Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Saint George Marathon 2012, getting close to sub 4.

The short of it I ran 4:18:14 today at which is a 40:41 marathon pr from last years Saint George marathon and an an 1:13 minute improvement over Sand Hollow in March plus while I ran a positive split it was a vastly improved positive split. My first marathon positive split was 28 minutes, my second marathon's positive split was an hour and one minute, this marathon I only ran a 12:06 minute positive split. Plus the wall officially moved from mile 20 to mile 24 this time. I still got a lot to learn but I did much better in everything today from pacing and just running a smarter race.
Now the long of it. My training hasn't been what you would call optimal because my main focus has been getting ready for a half ironman coming up next May plus my very first Olympic Triathlon that I did in September. When I signed up for this race back in April I had intended to try and train to run a sub 4 and get my running mileage up to 50 a week average. But when I switched goals to be more focused on triathlons then running I wasn't sure what to go with come race day. My typical weeks were 40 miles running, 40 miles biking and 2 miles swimming for 3 weeks then a cutback in running to focus more on biking the 4th week. I would do just 20-25 miles running that 4th week, 80-90 miles biking and still 2 miles swimming. I did have a really great tune up half in July of 1:51:55 that made me wonder if sub 4 might still be possible. Most of 20 mile long runs were kind of in the realm as well but I knew I would need to run a perfect race if it were to even be possible. I did 19.4 in 3:10, 19.4 in 3:30 (I had a 24 hour flu and this run you can chalk up to dizzy idiocy as I shouldn't have run it) and 20.3 in 3:19. I also ran the first 14.5 miles of marathon course in 2:19 coming into the halfway point at 2:08. So I wasn't sure what I should do. Three weeks before the marathon I did my very first Olympic triathlon which was my A race for the year and had a pretty good race but afterwords I realized how run down I was. All the training for months on end had run me into the ground so I was determined to have a very restful taper. I even took my vacation last week so I could sleep in everyday and get rested for the race. It did seem to help as my energy level was much better this week instead of the state of exhaustion I have been in the last couple of weeks. I literally made myself manic this week not sure what pace to set on. I debated and debated with myself if I should try for sub 4. So much so I actually printed two wrist bands with splits for race day, the left wrist was my sub 4 eff this lets go for it band and my right wrist had a more conservative 4:05 and 4:10 splits on it. I literally had no idea which goal I would go for even up to the moment the starting gun went off this morning.
I picked up my packet and enjoyed myself at the expo for a couple of hours. Last year I bought an extra marathon t-shirt as for some reason they think long sleeve shirts are a good idea in the desert this year I decided I wanted a hoodie instead (I love it, has the STG marathon logo on it and 26.2 right below the pocket). Because as a no longer fat man I get freezing cold all the time now. I played a small game of Marco Pollo with Katrina at the expo but could never find her (and yes I did walk around the expo hollering put Marco). Last night I met with Katrina (redsparkle) and me and her husband Asa had dinner together at Brick Oven Pizza. Justin was going to dinner with another of group of runners so it was an intimate FE just the 3 of us and a crazy little toddler. My wife had a root canal on Thursday so wasn't up to dinner but I think she wanted a couple hours of quiet time so I took Oliver with me. I think I might have cured Asa and Katrina from wanting kids for a couple of years with the little bundle of dizzy craziness I brought along (think of me bundled into a little 3 foot package of crazy haha). I went home and laid out all my marathon stuff and was in bed my 9pm with an alarm set for 4pm. Me and the running group were all meeting at 5am to ride the buses up together so I opted out of the early bird prizes and having to sit for 2 hours at the start this year for just and hour and I am glad with how cold it was at the start (fatman get cold now). I did wake up at 2am and could not go back to sleep so much that I almost got up and said screw it and was tempted to just get on the 4am buses anyways.
I have been so nervous and manic the last 2 days I have constantly felt like I was going to throw up. Debating over paces and splits and strategy was driving me insane. I made my breakfast and got out of the house at 4:40 am and got to the start at 4:50am to meet my people. We rode the buses up together but I promptly lost everyone the moment we got there. So I just kind of walked around and actually went and huddled around a campfire as I was cold (this made me happy if its so warm you don't need the bonfires at the start you are in big trouble in a couple hours). I lined up just in front of the 4:00 pacer still not knowing what I was going run. I finally said I am driving myself crazy why don't I just run what is comfortable and I will look at my time in a mile or two. I turned my music up to ear drum shattering levels to drive all thoughts out so I could just run and not worry about it. the very first time I even looked at my watch was at mile 2 and I was at a 9:13 average pace evidently what felt comfortable was the 4:05-4:10 more conservative approach. I was like ok I am ok with that, that will still be a massive pr lets run the conservative race and have a good race for once. I hit the 10k marker in 56:xx (for some reason it never posted my 10k splits but I did look at my watch). I stayed conservative all the way up to Veyo where I decided to try my running coaches advice. He had advised me my strategy of running 1/4 of Veyo Hill (550 feet gain in a mile) then walking 1/4, then running 1/4 and then walking 1/4 was probably a little too laid back and that I should do 1/4,1/8,1/4,1/8,1/4 and reduce my walks. I was feeling pretty good and it seemed like a good strategy that way I would still conserve energy on Veyo but not lose as much time as I had been losing in training (I trained with the 1/4, 1/4 strategy). I ended up doing 1/2 run, .15 walk, .15 run, then .15 walk so much less walking then I had done in training. It seemed to help as I wasn't too tired at the top and I didn't lose as much time getting over the hill.
The next 4-5 miles are still pretty uphill until you hit the true downhills of the course. So I was staying conservative and it was working, I walked through the aid stations to get small rests but the hills didn't bother me at all like they did last year. I took an s-cap and a GU at mile 5, mile 11, mile 17 and then was taking oranges near the finish. I hit the 13.1 marker at 2:03:04 perfect. I don't think I have the endurance to run a big negative split so I wanted to get as close to an even split as possible and that put me at a 4:06 right smack in the middle of the 4:05-4:10 I was shooting for. i figured I might have a small positive split and end up closer to the 4:10 but I was ok with that. I did pretty good through Snow Canyon and all the way to Ledges. I was feeling good but it was at this point I was like how the heck did I ever finish two marathons at 95+ degrees. It was only 70 and we had a nice 4 MPH tailwind the first 7 miles but I was like I am freaking hot as heck. I started to dump water on my head at this point. I came into the 30k split at 2:55:14. Again perfect as that had a projected finish time of 4:06:27. I did lose a lot of time on Ledges though as I had always planned to walk a portion of it (this was the second hill I was going to do a run walk strategy up). At this point I was way more tired then Veyo and I just wanted to walk the way up that darn hill. I had to force myself to run portions of it. I figure I lost a good 2-3 minutes on that hill (I will check my splits on my garmin later too tired to go downstairs and get it right now). But I was still feeling good and I was like I can still do the 4:10 that lost couple of minutes will be fine. I was still in a good mood and I like to high five all the little kids when I run past them so I am so happy when they have a crowd as it gives me a little boost. We had lots of little kids to give high fives to coming through town. I was starting to feel the exhaustion setting in around mile 21 but I was still doing pretty good.
It wasn't somewhere between mile 23 and 24 that the cramps set in. These are those muscle spasms craps I used to suffer from doing half marathons in the beginning and what I have suffered from my first two marathons. So it became run until the cramps come on then walk until they subside, rinse and repeat the last couple of miles. We come up on aid station 24 and a guy is handing out ice cold coca cola. He wasn't an official volunteer or an aid station some guy out just handing out ice cold coke. That dude deserves a medal and like a billion hugs. I never thought that a coke would taste better then a gatorade in a race and was wondering why the ironman chose the coke over gatorade when I volunteered for it but that thing hit the spot. Was freaking delicious. Just shortly after that Justin catches up with me and I was like what the heck are you doing behind me (he was shooting for a 3:38 a 1:50xx pr from his marathon in July he still set a 1:17 pr in the race though). I guess he started way more in the back then me and while it took me only 5 minutes to get across the start line it took him 12. He said he passed me on Veyo but I had just passed him back probably didn't notice as I was enjoying my yummy ice cold coca cola.
So we decided to run the last 2 miles together. We were both hurting pretty bad and I was cramping up pretty bad (in new places too last year it was just my calves this year it was my calves and thighs). So we would run until I cramped then walk until they subsided. About a half mile before the finish I went to take a walk break and he decided to go on without me. I took a small walk break and then realized I had actually been running slower then I needed to stay with him as I actually was able to speed up and catch him even despite the two walk breaks I took. I probably cost my self 2 minutes there by running slower than I needed to on my run segments but I really don't care it was so nice to run with someone when your just hurting like that. And we ended up finishing together (he did beat my by 7 minutes because he lined up so far in the back) so I was happy with that. I am happy with the race and I am glad I went with the conservative approach I cannot even begin to fathom what my positive split would have been like had I went out aggressive. It would have probably been like last year or even worst like Sand Hollow in March.
At the finish line was my son, that always makes me happy my wife wasn't sure if she was going to make it this year as she hasn't felt good at all the last two days. I love seeing his smiling face at the finish line. My dad brought me a gatorade again at the finish line something other then lemon line he rocks I get so sick of lemon lime by the end of the race. We walked around and I loaded up on ice cream to take home (LOL I took like 6 ice cream bars to put in my fridge) last year I was grumpy and took nothing from the finish line but sweet ice cream for a week. My wife has a finish line video I will post it later. If you read all that you rock too, not as much as that dude at mile 24 or my dad with his fruit punch gatorade but you still rock.

No comments:

Post a Comment