Prior to yesterday, I had only run one other marathon, the 2008 Toronto Marathon. I had trained pretty hard for that one. Since then, I have run quite a few ultras ranging from 50k to 100 miles but nothing significant on roads. My training for this race was lackluster, after my aborted training for Susitna. I did do some fairly long trail outings time-wise but I never really covered more than 25k in my longest run since last Fall. Still, I had a few 3+ hour trail runs under my belt so I felt mentally ready. It’s not like I was trying to qualify for Boston or anything.
|Section of the Course on Google Earth|
It’s weird because here I sit, trying to write a race report and I’m drawing a blank. It was a road race, almost every runner in his own iPod bubble. Yes it was hilly with about 1800 feet of climbing (my Garmin says 2200ft). Yes it was pretty. A third of it was actually on unpaved roads. Yes, I paid for my lack of training. I crossed the halfway mark at 1h56 after a net downhill of about 300 feet. A few miles into the second half, I knew I was in trouble. I don’t think I really hit the wall but the long uphills were just killing me. I walked quite a few times on the uphills. There were very few flat sections on the course.
The highlight of the race was running for about 15 or 20km with another ultra runner getting ready for the Leadville 100. After we got separated (he finished a few minutes ahead of me), I was left counting the miles all by myself. I slowed down by about 13 minutes on the way back up for a finishing time of 4h09:50. I won’t lie to you, I was utterly spent. The last two km were significantly uphill and you constantly fight a battle between wanting to be done and what you got left in the tank. I finished 56th out of 168 runners, actually placing 3rd in my AG (there were 6 of us). Hey, I placed!
As long as it was since my last marathon, it probably will be even longer before I run another one. Quite frankly, it was a grind, running on the white line, waiting for the race to be over. I don’t know what my problem was, I’m used to running much longer than that. The scenery was beautiful. There were plenty of well stocked aid stations. The weather was nice, around 16C. I don't have an excuse.
I didn’t really regret doing the race while I was running it, but today I was thinking that if I’m here at this date next year, I’m probably going to strap on my hydration vest and go for a sweet 4 or 5 hour trail run.