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Des Moines Marathon - RunMarathon

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Des Moines, Iowa
United States
IMT Des Moines Marathon
41F / 5C
Total Time = 3h 38m 11s
Overall Rank = 303/2300
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 34/119
Event warmup:

Took a good 10 minute walk, a few calf stretches, not much else.
  • 3h 38m 11s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 20s  min/mile

I started out with the 3:40 pace group, thinking (hoping) they would start out at a slow pace since that was originally my strategy - to go out nice and easy, hold back until around mile 18, then kick it up and try to run a negative split.

That strategy went out the window at the start. Our pace group went out at around an 8:20-ish pace. I wasn't too concerned since I would have probably started at no worse than 8:40. It was extremely crowded the first 3 miles. I wish some people would leave the damn ear buds at home so they could hear when someone is behind or next to them. I stayed with my pace group through about mile 4 which was the first very long uphill. I'm a weirdo that loves hills, but only because I have train on them where I live.

After the first climb there was a nice long descent, and that's when my eye's popped at the 7:56 split at mile 5. I would run low 8's and another sub-8 split over the next 7 miles. But I also started experiencing a new discomfort around mile 8 - some soreness/tightness in my upper inner thigh/groin area. It wasn't painful, just an annoyance. It started becoming a bit more of a nuisance around mile 13, so I decided to give myself a brief break and walk one aid station, take some ibuprofen, and visit a porta-potty (a 3-for-1 pit stop).

When I came back out, the 3:40 pace group had just passed me, but they were only 50 feet ahead so I knew I was still on track. The break helped, but that discomfort never really went away. I took some more ibuprofen around mile 20 when it started flaring up again, and decided not to take any more after that point.

I tried to get some good karma when one of the female racers in our pace group was in dire need of a GU pack. I had two left, and knowing I wouldn't need both I ran up to her and gave her one. She kept asking if I was sure, and I said yes - I always have an extra just in case one falls out. Well guess what happened when I was getting hers out? Yep - dropped my last one! I didn't even realize it until 2 miles later. But I didn't regret it - I could tell she needed it more, and she was genuinely appreciative. I grabbed a banana at the last aid station to substitute.

I also decided around mile 20 to pick up the pace to have a strong 10k finish, and possibly catch up to the 3:35 group - or at least get to the point where I could see them. I could only keep up a pace of sub 8:20 through mile 22. After that I couldn't keep pressing. I could hear the pace group leader behind me, and she was great at encouraging me. Apparently we had lost a majority of our group, except for our leader and my GU-pack friend. With less than 2 miles to go I heard our pacer say we were 1:20 ahead of pace. When we were coming down our last 1/2 mile I tried picking it up again. I wasn't going to settle for 3:40 - now I wanted to be under that, even if just by a bit. I crossed the line in 3:38:11.
What would you do differently?:

Being my first marathon, I'll be analyzing this for a while. One thing to keep in mind is I only had one true long run in the 6 weeks leading up to this (an 18-miler). But I had done 2 half-Ironman events over the summer, so I had a pretty decent base. But more volume would have been helpful. I also was battling PF and an ankle tweak. Add it all up, and I think with proper training I could run sub 3:30.
Post race
Warm down:

My friend (who also ran, finished 4 min ahead of me) was waiting for me at the finish, along with his and my families. He and I got our pictures taken, then went to get some food. We sat down for about 5 minutes, then met our families at the beer tent before heading home for some recovery pizza. The walk back to the car was rather difficult - that upper/inner thigh soreness was rearing it's ugly head, and my PF was definitely making itself known. After getting home I popped some more ibuprofen, got some ice on my heel, elevated my legs and watched football.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Again, lack of proper training, mostly volume. The PF and thigh pain didn't help at all either.

Event comments:

I'll definitely be back, hopefully running with my wife :) This is a really well-done event with great volunteer support.

Last updated: 2013-09-25 12:00 AM
03:38:11 | 26.2 miles | 08m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 34/119
Overall: 303/2300
1 8:27.1 1.00 2 8:11.8 1.00 3 8:19.9 1.00 4 8:07.6 1.00 5 7:56.8 1.00 6 8:12.7 1.00 7 8:03.0 1.00 8 8:08.8 1.00 9 7:58.7 1.00 10 8:01.2 1.00 11 8:00.0 1.00 12 8:05.0 1.00 13 8:15.1 1.00 14 8:47.3 1.00 15 8:45.2 1.00 16 8:00.9 1.00 17 8:17.2 1.00 18 8:16.6 1.00 19 8:29.1 1.00 20 8:24.2 1.00 21 8:19.4 1.00 22 8:18.3 1.00 23 8:35.0 1.00 24 8:43.3 1.00 25 8:30.3 1.00 26 8:39.0 1.00 27 2:29.9 0.31
Course: Single loop/out-and-back hybrid. A few hills, the biggest climb at miles 3-4. Start in downtown, out to Drake University with a lap on the Blue Oval. Return through Waterworks Park and Gray's Lake then back downtown to the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-10-21 9:26 AM

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Des Moines, Iowa
Subject: Des Moines Marathon
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