starting line it was 37F and had just stopped raining. I wore my regular running
shorts, tech-t, running hat, cotton hoddie and cotton socks. I received lots of
great advice on clothing but in the end I couldn’t violate the most important
rule in marathoning “don’t change anything on race day”. But I am going to buy
some rain gear, so next time I will be prepared for anything.
- 6 “Relax we got a few miles ahead of us” (6mi @ 10:06 pace)
6 miles were mostly dry with some light drizzle here and there. I started off
slow and was boxed in by all the runners. I wasn’t about to go crazy like other
people I saw weaving in and out of the traffic. Hey, we got 25 more miles I
think you can make up for 1 mile of slow running. I was getting really warm
debating on when I should toss the sweatshirt on the side of the road. Running
in Denver is weird became its hilly but not big hills just short quick ones.
Going up and down these little hills my quads didn’t feel right. Actually they
didn’t feel right the last couple of days but I wrote it off as pre race
jitters. My quads always get messed up as I cut back on the mileage. When I used
to do the traditional taper (20 days) my quads would be useless at the start of
the race. This year I have done a short taper (13 days) and that has helped a
lot but not fixed the problem.
Miles 7 - 19 “Wet soggy and
flirting with a DNF” (13 @ 9:53 pace)
By now the drizzle had become light
rain but I was still feeling a little too warm. I ditched my sweat shirt at the
Broncos stadium (9.5 miles). I didn’t realize at the moment but this was a huge
mistake. At first running without the sweat shirt felt refreshing and my pace
increased for the next few miles. I ran down a big hill around 14 and my quads
felt terrible. Miles 15, 16 & 17 people keep saying just a little farther
and then some downhill. I was like “please no more downhill”. Also during these
miles my condition was deteriorating, I was getting really really cold. I
remember at mile 18 I checked to see if my phone was still transmitting to run
keeper and switching on the external battery, this was really hard because my
fingers just didn’t want to move. At mile 19 I couldn’t open power gel with my
hands, I had to use my teeth. I was seriously afraid that I going to have to
duck out of the race just to warm up.
Miles 20 - 22 “Warming
up, feels like I might be able to kick it in” (3 @ 10:11 pace)
remember if the course went back by the stadium. I figured that either way I was
going to have to go find my sweatshirt. Luckily at mile 20 the course came
pretty close and I only had to go off course (in the wrong direction) a few
hundred feet to retrieve my sweatshirt. Around mile 20 it also stopped raining
and was clear to the finish. I warmed up pretty quickly and my mood and pace
improved. I finished mile 22 in 9:46, it had been 5 miles since my last one
under 10:00. It felt like I had gotten my second wind and could finish the last
few miles at a good pace. I was thinking that I could still get my medium goal
of 4:22:00. But these feelings were short lived.
Miles 23 -
Finish “The train has come of the tracks” (4.2 @ 11:31 pace)
After a 1
min walk break I was ready to start mile 23 with that same awesome feelings. But
the first few steps into the run and my calf muscles nearly cramped up. I hate
that feeling your muscles send out the second before they lock. Anyways I had
some painful cramps last year and I wasn’t about to get one now. I changed my
strategy to “forget about time, let’s just finish”. I think that when my quads
are gone I must have changed my running form to one that is easier on them but
really hard on my calf muscles. Nearly every step of the last 3 miles felt like
it could have been the last before a huge cramp. The course went back through
downtown Denver but this time I walked up every little hill. I ditched the
sweatshirt again at mile 24(I was plenty warm for the last 2 miles). Even in
this shape I was still passing a lot of people that must have been feeling
worse. I was so happy to see the mile 25 marker, I wanted to sprint home but my
legs would only allow 12 min pace. Crossing the finish line was a really good
feeling and made it worth all the pain.
official time was 4:28:03 my medium goal was 10 min pace (4:22:00). When I came
through mile 22 at 3:39:39, I was 21 seconds under 10 min pace but after that I
lost big chunks of time. This marathon was about 2 and half minutes slower than
my last marathon. But I am really happy to have another marathon finished under
I didn’t have any chaffing problems and only had got a 1
blister on one foot. The only thing sore today is my quads, everything else
seems good. I am walking around normal today even on the stairs which is a day
after first for me. I can remember the day after my first marathon every muscle
seemed sore and my feet, ankles and knees were in bad shape too.
every marathon I learned a lot and now I will adjust my training. 1 major
problem I want to address is my quads, they didn’t feel right from the start.
After 18 miles and a few small hills they were toast. In training I never have
problems with my quads. I have successfully run many 18 & 20 mile runs
without any quad problems and that’s usually just days after a tempo run. I am
thinking that maybe over tapering is the issue not duration of the taper.
Here I am finishing, I am the one it the white shirt.
It’s amazing how quick your mood changes once you cross the finish
Finally some warmth, it only made it up to about 40F by the finish.