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Tobacco Road Marathon - RunMarathon

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Cary, North Carolina
United States
Tobacco Road Marathon
52F / 11C
Total Time = 3h 58m 1s
Overall Rank = 289/825
Age Group = 35-39M
Age Group Rank = 35/71
Pre-race routine:

This was my first marathon. Beat my safe goal but was 'off' from where I wanted to be.

Woke up at 4am. Stayed with Sarah's folks in Raleigh. Choked down a bagel and Sarah dropped me off at start.

Hadn't run much the 2.5 weeks prior - tweaked my miniscus/MCL 18 days before race.

Built back to 3x5 miles in week leading up to race. HR and effort level strangely 'off' relative to pace.
  • 3h 58m 1s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 05s  min/mile

First 3 miles focused on keeping calm. Let folks pass me. Three miles in the HM folks broke off and I continued getting passed. Most of the first 8 miles is a gradual descent but I kept the pace easy at ~8:50. I had a brief restroom break just before the first turnaround.

I focused on getting gatorade and/or water at each aid station (roughly two mile spacing) based on what my body wanted and getting gels every ~45 minutes. At one point I got chewy blocks rather than a gel and was forced to decide between taking it or missing the calories. I took it and fortunately saw no ill effects. The website said the gels would not have caffeine (I thought) but the gels on the course had caffeine. Again, guess I got lucky here.

The stretch from mile 8 to mile 19 had some ups and downs but I think was mostly a net increase. I just focused on keeping the miles around 9:00.

Mile 19 was at the second turnaround. It started to hurt here. My watch told me it was a 9:38 mile but I attributed that to gaining a little elevation and the watch under-tracking the turnaround. More and more people started breaking - stopping to walk, people stretching beside the trail, etc. I tried to reach for the adrenaline rush I'd read might be there when you can pass people at the finish, but it just wasn't there. I was too tired.

Around 22 miles in my stomach started to hurt. I skipped the last gel and just took a little taste of it to fool my brain. From there on I only took water. 24 miles in the stomach started to feel better.

Somewhere about 22-23 miles in I felt like I started to panic. It just seemed like a long way to go. My legs just didn't feel great. "Kicking it" to the finish just wasn't an option. At that point I just had to keep it in the mid-9s or better to beat my 4:00 'safe' goal. The last 20 minutes was just mental negotiation to keep the legs turning.

The last half mile was downhill and I finally knew for sure I'd make it and beat 4:00. Then I saw Sarah, LB, and Timmy just before the finish and felt great for the first time in an hour or two.
What would you do differently?:

I feel like I did about as well as I could have during the event itself.
Post race
Warm down:

Frankly I couldn't walk very well. LB and Timmy were holding my hands and as they flitted about I almost fell. I grabbed some oranges and a slice of pizza. I tried to stretch but couldn't - any attempts resulted in cramps everywhere else. Got in car for ride back to Charlotte. Had a massage on Monday - that was pretty unpleasant but I think it helped.

Today (Tuesday) is the first day I can walk reasonably well. My legs were completely shot Sunday and Monday. My two year old had to 'help' me down the stairs; on Sunday I actually just went down the stairs sideways, one at a time. Today I'm back to a baseline of 'normal' soreness.

Last updated: 2013-03-19 12:00 AM
03:58:01 | 26.2 miles | 09m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/71
Overall: 0/825
Wore my HR monitor but didn't check HR during event. It's a good thing I didn't because it was through the roof. After the injury layoff (~1.5 weeks) something has been different - I've just been 30 seconds slower. Here's the upshot: * HIM PR 1:42, HR averaged ~168 at ~7:50 pace. * During training 12 mile runs averaged ~145 HR at ~8:40 pace * During week prior to event 5 miles averaged ~153 HR at ~9:00 pace * During event HR immediately >150 and >170 entire 2nd half at ~9:00 pace In other words - something just wasn't right and I don't know what.
Course: Flat, mostly soft surface.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-03-19 2:03 PM

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Subject: Tobacco Road Marathon
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