General Discussion Race Reports! » Des Moines Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Des Moines Marathon - RunMarathon

View Member's Race Log
Des Moines Marathon, Iowa
United States
Total Time = 4h 37m 57s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4 AM for the drive to Des Moines. Ate two packets of oatmeal, two oatmeal squares and a bottle of PowerBar Endurance drink during the drive.
  • 4h 37m 57s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 37s  min/mile

When I decided to do this marathon last Spring my goal was to just get another marathon under my belt within the same year as IMWI 08'. My goal was to finish in under 4 hours, which per my normal pace should have been a reasonable goal. Unfortunately my training schedule had a blurp which kept me from running for two weeks back in August (travelling to support wife during her ultra-marathon events). When I returned to my training I jumped back in with a 17 mile run. Mistake #1. I continued on my schedule as if I hadn't missed two weeks. That stopped quickly while out out on a run when I felt a sharp stab in my right foot. Long story short...I got posterior tibialis tendinitis (similar to plantar fasciitis). I had to stop running completely. To make up for the lack of running I aqua-jogged and took spin classes about 6 days a week. This didn't allow my foot to heal completely, but it kept my fitness level adequate. In the past TWO MONTHS I've ran approximately 35 miles. This is about 10% of the mileage I should have been running leading up to the marathon. Because my training was shot and I was still suffering from the tendon injury I had planned on just running the half marathon. Then I had the bright idea that I would run with my wife and friends on the full course and Opt Out at one of the designated first aid stations. The RD set it up so that runners could bail at certain points along the course. So the plan was to make it to the 12 mile point and evaluate how I was feeling. The next first aid stop was at mile 21. I had no problem hitching a ride back to the start line in a golf cart for my first DNF. Or so I though...

I seated myself with the 3:20 pace group in order to run with my wife and friends for a couple of miles. The gun went off and so did I, maintaining a 8 - 8:10+ pace for a couple of miles. My pace was steady for the first couple of miles then we started hitting the hills. The course description called for a few hills, but I did not expect 8 miles of climbing and descending, up and down rollers. I forced my pace down when I started to feel my right foot start to heat up. I wanted to atleast make it to the 12 mile point without screwing up my foot even more. I started to amend my stride, favoring my bad foot. I could feel my left foot starting to hurt, as well as my left knee. This was obviously caused by my amended running stride.

As I approached the mile 12 first aid spot I didn't see any first aid station or medical staff, or golf carts.....or anything, but cheering fans. I also saw my wife who was running the opposite direction and was looking good. This gave me a spike of energy. That coupled with not finding any support staff I made the decision to try and make it to the 21 mile first aid station. So I plodded on with a hobbling stride.

Mile 12 to 16 was a steady decrease in physical and mental strength. I had so many pains going on in my lower half that I had pretty much forgotten about my injured right foot. Mile 17+ and the stabbing started in my right foot. I slowed down to a walk to take a few more e-caps and eat a gel and re-group. I started running again, favoring the foot even more. This is when my left foot started throbbing. It felt like my arch was starting to cramp or a stress fracture developing. I pushed on making each water stop my goal. I'd walk the water stop, eat, drink, and continue hobbling to the next. By mile 19-21 I was down to a 50% - 50% walk/run. As I approached the 21 mile first aid stop the only support I found besides water girls were two Paramedics sitting in a rescue squad. I had to make a decision quickly. Stop and ask the paramedics for a ride in an ambulance to the finish line? Ahhhh'.....that wasn't going to happen. Only other option was to keep hobbling for another 5+ miles. So I hobbled on....

Mile 23 the cramps started. My waist (groin, abdomen, hip flexors) started to cramp, which folded me over in pain. Then the nausea started. Mile 24 and the puking began. I exited the trail to vomit next to a tree and my entire body went into a cramp. A couple of minutes later I'm back on the trail, still shuffling. Another mile, more cramps, more puking. You can see the puke stops in the pace graph below. I'm falling apart so quickly that I'm starting to doubt I can make it the last mile. Three steps and I'd cramp. I would try and run but my entire lower half would seize up, everything from stomach down would lock into one gigantic cramp. I continued, now with a support person on a bike riding next to me asking if she could help. Very nice of her, but I was .5 miles away from the finish line.

As I rounded the last corner the finish line was in sight. This was probably 800 feet away. The streets were lined with people cheering. I was walking like the Tin Man from wizard of oz. I couldn't straighten my calves and my feet felt like I was walking on nails. As I got about 300 feet from the finish line I tried to jog so not to cross the the finish line walking. My first two steps and both calves and quads locked solid, which almost knocked me to the ground. Keep in mind there are hundreds of people lining the street next to me yelling cheers of encouragement. I could not take another step. The crowd was now focused on me and I was horribly embarrassed. As I clutched the side of the railing that constructed the finish chute people yelled at me to keep going, you can do it, etc. All I kept thinking was how I hope no one was capturing this on film. It was quite a display I must say. After a minute or so of clutching the railing I decided I'll have to run across the finish line with both legs in full cramps. So I did. I was literally running with both legs straight as a board. I'm sure the crowd enjoyed the "show" I put on for them, but this was the most embarrassing moment I've ever experienced. In retrospect it was quite funny.

So I crossed the finish line 37+ minutes slower than my original goal, but 13+ mile more than I had planned on running.

What would you do differently?:

Lesson learned. Never jump back into a running schedule after you've missed two weeks of running. A gradual increase may have saved me from getting this injury.
Post race
Event comments:

A big shout out to my BT peeps who've helped me nurse this injury back to a point that allowed me to run. Lauren, Dan and everyone else who have offered suggestions and support. Thank you!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-10-22 12:00 AM
04:37:57 | 26.2 miles | 10m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: Beautiful course, consisting of moderately rolling hills for the first half and flat as a pancake the second half. The course was mostly tree lined through downtown, residential streets and park trails.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2007-10-22 8:43 AM

User image

Subject: Des Moines Marathon

2007-10-22 9:17 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon
I'm sorry you had to suffer so much, but it does make for an interesting read.  I'll need to remember this when I want to push harder than I should at something.  Now rest up, we have about 46 weeks to prepare for the big show.
2007-10-22 9:31 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon
Wow, that was an eventful race!  Way to keep pushing and finish(even if it wasn't pretty or the smartest thing)!  Just think, you're marathon at IM MOO will feel like a piece of cake after this.  Now stop running and let the damn foot heal!
2007-10-22 9:50 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

Heh, that was a classic race and race report.  I knew you'd grind out the full, you dog.  Hope you have a nice relaxing couple of weeks and let the shat subside and quiet down.

My grind in on the 16-mile relay in Milwaukee was the same type of finishers-chute experience.  I was wondering how many people were horrified or talked out of a marathon with my epic claw to the finish line.  So, you gave me a laugh with that one.  Thanks.

2007-10-22 10:52 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Extreme Veteran
"the wave", iowa
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

well now i feel like a wienier because i am complaining about my knee hurting

way to finish!!!!  maybe next time we'll wise up and not try to push a marathon (but i doubt it).  congrats!

2007-10-22 1:11 PM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

Well done my friend.  Regardless of how many times you threw up or how you looked crossing the finish line, you still did it. 

Your race report is the exact reason that I cannot let myself get anywhere near the start of MCM this Sunday.  If I even toe that startline, they'll have to drag me off the course before I stop myself. 

The good news is that you have time to let yourself heal now.  And you don't have aquajog anymore, nancyboy

Edited by 3558 2007-10-22 1:11 PM

2007-10-22 5:58 PM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

< slap > < slap >

Do you have any more sense now? 

Congrats on finishing the race! 

2007-10-22 9:16 PM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon
Sounds like the best laid plans had a small flaw.  I am sorry to hear of the pain and suffering.  Good job pushing through, I hope there is no permant damage.
2007-10-23 7:35 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon
Whow!  Tough race!  Good job on gritting it out, and sorry to hear about the struggle at the end.  Lesson learned?
2007-10-23 7:37 PM
in reply to: #1019914

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

Okay, don't hate me, but I was laughing hysterically at those last two paragraphs of your race report, as you described yourself approaching the finish line. I can just see you now. Ahh. Well, you already have some marathons under your belt, and they can't all go perfectly, so you just need to have a good sense of humor about what happened.

Although, listening to you describe how you fell apart, with the puking and cramping, was actually quite scary. In the future, don't do this to yourself again, okay? I do commend you on your strength and how you were able to push through everything. Not many people could have done that, and for that, I applaud you.

I hope you're still feeling good about your decision, and was glad to learn that the mary didn't really make the PTT any worse. Now, just let your body heal, and you can start training for CdA. Wohoo!!!

Good job !!

2007-10-25 9:11 PM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Husker Nation
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon
It felt like my arch was starting to cramp or a stress fracture developing. -- dude I know that exact feeling!

Have you done the Omaha marathon? When you mentioned hills for this Des Moines one it took me back to Omaha and how horrible it was for me. Definitely a reality check. I gotta tell you I think you have an excellent time after reading that report. What an experience!

2007-10-26 6:35 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

West Bend, WI
Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

Why do I think think is funny   SORRY!  Way to hang in there- that is actually a pretty decent time for they way you semed to be feeling!

2007-10-31 3:23 AM
in reply to: #1018293

User image

Subject: RE: Des Moines Marathon

"You can see the puke stops in the pace graph below."

Only a triathlete could have put that sentence together.  Of course Lauren is right - who could read that without it being funny?  Can I quote you? 

Edited by KMac40 2007-10-31 3:26 AM
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Des Moines Marathon Rss Feed