Monday, October 19, 2009

marathon man.


about 20 years too late, but i am finally a marathon runner. :-)

hmmm... what a day it was. the short of it was it went really well. mostly. and then it was over and i had a fast time for me and a slow time for marathoners.

ahhh... just thinking on it now. pretty much the story starts the day before. saturday night. about 10 people showed up at the resa's sister's house. she lives about 20 minutes from the start so we spent the night there. about 8 of us were running in the marathon. i think 4 half and 4 full, actually i didnt know 3 or 4 of them and i think some of them ran too. but around 9 at night i decided to go to bed. i was the first one in for the night as i sleep really well. except before a sporting event. i will sleep about 300 days in a row from 3 seconds in bed to alarm clock at whatever time. and then the night before a big event i will sleep in 3 minute sections all night long. arg. and so i went to bed early to at least have more 3 minute sections. which i did get. i probably woke up 20 times over the next 4 hours while the late night people ran around the house yelling or whatever.

long story short i finally did wake up to the alarm clock at 5:30. felt like i finally got enough sleep for an event. usually its an adventure race and i am the map guy and i get the maps at 8 at night and get them plotted and sealed around 12 or 1 and the race starts at 5 or 6. not this time, lots of sleep. :-)

quick breakfast. did everything like always. and you know when you drive a car in a lot of traffic... and you cant just go swerving around the road all over the place. you have to do stuff just right to have it work out. well that lesson hit us in a strange way. resa and i both use body glide all over. behind ears and up noses and everywhere else. so we are both putting that on after breakfast. and she found an older stick of it in our luggage. it was about maybe 2 or 3 years old i would guess. but she found it about a week ago and dumped it into her running bag. so she reaches into the bag and there are probably 3 sticks in there but she pulls out the old one. just blind chance. and puts it on. and about 5 minutes later she says its burning. and 10 minutes later she is back in the bathroom with wet towels wiping it off everywhere. and still today on monday she is bright red where she put it on, says it stings still. weird. i mean wtf? so dont do anything different includes everything. wow. ever-reee-thing.

i did a lot of guessing on the clothes to wear. i am cold mostly. if its 60 out i am cold. oddly i dont like it hot though. i have about a 3 degree range of weather where i am happy. which means never. or only during about 1 hour of a run. so it was cold. at freezing during the start. i asked all the 3 hour people what they were going to wear. shorts and a t-shirt. maybe a jacket for the first 10 miles, er i mean first hour. well, that wouldn't work for me. i was planning on somewhere between 5:45 and 5:00. ( we are really slow )

well, i decided to take the advice of some of the bloggers and friends. i put on 3 layers on the bottom and 4 on the top.

BANG! gun goes off. actually we didnt even notice the start as we were six thousand yards from the starting area. but the line started moving and so we went running. ah. first marathon. actually second, but the real first one i didnt think i could finish because i could hardly walk and ran half of it for resa's first ever marathon about 6 years ago. she had a really hard day that time, lots of puking on the course. it was a very hilly and poluted part of south africa.

anyway. off and running the columbus marathon. not half. like i have said about 20 times in my life. 20 halfs and now my first ever full. full. a full focking marathon. full... meaning keep going by the finish when 70% of the people turn off there. wow.

so the plan was to run somewhat fast the first half and then suck it up the second half. which all in all is what we did. the first 3 miles were uphill and we ran them pretty steady. my clothes felt great, but i got a bit warm at the end of the 3 and dumped the outer layer after giving it some serious thought. turned out to be the right decision. also had hand warmers in my gloves which lasted to mile 10. really good. everything went well. almost. :-)

downhill miles and uphill miles. there are 3 small long hills on the whole first half. very fast. we walked every water station. drank drank drank. i also chewed my cliff shot bar as the day went on. 4,5,6,7,8... no problems. just a nagging doubt that grew as we went. we were picking up the pace a bit. at this time we were on about a 5:00 finish pace. which was about as fast as our very best expected time. but... we felt good. it would have been more work to go slower. which was also a big change due to the track workouts. most people were passing us over the first 10 miles. they we passed one or two, got passed by 20 or 30... mile 12... and running uphill to the finish! almost there!!! there! nope. thats the half. we didnt even look at them leaving. just plodded up the hill. and then down the far side and spat out into the empty streets. at mile 12 we were packed in tight with the half marathoners, the 5 and 10k guys the huge crowds watching them, bands playing... then at 14 there are crickets. the marathon people were 1 or more hours ahead of us. no crowds. we did see a homeless guy and some wacky guy clapping. resa said she saw a prostitute. this usually interests me but i was a bit tired. from running our all time fastest half marathon. 2:28 was our previous best ever in 20 races. ( we are slow ) today we got there in 2:25 and were feeling much stronger than ever before at that distance. goes to show you can get better even if you are old! so keep training kids!!! we did some chattering between ourselves about how we would have run the half if thats what we wanted to do as a total distance. we did some training runs of 12 miles where we thought we could have gone low 2:20s. but this was the first time we actually did 13.1 miles at that pace. did we pay for it later? maybe. but i am not sure. we paid, but it was worth the fairly cheap price i think. ;-)

so we run with our groups of 4 or 5 people and they are no longer faster than us. most of the people who ran past were half marathoners having a good day. not many people at 2:30 doing the marathon were blasting around the course at this time. 14,15,16 and its mostly flat or downhill. i am struggling on the uphills now. hill training is next on my list of crap to do. also my stomach is flipping. and i am now taking an interest in drinking the city hose water instead of the hose water gatorade. i pop in the second to last chewy gummy and run on. downhill to the football stadium to meet our first friends. they are bringing the special happy gatorade and candies! awesome!!! we run through the stadium parking lot and out the other side. no friends. ahh well. :-/ and we were hoping to get all that here because the next two miles are uphill several hundred feet. and we thought we might walk some of it before the race started. at this point, mile 17 we planned on having a lunch type meal - well candies and good drinks. and walk the hill and then bomb down the other side. we were still at the 5:00 pace. well, we did pretty much walk the hill. 2 miles of pretty much climbing. hill training is next... ahem.

mile 19 and we have lost 10 minutes on our 5 hour pace. but we are now pretty gassed. 20,21,22 all downhill and we keep the previous pace for this part. just as we had planned. bombed down the hill. but bombing was now not so fast. just normal running on a long steep downhill. so we didnt lose time here, but we sure didnt gain any either. 6 miles of water only stops have totally re-set my stomach and i feel actually better at mile 23 than at 17. also i am getting a second wind. well second breeze anyway. well, things were not getting worse at least. other than at mile 16ish i tripped over some road pothole and went windmilling for about 5 staggering strides. everyone around us found it pretty interesting i remember. well my right ankle is hurting pretty bad from it. (and still is) i am trying very hard not to change my stride into a limpy one sided thing as that leads to all sorts of pain. also our friends on bikes find us at about mile 20! very cool present. and we were talking about it as they showed up. in one of the weirder moments of the run some guys are playing some song and resa starts yelling, i think it must be some awesome grunge song i dont know. but its our friends with yummies!

mile 24 and thats it. bang. we are done. resa was strong until the bottom of the hill, having i would say a slightly better day than me. i would rate our days up to that compared to training runs as ken:8 resa:9. which is absolutely incredible. i dont score between 7-9 like the olympics. if a guy wipes out in the olympics and still gets a 7 or 8 thats just crap. a total failure wipe out should be a 1. not an 8. well we have had runs where i have felt like a 4 to start and ended up a 1 staggering back to the car. and by stagger i mean barely conscious. walk 10 feet. sit, walk 20 feet. sit. hours to get a few miles.

i give me a 9 on running and a 10 on that days prep and a 6 on my stomach. resa gets a 6 for prep - great clothes, food. nasty body glide. and a 10 on running and a 9 on eating. but at mile 24 with 2 to go and we fall off the table on the numbers. running goes to about 4 for me, and 3 for resa as her stomach blows up. but its 2 to go and i told dave i would run this one for him. sorry dave, it was the lamest mile of the 26. but... :-) maybe thats fitting - not that you are lame, but that you are certainly going through a harder time than even that 25th mile was for us. so a few sneaky tears and then mile 26 starts.

longest ever run already for me and the last mile in a half is certainly a brain teaser for us. it never ends. and then they tack on more distance. oddly not this time. it lasted longer for sure. it was mostly walking, at least half a mile of walking. but we were done. needed just about 5 more miles of strength and we would have beat our fantasy time of 5 hours. but they say anyone can run 20 miles. i guess so :-) cause we did.

so last quarter mile. "lets run this bitch" she suggests. or something that hinted that. so we ran. ran past the 26 mile marker. done! nope. still have .2 to go. we run faster. its downhill and we are pounding it out. really fast. its fun. i see the finish a hundred yards away and i swing out a bit wide and we run like maniacs past everyone. sprinting and breathing hard at the end and we cross with me doing the crazy yelling arm pumping thing. cant wait to see those pictures. i was the classic finish in 5:12 minute guy who thinks he won. i still do.

wow. what a day. foot hurts. legs ache. no chaffing. clothes great. stomach brought back from the brink and wow. i felt like one huge monkey was off my back and wow.

so we dont know our official time yet but 5:12 or 5:13 is what we guessed. personal bests for both of us. mark our nephew who is also signed for canada iroman was hoping to break 4 hours. he just sqeeked under 3:20 so i guess he had a good day. it was his first marathon too. he said he ran a few times over the last month to get ready. guess it worked. :-)

the course was great. tons of bands and people on it. wonderful medal and just all around great day.

big thanks to resa for pulling me through the run.

a few days off and we start training for the 40 mile run in january.

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