't see water leeking from my eyes I was soo cold shaking, trying to not bite my cheeks too much involuntarily. With the heat cranked full, I dried off and slowly changed into dry clothes. Ah, warmth, and dry, slowly returning, shaking stopping, returning to being human again. Phew that was really bad, but I had done it! After I was relatively stable I went to check out times... Woot 3rd in AG and 13th overall! Nice.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. That was all I had, executed to the fullest of my ability given my training. I only started running 2.3 years ago.
Post race
Warm down:

Hobbled to the car, got dry, got warm, got food, drove home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hard course, rain, only 2 ish year history of run training (2nd open mary).

Event comments:

The scenery makes this race awsome, despite the difficulty, even given limited visibility today. Post race food could be improved on. The rain put a damper on post race activities today. People wanted to be dry and warm.

Last updated: 2010-01-17 12:00 AM
03:19:23 | 26.2 miles | 07m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/20
Overall: 13/165
Performance: Good
1= 6:06, 156 2= 6:53, 162 3= 6:12, 165 4= 6:38, 165 5= 7:11, 167 6= 7:14, 169 7= 7:21, 167 8= 7:27, 166 9= 7:34, 163 10= 7:40, 163 11= 7:44, 164 12= 7:51, 164 13= 7:53, 168 14= 7:50, 166 15= 7:50, 162 16= 7:40, 160 17= 7:46, 162 18= 7:51, 163 19= 7:59, 164 20= 7:59, 165 21= 7:49, 166 22= 8:01, 165 23= 7:42, 166 24= 7:56, 167 25= 8:03, 166 26= 8:16, 166 .2= 7:41, 170
Course: This is a very beautiful course that starts (300 ish feet) above the Shasta Dam (one of the wonders of the world) and then drops down and follows the sacramento river until finally finishing as you cross a bridge made of glass for its surface in the shape of a sundial (Sundial Bridge) The course started out with with a 900 foot decent over 3.5 miles on "wet" paved road before switching to very wet gravel for the next 11.5 miles before switching back to pavement (bike path). Miles 10-15 had 1300 feet of elevation gain, steep at times, but just kept on going, some dips just to make you think the hills might be over..not. It was relatively flat (gains of around 100 feet up and then back down per mile) for most of the rest of the course... then around mile 22 there was another 375 ish foot elevation gain. The real torture of the course, however is when you get to around mile 25.2 you can look down the bridge to the finish line, but then have to go on another little .5 mile out and back before crossing the bridge. This was very emotionally discouraging, even though I knew it was coming, I was soo spent at that point and soo close to dropping below BQ pace. Then the final sprint is across a bridge made of glass surfacing that was wet... very slippery.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-01-17 10:37 PM

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Alturas, California
Subject: Redding Marathon

2010-01-18 7:35 AM
in reply to: #2619088

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Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
Awesome job. That is one hell of a race in what sounds like pretty rough conditions.
2010-01-18 9:38 AM
in reply to: #2619088

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon

That is just Awesome Steve..!! That was as tough of a day as you will ever see and you did awesome..

3rd AG and 13th overall!  Man that is killer.  very proud!


2010-01-18 11:15 AM
in reply to: #2619088

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
Great job!  Congrats on the BQ (although you could have taken it easy on the slippery glass bridge--you get an extra 59 seconds grace on the qualifying standard, so you actually had a minute and a half to spare
2010-01-18 11:37 AM
in reply to: #2619088

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
CONGRATS!!! A BQ...and in the rain with soggy impressive! Way to go!!!
2010-01-18 4:24 PM
in reply to: #2619088

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Melbourne FL
Gold member
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
Sweet run.  You will always remember this one!

2010-01-18 11:04 PM
in reply to: #2619088

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Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
LOVE IT!  CONGRATS ON BQ and what a nail biter of a time!  That is amazing with a short running background-who knows what a couple more years will do for you!  Great job!
2010-01-19 6:58 AM
in reply to: #2620937

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
Congrats on the BQ, great job!
2010-01-19 7:59 AM
in reply to: #2619088

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
There's nothing like giving it all you have and meeting your goals. Great job.

Congrats on the BQ.
2010-01-20 1:58 PM
in reply to: #2619088

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Extreme Veteran
Woodland Hills, CA
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
Awesome! With all the things working against you no one would have held known if you slacked up, but you pushed through and had a great race!  This race alone will help you accomplish so much more in the future. 
2010-01-20 4:59 PM
in reply to: #2619088

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
great job putting it all together for 26.2!  and congrats on BQing!

2010-01-20 6:45 PM
in reply to: #2619088

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Subject: RE: Redding Marathon
WOW WOW WOW!!!! Way to go, Steve!! I remember how out of reach you felt a BQ was last year. You trained so hard and so well and look what you did. Soooooo cool!!! And to do it in those conditions is even more awesome. You are a force!! Looking forward to seeing you in Idaho this summer. Happy recovery and keep up the great work! Cheers to ya!
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