Yesterday, ran my first marathon of the year, the Light at the End of the Tunnel. Second time I’ve run this one and hopefully, if I can get in, will do it again next year.
First off, gotta say, I was happy just to be there. After the knee issue of the winter, wasn’t sure I’d race at all this summer. Felt very fortunate to heal, train and be there. And on top of that, I was SO lucky to have put a note in my calender (early March) to see when registration would open. It opened the day I checked and I signed up. Not knowing the registration window would only be open for 7 hours. Can’t imagine how fast the registration will go next time.
Race day- a picture perfect day, bright sunshine and start temps about 60 and ended with in low 70s. Below is a good pic, from the race a few years back. Shows the trail and the mountain settings. SO nice not to run on cement or asphalt.
Going into the race, I wasn’t aiming for a BQ or PR. Knew I was under trained, compared to last year, when I lowered my PR by 7 minutes. Only trained for 12 weeks, instead of the preferred 16 or 18 weeks. Did run two 20 milers but just didn’t run enough total miles.
Even so, thought I could handle a 9min pace to finish just under 4hours, without too much discomfort. WRONG!
Maybe it was the heat but really struggled after mile 21. Didn’t struggle like hitting “THE WALL” but couldn’t run 9min any longer. Ran the first half in 2:01 and thought I should be able to do a negative split. It was very close (2nd half 2:02) but nope. Legs were too heavy.
The biggest problem was my fuel intake. Never again will I rely on Gatorade and GU. After the 3rd GU, the stomach revolted with nausea. Didn’t loose my breakfast but the last hour of the race, I couldn’t stomach anymore of either so just drank water. And dumping a cup of water on my head, at the final 4 water stops cooled me off, a bit.
I need to come up with a new fuel ‘plan’…. Maybe I should alternate Gatorade/water?
Suggestions? What’s your fuel plan?
Not sure what is next for 2013. Don’t think I want to run another marathon without at least 16 weeks of training. After taking off the next three weeks for rest, 16 weeks out, would put me into late November or December to find a race. The Seattle Marathon would fall into this time frame but that is NOT a race to try and qualify for Boston. Might have to travel for this next one.
The highlight of the day for me was having my wife and son there. Limited access to the route, so only saw them three times but each time made my day. At mile 21, Will ran about a 100 feet of the trail with me. He loved it. Next time I saw him was just before the finish line. He can running up the trail to me, so I grabbed his hand and we ran to the finish line together, hand in hand. The small crowd at the finish line gave us a nice cheer and he was glowing with excitement. No aches and pain during the final dash across the line, just pure joy.