The Best PartI have to start this with the most amazing part of the race. Diane, Brandon, Mason, Damon, Mom, Kristi, Vincent, Dave, Amanda, Josh, Harry, and Sarah. You were all so amazing. I can't believe how inspiring, supportive, caring, and wonderful you all were. Diane, you and your family, seeing me so many times on the race, and planning out such an amazing amount of support, I have never felt so honored in my life.
GoalsMy half marathon paces have been ~1:45, and I knew I needed to be a bit more conservative, so at the packet pickup, I picked up the 3:45 pacer bracelet, and expected to run with that group. I figured, if I slowed down, from 3:45, I could still beat my goal of sub 4:00, but I wasn't going to be so arrogant to think that my half pace would be my full pace.
Well, that didn't work so well. Race day excitement kicked in, and I paced the 3:30 folk for the entire front half, and then slowed down to my own pace for the second half. So, long story short (since I'll get into the details next), my goal was sub 4, my stretch goal 3:45, my half pace as a full was 3:30, and I finished with 3:43 and change! Below my stretch goal, and well below my goal. I'm thrilled, excited, and utterly flabbergasted by the time. I'm on such a high right now, I can't even explain it.
Somewhere around mile 13, my pace dropped from 8:00 to 8:30s. Not surprising to me at all, since the majority of my training peaks out at 13 miles. In fact, I've only done two runs exceeding that distance, a 15 mile run in August, and the Clarksburg 20 three weeks ago. So when my joints and muscles, at 13 miles, let themselves be known, it came as no surprise. I expected some of that, and I started out with a slightly aggressive pace, knowing that it was risky, but taking the chance at making my marathon pace the same as my half marathon pace.
At mile 18, as I said, that slight penalty became tremendous. It was like trying to run through water, my breathing hadn't changed, my heartrate stayed steady, but my muscles were no longer cooperating. Every step was an effort. By mile 23, both of my calves and both hamstrings were cramped up. I spent every amount of effort I had trying to keep my muscles relaxed, or at least to prevent them from locking up completely. I was sure I was going to have to walk, but I knew that from the second I did, I would be struggling to make it forward, so I persisted, and never once walked the entire marathon. So I made my first half in ~1:45, and the second half in ~2:00, and I'm very pleased with the results.
I also have had a hard time eating. I'd think, after running 26.2 miles, I'd be famished. Instead, I could barely finish half a gardenburger, a few onion rings, and a few chips. I ate six or eight 200 Calorie meals Sunday, trying starches, fruits, veggies, juices... anything after the race. I had the same issue Monday. It wasn't until Monday lunch that I really ate anything substantial, and that was only because I forced myself to eat a calorie dense meal at Panda Express. Nothing I really wanted to do, but I could tell I was at a calorie deficit, and needed something in my body. Even now, I still don't seem to want to take in calories, even though I know I'm still short. I haven't lost any weight, and I've been a drinking a lot of water, but I'm just struggling to get in enough calories.
... Anyway, is more than long enough. But I have to say once again, I loved the race, and look forward to doing it with my friends next year.