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Rails to Trails Marathon - RunMarathon

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Norwalk, Wisconsin
United States
32F / 0C
Total Time = 3h 37m 25s
Overall Rank = 76/324
Age Group = M55-59
Age Group Rank = 10/50
Pre-race routine:

Up early (4:30 am) as I had about a 2 hour drive and had never been to Norwalk before. Honey Nut Cheerios and banana on the road with powerade. Decided to go with tights, shorts, compression shirt, arm warmers, long sleeve shirt, gloves and stocking cap. 30-32 at start with upper 30's predicted by noon.
Event warmup:

A couple of short jogs and some light stretching. Talked to Andy Becker and Ton O'Leary.

  • 3h 37m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 18s  min/mile

My big goal was a BQ time which is now under 3:40 for me, so an 8:24 overall pace. With IMWI on 9/9 and about a week off for recovery, i really only trained for 5 weeks with a 2 week taper. Relying on more overall IM fitness to get me across the finish line in a BQ time.

At mile 10 I was averaging 8:05 and feeling good. The tunnel was slightly downhill on the out portion but my headlamp was pretty useless and it was hard to see. The footing, which was normally a packed limestone path was not very good either. Lots of uneven crack/divots and some puddles in the tunnel. Kind of chewed up my feet. Still doing pretty well at the 2nd turnaround which was maybe 14.7 or so. HR had settled in at about 150.

After the turnaround you begin to realize how much uphill you are now running. I had checked the elevation but it didn't seem too drastic. Now I knew it was going to be a struggle to just outside the tunnel on the back before some downhill to finish line. My mile pace started to go up along with my HR.

My pace creeps up to 8:30 for a couple of miles then 8:45 for 3 miles. Now I'm starting to get a little worried. Goal now is to get thru the tunnel and then use the downhill to the finish line to get under 3:40. It's starting to hurt, HR is mid to upper 160s. The tunnel is tough, visibility seems worse than on the out portion and I'm passing many more people. Finally I'm out but my Garmin does not pick up the distance and calculate my pace like it did the first time. I spot a mileage marker and figure out where I'm at. Press the lap button on the Garmin to get current pace feedback. Have to still go uphill a little bit but shortly we are no longer running uphill.

I'm not exactly sure how much farther I have but I know it will be kind of close to get under 3:40 and sub-3:35 is gone. I start to push it, knowing this is where I've had cramping issues in the past, the end of long races, ie marathons and HIMs. I REALLY want that BQ time. I'm working hard and it's hurting but I'm able to get to sub 8:00 pace. I know I don't have too far to go but not exactly sure of the distance. Finally I see the opening on the path for the parking lot, road and finish line. I made it...3:37:25 is my official time. My last 5k was probably a sub 8:00 pace.
What would you do differently?:

This was a sneaky hard course with most of the uphill on the 2nd half of the race. More elevation than I anticipated. The tunnel may have been unique but if you're running for time was a disadvantage. This was the nearest marathon an appropriate time from from IMWI so I didn't have much choice.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, stretched, drank. Went to the care to get some warmer clothes. Pretty sore, especially the calves. Tough to change shoes. ENtry included a chicken dinner, I got mine and some. Talked to ANy and TOm again and then decided to head home. Stopped at a Culver's in Sparta.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not really adequate training for a top marathon performance. My IMWI was bike heavy and I never went much over 30 miles a week with only a couple of 15+ mile runs with a long around 18 but that was early-mid Aug. 5 weeks with 2 20 milers and a couple of 50 mile weeks was all I could fit in. Overall pleased with my performance, glad that the 55-59 AG got a 10 minute BQ jump.

Event comments:

For a small town race this was well organized and well run. No issues with the race at all. I know they picked a few NYC Marathon folks on race day due to Sandy Storm and the late cancellation.

Last updated: 2012-11-03 12:00 AM
03:37:25 | 26.2 miles | 08m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/50
Overall: 76/324
Performance: Good
Lap Data Lap Time Distance Pace/Speed AHR MHR 1 07m 58s 1.00 miles 07m 58s /mile 138 147 2 07m 51s 1.00 miles 07m 51s /mile 147 153 3 08m 06s 1.00 miles 08m 06s /mile 147 151 4 08m 12s 1.00 miles 08m 12s /mile 150 153 5 08m 16s 1.00 miles 08m 16s /mile 151 155 6 08m 15s 1.00 miles 08m 15s /mile 155 161 7 08m 28s 1.00 miles 08m 28s /mile 150 156 8 07m 46s 1.00 miles 07m 46s /mile 150 154 9 08m 01s 1.00 miles 08m 01s /mile 150 153 10 08m 03s 1.00 miles 08m 03s /mile 149 152 11 08m 08s 1.00 miles 08m 08s /mile 150 153 12 08m 15s 1.00 miles 08m 15s /mile 150 156 13 08m 15s 1.00 miles 08m 15s /mile 152 155 14 08m 15s 1.00 miles 08m 15s /mile 153 156 15 08m 14s 1.00 miles 08m 14s /mile 154 158 16 08m 37s 1.00 miles 08m 37s /mile 155 159 17 08m 17s 1.00 miles 08m 17s /mile 160 163 18 08m 31s 1.00 miles 08m 31s /mile 162 165 19 08m 32s 1.00 miles 08m 32s /mile 164 166 20 08m 46s 1.00 miles 08m 46s /mile 165 169 21 08m 48s 1.00 miles 08m 48s /mile 167 171 22 08m 41s 1.00 miles 08m 41s /mile 169 172 23 11m 36s 0.57 miles 20m 20s /mile 170 174 24 08m 03s 1.00 miles 08m 03s /mile 171 176 25 07m 48s 1.00 miles 07m 48s /mile 177 179 26 07m 43s 1.00 miles 07m 43s /mile 180 183 27 00m 02s 0.00 miles 09m 32s /mile 181 181 The last few miles are messed up since my Garmin did not re-establish the connection with satellites after coming out of the tunnel on the return trip.
Course: About 1.5 out to 1st turnaround, then back to start/finish line. 2nd turnaround was about 14.5 mile mark. Poorly lit tunnel (.75 miles long) about 3.5 miles from start line so about 6.5 miles into the race then about 22.5 mile mark.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-01-14 9:34 PM

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Rochester, MN
Subject: Rails to Trails Marathon
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