Monday, April 18, 2011

Salt Lake Marathon

Ouch.  That's how it went.  Ok, that's not entirely true, here's the run down in short.  Rode a completely stuffed trax train up to the start.  It was bad, must've taken 30 minutes, and it was SO hot in there I thought I was going to puke, we were completely shoulder to shoulder in there and this obnoxious kid decided to push in on a later stop and I had to listen to him yak for the next 20 minutes, uhg.  Anyway, made it up with only about 15 minutes before the start and ran right to a bathroom with a huge line, knew I didn't want to start without one last pit stop and I knew the bathrooms would be busy in the first few miles, and I knew I don't like to stop and didn't have much time to spare.  Fortunately I got in and out while putting on my sock's and watch and took my layers off and had about 3 minutes to hurry and get everything else in/out of my morning bag I needed, run to the bag drop, and stand in line.
Gun went off, took about 3 minutes walking to cross the start line then another 2 to start running, was kind of frustrating.  It was cool to be around 5,000+ other people, but made it really hard for the first 2-3 miles to navigate around them.  I felt good the first half, and the miles seemed to go by quickly.

Hit 13.1 at 1:45 and while I was hoping it'd be closer to 1:40, oh well, I was still feeling good.  Running along a few miles later top of my foot was bugging me again where I tied my key into my laces, so as much as I detest stopping, I stopped at the side of the road, fumbled with the laces, got the key out, fumbled to retie them (it was weird how my hand function was a bit impaired) and took off again.  I had been watching this one lady in front of me for the last 4 miles and had hoped to keep her in my sights as she looked strong.  She obviously got a little on me with that stop, but I could still see her.  Ended up making up time on her and beating her by 20 seconds at the end I think.  It was kind of a motivator like, "hey if she looks strong, maybe that means I do too".  I know, I know, but I don't think of myself in an elitist way.  So wandering along about mile 16 and the left quad/hip flexor start tightening up or filling with lactic acid, not sure which, and I thought 'uh oh' but kept on.  The other leg joined in by mile 18, and my pace slowed to 8:30-9:00 at times despite my efforts to keep it faster.  I wasn't really fatigued per say, my lungs got a little tight which was wierd, and thankfully my nutrition was fine, but those legs, when they tighten up there's not much to do but keep on running and make it to the finish.  I got a little ancy about the miles going slowly in the 20's, but by the time we turned onto State and hit 24.2, that was nice, knowing I had "a mile and", I think like that a lot.  Worked the uphill to my best, and the downhill to my best, and kept my eyes peeled for the final turns and finish  :)
Myself, Steve who ran a 3:15, and Neil who ran his first marathon
The finish line was ok, a lot of people, but no one was really cheering when I went through  :(  I saw 2 spectators that I knew while I was running.  It was fun to see others out cheering for their families, but it was kind of hard not having anyone there for me too.  Oh well.  I focused on the race.  I did get to see 2 coworkers Steve and Neil (who I shared some First Endurance Liquid Shot with when I passed the poor guy at mile 20 who hadn't had any calories besides powerade at aid stations), and I also got to meet up with good friend and 84 time marathoner Jonathan.  We ironically ran races 2 seconds apart in total time, but never saw each other on the course, darn!  It was nice to have a good hug at the end.  Thanks Jonathan!

So I came away in 3:36.08, a 1 minute PR.  And I wasn't super excited about the time or the race the first couple days, and I think that's because it really hurt a lot.  Ironman hurt a lot too, but not like this, IMSG zapped all the energy out of me by the end, but didn't leave me in pain at the end like a marathon does.  I knew I was going into this marathon under trained and that it would hurt, but I was hoping I was in good enough shape, those tight legs wouldn't come into play till the last 6, not the last 10.  It wasn't an easy race for me, it was tough.  But I should, and am getting toward a more positive feeling toward the race just thinking that hey, it's another marathon under my belt (#4), and a PR despite under training, and despite the legs slowing down earlier than they did the last time I ran a marathon.  At least I still ran through that which was mentally and physically challenging and managed to pull off a PR when I thought I'd be on track for a 3:40 something finish.  1:45 first half feeling reasonably well, 1:51 second half feeling a lot of leg pain.  Not too bad I guess   :)  Thanks to all the friends who were kind enough to say something since the race.  I don't want to come off all negative, and your words have helped me to remember the good in the race.  I have been awfully sore since the second I finished, taking a good 20 minutes walking barefoot to the car when it should have taken me 10 or less, having to have my kids help me up out of a chair or off the floor or out of bed, not being able to carry my kids up the stairs because I need all the upper body strength to pull myself up and down the railing, but as a good friend reminded me, I guess I just left it all out on the course, and that's a good thing, something I'll take.

Some more thoughts about the race:  The course is very urban which is cool because you have a ton of residents out watching in their yard, but the scenery was lacking at times too.  It's not my favorite full marathon course, but I wouldn't mind trying the half, think it looks faster and just better overall.  But along the way I was mistaken for my twin sister twice from people who knew her in high school, passed a guy with a full KISS face paint, passed another gentleman with a soft serve ice cream machine in his front yard (yeah, sorry buddy, I'm not taking ice cream at mile 7, it was a nice gesture though), and passed another guy dressed in green tights and a green tank top with a huge yellow flower pedal thing around his neck.  That's one thing I don't quite get, why so many costumes lately, so many tutus in regular races?  I get it in a Halloween or costume race, but think it's kind of strange otherwise, but to each is own.  Oh yeah, also saw 5 or 6 guys with tight jeans and short sweaters out hitting cowbells along the course, you know like Will Farrel's "more cowbell" skit on SNL?  Humorous and nice of them to come out and support.

So here's what worked about the race:
Nutrition - used First Endurance Liquid Shot (mixed half the new berry flavor with half the vanilla flavor, liked it a lot) and took a serving every 4.5ish miles starting at mile 5.  Also carried a flask of Coke with me and sipped on it between 17 and 23 miles.  Next time I will make sure it's more flat and will carry it in a belt or something.  I don't mind holding flasks, but that one got me a little bit sticky as it would fizz.
Shoes - wore my Altra Intuitions for their first marathon.  Really liked having my toes spread out, think it kept my feet out of pain, and so far no black toe nails.  Loved how well it held my heel into place, and love how long I was able to keep good form (most of the marathon).  That zero drop is good stuff, I tell ya.
Blister help - so I got a blasted blister on my heel from some shoes 2 days before the race, nice timing I know.  Was worried about it as my Altra's rubbed it and the last thing I wanted was to suffer through that all morning.  Used these Nexcare Comfort Fabric Brights Assorted Bandages and they were great!  Stretchy so held on well, a nice pad, and breathable.  It didn't move at all under my CEP's.  Great help.
Socks - CEP's.  Love em, don't run long without em.  These are totally something you can experiment with on race day and they won't hurt you.  I just really like the help and support I feel like they give during the race, and have made my calves the least sore part of my lower body since the race.
Jersey - Ran in a new top from Freemotion, a partner company with Altra.  Just enough support for me, loved the movement that came from the thin straps, no chafing at all, and a long top, never worried it was creeping up to show my mama tummy.  Nice and thin too, just really well built.  Also had a cute new sweat/head band I wore.  I kind of look like a cancer patient in it but it's all good.

Here's what didn't work out so great:

Shorts - So while I know and tell people you never try anything new on race day, I was an idiot and tried new shorts on race day.  They were Zoot Compression Tri shorts I just got.  I had hoped they would help the leg pain I'm used to getting that last hour.  Wore them on a 3 mile run the week of the race to try them and loved the support they gave my legs (and did on the marathon too, very nice), but come race day they chafed me something fierce, and not where I was expecting.  I have run in tri shorts during races and some training for 12 years, I have never had this problem running, but basically they didn't sit right on my lady parts and rubbed me RAW.  Like light bleeding raw.  Hurt during the race, tried pulling them down a little, didn't help.  They had a plush fleece pad, part of the reason I thought they'd be great, but something wasn't right I guess.  Came home from the race, used the bathroom, and lets just say yelled out pretty loud, it is pretty bad.  Trying to wear as many loose pants/skirts as I can to let air heal things up.  The negative things said, I did like how high they were on my belly and back, felt like good core support and held in what pudge (yes there's some) I have.  They weren't too hot on my legs, but I don't know that I could handle them in hot conditions unless I get them wet at aid stations.  I'll not retire the shorts all together due to the chafing, but I'll cycle in them fine and run in them WITH something underneath them.  I obviously got pretty pained during the race but I don't know whether to say that means they didn't do their job or not, it's still a long way to run on the road and if there are any shorts out there that take all that pain away, someone better tell me!  Although I suspect they don't exist  :)
Music - So I did end up taking and using music.  Put it in at mile 10 I think, earlier than I thought, but I was getting bored.  Just no one to talk to and not a super amazing scenery course.  I liked the music, but by the time my legs started hurting, it was hard to not be able to run fast to the good songs like I do in faster training. It kept my mind a bit busy and I still tried to focus on spectators, but I think it would be more fun with legs or a race that would allow me to run faster.
The pics - Silly I know, but I looked pretty pooped in some of the pictures and made some pretty lame faces in others .  Also couldn't get a stinkin photographer to take a pic of my shoes, I asked like 3 times (most of the weird faces are them catching me asking) and they all just laughed at me.  I would have bought a good close up, oh well.


So that's that.  I got to do marathon #4, it was a great day with great overcast cool weather, my body stayed healthy in the regards to stomach issues and the head pain I get sometimes, no dizziness, no seeing stars (I prayed the night before and morning of that my body would be well during the race, and that's what I was looking for, no scary head stuff).  I've had great help from my mom brothers and my mother in law and friends watching the kids for me so I can go to work and get this second workout of the week in.  Going to take a few weeks off running now and get back on my bike and back in the pool.  It's been way too long for both.  We'll see what I can finally figure out in the way of future races too.

1 comment:

Jarvis Family said...

Thanks for the report! It is always nice to hear how things go in detail! Sorry about the things that did not work but I really think you did great overall! I LOVE the top. That is exactly what I would like to race in. I just had a hard time describing it. But yes, thin straps and long. Awesome! You look great in it!