Garmin Marathon 2012 was a tale of two races for me. I talked about my goals for this race in this post. My prime target was sub 4:05:00 marathon (9:20 pace) with an idea if I could run a 4:00:00 (9:10 pace) being an outside chance. It was an aggressive target, but I had a number of great training runs leading up to the race including a 9:10 race pace 12-mile run on an out and back trail similar to Garmin. I posted my pre-race nutrition on Facebook for the days leading up to the race. I averaged 25g net carbs each of the days before the race. I was well-hydrated, and we got to the Olathe and the Expo a couple hours before it closed on Friday night. The weather as the graphic indicates looked fantastic with race day starting temp predicted at 38F rising to 48F.
|8||09:32.0||1||9:32||Met Laura, drank 1/4 bottle Powerade Zero|
The 4:00 pace team was following some crazy SmartPacing strategy in which the first miles were extremely slow, so I went out with the 2:00 half marathon pacers. I had intended to run 9:15-9:20 min/mile pace. I kept slowing down from 2:00 allowing him going out further ahead and ran my pace instead. I kept wondering where the 4:00 pacers were and why they weren’t ahead of me yet. The other thing notable on these miles were the amount of corners to be taken. Almost every corner we came to we were taking a left or a right, so there were very few long straight stretches in this section to zone out and run. Even with all the corners and turns, these were probably my favorite section of the course as you could at least see a few blocks ahead of you.
It was on this stretch I was finally caught by 4:00 pace team at mile 12. It was at this section their smart pacing strategy had them running sub 9 minute miles. I kept up with them on my mental bungie rope for awhile. This was the first time I had the Optima Replenisher that I made the night before. I didn’t have a measuring device at the time and made what I thought was appropriate. After tasting it, I knew it was too strong. I decided to keep it anyway. This was ultimately not the wisest choice I made. At this point I was still feeling good.
|16||09:13.6||1||9:14||Met Laura, drank Optima Replenisher|
|17||09:27.7||1||9:28||Started listening music – half way though mile|
|21||10:18.0||1||10:18||Met Laura, drank Optima Replenisher|
These were on the out and back trail (started mile 12 and ended mile 24), and this trail was pretty windy. It was curvy to the point in which many times you couldn’t plan for what was coming ahead. Not having ran this trail before, I never knew what was around the next corner. A steep mini-hill, a little drop off, or a circular loop to run across a bridge, I saw almost anything. The turn around at mile 18.5 was met with much cheering from me. I could feel my stomach gurgling though at this point. I felt like I had to throw up and actually contemplated forcing myself to throw up around the mile 20 mark just to get it over, but I ultimately decided not to as I didn’t want to risk dehydration or things going even worse. I knew I was in trouble though and that my project sub 4:05 finish was definitely at risk.
|25||11:32.1||1||11:32||Met Laura, gave up the Android tracker app, drank PowerAde Zero to see if it would help. (It didn’t.)|
These miles were more gritting it out, making deals with myself to run a mile or half mile just to get closer to Laura and ultimately to the finish. I am not completely proud of the pace I ran here. In the end, it came down to a katet of four of us. We were each struggling, and I became determined that a girl dressed like Dorothy was not going to beat me. She passed me a number of times in mile 25/26, but I put my head down at mile 25.5 and kept running. I felt like hurling, but at that point I had people watching me. I kept moving and prayed I could keep it in in front of them.
I crossed the finish line in 4:10:39 seconds according to the chip time. This is roughly a minute slower than last year, and ranks as a personal bronze medal — beating 4:15:00. In retrospect, I know where I need to improve — just measure the powder or use just Powerade Zero next, and show a little more mental toughness as things start to really get bad. I *could* have run during some of the walks. I wouldn’t have died, and I obviously had some energy in me. Perhaps a more familiar course would have helped nearer the end, but the unknown perhaps led to this is going on forever mental game. If I run this route again, I’ll know, and perhaps if I have a similar situation in the future, I’ll run the final 2 or 3 mile the day before to set the stage. These are fixable things and definitely not insurmountable.