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Reykjavík Marathon - RunMarathon

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55F / 13C
Total Time = 5h 33m 25s
Overall Rank = 402/468
Age Group = F30-39
Age Group Rank = 112/136
Pre-race routine:

*Overall is Female Only*
  • 5h 33m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 44s  min/mile

About 8 years ago I heard about the race in Iceland and thought it would be fun to try the half marathon there as a destination race. The idea of Iceland came and went over the years, but I forgot about it until I saw the guys from Boundless take on an ultra race in Iceland. With that, plus the footage from Walter Mitty and great plane ticket prices, my desire to travel there was rekindled. Last fall my yoga teacher decided to offer a yoga trip that started the Monday after the race and that sealed the deal. I ended up not signing up for the retreat, but the idea of the race and doing my first marathon was like a runaway train.

I had said, for many years, that I wouldn't do a marathon. I thought the training seemed really daunting and I wasn't super excited about even half marathons any more. But this year I was running out of good challenges and it seemed doable. I started the training in full after returning from vacation in March. It was SO HARD to start! I had taken a few weeks off and had a lackluster number of base miles in 2015. A few weeks into my training plan I downgraded plans twice to eventually end up with the easiest of the Hal Higdon plans (Novice 1). Between the easing of mileage, and getting back into a routine, I was able to keep going and ended up getting through the summer. I never did the plan 100% and the long runs were always very hard. It was a hot and humid summer and was always soaked and dehydrated. Seems unfair to be wearing all of the water your body needs inside.

I was lucky to have avoided any major injury and even some niggling pains had mostly resolved themselves over time. I really credit my Telic sandals for recovery after my long runs. I did have a busy two weeks of events leading up to the big event, with the Tour de Tonka (only rode about 30 miles) and then Ragnar. I finally got to Iceland and was as ready as I'd ever be.

I started out pretty good. I felt really good for the first third or so, then okay for a while. I wish there had been more water stops and I was struggling with the slanted roads and paths. The course was mostly really beautiful as it looped by the water front and on their expansive path system. I can't remember where things really fell apart, I need to study my watch. I know that around 18 or so miles I felt very defeated. When I ran my back hurt, when I walked my feet hurt, etc.. I just hit the wall I suppose. My husband, who was spectating by bike, came around and kept me company for a long way. I did eventually take two ibuprofen and that helped quite a bit. I was trying to avoid this, since I'd read it was hard on your kidneys during an event when you may be dehydrated. I actually chose risk to my kidneys to avoid the pain! People are crazy sometimes. All I wanted to do was be done and I knew that I had to finish come hell or high water. I did manage to run the last 1.5 miles or so, which is good and I got a lot of good cheers. It felt pretty lonely at that point, so I am a little pleased to see that I did manage to finish ahead of a good handful. It seems mean, but it helps!

Ultimately I am not planning to attempt this again. No part of the race was fun or rewarding. I am most proud that I stuck with the training, which was a good personal lesson. It was really interesting to see my body change over time. I've struggled during many a race, but this lacked the reward. Something quite drastic would have to change for me either mentally or physically to find this fun. I need to get back to being "BikerGrrrl" and just do shorter running stuff strictly for fun. I do plan on more destination races, but a half is enough for me.
What would you do differently?:

My splits (subtracting the 2:37):
1:04:39 10k
2:17:16 20k
2:25:02 21,1k
2:54:43 25k
3:37:54 30k (here about a 11:40 pace still, so I let it all fall apart over 12k!)

5:33:25 chiptime
5:36:02 gun time
0:02:37 difference

Post race
Event comments:

This is a great race! I loved many things about the event. The only thing that was lackluster was the post-race activities. There was a small area with pretzels and bananas and blue powerade, that's it. My friend who did the half said she didn't see any food at all. But the location is SO COOL and I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to anyone interested in this reason to visit Iceland.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2016-02-10 12:00 AM
05:33:25 | 26.2 miles | 12m 44s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/136
Overall: 0/468
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2016-08-25 4:37 PM

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, Minnesota
Subject: Reykjavík Marathon

2016-08-25 5:08 PM
in reply to: #5196772

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New user
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Reykjavík Marathon

Very cool that you finished even though it was difficult and not too much fun. Another thing to knock off the list, and you definitely picked a scenic venue for it! I've read a bit about painkillers and kidneys, and (disclaimer: I'm not doctor), my experience and research says that being sensible about taking them is ok. Don't take more than the recommended dosage and stay hydrated.

2016-08-26 10:01 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Reykjavík Marathon

Definitely making it through the training during such a hot humid summer is something worth celebrating! Great job on gutting it out and doing it!!! 

The marathon is a unique experience for sure! 

2016-08-26 6:53 PM
in reply to: #5196772

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Reykjavík Marathon
Congrats on sticking with the training and finishing! Was this your first marathon? The first is always super-hard, because you just don't know what pace you can handle and what to expect. Most marathons DO have some sort of "Valley of Suck" in them, but one doesn't always hit the wall. I think in the 12 or so I've done, that's really only happened a couple of times---once due to clueless pacing (my first) and the other when I got dehydrated. The others were hard, with maybe some ugly patches, but very doable. It's true that the training can be more obnoxious than the race itself at times....I always thought it was kind of a "too much of a good thing" deal. One reason I got into tri! No need to stick to it if running isn't really your passion, but I wouldn't give up because of a difficult first race--I think except for a few lucky people (maybe pros who train 140 miles a week or something), the first one is always very tough.

By any chance is there a half associated with this race? Mom and I are thinking of going to Iceland next summer and I'm interested in doing a race there, but not really a full marathon. Think there might be a Challenge race (HIM) but not sure the date would work, or how interested I am in hauling a bike around for the whole trip.
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