Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Never Again

At least I stuck with the plan. Came through the half in 1:21.10, so just on track. Came through 30K in 56:50ish, which meant I was starting to slow but still had a sub-39 10K average. Up until this point, I felt inappropriately smug, drafting well, eating well, feeling well. At 30K, had you asked me, I would have said I was ready to speed up.

The slowdown came at 32K. At first, it was stomach cramps, which I have never had before. I was running with a guy, actually leading in the headwind. I had to slow down and told the guy that I was having a crisis and asked if I could sit behind him for a while. There were little ups and downs over the last 10K but, overall, I slowly came apart and got passed by some 20 runners.

Dead man (very close to) walking:

My time was low 2:49, so just a measly 90 seconds faster than my training marathon 4 weeks ago, where I started slowly and ran very negative splits. I kept imagining the ghost of 4 weeks ago, running behind me in that last 10K, passing people while enjoying a huge runner's high. Honestly, had the ghost known about me, he would have caught me.

Where did I go wrong?

1. Started out too fast. I'm probably just not in shape for a 2:42. It sure felt easy but I guess that's no guarantee. Maybe if I had started out running a 1:23 half marathon, I wouldn't have imploded. Too late, I've vowed never to set a goal time in a big city marathon. If a low 2:40s is in my future, it will come off a slowish start and deeply negative splits.

2. New gels. We bought a new kind of gel (Multi-Karbo?) at the expo before the race. BOth flavors (orange and cola) tasted like overly concentrated melted popsicle. The new kind of gel may explain the stomach cramps but not the whole deroute.

3. Weight loss? I lost quite a bit of weight leading up to the race, from stress and lack of time to cook. It surprised me how easy it came off.

4. Training on trails. I haven't run on roads, barely, this whole winter and spring. I love training on trails, but perhaps the pounding of pavement for 2 hours was too much for my spoiled lower extremeties.

The Girl's race has been well-documented on her own blog. I think the pressure got to her, as it got to me. People have been guessing finishing times that were unrealistically low, and she went for such a time. She is fine and is already looking at other races. We will probably do a trail marathon in 4 weeks.


olga said...

I think you got the reasons nailed. It is more often a combination than one big. Trail marathons sounds liek something to give you focus, fun, and likely win (am I right?:))

SteveQ said...

One more possible reason: you raced a marathon in training and 4 weeks was not quite enough to recover.

But why "Never again?"

珮瑜 said...


SteveQ said...

Found a blog you might like:

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