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Air Force Marathon - RunMarathon

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Dayton, Ohio
United States
Air Force Marathon
54F / 12C
Total Time = 4h 26m 53s
Overall Rank = 1352/3297
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 169/330
Pre-race routine:

Kept it all very normal... nothing new on race day... not even a different breakfast.
Event warmup:

No warm up... I never do. Just take the first couple miles easy and not get carried away with race excitement.
  • 4h 26m 53s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 11s  min/mile

10K 0:55:27
13 1 1:57:31
35K 3:28:11

I felt really good on this run up to the 20 mile mark. I was keeping good pace... on target for my goal of a 4hr completion. I ran with the 4hr pace group for the first third but the group was very large/crowded so I went ahead about a quarter mile then kept a 4hr pace.

Everything was feeling great until after I walked thru the 21 mile aid station... started back to run, then the proverbial wheels fell right off. My entire legs cramped up so tight I could barely walk. Took a road side moment to stretch them out... get back going but only for a few minutes, then the pain returns. Calves so tight, I almost take a header due to my left foot being pointed down and not landing flat.

About this time the 4hr pace group passes... mental defeat. I man-up, collect my wits and start running, trying to stay on pace... a few more minutes of painful steps...nope... not happening.

The next nearly 5 miles would be a slow painful demise to an otherwise great attempt at a goal achieving first marathon. I was able to carry a mid 12min pace with walk/run from here to the end, on probably the toughest part of the course, a rolling hills section just before the finish. Tough mental game kept me focused but the legs would just not cooperate.

Nutritionaly, I feel I was spot on... had plenty of energy. I did not "bonk". I focused on that a lot in training, purposely depleting the fuel, hitting that wall to know the feeling. I wasn't there in this race.
What would you do differently?:

Race wise - Nothing. I stuck to my plan and executed. My legs just didn't appreciate the plan as much.
Post race - I would get the massage!
Post race
Warm down:

Not much left in the legs to warm down... walked thru the food tents and sat in the grass for about a half hour then went to cheer on more finishers.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of 20+ miles training runs... for this first marathon, I followed the Higdon beginner plan. It only has a single 20 mile training run. It worked for it's intended purpose and got me thru this marathon.
For my next marathon, I will do at least 3 over 20 mile runs, with one being a 24.

Event comments:

This is an excellent race and atmoshpere. Loads of post race food. Hoards of volunteers at ample aid stations. One of the best races I've been to... Very well done!

Last updated: 2012-02-28 12:00 AM
04:26:53 | 26.2 miles | 10m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 169/330
Overall: 1352/3297
Performance: Good
Course: They say this is a flat course and if you look at the elevation chart it looks mostly flat HOWEVER, there are hills at the front and back end of this race (same hills that you come back across towards the finish). About a third of the race is fairly hilly.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-09-18 3:10 PM

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Yorktown, VA & Langley AFB
Subject: Air Force Marathon

2012-09-18 3:54 PM
in reply to: #4417191

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san francisco
Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon

Congratulations to you, Brett! 

Great effort on your first marathon! 

The leg cramps suck, way to give it your best.  First marathons are full of surprises! 

2012-09-18 5:17 PM
in reply to: #4417191

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Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon
Great job Brent! I'm also a little nervous about what miles 20-26.2 hold for my first next month. Sounds like your mental focus kept you present. Congrats!
2012-09-18 5:27 PM
in reply to: #4417191

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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon

Great effort, race day always brings surprises.....

No advice on the cramping, just really impressed with your result.  Way to finish it up!!

2012-09-19 9:27 AM
in reply to: #4417191

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Apex, north carolina
Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon
Super proud!   For cramping - salt salt salt.
2012-09-19 9:30 AM
in reply to: #4417191

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Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon

Way to cowboy up at the "start" of the race (i.e. the 20 mile mark)!!  As they say a marathon is a 20 mile warm up with a 10K race at the end.

Good job, and I'm sure you'll crush your next one!!

2012-09-20 8:16 PM
in reply to: #4417191

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Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon
Congratulations, Brent! You did awesome for your first go-around. I love how you're already talking about how you'll train for the next one!!
2012-09-20 8:36 PM
in reply to: #4421296

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon
Congrats Brent!  Way to go knocking the first one out!
2012-09-20 9:44 PM
in reply to: #4417191

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Subject: RE: Air Force Marathon
Awesome job bro!!! Congrats!!!
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