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Harvest Marathon - RunMarathon

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Paso Robles, California
United States
Bearcat Boosters
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 42m 51s
Overall Rank = 9/52
Age Group = M-50-59
Age Group Rank = 2/10
Pre-race routine:

Just PB&J, coffee, a fig bar.
Event warmup:

... a little trotting
  • 3h 42m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 30s  min/mile

This was my rookie 26.2, so I barely knew what to expect.

I got great advice from friends on fueling, which probably earned 4 places for me.

The course is steep, and climbs 300' for the first 9 miles to the top of Hog Canyon. I paced off the front group at a fairly easy 8:20 pace, with power that would be about 7:45 on the flat.

For calories, I stayed close to Terry's "a Gu for 2," strategy: a Gu just before each water stop, about every two miles. The 5 Gu flask worked great, as did the Gatorade bottle in my belt. I ended up grabbing water at most stops, and tended to stop for a second to down it rather than spill it. Part of the mix included a couple of fig bars and a three random gels.

This totally paid off, since it went down easy, and I had power in the legs all the way to the finish when a few others bonked.

So after the crest at Hog Canyon, I made sure to let the feet fly downhill, and hold my power and pace as well as I could. My idea was to hold a 7:45 HM pace, but that never happened after climbing the initial grade.

I had no idea what would happen to my legs and speed after the first 13.1, and expected to fight though the 20 mile wall we always hear about. All I knew was that I was in pretty good shape, so I kept putting power into the legs, and it kept working, and working and working. It got harder after about mile 15, but still worked. I bet myself up hog canyon that I'd reel-in a few people who were pulling away, and won the bet. I passed three guys between 22 and 25, and kept feeling strong.

After I passed the last guy, I shifted gears and ran about a 7:00 pace the last mile to the finish, in part because it's automatic, in part because I wanted to see what I could get out of the legs the first time they'd even run that long in one day. It hurt, and felt mechanical, but it was a lot faster than I thought I could run after 25 miles.

I had total respect for the guys I reeled in, but had a lot of fun in that last sprint when HM people tried to run me down and couldn't. That was the ego boost of the day for my first marathon ;)

What would you do differently?:

Pick a flatter course! ;) The math keeps saying I would have saved 13 minutes without that mountain.

In terms of training, it was about right. My avg volume of 40 miles plus seemed to be adequate, especially with the tempo work advice I've used the past 6 months.

Shoes: Skechers Ultras rock at the full distance, too. No change there for standalone halves and fulls.
Post race
Warm down:

I felt good, and was thrilled that I met my main goal of not hitting the wall, and not abusing myself enough to setback my training.

After I grabbed a water, and checked the Garmin, I hung out at the finish offering water bottles to full distance people, complementing them on how well they'd kicked ass.

Here are the results.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Aside from running a marathon with 814' of climbing, I'll look at pushing my pace. I had a lot left in the tank, and it was a little too easy to sprint at the finish, something I don't see when I PB.

Event comments:

This is a very well done race for a hometown event. The timing company and event photographer are great. Free photos, wine tasting, breakfast, and the large volunteer operation included in the entry fee are impressive.

Last updated: 2015-10-19 12:00 AM
03:42:47 | 26.2 miles | 08m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/10
Overall: 9/52
Performance: Good
Course: A loop to Hog Canyon, River and back.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-10-25 8:51 PM

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Palm Springs, California
Subject: Harvest Marathon
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