So I should probably recap my marathon last weekend before I forget. Actually, I have forgotten most of it by now. Even my quads are back to normal. Running a marathon is easy breezy. Just like child birth.
I sort of carbo loaded on Friday by eating a lot of frosting and food in general, and then kept it simple with protein and candy on Saturday.
I’m not sure I can fully endorse this method because I spent most of marathon morning on the toilet. I was worried this would affect the race and even texted my mom to be on standby because I am not about to poop myself for a race.
I drove myself over to IL, so I had to leave early enough to find a parking spot. That was still a bit of a struggle because of the road closures, etc. I got myself ready in the car and took a piss before walking to the starting line area. It’s a small race, so i just inserted myself in near the 3:30 pacer. Took about 30 seconds to cross the start. When I felt nerves, I would tell myself that “running is fun” and “this is supposed to be fun!” Surprisingly optimistic and it worked. Nerves went away and I found my cruise pace. Of course I ran it naked because I always do and I like telling people that I run naked. The race had clocks in weird places though, like the 5 mile mark. I crossed that mat around 39 minutes. I had already passed the 3:25 pacer and expected to see them again a few times. My original plan was to walk a lot. Of course I didn’t follow the plan. Plans are for pussies. I decided to walk after the first 10k, where there was another timing mat that I crossed around 49 minutes. I ate a shot blok and decided to eat more at mile 10. I think I turned on music around here too and listened to it on and off until the finish.
I think I walked around mile 11 or 12 and forgot to take a shot blok. Walked again around 15 and finally ate another. Grabbed some gummy bears from an aid station. I think I walked again around 17 and then just after 20. I crossed 20 miles at 2:37ish and ate one more blok. I finished with 3 left. Whoops.
Prior to the race, I was anxious about keeping a smooth pace through the boring miles of 13-20, i didn’t think much about the last 10k. That’s always the easiest part, right? But around mile 20, my hip and quad got really tight. I could feel them contracting. I quick stretched them out at aid stations and continued on, but I was really worried about them seizing up and me having to zombie limp to the finish.
I stretched my quad at the 23 mile turnaround and the 3:25 group caught up to me. I decided to try and stick with them but I ended up pulling away from them fairly quickly and running the entire last 3 miles. I distracted myself by looking for people I knew on the other side of the out and back. Of course I didn’t see my family until about 5 meters before the finish line. And by family I mean, my mom. It’s okay though, I realize that watching someone run by in 5 seconds isn’t terribly exciting.
My official finish time was 3:24:09 (PR). I am happy with how the race went. I did have fun (who knew I could still have fun?), I almost ran a negative split (20 second difference), and I got a 3 minute PR. After my half marathon disaster, I had lost a lot confidence. My half splits for this marathon were only slightly slower than my time in that half.
So after the marathon I did what any sane person would do. I completely ignored my cramped up shoulders and dead to me quad and I signed up for an Ultra.
It’s only(!) 30 miles and I figure that I’m in shape for that distance, so I might as well try it. It’s 2 weeks away so I probably won’t do any long runs before then. Now that my muscles have “recovered” from the marathon, I am struggling again with my allergies. As I type, I have vertigo and a plugged up ear. So I hope to be consistent and stay healthy until then and see what happens on race day. I will be employing the walk up the hills method as well as other walk and food breaks. I guess my goal would be under 6 hours. I just finished 26.2 in 3:24, so that seems like a lot of extra time, but it is on a trail. It’s a “runner friendly” flatish course. The trail 5k I did had me running about a minute slower per mile, so i would expect even slower for an ultra.