Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Marathon #4

Well, another marathon under my belt. It didn't go as well as I had hoped, but still went okay. I had hoped to run a 3:35, or at least beat last year's 3:39, but I ran out of steam. I started feeling it around mile 16, as my heart rate was starting to climb, while my speed was not. By mile 22 my pace was tanking, resulting in a 3:49:34. Not too bad, considering I wasted September as a training month. For that matter, August too. I simply failed to devote adequate training time towards this endeavor. Though I did well in the short races, going over two hours is another dimension.

The race was well organized (TuxBro always delivers), and I liked the new course. The weather was great. It was clear, and low 50's to start. There was a bit of wind in places, but not too bad. There were plenty of water stations, though some of the later ones did not have adequate manning; I skipped two stations where I wanted to get water, but didn't want to stop to wait for a cup. Not a big deal. The post-race food/drinks were decent, though Fazoli's pasta isn't what I'd consider to be very good. No matter, as I wasn't up for much food at that point anyway.

I felt great for the first 16 miles, and was on pace for my target. Then my heart rate started to climb. And I think I was becoming dehydrated, as I was not sweating very much. I started hitting every water stop (except for two), but it didn't seem to be helping. I felt hot, though the temp was mid 50's. Here are my splits:

Mile Pace HR Mile Pace HR
1 8:00 152 14 8:24 163
2 7:53 159 15 8:26 163
3 8:03 157 16 8:35 162
4 7:57 160 17 8:40 162
5 7:52 160 18 9:01 161
6 7:58 159 19 8:14 161
7 8:10 159 20 8:50 163
8 7:51 158 21 9:02 162
9 8:03 160 22 10:22 156
10 7:56 160 23 11:55 152
11 8:04 160 24 9:28 153
12 8:11 161 25 12:29 140
13 8:07 163 26 10:07 153
0.2 1:56 164

By the end of the race, I was spent, mentally and physically. After last year's race, I went home for the afternoon, then went to a Halloween party. After the Flying Pig, I went home and worked in the yard. After this race, I went home and showered, and was too tired to do anything. I napped for almost an hour, and then made a giant bean burrito for lunch. My legs were tired and uncomfortable. I later remembered my new 2XU compression pants I got as a prize (from Athlinks). They are for running and recovery. I wore them for the rest of the afternoon, and they seemed to help a bit. But I was just spent.

Like before, I learned a few lessons that will eventually help me in the future. Some lessons I need to have thumped in my head repeatedly, like, put the time into training, get adequate rest, train with a plan, and devote time to recovery. I clearly didn't put the time in for this event. My time and mileage for 2009 will be about 60% of what it was for 2008 (only two pairs of shoes this year…). I have been getting about 5-6 hours of sleep every weeknight for the past nine weeks. I generally didn't know what distance or effort I was going to train until my shoes were on. I'm surprised I didn't flame out even worse on the run. I think the mini a few weeks ago gave me a little more hope about my endurance. As far as dehydration, I drink a great deal of water. Nearly two gallons per day, and rarely less than 1.5. I realize this may flush beneficial things I fail to replenish, but the past week has been kind of strange. You'd think drinking all this water, I'd never be thirsty. Or have chapped lips and dry hands. Wrong. I was really thirsty all week, my lips were chapped, and I was getting splits on my hands. What's up with that? I think I should probably look into it. My system is probably a mess.

What next? I normally do the Drumstick Dash, but will be in Tennessee this year. There is a Turkey Trot called the Habtrot, and is very close to where I'll be. I may sign up for it, though I'm not yet sure. For 2010, I need to evaluate some things. Like why marathons? Do I really like the distance, or is it to simply do a distance most people won't? Strangely, I want to do something harder, but first I have to be successful at this. I don't think this race is representative for me, and I really think if I align myself with efficient time and effective training, I can break 3:30. Yes, its nearly ten minutes off my best time, but I think it's doable. I want to be faster, in both long and short distances. I simply want to do well in my age group. It seems multisport is where I can find this.