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Towpath Marathon - Run

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Cuyahoga National Park, Ohio
United States
4060F / 2238C
Total Time = 4h 09m 34s
Overall Rank = 208/425
Age Group = 45
Age Group Rank = 29/54
Pre-race routine:

Up at 5:15. Frosted flakes. I think I should have eaten a little more.
Event warmup:

Rushed to catch the 6:30 train to the starting line, then it didn't leave till 7. 45 minute ride to start line. Luckily not a lot of time before the start, because I was freezing my a$$ off (along with everyone else).

Just did a minimal amount of stretching.
  • 4h 09m 34s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 32s  min/mile

First 3 miles right on 4 hour goal pace - 9:06, 9:08, 9:03. Sped up a little over next few miles running the downhills. 1/2 marathon time was 1:57:45 - probably a hair to fast, but felt very good. Kept that pace up until mile 16. I was 50 seconds under 9 minute pace then, at mile 17 I was 50 seconds over 9 min pace. Did not feel like I slowed down that much, but knew it wasn't good.

I trudged on fo a little bit, until a guy passed me and I decided I had to get moving, so I stayed with him. That got me to mile 20. Miles 16-20 were definitely the toughest mentally. Once I hit 20, I was able to tell myself just a 10k, just 5, just a little 5k, etc.

Only took one walking break at the 23 mile water station for a couple hundred yards. Wanted to keep walking but the thought of having to face my BT buddies made me move my feet again into a run (albeit slow run).

Realized with 5 miles to go, would not make my 4 hour goal, but kept pushing to try and get 4:10. Thought that was gonna be fairly easy, but did not factor in the .2 miles at the end. So I ended up doing the last mile at 9:00 pace and the .2 at 8:00 pace (which felt like an all-out sprint at that point).

What would you do differently?:

Train more.

Not wait for a massage.
Post race
Warm down:

Trying to withstand the pain and discomfort. Trying not to pass out. Trying not to freeze my a$$ off.

Stood in line for over an hour waiting for a massage. It was in the shade and very cool wind blowing. I was shivering after about half an hour and couldnt stop.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough training.

Event comments:

Although my original time goal for this race was to break 4 hours, I knew about 2 months ago that was not likely going to happen. I am very satisfied with my time though, since 1) it was a PR by 39 minutes and
2)more importantly to me, I did not "give up" or give in when the going got tough at mile 17. That had really become a goal in the last week to try and push myself when it got tough. I believe I accomplished that goal.

Last updated: 2004-10-11 12:00 AM
04:09:34 | 26.2 miles | 09m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/54
Overall: 0/425
Performance: Good
Course: Beautiful course with lots of fall colors, railtrail-following a canal. very flat course with lots of gentle downhills in the first 15 miles.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2004-10-11 2:27 PM

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Northern VA
Subject: Towpath Marathon

2004-10-11 3:43 PM
in reply to: #71264

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Adrian, MI
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
"Wanted to keep walking but the thought of having to face my BT buddies made me move my feet again into a run (albeit slow run)"

Damn straight. I've spent way too much time trying to inspire you for you to up and quit on me! ;-)

You must've felt pretty good considering how fast you took out the first half, I hope I can follow you example. Can't agree more about that 16-20 mile segment (heck, I'll add miles 13-16 myself!) and how once you get to 20 it's all about counting down the miles...

Great Job, Gary. I'm proud of you. I knew you could do it. Now we need to work on finding a Spring Marathon, right? Afterall, we've gotta make that 50 marathons in 50 States club. Moreover, we've got to get you ready for the that "other" event you've got on your schedule.

Wait. I forgot. When are you going to start preparing for that 2.4 mile swim? Hope to see you at a Masters Meet soon. I'll give ya some tips. My, Gary, you're going to be busy boy this winter.

Edited by fromer 2004-10-11 3:46 PM
2004-10-11 3:49 PM
in reply to: #71264

Princeton, MN
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
"Miles 16-20 were definitely the toughest mentally. "
Ain't that the truth!
That was exactly the same for me.
But you didn't quit. Heck, I would give my right arm for a 4:09 time.
Well done!

2004-10-11 4:00 PM
in reply to: #71264

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Elite Veteran
Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
Great job! You were right in the middle of your age group. Way to go and you got a PR!!!

I helped out with this race when I was younger. (Grew up near the park; beautiful part of Ohio.) It was my first contact with bloody nipples... oh the wonderful side effects of running a marathon.
2004-10-11 6:41 PM
in reply to: #71264

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2004-10-11 7:36 PM
in reply to: #71264

Extreme Veteran
Seattle, WA
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
Gary!!! Congratulations on your marathon finish! You are that much closer to your IM. I'm glad we here at BT could guilt trip you back into running...without even being there! You know us all too well. Your time is great, especially considering it was pretty cold. That can make your muscles want to stop dead! It looks like you had a very good race, both physically and mentally. I'm so proud! Now ice up and get that body ready for more hell!!!

2004-10-11 9:07 PM
in reply to: #71264

Extreme Veteran
las vegas
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
congratulations on doing a great job in your marathon! i envy your ability to push through your physical and mental fatigue to a strong finish! beating your PR by 39 minutes is pretty amazing too! congrats!
2004-10-11 10:04 PM
in reply to: #71264

Extreme Veteran
Manitoba, Canada
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon

Way to go Gary - so glad you were even able to appreciate the gorgeous fall colours as you flew by.

Hope the massage was worth the chilly wait!

2004-10-11 11:38 PM
in reply to: #71422

Online or Offline
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
Great race report Gary, and CONGRATS on your PR! I thought about you Sunday morning when I was out for a quick run about the time you started your marathon. I also wondered about you today again when I was running and how I was dying to get back home so I could find your RR! Absolutely no disappointing news in it at all!

Rest up, you deserve it!
2004-10-12 11:57 AM
in reply to: #71264

wrightsville beach, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
Great race Gary! Congrats!!   Thanks for the race report. I have a marathon in a few weeks and my goals are very similar to your accomplishments so yuor race report was very helpful, thanks.
2004-10-12 2:35 PM
in reply to: #71264

Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
Wow! Great time! Congratulations!

2004-10-12 10:18 PM
in reply to: #71264

Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
excellent race, Gary!

way to gut it out when you wanted to walk!

scratched sufficiently or do you need a belly rub too?

Edited by bootygirl 2004-10-12 10:18 PM
2004-10-12 10:26 PM
in reply to: #71264

Resident Matriarch
N 43° 32.927 W 071° 24.431
Subject: RE: Towpath Marathon
Great race Gary!
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